You want to create a portfolio website to showcase your web design work, and you’re looking for web design portfolio examples for inspiration and guidance.
Chances are, you’re also wondering what platform is best for your portfolio.
But before we dive into examples of what portfolio websites look like in the wild on a variety of website builders and hosting platforms, there is one thing to keep in mind when you’re evaluating your portfolio: it’s not just about how it looks. The functionality matters too.
And given we’re dealing with web design portfolios, chances are, you want your portfolio to be an example of what you can do. With this in mind, we’ve pulled a variety of examples from a variety of platforms, but you’ll notice a trend towards portfolios built on self-hosted platforms that give designers more freedom and flexibility to showcase their style.
Disclosure – I receive customer referral fees from companies mentioned on this website. All data & opinions are based on my professional judgement as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Best Web Design Portfolio Examples
We’ve pulled these examples based on functionality, design, and usability. Again, when you’re looking to build a web design portfolio, remember that you’re not just thinking about making the site look good (despite your design skills!). You want to think about the functions your site needs to be able to do, too.
A good web design portfolio should do a few key things:
First, it should showcase your work in a clean, organized way that’s easy for prospective clients to browse. The card layout on Tim Smith’s portfolio definitely makes it easy for visitors to see his work collectively, as well as dive deeper into the projects they’re interested in. It keeps all of the focus on the design.
Next, a portfolio website should make it easy for visitors to contact you and learn more about you! Tim’s website also hits on both of these. Notice the side navigation, which gives visitors plenty of opportunities to get in contact with him. It’s also easy to find his “Profile” page with the clear menu at the top!
Software: Minimally Built Website
Hosting: Digital Ocean
As I mentioned before, a web design portfolio is a great place to show your abilities in action. This portfolio by Sean Halpin is a great example of showing your skills and style within the portfolio itself.
This web design portfolio example gives off an immediate impression of his design style, with the custom header. Then, he’s able to show his depth in his work section by displaying the various projects he’s worked on.
Hosting: Fastly Hosted
Charlie’s portfolio stands out for two primary reasons. First is the color scheme. The use of complementary colors makes his portfolio pop — your eye is immediately drawn to the yellow and then directly down to the blue section below it, which features another project.
Second is his call-to-action. Instead of using something generic, like “Contact”, Charlie goes with a much warmer “Say Hello!”, which matches the overall warm vibe of his portfolio page.
Keep in mind that a strong CTA doesn’t mean a boring CTA — it just has to be clear!
What stood out to us about this web design portfolio example is how unique the design it. The entire homepage is actually samples of her work, which you can swipe through or click into. This, paired the with simple navigation at the top, makes her projects the central focus of the entire portfolio site (which really is the point!).
When you’re ready to dive deeper into her work, you just click the project and are brought to a page that dives deeper:
We especially liked how Victorie gave small snippets of the project overview, the team, and the role she played in the project. From there, you can scroll down and see more shots of the work itself. It’s a great way to give visitors an overview before they dive deeper.
This WordPress.com web design portfolio is a great example of a straightforward, clean website that doesn’t have a ton of frills, but still gets the job done.
Showcasing the designs in the computer is a great way to bring some customization into the portfolio and also show what the designs look like in “real life”.
We also enjoyed how how Edna create a separate page to detail her design process:
This is a great way to differentiate yourself by showcasing your unique process and expertise!
This web design portfolio example by Charli Marie is a great example of a simple, straightforward single page site that has all of the key information right on the page. You can see where Charli works, get in touch, check out Charli’s work (which links to a Dribble profile).
If you’re looking for a simple one-page website to link out to other channels (like your social media and other portfolio hubs), this is a great example to follow.
While most of the sites we’ve looked at have been custom in terms of design, this web design portfolio example uses a Squarespace template. Instead of creating the whole site from scratch, Janna has customized it with her brand colors, imagery, and copy.
This is a great reminder that your portfolio doesn’t have to be something you design. After all, you’re busy designing for clients! If you’re looking for an easy way to get a clean website up that showcases your work, tells clients about what you do, and gives them a way to contact you, this is a great example to check out.
Now that you have some inspiration in terms of the design, colors, and functionality you may want in your web design portfolio, where do you go from here?
Well, it really depends on where you are in your portfolio building journey!
Or, if you’re looking to go DIY with a specific template to match your design and functionality needs, check out my Build a Personal Website: Templates, Design, and Setup Guide.