When it comes to showcasing your work in an online portfolio, WordPress is the perfect choice. While there are lots of excellent WordPress portfolio themes out there, you can still add a high quality portfolio to your site, irrespective of what theme you are using.
By using one of the many WordPress portfolio plugins available you can keep your existing theme and still present your work in a professional and eye-catching way, which will help you get more clients and generate increased interest in your work.
The Best WordPress Portfolio Plugins
As with most of the things you can do in WordPress, there are many ways to go about getting the desired outcome. Adding a portfolio to your WordPress site is a pretty simple process, but with so many plugins to choose from, picking the right one can be very time consuming. To save you time, here is our guide to the best portfolio plugins for WordPress.
WordPress Portfolio Plugin (WP Portfolio)
This free plugin has been designed for web designers who want to show off their web projects. After the details of the sites you’ve worked on have been added to the plugin, you can then display them in a post or page using a shortcode. This plugin is ideal if you want to create a single portfolio page on your site for presenting the websites you’ve worked on.
Some of the handy features of WP Portfolio include:
- Simply enter the website details to add an entry to your portfolio
- Ability to auto-create thumbnails of your web projects, using Shrink the Web
- Categorise your work to group it by type
- Uses shortcode to display portfolio entries so the page is always up to date
This is a great option for anyone who wants to create an easy to manage portfolio page for their web design work.
Awesome Filterable Portfolio
This is another free plugin for showcasing your work. Through the plugin menu, you can create custom categories for your different types of work, such as photos, graphics, websites, and so on. Then you can add the portfolio entries to the relevant categories.
Once you’ve populated your portfolio, simply use the shortcode to output the results on a page or post on your site. The highlight of the plugin is the animations that run when filtering the portfolio items using the categories.
Some of the best features of the Awesome Filterable Portfolio plugin include:
- Customizable image hover effects
- Change the order of categories and entries
- Use of jQuery for filter animations
- Create unlimited categories and portfolio items
The portfolio looks great and the animations give it a professional touch that should help present your work in the best possible way.
WEBphysiology Portfolio is another free portfolio plugin for WordPress and its one that has a very positive user feedback rating. The plugin adds a custom post type and custom taxonomies to your site. This means that you can add the portfolio items easily and also tag and categorise them, without using the default WordPress categories and tag features. This keeps your portfolio items separate from your regular content making it easier to manage.
The settings are pretty detailed so you should be able to get the portfolio to run the way you want to. However, the out of the box presentation and formatting of the portfolio isn’t that impressive, so you might have to spend some time in the Portfolio Options settings, or add your own CSS, to get the look you want.
Filterable jQuery Portfolio/Gallery
This jQuery animated portfolio plugin is available in free and premium versions. The free version comes with two main ways of displaying your portfolio items, which is either by using regular rectangle thumbnails, or a more eye-catching rounded thumbnail image for each entry.
The plugin provides support for YouTube and Vimeo, so if you have a video portfolio, it’s a great choice. The free version only allows you to manage one portfolio, so if you want multiple portfolios on your site you will need to upgrade. To be honest, the pro version looks a lot better than the free version when comparing them so is probably worth the upgrade fee.
The premium version allows you to easily add a high quality portfolio to your site, which supports images and videos and is well worth checking out.
One Page Portfolio
This is a pretty impressive free plugin that allows you to create a Pinterest grid-style portfolio. Your portfolio items are displayed in a grid layout using images that you have uploaded to the site. Once the images are clicked, the portfolio item description is shown on the same page.
The portfolio entries can all be categorised to allow your visitors to filter by type, after clicking on a tag. Overall this is a very basic portfolio plugin in terms of features and setup options, however it works really well.
If you have a strong visual portfolio, then the One Page Portfolio plugin is a good choice.
ZoomFolio is a premium portfolio plugin for WordPress available from Code Canyon for just $15. For just a few dollars you get a massive increase in features and functionality compared to the free plugins listed already.
The portfolios created by ZoomFolio not only look great, but work on a number of platforms including iOS and Android. They even support touchscreen devices so your potential customers can conveniently view your work on their smartphones and tablets, using a navigational style they have become accustomed to.
The plugin uses custom post types and shortcodes to handle the portfolio entries, but if you don’t really know what either of those terms mean, it’s not a problem as ZoomFolio is very easy to use.
ZoomFolio comes with lots of templates and styles, so you can choose the right match for your work. It’s a great premium option with a very low price tag.
Go – Responsive Portfolio for WP
This is another premium portfolio option from Code Canyon, but this time the price is $20. However, it’s still very affordable for professionals who use their portfolio to land clients. It’s one of the best looking portfolio plugins we’ve seen so far and for that reason it comes highly recommended.
There is a good selection of styles for your portfolio here, including many different grid layouts and a content slider to choose from. As the plugin is responsive, the images resize and the grids reorganise themselves to best suit the screen size they are being viewed on. There is also support for a wide range of media including graphics and videos. Other features include:
- Create unlimited portfolios and custom post types
- WooCommerce support for selling your items
- Lightbox portfolio item previews
- Support for Google Web Fonts
- Retina display ready
- Includes video support documentation to help you get setup
This is the best portfolio plugin on offer today and with only two months since it was released, it should only get better over time.
If you are serious about making money from your work and services, then it’s worth investing a few dollars in a premium portfolio plugin. Hobbyists can get a working portfolio setup for free, using something like WordPress Portfolio Plugin or Filterable jQuery Portfolio/Gallery, but professionals would be best represented by opting for a premium option such as Go – Responsive Portfolio.
How are you currently displaying your portfolio items using WordPress?