Where would the writer, artist or photographer be without an impressive portfolio? It’s a chance to show-off and create a lasting first impression. Potential clients get an easy-to-digest overview of your previous work which should provide assurance and that all important credibility.
For WordPress users, there is a choice of portfolio themes, but often these can be limiting. Instead, why not opt for one of the many free or premium plugins? These bring far more features than the standard themes and can offer a more tailored service. It’s the best option for all those creatives who like to stand-out. Here’s a guide on the top 5 portfolio plugins which are both free and easy to use.
It doesn’t get more straightforward than WP Portfolio, but simplicity often outshines fancy gimmicks. Utilising the ‘Shrink The Web’ service, this plugin creates automatic screenshots of your published work. It can save heaps of time if you’re looking to showcase a large portfolio. It doesn’t include any extras such as lightbox effects, but a minimalist layout gives a stylish look nonetheless. Configuration is also a piece of cake; by adding the shortcode to any existing WordPress page, the portfolio will show up.
For the photographer, nothing beats NextGen Gallery. It seems the majority would agree as this is the most popular WordPress gallery plugin. The free version offers everything you could need including lightbox effects and countless other features enabling you to add watermarks and include metadata. Photos can be arranged to your liking either as part of a slideshow, thumbnail or single photo layout.
Projects by WooThemes
Are you looking for a more in-depth alternative to the gallery format portfolio? Projects by WooThemes could be the smart choice. Each portfolio is given its own page where you can add client details, and a description of the job followed by a gallery. This freedom of space allows you to give a more detailed overview of the project completed. This can be especially beneficial for the web developer or writer. As an added bonus, this plugin is geared towards the more tech savvy. It harnesses the native functionality of WordPress and features can be extended through hooks and filters.
As the name would suggest, this is a nimble piece of kit. Created with the mobile platform in mind, this responsive tech works well across all screen sizes. The PrettyPhoto feature is the showpiece which displays a huge array of media – videos, PDF’s, photos and so on – all in a stylish format. These can be customised further and filtering options enable users to quickly search for relevant portfolios.
Aeolus by Sakura Plugins
Undoubtedly one of the most striking plugins on the market, Aeolus gives some contemporary flair and chic attitude. While users can opt for a simple thumbnail layout, this plugin is popular for the parallax showcase. Given this current trend in web design, it’s great for those who want to stay relevant or appear cutting-edge. On the admin dashboard, a no-fuss drag and drop method makes customising quick and easy.