Possessing a nice portfolio website design will benefit you much. A good-looking portfolio is something you must have, whether you’re attempting to get freelance work, develop your own brand, or simply find a new job.

Building your brand and the authority of your work is facilitated by having an online portfolio of your work. You get your own little space on the internet where you can most effectively showcase all of your amazing work to users and potential customers.

An online design portfolio is essential for any creative, regardless of whether they are looking for freelance work, a new position, or simply want to establish their personal brand. But are you disappointed with yours?

In this article, we offer a straightforward checklist of typical portfolio mistakes that most people make which they can be fixed and improved if given attention.

Mistake 1: Showing too Many of your Works

It can be difficult to decide which things to put in your portfolio. It’s simple to include way too much, perhaps in the hope that a bigger portfolio will show your work in a more complex light.

Prospective customers and employees don’t want to spend a lot of time browsing through your catalogue before finding something they like. They are more inclined to scan one or two things and decide quickly. Therefore, you must be merciless in choosing only your greatest work and emphasizing it.

Only include your very best works in your portfolio website so that viewers will be left wanting more rather than thinking they have seen everything there is to see. There is no “optimal” number of samples to display; it will differ from one creative to the next. One thing is for certain, though: the more work you include, the more organized it needs to be, with a distinct hierarchy and everything arranged in a way that is simple to grasp.

Mistake 2: Bad Design

Work on creating a visually appealing, engaging, and meaningful presentation for your initiatives. Keep in mind that because we are visual creatures, we enjoy things that appear good to us. You will undoubtedly receive some bonus points for using this strategy.

You must choose the best portfolio website layout or theme. Larger numbers of photographs appear best on a grid-based webpage, whereas fewer images work better on a horizontally scrolling portfolio—too many can feel overwhelming. Click here to view all of Format’s available templates.

If you don’t have many projects to show, think about how you’ll arrange the ones you do have. By juxtaposing various works, you may add interest and variation to the space.

Mistake 3: No or Wrong Target Audience

You must take into account what a prospective client or employer would be seeking and how they will be viewing your portfolio website, which will typically differ greatly from what a friend or colleague would find acceptable. The former, for example, will generally take their time browsing your website, but the latter will look for information much more quickly and with greater specificity.

You won’t get a job with a portfolio website that has little to no connection to the position or the business you’re applying to. Clients and hiring managers are drawn to people who can assist in solving challenges that they are already experiencing.

Mistake 4: Not Clearly Defined

Many portfolio websites avoid the aforementioned glaring mistakes, yet they still fall short since it’s not clear what they’re attempting to accomplish.

Most of the time, this is due to the designer not knowing themselves beyond the broad statement, “Well, you’ve got to have a website, don’t you?”

But how can you know if you’ve succeeded if you don’t consider what you want your website to accomplish?

Do you want to obtain more freelance clients, improve your physical appearance, land a great position at a company, or just have the prettiest blog on the planet? Keep in mind that being very explicit is helpful in this situation. The response will likely have a significant impact on the site’s design and the tone of the material.

Maybe you just want to progressively improve your name and reputation rather than looking for more jobs right now. In that situation, you might consider providing endorsements, press reviews, and other forms of “social proof” to support your claims.

Mistake 5: Portfolio Website is not Responsive

A large, gorgeous widescreen display is always the finest option for showing someone your portfolio website. But you can’t ensure that will be the outcome. Potential clients and employers are now more likely to visit your portfolio website on a mobile device. Therefore, you must check that it doesn’t seem terrible on a little screen.

Google has altered its internet crawling algorithm such that mobile sites are now indexed before desktop sites. This might be highly difficult for websites that have mobile and desktop versions, especially if they aren’t similar.

Ultimately, it must make the necessary screen size adjustments so that all of the desktop site’s components can still be seen on a smaller screen.

Mistake 6: Outdated Portfolio and Design

Over the course of a year, potential clients and employers may visit your portfolio website several times. They might conclude you haven’t been working if nothing new is added. So consider how you can frequently update the website. You may update the design, add new work examples, or even start a blog.

Additionally, link your portfolio website to Google Analytics to learn how many people are viewing it and what sections most interest them. Use this information to improve the site and its content gradually. Making it a habit and part of your schedule to regularly check that you are updating your portfolio is the simplest method to ensure that you are doing so. You might make it a weekly chore to review your portfolio’s specifics and determine whether or not everything is on track.

In order to improve your portfolio website, it’s always a good idea to look at what other creatives have done with theirs. You should make an effort to stay current with design trends and to constantly learn new things and develop your abilities. Your chances of landing clients or the jobs you want will be significantly increased as a result.

If your portfolio website is not mobile-responsive and a visitor is seeing it on a phone, it is likely to appear chaotic and be challenging for the user to browse through.

Mistake 7: Bad or Lack of CTAs

Trying to draw in customers? Maybe you add a “Get in contact” call to action (CTA) to every page that links to a form with customized form fields and testimonials on one side.

You’re asking or recommending your visitors to buy something, join your email list, seek a quote, or get in touch with your company in any other way.

Visitors of your portfolio website should have access to sufficient information to comprehend the benefits of participation and the types of data that must be provided. The call to action is the slogan that tells the audience what to do next. Make sure your CTA is crystal clear and tells them what to do.

Mistake 8: Not Providing Context

It’s simple to get into the mindset that your work should speak for itself; that people looking through your portfolio website don’t care about the identity of the person in the photograph, the publication for which you created the graphic or the stylist behind the photoshoot you modelled for.

Giving some context for the projects you’re showcasing online enables you to present your work in the most genuine manner. Describe how you came up with the plan and the product’s workaround. If the project was a collaborative effort, you can describe how you carried it out and what your contribution was. Was your client content and pleased with the outcome? as well as anything else you believe your potential client might require?

There is no need for in-depth explanations of your creative process, but a brief statement describing the context in which your work was produced gives it greater significance and clarifies the part you played in the project.

Mistake 9: Too Much or Too Little Information

The truth is that there is a perfect amount of content for your portfolio website. You run the risk of boring, confusing, or losing the interest of potential clients or employers if your portfolio website contains an excessive amount of content. Viewers may not accurately comprehend your talent and goals if your portfolio is on the sparse side, with little to no images or copy.

Consider sharing your portfolio website with professional peers to get their opinion on how much or how little content is in it if you need input. Peers in your field can aid by contributing their own portfolio advice.

As quickly as feasible, provide critical information on your website. Visitors will leave your website if they can’t instantly understand its objective after arriving. Always allow room for your customer service staff even if you shouldn’t “skimp” on the information.

Mistake 10: Poorly Navigable

A disjointed and perplexing portfolio website is worse than having too little or too much stuff. This is especially true if you are a designer, but even if you aren’t, you’ll want a portfolio website that looks professional and conveys to the viewer that you are the right candidate for the job.

If your portfolio website is your first opportunity to make a positive impression, viewers will likely give up and go on to the next candidate if your portfolio is overwhelming to look at. You want visitors to be able to easily explore your website. Although there is no quantitative way to quantify how easy navigation is, it is important to understand that it should be straightforward and intuitive.

Mistake 11: Not Enough Information

Making your contact information difficult to find or non-existent is a typical portfolio website mistake. Make sure your bio is genuine and real, not just a canned introduction that readers will quickly forget or a cryptic description that leaves visitors wondering where you’re from and what you actually do. Give a thorough introduction, attach a photo, and give some intriguing background information regarding who you are and your areas of interest.

If you have not yet included the “About Us” or “About Me” section on the website, you may also be weakening the strength of your portfolio. Think about including relevant professional experience, honours, or previous client endorsements on your about page.

Use this area to explain why viewers of your portfolio website should want to hire you. You must be careful with the information you provide to users. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t reveal too much personal information because it might make the users feel uneasy, but you still need to introduce yourself to the users.

Mistake 12: Too Little to Show

The most frequent portfolio website mistake is adding too many examples of your work, yet designers just starting out frequently do the opposite and display too little.

Add more projects to your portfolio website if you believe that it does not sufficiently showcase your work. Add your student or college projects (if any) if you are just starting out and don’t have much work to show off there. Just make sure they are complete with all the necessary details and the story of how you came to have those projects.

If you don’t have a lot of commercial projects, you can create some of your own designs and again, explain the inspiration for them. Of course, actual commercial work is always preferred, but showing that you can deliver on a brief—even a fictitious one—is much preferable to leaving a blank spot.

Mistake 13: Disorganized Portfolio Website

Consider how you would present yourself in a professional context if you were using your portfolio as an online introduction to who you are professionally. You might dabble in several different fields but keep the more significant ventures apart from the less important ones.

Your portfolio needs to be organized properly, and it should be able to convey a positive professional image. If you have a strong portfolio with all the necessary information included but fail to structure the material properly, your users may become perplexed and you may lose their trust.

Making sure that your work is presented in an understandable manner can be accomplished by clearly dividing your portfolio into various sections. To showcase the different types of work you do, think about designing distinct pages, or be more specific by showcasing projects and clients separately.


This list of typical errors should have motivated you to evaluate your portfolio website one more. You can review your website to determine what components are missing and what else needs to be improved for it to seem better. If you happen to commit any of them, you should fix them and prevent further harm to your online brand and portfolio.

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