12 of the best portfolio website examples to inspire you in 2021
Top 12 portfolio website examples to get your inspiration flowing in 2021.
February 02 · 10 min read
An impressive portfolio website can mean the difference between landing that gig or receiving yet another rejection email.
The simple fact is it’s become a lot harder to stand out as a freelancer or professional in a world where everyone and their grandmothers could easily put together a new portfolio site in less than 20 minutes.
That’s why from the get-go, your portfolio website must be designed not just to catch attention but also to keep the reader interested enough to stop their scrolling, nod their heads and say, “yeah, I want this guy on top of my project.”
This requires putting some real thought into your online presence and tapping into some of the most inspired design trends to improve user experience. With that in mind, let’s take a look at our top 12 portfolio web examples to get your inspiration flowing in 2021.
What goes into a stellar portfolio site?
There are five primary fundamentals of a quality portfolio web design:
- Who you are
- Where you are located
- What you do
- Your work samples
- Your contact details
The first thing to understand is that potential employers and clients are often strapped for time. It’s a split decision for many of them — you either have what they’re looking for or not.
That’s why in meeting each of these fundamentals, the number one focus should be on cutting to the chase. Immediately visitors land on the homepage, they should begin to see answers to the key questions they may have about your services.
Some even go as far as dedicating a complete section or page to directly answering each of these questions so potential employers grasp all the information they need to make a decision in one snapshot.
The most compelling portfolio web designs have a number of things in common
- They are attention-grabbing — the best portfolio sites masterfully use bright colors, interactive elements, and original imagery to capture user attention the moment they spot it.
- They do away with unnecessary jargon — simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to portfolio website designs. Clean navigation, uncluttered typography, concise text, clear contact details, etc.
- They have a value-first approach — many people make the mistake of filling their portfolio with information about what they do. What clients and potential employers want to really see is what your services can do for them. Always benefits over features.
- They boast a personal touch — nothing wrong with your portfolio having a bit of personality. It is an extension of you as a professional, after all. A personal touch is a great way to create a connection with potential clients.
- They are detailed — great online portfolios take you on a journey into their owners’ mindset and motivations. Show your potential employers how you can solve their problems. Include detailed case studies, challenges, your approach — in your portfolio design.
- They evoke confidence — trust is at the center of any meaningful client relationship. Social proof and client recommendations are a great way to build that trust.
- They include clear contact details — this is a no brainer. The main purpose of your portfolio is for people to contact you, so presenting your contact details in a clear, easy-to-spot manner is non-negotiable.
As you’ll see from the portfolio examples below, all of them share these qualities, and then some.
Get inspired by these 12 portfolio website examples
Draftss boasts a pretty impressive multi-page website packed with all the necessary information a potential employer may require to make an on-the-spot decision. The moment you land on the homepage, you can immediately see that it’s all about top-notch varied forms of designs — graphics, illustrations, landing pages, websites, and even UX/UI designs.
It also includes a pricing section and a dedicated portfolio page chock-full of great design pieces. The clincher here is the comprehensive blog page. This establishes Draftss as an authority in their niche, which in turn evokes confidence.
What makes this online portfolio stand out is its unique user experience that it provides. Cihad Turhan is a web and mobile developer. And the moment you land on the site, that’s the first thing you see. But what really captures your attention are the design elements and engaging animations that tell a story as you’re scrolling down.
In addition to providing potential clients with an interactive portfolio, Cihad also clearly lists some of his best works and contact details. The setup of the portfolio site is in itself a stunning form of web design and therefore, a testament to his abilities as a web developer.
This online portfolio scores some major points for simplicity. It’s a one-page providing snapshot information into who Ryan Scherf is, what he does, and where he has worked. For social proof, the top part of the page contains links to his various social accounts, while at the bottom, you’ll find a simple email address that potential clients and employers can use to contact him.
To add some personality to the site, half the webpage contains a smiling picture of Ryan. He also includes a link to his design portfolio on Dribble for readers wanting a more comprehensive look.
Even though this site is in German, the clever use of visual communication is enough to warrant a spot on our list. The homepage is mesmerizing with beautiful multi-colored fish swimming in the background — like you’re looking at the website from behind an aquarium. This is a particularly impressive feat, considering the website is built on WordPress.
If that doesn’t catch your fancy, scrolling down further will reveal more impressive motion effects showcasing some of their best works. The designs are presented in such a classy, elegant way, and the level of creativity knocks you off your feet. Simply großartig!
This web design portfolio website stands out for all the right reasons — unique design scheme, engaging content flow, and clear contact details. You can already see what this design studio offers with vivid examples of their best works from the homepage. They even have a dedicated portfolio page so potential clients can browse through and make their decision.
To build trust, they also included their client testimonials and recommendations on the homepage. Overall, it is a pretty “ballsy” web design portfolio that hits all the right notes and delivers an impressive user experience from start to finish.
Another stunning web design portfolio infused with creativity. However, what really captures your attention is the clever use of white space to emphasize important elements. Roman Zorin is a Russian web designer and for his web design portfolio, he favors a minimalist approach without sacrificing flair.
Even though it’s a one-page portfolio site, you can easily grasp his thought process and design workflow as you scroll further down. Every section communicates the necessary information that potential employers may be looking for, and at the bottom, he even includes the most common tools that he uses for web design projects.
Alex Dram is a multi-disciplinary digital designer with a unique approach to his portfolio website design. At first glance, it appears simple and minimalistic, punctuated with interactive elements. The scrolling animations pull you into the rest of the web pages where you are greeted with a lineup of his completed projects.
Each project page tells a story of what the client wanted to achieve and Alex’s approach to meeting those objectives. In this way, the detailed case studies are not just a delight, but they also speak volumes about how Alex gets his work done, which is a significant confidence booster for the viewer.
Another minimalistic online portfolio takes its deserved spot on our list. Based in Austin, Texas, Steven Hanley designs digital products. The homepage utilizes bold typography and simple yet elegant design flow. The alternating color schemes between dark and light backgrounds make for a nice personal touch and creates consistency.
At the bottom, he includes links to his Dribble and Linkedin profile pages in case potential clients want to learn more. The portfolio page is equally impressive with unique layouts, engaging styles, and the proper use of white space to draw focus on what’s important on the page. There are also dozens of small touches (including the circular cursor replacing the traditional mouse pointer), which provide a delightful user experience.
Christina Vanessa is a graphic designer with a clear eye for stunning aesthetics. Her portfolio design is minimalist with a simple interface. The fullscreen looped videos that she uses as the backdrop of the homepage speak to her artistic style and creative production expertise.
What makes the design even more interesting is that you have to click the ‘Explore’ button. This is great because while many portfolio websites are more focused on long scrolling, this one features a simple intro that gives you a preview of what to expect. When you click ‘Explore, you are transported to the actual portfolio page featuring some of her best works.
This online portfolio is one of a kind. Upon landing on the site, you are greeted with a simple animation saying Hello in different languages. Dragging your mouse pointer across the ‘About’ section also creates a trailing effect that is mesmerizing, to say the least. Also, rather than stick with the traditional navigation menu at the top of the page, she uses the sides of the page.
Jump to the individual pages and you’ll see Wendy’s eye-catching graphic designs accompanied by detailed case studies of what she achieved for each client. Her email and social media details are clearly outlined for potential clients at the bottom of the page.
Elegant Seagulls is a digital agency with a penchant for providing creative and captivating design works for eCommerce spaces, apps, websites, and products. The homepage design is enough to tell you that these people mean business — expert use of white space, bold typography, motion pictures, and a cute play button that follows your mouse pointer across the page. Clicking the play button opens a video of a mashup of their design works.
The dedicated portfolio page features a lineup of their best works and clicking each one opens the story behind it, complete with crisp imagery and polished UI designs. The contact form is simple and straight to the point too.
Robby Leonardi is absolutely spot-on when he refers to his portfolio website as an interactive resume. It is the only portfolio design on this list that is structured like a video game. Simplicity and interactivity are the hallmarks of this web design. Little wonder it has won multiple design awards, including CSS Design Awards and The FWA.
The homepage is colorful and immediately grabs your attention. But when you click on the ‘Launch Website’ button, that’s when you really understand just how much work was put into the UX/UI design. You’ll be totally floored with the interactive elements as your avatar explores every section of the page amidst changing backdrops and other impressive design pieces. Scrolling across a web page has never been more thrilling.
Turn to B12 for the best portfolio website
These portfolio examples are packed full of design trends and interactive elements that guarantee a great user experience, which increases the chances of landing that next lucrative gig. Now it’s your turn.
Whether it’s leveling up your current portfolio design or creating a new personal portfolio, B12 can help you design a website that potential clients and employers would absolutely love. What’s more, you can get a FREE draft of your new portfolio website within just five minutes.
B12 also offers tools and features like SEO, custom CSS, online scheduling, mobile optimization, and more. Rather than relying on tired templates, our professional designers create custom layouts and designs based on your target industry to help better promote your professional identity.
Get started today!