10 Web Developer Portfolio Tips



today I want to talk about portfolio websites and I bring this up because obviously, I've had my own portfolio sites also I've reviewed maybe you know 50 60 different sites from other developers that have emailed me and asked me to look at their stuff and I've seen some really great portfolios I've seen some horrible ones so I just wanted to share a couple of tips that are you know some of you guys might be able to benefit from if you're creating a portfolio website or you want to update your current one so the first tip is to have a presentable website and what I mean is the design the UI the hole the all-around look of it I've seen some recently actually that looked like they were built in the early 2000s so really put some effort into the into how the portfolio looks because even though you're listing projects for employers to look at I would argue that the portfolio itself is the most important because it's the first one that they go to it's the project that they actually use and navigate so it's definitely important to make it presentable the second point is to have sufficient hosting and also use a custom domain name because too many times I get a request to look at a portfolio and it's like something dot app com or something like that some kind of free sub domain and that doesn't really show professionalism it doesn't show that you really care too much so it's easy enough to go and get a twelve dollar domain name and use that and I would argue should also use an SSL certificate and just put some thought into the infrastructure

I'm not saying go and buy a dedicated server or anything but don't use free hosting use something that's going to be quick that's gonna you know to load your pages quick instead of just choosing the free route so third I'd say keep it simple and what I mean by that is you know take the the most important thing that you want to convey and put it into this the shortest amount of text possible because imp not just employers but everyone these days they're very impatient and they want instant gratification they want to find what they want right when they hit that at that site so you know make sure that the most important stuff is right up front and not not too much text not too much content if you have an About section that's ten paragraphs chances are the employer is not even going to start to read it so you know keep it simple keep it short I think that having a you know an elegant looking landing page with a showcase section your projects and about section and a contact page is is much better than having you know a 10-15 page site where you have different articles and stuff like that because the employers aren't going to look at that stuff in fact I read that they only spend about a minute or two looking at portfolios so you want to make sure that you stand out that the most important stuff is right there for them to look at all right so keep it simple next I would say don't exaggerate your skill set be honest with what you know and you know just because you took a Ruby on Rails tutorial does not make you a rails developer so you want to just just stay honest with what you know I've seen portfolios where they've listed literally every language every framework and employers aren't stupid they catch on to that you know they know that you're just putting that stuff down in the world I think the worst thing that can happen is let's say you take a Java beginners course and you put Java as a skillset, you get hired and then they throw this Java code base at you and say well here I add these two features and you don't even know where to start so that's a very embarrassing situation that you want to try to avoid so just be upfront with what you know it's better to specialize in a few things than to just know a little bit about everything so you know is honest next I'd say have live examples on your portfolio where in your project section you want to have you will generally want to have a button that goes to the live project and then a button that goes to the code to a github or get lab repository so you can show both sides the front-end the front-facing site and the code now there are some exceptions for like let's say you're developing I don't know command line automation tools or something you can't really show an example so in that case maybe just put the github repository but definitely don't put an image I've seen portfolios where they just put like just a singl image of the project but there's no way to actually test it and look at it which isn't it's that's a stupid thing to do because anybody can put an image down so you want the employer to go and actually test your work and see it and it's better if it's it's production projects like their actual websites or applications that are up that that are you know have a purpose but if it's something that is just to show your skills and what you can do that's ok too and in that case I don't think it's that important to have like a custom domain and all that if it's just showing you work all right so definitely have live examples next I would say be selective with the projects that you're gonna put on your portfolio I know that for a lot of us self-taught developers we do a lot of small projects trying to learn different concepts and so on you don't want to put every little to-do list that you've done in your portfolio what I would recommend is picking between 3 and 6 of your best projects and I actually think it's better to have even too high quality you know large projects over ten little to-do lists little website projects so just pick the best in and use those it's definitely quality over quantity next I would say customize course projects and what I mean by that is if you take a tutorial or a udemy course you know whether it's mine or someone else's if you're going to use the project as as a project in your website then customize it don't just put it as is because I've seen that I've seen it over and over even with my own tutorials and courses I'll see my own projects in people's portfolio which doesn't bother me it's fine with me but employers know these projects because they see them over and over so if you're gonna do that just make sure you customize it you know change the look add some some features some functionality change the resource if it's a to-do list change it into like an address book or something like that make it your own instead of just copying it and passing it off as your own because they'll catch on to that so next thing is easy contact you want to make sure that an employer knows exactly how to contact you

I would suggest maybe putting your email or maybe even your phone number above the fold like maybe in the top bar above the navigation if there is a navigation and then maybe at the bottom putting a contact form or maybe even a contact form above the fold depending on how you structure the site just make sure that they can contact you very easily they don't have to search for it so next tip is to try to have a web presence and brand yourself online and I think this is is more important for people like like me that don't have a college degree because it it shows the employer that you're you're passionate about what you're doing you're driven you're knowledgeable so if you can create like let's say medium articles on development topics that they can look at if you have a youtube channel with tutorials you know your github repository of course is very important even like a Twitter account a professional Twitter account where you're you're tweeting out stuff about development stuff about you know the latest standards in the industry that is it can really help you and I'm not saying every employer is going to go and look that deep but they might and if they do you're gonna stand out above the rest and then keep you know the same branding colors across all your platforms even the same image whether it's of yourself or a logo or something like that just try to create a web presence online just it just helps in general so the last tip I have is just to be yourself don't try to be the smartest person in the room don't try to be someone you're not just being honest and show them that you're passionate that you're driven you want to work really hard you want to better the company and if you want to put on your portfolio like some hobbies or me don't know your family life something like that's something that makes you a little more personable that might help you out just make sure it's not too long you know you want to keep it simple but that's really it guys I think the biggest things to keep in mind is to keep it simple keep keep everything direct don't put stuff in there that doesn't really matter you know because again people are really impatient these days so that's all I got hopefully this gave you a little bit of insight.

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