You claim to create beautiful and effective designs for your clients. But what does your own website say about your designing talents? If you haven’t given this question much thought, it’s about time you do.
Your portfolio page is an important component of your website. Any online business looking for a good web designer will first be reading your home page to gauge what services you are offering and then visit your portfolio page to see samples of your work. Websites without a portfolio page are less successful in attracting clients, simply because consumers (clients) like to know what they are buying (services) and product images (portfolio) helps them decide which item (web designer) best suits their needs.
Here’s a quick look at how your portfolio page affects potential clients and decides business inflow:
1. The Presence of a Portfolio
A portfolio supports your claims while absence of one immediately falsifies them. A portfolio page does not only show samples of your work to clients, helping them understand your creative and aesthetic talent, but also shows them you are confident about your work. Most importantly, you have had similar and other online businesses trust you with their website’s design.
Potential clients tend to contact existing clients for feedback on a web designer’s style and mode of work. Providing a link to project websites from each of your project snippets allows them to directly contact other website owners, consequently cementing the authenticity of your claims. Often, this works better than testimonials.
2. The Total Number of Projects – There is no standard number for this but more than 10 successfully completed projects should be a good start and can go up to any number thereof.
Note: It takes about 2 to 4 weeks to finish a web designing project, (client feedback and rework included). If you are just a year old web designer, your portfolio page should ideally show between 10 and 20 completed projects, (give and take the time taken to bid and draw projects from the market). A portfolio with 50 completed projects isn’t practical in this case, and would raise suspicion than impress prospective clients.
Also, remember to always include snippets of websites you have completed working on and not ongoing projects. You don’t have to brag. Besides, potential clients may be deterred simply because they’d assume you can’t make sufficient time to give their project the time and attention it requires.
3. Type of Work – Are your designs consistently the same across all websites? If yes, that’s probably not very good. The race to stand out from the crowd is maddening and every online business desires a website that is unique.
Consistently good work is important, but if you have applied the same ideas with just little color and pattern tweaks for all websites, that’s not what business owners would fall for. That being said, if you have designed for clients from diverse businesses, there is less chance of producing similar designs.
The surest way to improve your designs is experimenting with different domains. Don’t stick to any one niche. Saying “I am a travel site designer “does not work.
4. Quality of Work – Does your site allow user-friendly navigation? How long do your pages take to load? Normally, if you are designing a Flash site, it will take some minutes to load and it’s understandable. But with simple HTML, your website should not take more than 2-3 minutes.
Also, test your site for navigation, color, font size and font style, white space, image quality and an overall user-friendly design.
5. Testimonials – Next to your project samples, clients will look for a testimonial section. Testimonials support your claim for quality of work. A satisfied group of clients testifies your work as hirable, thus increasing your chances of getting new projects.
A portfolio works like a certificate professional experience. Without one, your words have little value.