If you’re a web designer, a portfolio isn’t just a nice thing to have — it’s vital.
Your online portfolio allows you to showcase your best work. Plus, it gives you a chance to be discovered online, define your niche, share your personality and expertise, and land those new and exciting clients.
However, building an effective portfolio site is no easy feat. To design a standout portfolio, you need that extra oomph — a demonstration of your own personality, branding, and artistry.
What to include on your web design portfolio website
Your web design portfolio should be unique to you or your design agency — but there are standards elements that belong on every design portfolio.
Homepage/main landing page
Your homepage is perhaps the most important page within your portfolio website. While the main goal is to get potential clients’ eyes on your work and case studies, your homepage is what gets those visitors excited about your collection of work.
Your about page is just that — all about you. This is your moment, so let your personality shine and tell a bit of your story. You can also use this page to further explain your introduction to design and what design means to you. This leaves a good impression on potential clients as they can learn more about how you approach your work.
Whether you title it work or portfolio, this page should showcase your best design projects and their case studies. Curate your best projects — the work that highlights your skills as well as the style of work you love to do. Whenever possible, include thorough case studies that further explain your design process for the project and mockups from the final product.
This is where you define the type of web design services you offer. Clients may have different ideas of what a web design package includes, so use this page to clearly explain what work you take on.
Potential clients can’t hire you if they don’t know how to get in touch. A contact page that includes a contact form or your email address is key. The contact page is also a great place to share links to your social media and other relevant accounts like LinkedIn, Dribbble, Behance, and Medium.
Pro tip: Use your website builder’s social icon integration to link your Behance, Dribbble, LinkedIn, and email in your website’s footer or navigation bar. This is an industry-standard practice that ensures your contact information is visible on every page of your site.
These are the standard pages you’d find on a design agency or design portfolio website. If you use a template, these pages are typically complete with filler information that you can easily transform into your own personal portfolio website.
How to make your web design portfolio stand out
Your website is typically a potential client’s first introduction to you as well as your expertise, so crafting an effective website is crucial. Before you download the first web template you find or start building from scratch, think about your audience and your goals as a web designer. What type of clients and brands do you want to work with, and how will you attract them?
Defining your audience allows you to define your niche and goals as a professional web designer. Ask yourself: What kind of brands do I want to work with? Which industries or niches interest me?
Once you know which industries you’re interested in, speak their language by defining your design niche or specialty through cohesive design and branding.
Let’s say you want to work with minimalistic, high-end sustainable skincare and makeup brands. You could lean into muted pastel color combinations and stylistic serif fonts. Playing with layout, imagery, and spacing along with carefully placed animations and transitions can help you appeal to your specific audience.
Build and visually design a full portfolio website — completely free. This course covers everything from the basics of grid and flexbox to advanced interactions and accessibility work.
10 stellar web design portfolios
When it comes to web design, visuals speak louder than words. Check out these 10 web design portfolio examples and take note of any that speak to your design style.
1. Virginia Orosa
Dublin-based designer Virginia Orosa delights us with her gorgeous two-toned bubblegum portfolio. Virginia’s web design portfolio is a great example of a unique portfolio that still appeals to a wide audience.
Virginia’s choice of sans serif typography pairs well with the classic color scheme of bubblegum and cherry red along with subtle animations and transitions. This portfolio shows off Virginia’s personality as well as her expertise as a visual and interaction designer.
2. Ivette Felix Uy
Brooklyn-based product designer Ivette Felix Uy’s two-page portfolio shows that you can wow potential clients with a minimal site. Ivette’s design is balanced and visually appealing to a wide audience. The introductory fold highlights Ivette’s design style with a touch of her personality. Plus, her case study structure is something to be admired.
This is a perfect example of an online portfolio that speaks its audience’s language, using subtle yet clever visual appeals that leave a good impression.
3. Empathy template
The Empathy template by Tyler Hughey of Ty Created is a solid base for a web design portfolio. Empathy delivers boldness, beauty, and professionalism. Thanks to the built-in pages for your projects and services, this template can easily be transformed into your personal web design portfolio.
Milli is a creative design agency with the skills and credentials that has helped brands across the globe such as Amazon, Netflix, and Red Bull, to name a few. Their portfolio has a flair that’s hard to put into words as it’s an experience rather than a static page. Each grid comes to life with a yellow highlight and enlarged text when you hover over it.
What makes their website design work is how it entirely embodies their personality and branding as an agency. This design asserts Milli’s confidence, trust, and industry expertise to potential clients.
5. Colin Moy (cloneable)
It takes skill to design a site that is both coy as well as bold and immersive, but Colin Moy makes it look easy. Colin’s portfolio greets you with a cheeky design, replacing the Os in his name with eyes. Those eyes are actually a clever Easter egg — clicking on them activates dark mode and triggers an animation. Colin keeps this theme going, swapping the Os in About, Portfolio, and Contact for eyes as well, inviting you to click and expand to see more.
Colin’s web design portfolio is a great example of showing off your specialties through your own site’s design. And luckily for you, Colin’s template is cloneable.
6. MN STUD.IO
MN STUD.IO’s portfolio shows off the founder Mark Noble’s background in motion design and web development. This portfolio is a solid example of designing with your audience in mind — it’s obvious that MN STUD.IO enjoys projects that involve animations and movement.
As you scroll, animations that showcase past projects pop up, enticing you to click. Every page includes movement with elements like horizontal sliding text, spinning buttons, and interactive elements.
7. Nicole Nelson template
The Nicole Nelson portfolio website template includes hints of flair throughout the site, encouraging visitors to keep exploring.
This is thanks to the elements of movement — hover effects, transitions, and subtly shifting images — all of which create a sense of immersion. Not only is this a great demonstration of one’s design skills and attention to detail, but the template also provides an opportunity to showcase your work in an artistic way.
8. You X portfolio
You X, a portfolio template by BRIX templates, makes a great base for a web design portfolio. The You X template includes an extensive set of pages, features, ecommerce options, and an editable Figma file available after purchase.
You X is the ideal blank canvas. While the template follows the current design trends in terms of typography, white space, and general UI design, it is still minimalistic in design. This gives you a creative opportunity to transform it into your own web design portfolio.
9. Side Scroller template
Aaron Grieve’s Side Scroller template gives us new and exciting ways to play with the digital medium. In Aaron’s words, Side Scroller is super modern, clean, and unexpected.
After the load, you think you’ve wandered upon a single-fold landing page or a creative coming soon page with your standard header, body text, and call to action. However, as you scroll, additional content moves in from the right side of the page.
The side scroll creates an immersive experience, almost as if you are turning the pages of a brochure. It’s delightful and will leave quite the impression on potential clients.
10. Eve Kayser
Eve Kayser’s portfolio catches the eye right away with a beautiful gradient on his logo and subtle floating squares in matching colors.
This simple one-page portfolio has everything a great web design portfolio needs. Eve puts his expertise, a short introduction to his experience, and contact information above the fold. You can either click “Recent Work” in the menu or simply scroll to see a few of Eve’s projects.
So that’s our list of 10 stunning web design portfolio examples that can hopefully serve as creative design inspiration for your own portfolio.
If you’re ready to get started but are unsure how, check out our design portfolio course. This 21-day course teaches you how to visually build your own portfolio site without a single line of code. Great portfolios come from expertise and creativity. Happy designing!