How to Create Online Portfolio Site With WordPress (Step-by-Step 2021)

If you want to impress your potential clients or if you are looking for a design related job, having an amazing portfolio is the key. There is noting more important as a professional looking portfolio site where your images stand out and your portfolio website is user friendly and easy to navigate. We strongly believe that creating an online portfolio in WordPress will give you edge over any other way. Over 33% and growing websites are running on WordPress, because its user friendly with many free plugins and WordPress themes to choose from.

We were super happy and excited when Tina (Swiss-Miss) one of the most recognizable designer in the world and also the founder of CreativeGuild, CreativeMornings, TeuxDeux and Tattly mentioned and recommended Dessign themes on her twitter.

Updated: January 02, 2021

Swiss Miss
Swiss Miss

WordPress is the perfect solution to get your portfolio website online in less then 30 min. We been creating Free and Premium WordPress themes for professional creatives since 2010 and our portfolio themes are easy to use and SEO friendly.

The best thing is that if you sign up with our hosting partner Bluehost you will get a FREE Lifetime Access to all of our Premium WordPress Themes so you can build your online portfolio with a free premium themes, we will also help you setup and install any theme you like, then you just upload your own work and you done.

How to Create & Make Online Portfolio Site with WordPress? (Step by Step Tutorial 2020)

1. SignUp with a Good WordPress Hosting

Bluehost shared WordPress hosting
Bluehost Shared WordPress Hosting

When it comes to WordPress hosting we recommend Bluehost as the best Affordable hosting for any WordPress websites including portfolio. Bluehost is recommended by WordPress.org as the #1 hosting provider. With easy user interface, admin dashboard Bluehost is super simple to use and it also offers a Free domain name with purchase of any hosting plan. You can read our full Bluehost review for 2021 to see if Bluehost is the right for you and your online business and you can use our Bluehost Coupon to save 69% off any hosting plan. What we like about Bluehost is:

  • User Friendly – its easy to setup WordPress with 1-click WordPress installation.
  • Security – best Security powered by Cloudflare, Sitelock and two-factor authentication
  • 99.99% Uptime – at 99.99% uptime you want to be sure that your portfolio website is always online and live
  • Money Back – 30-day money-back guaranteed
  • FREE – Free Domain Name and Free SSL Security & $200 Marketing Credit
  • Support – 24/7 customer support via chat, phone or email – Bluehost has one of the best customer support available

Signup with Bluehost & Get FREE Lifetime Access to Our Premium WordPress Themes (Value $99 – FREE)

1. Hosting – We Recommend BlueHost as one of the best hosting for WordPress Blogs and Websites – at 65% off ($2.95/month)

2. WordPress Themes – Once you SignUp or switch to BlueHost. Email (support@dessign.net) to gain FREE Lifetime access to all our Premium Themes (Value $99 – FREE)

3. Setup & Support – If you need help? We will setup and install any WordPress Theme for you FREE, our themes and our support is Bluehost Certified

Bluehost WordPress Certified 2020
Bluehost WordPress Certified

2. Install WordPress (FREE) with 1-Click WordPress Install

When you signup with Bluehost, you will receive few emails from Bluehost with your Bluehost with my.bluehost.com login information. The username and temporary password so you can login to the dashboard to install WordPress. Once you login to your dashboard clicks on “WordPress” link to Install WordPress on your domain or temporary domain.

WordPress Install 2020
WordPress 1-Click Install

Once you click on WordPress a new window will show up – “How Would You Like to Build our Website” Click on Use WordPress Button ?

create new site 2020
Create New WordPress Site

Next you will see “Create a new WordPress site” page enter your Site Name: and Site Tagline: remember you can always change this later. The click Next

Choose Domain 2020
Choose a Domain name

Next screen you will see Choose a Domain – from drop down menu pick your domain or temporary domain and then click Next Button

WordPress Installed
WordPress Installed Successfully!

Next screen WordPress Installed Successfully! Congratulations you just install WordPress and now can click on “Login to WordPress”

3. Pick & Install Portfolio Themes and Plugins

Since 2010 we build many free and premium portfolio themes, our main focus was on professional creative themes to support the design community and contribute to with well coded and user friendly portfolio themes. We have both WordPress theme and Elementor drag and drop templates or Gutenberg Starter WordPress Portfolio theme.

Pick, Install and Activate Portfolio WordPress Theme

We have many WordPress Gutenberg and Elementor Templates to choose from, all our Portfolio themes are SEO friendly, responsive and customizable to your needs. Free Portfolio Templates

Inspiration and Blocx Portfolio Themes
Inspiration and Blocx Portfolio Themes
Box and Originator Portfolio WordPress Themes 2020
Box and Originator Portfolio WordPress Themes
Modern Agency and Studio Portfolio WordPress Themes
Modern Agency and Studio Portfolio WordPress Themes

How to Install & Activate WordPress Portfolio Theme?

Once you install WordPress on your Bluehost hosting account. Uploading and installing a WordPress portfolio theme is very easy and straight forward. Pick the portfolio theme that you like and that is most appealing to you.. remember you can always change to different portfolio theme later on, your word, images, posts, etc.. will remain only the layout will change when you switch to different portfolio theme. We also have collection of best free portfolio WordPress themes for 2020 and best premium portfolio WordPress themes for 2020 if you looking for premium theme.

Add new theme
  1. Go to Appearance–Themes – Add New
upload new theme

2. Click on Upload Theme

choose file

3. Click on Choose File and look for your .zip portfolio theme file. Then Click Install Now and then Activate

upload logo in customizer

4. Once your theme is activated goto. Appearance–Customize this is where you can customize your theme, add your own logo, social icons, copyright info. etc..

Another place to find good portfolio themes is the WordPress.org Portfolio directory where you can also download many creative and free portfolio WordPress themes. Go to WordPress.org and search for Portfolio

WordPress.org Portfolio Directory
WordPress.org Portfolio Directory

Whats great about WordPress that there is hundreds of free Portfolio gallery plugins that you can make your portfolio display even better. If you goto WordPress.org portfolio plugins search for portfolio or gallery plugins and pick the ones you like and test it on your site and see if any of them look or functions as you like.

WordPress.org Portfolio Plugins Directory 2020
WordPress.org Portfolio Plugins Directory

There are many free portfolio plugins to use on your WordPress portfolio website to make it as unique and creative as possible. One of the plugins we like is Visual Portfolio. Visual Portfolio let you create beautiful portfolio layouts and image galleries. Generates shortcode to show portfolio or any custom post types using Masonry, Justified, Tiles or Carousel layouts. Also checkout our list of best free WordPress gallery plugins in 2021

Creating a Portfolio Page

One easy way to create a portfolio page is use a Visual Portfolio plugin where you can design or create a simple and minimalist portfolio section.

visual portfolio plugin
Visual Portfolio Plugin

When you find a cool portfolio or gallery plugin and you want to upload and test it on your website. Go to Plugins – New Plugin – and search for that plugin. then click on Install and Activate then follow the directions.

Add About and Contact Section to Your Portfolio Site

One of the most important aspects of any portfolio website is the About page, this is one of the most important pages where the potential client or employer will make the decision if they will hire you for the job or next freelance project. Make sure you put some time and make that page stand out with your photo, description and your previous experience. There are some cool plugins that can make this page bit more interesting. The About Me Widget plugin can add some creative touch to your about page.

About Me Widget Plugin

Another important section is the contact page you can make it as simple as possible or as creative as you like, one of the best plugins for contact page is Contact Form 7 with over 5+ million active installs this is one of the most popular contact plugins available. Contact Form 7 is very easy to use with simple build in captcha to protect you from many spams.

Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7

Optimize your Portfolio Images

Optimize your images turn on lazy load, resize, compress and improve your Google Page Speed with the incredibly powerful and 100% free WordPress image smusher.

Since your new WordPress portfolio site will be heavy on images, its great to optimize those images so your site load fast and visitors don't have to wait for your images to load.

Smush Compress portfolio images
Smush Compress Portfolio Images

Smush is super easy to use – no confusing compression software settings. Smush images in your library one at a time or bulk smush up to 50 images at a time. Plus, configure auto-smush to asynchronously scale and compress some or all of your images as they are being uploaded – it’s incredibly fast.

Using Gutenberg Page Builder To Create WordPress Portfolio Site

How to create Portfolio page with Gutenberg?

Since WordPress 5.0 release Gutenberg page builder where you can build blocks of your website using the Gutenberg page builder. What is great about the Gutenberg and portfolio sites that you can easily build beautiful portfolio using visual builder. By only clicking on sections you can add new blocks or gallery blocks. You can add random grid based portfolio or full width portfolio sections.

WordPress Gutenberg Portfolio 2020
WordPress Gutenberg Portfolio 2020

Block Gallery is a suite of beautiful gallery Gutenberg blocks for photographers, artists, writers and content marketers. This is the smartest, most powerful photo gallery plugin for WordPress. Block Gallery is absolutely brilliant any way you look at it.


Hope this step by step How to Create or Build your WordPress portfolio site help you understand what hosting to pick or how to install and activate a WordPress portfolio theme. A good portfolio website will help you land the perfect job or bring you more freelance projects that you been waiting for. When you signup with Bluehost our best WordPress hosting partner you will get a FREE lifetime access to our Premium Portfolio Themes and the best customer service so we can install and setup your portfolio website in case you need some help.

Yes, Bluehost is a great hosting provider to use for building your portfolio website with WordPress. Bluehost is recommended by WordPress.org as the best and most reliable hosting provider.

To build Portfolio site with WordPress, you will need to get a domain name, hosting provider, install WordPress, pick a portfolio theme, add your art work, about page and contact page.

Yes, WordPress is one of the best solutions to build professional WordPress site, with so many free and premium themes and plugins you can build amazing portfolio site to impress your clients or get your dream job.