How to Build a Personal or Portfolio Website with WordPress
On average around 98% of job applications get eliminated at the initial screening process and only 2% actually make it through to the interviews.
Getting a job interview is now even tougher than landing the job itself. However, you may have an easier solution to make your job application stand out from the crowd by simply setting up a personal website.
According to a survey, 67% of HR managers say that it’s easier for them to get more insights into a candidate when they have a personal website. In fact, they stated that having a website helps to “humanize” the candidate. The HR managers would even contact 4 in 10 candidates to ask for a personal website.
Clearly, having a personal website can give you a great advantage when applying for a job and to increase the odds of being discovered by clients. In this post, we’ll show you how to create a killer personal or portfolio website without typing a single line of code, step by step. Keep reading to see how it’s done.
Step 1: Find A Good Web Host
First, you need to find a web hosting platform and buy a domain name to install WordPress and setup your website.
Since you’re setting up a personal website, it’s best to choose your name as the domain name (eg: www.yourname.com). You can easily buy a domain name for about $10 from a site like NameCheap.
Then look for a good web host to set up your site. This is an important step and you should be very careful when picking a host. Because there are way too many companies that offer web hosting at cheap rates but the quality of their service and customer support will often end up being terrible.
Read reviews and browse web hosting forums to find a suitable web host for you. It’s always best to choose a trusted platform like Bluehost to host your site. Bluehost provides hosting at only $3.95 per month and comes with a free domain name as well.
Step 2: Install WordPress
The next step is to install WordPress on your hosting platform. Depending on the hosting provider you’ve chosen, this process will be different.
For most platforms, you can install WordPress by logging into your CPanel and finding the WordPress app from the Softaculous apps collection and following its instructions to install WordPress.
On Bluehost, you can install WordPress with just one click. You’ll find the installation button on your account dashboard. Click the button to begin your installation. Once it’s complete, you’ll receive the links for logging in to your WordPress admin dashboard.
Step 3: Choose A Great WordPress Portfolio Theme
The most important step in your website setup process is choosing the right theme to change the design of your website. Of course, you can use a free WordPress theme, however, free themes are often used by thousands of other low-quality and spammy websites.
To show off your authority, creativity, and professionalism, you should consider using a premium theme. With premium themes, you don’t have to credit its authors with links on the footer and it will give you more control over your design customization.
(Example: Paragon WordPress theme)
Remember to choose a theme with a modern and a minimal design. There are WordPress theme marketplaces that offer thousands of premium themes at affordable prices. Browse those sites and choose one of the best portfolio website WordPress themes that suits your personality and profession.
Step 4: Install Your Website Theme
From the WordPress admin dashboard, you’ll be able to customize your website, add plugins, and upload themes to change the design of your website.
Start by installing the theme you’ve just bought.
Head over to Appearance > Themes > Add New and choose upload theme to upload your downloaded theme file.
Once it’s uploaded, click Activate to make your new theme the default design of your website.
Step 5: Personalize The Website Design
Most premium WordPress themes will look beautiful as it is. But, it’s important that you customize the design to add personality to your website and to make it make it stand out.
(Example: Verve WordPress theme)
Follow the instructions in your theme documentation to customize the design of your theme. Change its colors, add a logo, change icons, upload new background images, change fonts, and make the design one of a kind.
Step 6: Craft A Compelling Intro
Your personal website’s intro is what visitors first see when they land on your website homepage. This section needs to be crafted carefully to summarize your personality, your work, and your services with just two or three lines of text.
Spend some time crafting the perfect website intro. Make it attractive enough to encourage the clients and visitors to keep exploring the rest of your website.
(Example: Indivo WordPress theme)
For example, a good rule to follow would be to speak in first person point of view when writing the content on your website (eg: “I’m a designer” instead of “John is a designer” ). It will add a personal touch your website.
Step 7: Tell Your Story
Use your personal website to tell your story and describe your personality and the way your work. Use this section to tell your potential clients why you’re exceptional at what you do and how you’ve delighted your past clients with your work.
You can also use a timeline to describe your journey and qualifications accordingly by structuring them according to time. You can use a plugin like WP Timeline to easily add a stylish timeline section to your website.
Step 8: Showcase Your Best Work
The portfolio is the most important part of your personal website. This is where you show off your best work to wow your potential clients.
Make sure you showcase a curated list of the best examples from your past jobs. Pick a variety of examples to show all sides of your skills. You can also use your portfolio to include case studies and describe past projects in detail.
(Example: Natio WordPress theme)
If you don’t have any previous work experience, then go and create some example mockups. Design some new graphics or release a free website template. Find a way to build your authority.
Step 9: Include Client Testimonials
Include a few quotes and testimonials from your previous clients to show the world that you have a reputation for doing great work.
(Example: Bionick WordPress theme)
It’s always best to have someone else to say how great you are than telling it yourself. Ask for feedback from your previous clients and include it on your website.
Step 10: Describe Your Services
Most of the personal website themes include a separate section where you can clearly describe the services you offer as a professional and showcase your skill set.
(Example: MePro WordPress theme)
Use this section to describe what you do. Breakdown your process in several steps to show how you approach projects. If you offer more than one service, then format the page to summarize each service.
You can also take your personal website to the next level by setting up a personal blog to promote your skills and experience. It will also help get better rankings on Google and be discovered by more clients.
You can install a blog with WordPress on a separate path, like www.yoursite.com/blog, to easily create a blog without having to change your main website layout.
If you’re looking for a great theme to get started on building your personal website, be sure to check out our best WordPress portfolio themes collection for inspiration.
Looking for WordPress hosting? We use SiteGround. Their managed WordPress hosting is fast, powerful, and secure. Prices start from $3.95 per month.