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How to Create a Free Portfolio Website Using WordPress.com

February 4, 2010

Looking for a free way to create a portfolio website?

For this week’s Tutorial of the Week, I thought I’d follow-up on a tutorial that I published on my portfolio site a while back called How to Create a Free Portfolio Website Using WordPress.com.

I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from artists who have put that tutorial to use, and some requests for a pdf version.

Well, I’m now offering a free download of the tutorial in pdf format.  Please feel free to share and distribute this 6-page document to your fellow artists.  All I ask is that you keep the tutorial intact and don’t make any changes to the pdf.

Download the pdf here:

How to Create a Free Portfolio Website Using WordPress.com

If you have any questions or problems downloading the file, please email me at illustrationisland@gmail.com.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2010 12:07 PM

    I’ve been using this to put together my own blogfolio! I’m an idiot when it comes to building web sites, so this has been an excellent resource for me.

    I still have a lot more content I want to add, but it’s getting there.

    http://mikeshoaf.wordpress.com/

  2. February 4, 2010 12:49 PM

    I built my old site in Dreamweaver, and hadn’t updated it in a long time. The new version of Dreamweaver required learning alot of CSS. Ugh.

    My friend said, go WordPress, it’s what he used. I had my site rebuilt, better then what I used to have, in 2 days. I have a sketchblog in which I post what I’m working on, and what I’ve learned about being a freelancer and an artist.

    People comment on how professional my site looks.

    One thing to anyone starting your own site should consider. Please, don’t put up sections that are under construction. It looks unprofessional to do so. All it says is, I think I should have this, but I really haven’t given it any thought. If you can’t give your self promotion proper consideration, there are art directors out there that will think that as well.

    If all you have your art work to show at this time, leave it at that. The great thing about WordPress is you can go back and easily add more pages. Go that route if you have sections that are incomplete.

    Adding more to your site later, when it’s ready, also shows that you are always working on promoting yourself as an artist and working towards being an artists.

    Good luck!

    • February 4, 2010 1:46 PM

      Thanks for sharing your story Tim. I think you’ve given some great advice. It’s important to know that everything doesn’t have to be perfect to launch your site, and that you can reveal new sections when they’re ready to go.

  3. February 4, 2010 5:31 PM

    hi Thomas,
    Thanks for making a pdf of your excellent WP tutorial.
    I have been using WP (self hosted version) for about a year and it’s the best choice i made.
    I do have some skills in html and css and but all the portfolio sites i made myself were pretty basic. (created in Netobjects Fusion and Dreamweaver).

    Then i discovered Blogger and used that for a while. The great advantage being that i could easily upload work without messing with code. Unfortunately there was no way of create a separate portfolio page and also having a free blog wasn’t the best long term solution.

    What i wanted was a combination of a portfolio and a blog in one site.
    I even thought about trying to code a blog myself but that was way beyond me.

    That’s when i tried out WP. I felt a bit daunted about the installation process but actually it turned out to be pretty stress free. I was able to add a portfolio page and made that my front page.
    I also liked that people could comment not only on the blog but also in the portfolio pages.

    I know WP can be expanded with plug-ins and add ons but I try to keep my website as simple as possible.

    By the way, I do recommend the WordPress for Dummies book by Lisa Sabin-Wilson.

    Cheers
    Eddy

  4. February 5, 2010 7:56 AM

    I’m working through it now, but like most tutorials, there are steps missing for people who have never used WordPress. I think this is important especially since WordPress contradicts itself throughout its own dashboard. Such as calling a PAGE a POST which should be 2 different things. ARGHHH! But the truth? This is the furthest progress I’ve been able to achieve with any WordPress How-to. Here’s to hoping I will be able to overcome my own belligerence and persevere. Thanks, Thomas.

    • February 5, 2010 8:11 AM

      Hey Brandon. A Page and a Post ARE two different things, and you’ll find both of them listed in the dashboard. Also, this tutorial is a very specific how-to for the purpose of using WordPress to make a portfolio site, and I didn’t see the need to rehash general WordPress techniques that are covered in such depth in their support section here. I’m simply trying to offer something that CAN’T be found there, hence the specific title. Between these two things and digging in and getting your hands dirty, you should be able to create a nice site.

  5. February 5, 2010 8:11 AM

    I’m confused. please forgive my idiocy. Is “image URL” the same as “link URL”? And am I making them Thumbnails initially or is this going to be the default display? Do I save page or insert into post (which I thought was PAGE)? I am coming from working on Blogspot which is quite simple.

  6. February 5, 2010 8:17 AM

    ok. I think I’ve got it. I was confusing “Image URL” with “page URL”. I also wasn’t sure where to place my widget, but I’m assuming that is a personal preference. Please note that I do think Blogspot is much easier I’m obviously not happy with it since I’m trying out WordPress. bye.

    • February 5, 2010 8:19 AM

      Agreed, however the reason it’s much easier is that there’s so much less you can do with it. Once you learn WordPress, and you will, you’ll probably never go back to Blogger.

  7. February 5, 2010 8:24 AM

    Thanks for your time and using up some real estate on your comments page. I’ll get there.

    -frustrated illosigner

  8. February 5, 2010 3:45 PM

    Good tutorial – maybe in the future I will switch over to WordPress. I have been using Textpattern for a while now. Regardless, using a CMS to power your blog and portfolio really is the way to go. I have over 500 images in my database now (portfolio images and blog stuff), and I can’t imagine using Dreamweaver like I used to use to manage content.

  9. March 17, 2010 3:13 PM

    Glad that I discovered your website, fantastic info. I will certainly bookmark and try to visit more frequently.

  10. August 12, 2010 3:11 AM

    Very informative and helpful tuto to create a free portfolio website. Thanks for sharing

  11. February 7, 2011 8:54 PM

    I just finshed buiding my portfolio with a slideshow after complaining that I couldn’t get my gallery to look like yours, duhh if I had only checked the tutorials sooner. Well, my next update will defenetly envolve applying this.

  12. October 25, 2011 9:17 AM

    awesome tutorial. I’ve done basically the same thing, using wordpress.com, and until now I’ve just been pretty unhappy with the presentation of the portfolio page. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it running to a good standard now.

  13. July 22, 2012 1:19 PM

    Thanks for an excellent tutorial! I’m having a bit of trouble with the sidebar image. It won’t let me leave it blank; it keeps putting in a value that distorts the image. This may be an “improvement,” but it’s nothing I can’t work around. I’ll just resize the images in Photoshop to see what the vertical height should be.

  14. Jud permalink
    September 11, 2012 10:01 AM

    Hi!
    I tried to do this, but now it doesn’t work! Has anybodí still hava a page made after this tutorial? I don’t understand, how can I arrange thumbnails side by side, the theme only has 1 sidebar only. Can somebody please help me? Thanks!

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