9 Portfolio Must-Haves for Web Designers and Developers

Easy to Locate Contact Information

Seb Kay, Web Designer and Developer
Taken from homepage at sebkay.com.

When it comes to attracting new clients and other kinds of work, your portfolio is key.

You want it to be simple to use, and give people the information they want right away.

So: don't send the person viewing your portfolio through a maze just to find your email address!   

Real-life Example: Seb Kay

Seb, a web designer/developer, has his contact information clearly spelled out at the top of the page. As a bonus, he even includes a special button, letting people know he is available for work.  

Your Specialty Clearly Spelled Out

Monica Lynn - graphic designer
Taken from monicalynndesign.com.

Are you a web designer? A WordPress developer? Or maybe a UX specialist? Whatever the case may be, make sure your specialty is clear. 

Just because it may be obvious to you doesn't mean it is obvious for others visiting your site.

Real-life Example: Monica Lynn

Monica makes it known right away that she is a graphic designer and illustrator. She does this by incorporating it right into the site logo. 

A Downloadable Resume

Daniel Eden
Image taken on daneden.me.

This is especially important for people seeking full-time opportunities. Many hiring managers still rely on hardcopy resumes. So, make yours simple to print out and pass around.  

Real-life Example: Daniel Eden

Daniel Eden includes a resume as a PDF. It is easy to access from his front-page. And it takes you right to Dropbox, where it can be easily downloaded and/or printed. 

Previous Work Samples

Ryan Van Etten - Design Portfolio
Image taken on ryanve.com/portfolio/.

Even if you're brand new to the field, including some kind of area with samples is key. It doesn't have to be work you did for a client. It can always be side projects, or something you built for yourself.  

However, remember that less can be more. So instead of including every project you have done, include only the best/most recent. Four to six should be sufficient. And try not to have more than ten. 

Real-life Example: Ryan Van Etten

Aside from having a separate developer and designer portfolio, Ryan only includes ten previous website projects. He also includes a large image to go along with each.

As a rule of thumb: it's always best to avoid having people squint!   

Even better, Ryan includes descriptions with each sample.  

Relevant Skills

Marie Laurent
Image taken from marielaurent.fr/about.

Make sure to include relevant skills on your online site/portfolio. Important: you don't have to include every little thing you have ever done. 

Only your strongest skill sets, as well as those that are relevant to the projects you desire. 

Real-life Example: Marie Laurent

Rather than a laundry list of all the skills I am sure Marie has, she only includes a handful of the most prominent. 


Daniel Haire
Image taken here danielhaire.com/worthpoint/. Daniel Haire

Featuring testimonials from previous clients/employers is always good. Either include them on your main page, about page, or along with specific work samples. 

Bonus: also get these same people to recommend you on LinkedIn, too. 

Real-life Example: Daniel Haire

Daniel includes client testimonials along with projects he has worked on. Moreover, he also includes project context. 

Photo in sample image taken here

Places you have been featured

Adham Dannaway
Image taken on adhamdannaway.com/featured.

Have you or your work been featured anywhere prominent online? Yes? Include it. 

This is similar to the testimonial, except it's to an interview you have done, a mention in an article, a guest post, or related. 

Real-life Example: Adham Dannaway

Adham takes time at the top of the page to point to key places he has been featured, then he includes a fuller list towards the bottom. 

Your photo

Randle Browning
Taken on randlebrowning.com.

It's a fact: people trust other people more than brands/companies.

Putting a face on your site will allow people to know, like and trust *you* more.

Real-life Example: Randle Browning

Randle includes a photo right at the top of her personal site. Even better? It features her cooking. (Which shows off some of her personality.)

Note: make sure the photo is professional and safe for work.  

Your personality

Jessica Hische Portfolio Sample
Image taken on jessicahische.is/awesome.

Whether it's on an about page or in the footer, people want to know about *you*.

Don't be afraid to let your personality come through. Of course, like anything, within reason. It's typically wise to keep your online life safe for work. 

Real-life Example: Jessica Hische

Jessica incorporates her personality throughout her website. Even small things, like her domain name being jessicahische.is/awesome, demonstrates her style and personality. 

Want even more ideas of things you can include on portfolio site? Check out this massive list of things you can add to yours, even if you're just starting out!