6 portfolio websites designed to stand out

Get inspired to design and launch your online portfolio site

Mat Vogels
November 22, 2015
Inspiration

Portfolio websites have become one of the most effective (and personalizable) ways to showcase one’s work.

They not only feel professional, but they’re also the easiest way to share, update, and manage your personal brand.

A printed resume has become a bit of a dinosaur in recent years for this very reason: When your latest and greatest work seems to change weekly, it makes sense to present it all in a place you can quickly and easily update. Our world just moves too fast for print.

Of course, making the decision to take your portfolio online is just the first — and easiest — of many decisions to come.

Now you’ve got to decide how to design it.

That’s why I’ve gathered these 6 gorgeous and carefully designed portfolios: to inspire you to build a website that highlights the uniqueness of both your personal brand and your design work. Along the way, I’ll explain why I love them, and why I think they’re so effective. For additional tips and tricks for your portfolio, be sure to check out our 10 portfolio design tips inspired by Webflow designers.

1. Minewire Design

Minewire Design

Joshua Kratt’s elegant portfolio site breaks the “hero image” mold that has come to dominate the web, instead relying on succinct and beautifully typeset text to tell his story in a visual way.

Joshua also keeps his interactions subtle to ensure they stay in tune with the site’s overall look and feel. I also love that Mad Libs–style form!

2. Joe Mortell

Joe Mortell

The execution of this site is so good. Everything from the first sentence to the presentation of projects is done in such a simple and straightforward way.

I’m a big fan of being bold, direct, and putting your best foot forward. So don’t clutter up your website. Instead of showing all 20 of your projects, focus on your 5 best — they’ll speak volumes.

3. Jack Dusty

Jack Dusty

Two words: White space.

I love the use of white space on this site. It creates a sense of openness and freedom that’s so relieving in the too-often cluttered and frenetic world of the web. So often we forget that not displaying content can be a powerful design choice.

4. Jonathan Patterson

Jonathan Patterson

Looking for something a little more original? This site is a great example of trying something completely different, and displaying your work with a design that feels ultra-unique. Because this site relies on an unfamiliar interface compared to most sites, it adds an element of mystery and exploration as the user navigates.

5. Black Ninja

Black Ninja

This site is unique in so many ways. Yes, it has a large hero image at the top of the page, but the rest of page features enough unique design and interaction elements to set it apart from any other site you’ll find online.

6. ABC Creative Agency template

ABC Creative Agency template

This Webflow template also follows the trend of using a giant hero image at the top of the page — but it does so in a way that feels original. It’s just different enough to feel bold, but follows common design trends to ease the user experience.

Use this free, responsive Webflow template to build your portfolio site today.

Inspired yet? Share your work with us.

Obviously, there are millions of great portfolio sites out there — these are just my favorites of the moment. For more inspiration, I recommend looking through the amazing work on Dribbble, Awwwards, and our very own Discover page.

Do you have a portfolio you would like to share? Send it our way! If you made it in Webflow, be sure to use the hashtag #MadeInWebflow.

What else should I consider?

While speed, reliability, scalability, and security should be your chief concerns, Webflow offers a host (pun sheepishly intended) of other features that have a significant impact on SEO and performance, and may not be offered by most hosting services.

HTTP/2

2015 saw the release of the first new Hypertext Transfer Protocol since 1999: HTTP/2.

This new standard promises faster websites across the web — but not all hosting platforms support it yet. Because Google has always cared about page speed, there’s a good chance that HTTP/2 will become a component of their ranking algorithm soon.

Here are some benefits of HTTP/2 support/compatibility:

  • Multiplexing: Your browser can receive requests over multiple connections, not just one. Think of it like switching from a one-lane road to an interstate.
  • Header compression: Your browser loads the top of your pages first, before the rest of the page, which means your site visitors see content faster. On mobile especially, this is a big improvement.

Webflow’s hosting has been HTTP/2 compliant for a couple years now, unlike services out there. (And even hosts who do offer it typically only do so on higher-tier packages.)

Today, all assets published to a Webflow site are served via HTTP/2 — increasing page load performance when a large number of assets need to be downloaded.

Other powerful features of Webflow hosting

Everything above is more or less essential, but there are many other features that can make managing your website a lot easier and more convenient. These include:

  • Automatic backups and version control (you can also save and name a site version whenever you’d like with the key combo Command + Shift + S on Mac or Control + Shift + S on Windows)
  • Site-wide and per-page password protection
  • Simple publishing workflows
  • Responsive images
  • Protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks

On top of these features, Webflow hosting includes:

  • Form submissions (manage lead gen and let us store your data for you). It’s like Wufoo, but built into Webflow!
  • SEO and social tools: manage OpenGraph and SEO meta tags in one convenient interface. Easily combine it with the CMS to automate your metadata optimization.
  • Dynamic embeds: integrate Webflow CMS with Shopify for ecommerce, SoundCloud for music, Eventbrite for events, and anything else that uses custom code embeds.

Webflow combines all these elements in a first-class global hosting infrastructure that’s available at the click of a button. This means that when you publish with Webflow, your site’s files and assets are published across the globe and immediately ready for any amount of traffic, from any location.

Want to know how much we believe in Webflow hosting?

We put a lot of thought and effort into making Webflow hosting one the the best hosting services out there. We’ve seen Webflow-using businesses like Kisi grow their organic traffic by over 300%, while also supporting thousands of requests per second for businesses like Eventbrite.

In fact, when Eventbrite launched their Amstel Live festival page with Webflow, they received over 10,000 requests a second — resulting in over 3,000,000 page views in just one hour. Webflow hosting was able to handle it without a hitch.

But above all, we believe in our hosting platform so much so that we use it for our own websites, which see hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the globe every day, and have seen nearly perfect performance over the last year.

Mat Vogels

I'm a web creator and Webflow evangelist. Follow me @matvogels.

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