Tips for Building a Web Development Portfolio
You know you’ve got the skills, but how do you stand out among web developers who have years of experience? There are a lot of competitors in your market, and not just locally. The web development industry is a global competition, and it’s difficult for a new developer to stand out. If you’re trying to get that first gig, here are some tips for building a portfolio.
Work On Your Own Site
Your website is your primary sales pitch. If you have an attractive design and layout, it stands to reason that you have the skills to offer the same talent to employers or clients. Some web developers abandon their site or don’t update it with the latest designs. It sounds silly, but web designs follow trends similar to fashion changes every year. Clients don’t know these trends, but they see them on your competitor’s site. You’ll need to redesign your site often to stay ahead of changing website design habits. For instance, responsive design wasn’t popular five years ago, but now it’s a necessity for site owners.
Modify Existing Templates
Several web developers offer free themes that you can openly modify and use on your own sites. These themes usually have basic CSS and layouts that you can use, and then you apply your own images. This technique not only gives you the ability to build a portfolio, but it also offers you the chance to learn how to modify templates. When you develop and design websites, you’re often asked to work with existing content. Modifying existing themes gives you experience working with other people’s code.
Create a Few Great Designs Instead of Several Mediocre Ones
It’s tempting to create a few quick pieces and put them on your portfolio. Instead of throwing up mediocre pieces, spend some time creating great examples. Remember, your portfolio pieces represent what you can do for your customers. Make them stand out, so your designs indicate to customers what they get with your services.
Create a Blog and Design It
Many small business owners are looking for a blog for their industry content. Familiarize yourself with WordPress and Joomla. These two out-of-the-box blogging solutions are the most common with small business owners. Much of the web is driven by WordPress and Joomla software. It will help you sell services when you know how to work with the backend code and create themes for both platforms.
Create a Social Profile
Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or any other social platform, create your own pages and network with other developers. LinkedIn is another popular platform where freelancers and professionals can network. LinkedIn is also great place to show your portfolio and show potential customers your references and work history.
It’s difficult to get started when you’re a first-time web developer, but with some persistence and patience, you can get your career started. Whether you’re a freelance developer or you’re looking for full-time work, a career in web development and programming offers unlimited future potential.