Blue Whale Media's list of best WordPress themes for portfolio websites

Top 10 WordPress Themes for Portfolio Websites

Whether you’re a photographer, a graphic designer, painter, sculpture, calligrapher, illustrator, writer, or any other kind of creative professional, it’s kind of important to have a portfolio. In fact, it isn’t only “kind of”; having a portfolio is absolutely vital. A portfolio will have a huge impact on building your online presence, increasing your visibility and credibility, your authority, and of course, your ability to attract and land clients. In other words, a portfolio can make or break a creative professional’s career. 

It isn’t enough to just throw together a website or a blog that features a collection of your work and call it a portfolio. Taking that approach can end up doing more harm than good, as it tells those who view it that you didn’t care enough to put thought, effort, and creativity into displaying your own work. Why then, would they trust you to put much thought, effort, or creativity into the projects that they may be thinking about hiring you to do. To maximise the wealth of benefits that a portfolio website can provide – establishing your online presence, boosting your visibility, expanding your reach, and ultimately boosting your success – you have to put effort into developing it. 

A well-designed portfolio is characterised by some key attributes: 

  • It must instantaneously identify who you are and what it is that you do.
  • It must clearly display your contact information in an easily visible location.
  • Most importantly, it absolutely must highlight your very best work.

The Importance of a WordPress Theme

When you’re designing an online portfolio, if you’re planning on using WordPress to power your website, choosing the right theme is an absolute must. The theme refers to the design layout that is used to style all front-end components of your WordPress-powered portfolio website. Essentially, it dictates how your portfolio will look visually, and how the content will be displayed. In other words, the WordPress theme will have a direct impact on the look, feel, and success of your portfolio – and thus, your overall success. 

There are literally thousands of free WordPress themes that can be used for portfolio websites – and many of those themes are free. When you’re choosing a WordPress theme for your portfolio, there are some key factors that you’re going to want to keep in mind. These factors include: 

  • Responsiveness. The site should display on all types of screens
  • Fast loading time. The longer it takes for the site to load, the more frustrated visitors will get and ultimately, they’ll click off your site. 
  • Simplicity. If the theme is too busy, showy, and flashy, it will take clash with and take away from your work. 
  • Ease of use. A great WordPress theme should be easy to use. It should feature easy-to-read and easy-to-access tabs, for example, so that visitors can easily interact with the site, the collection of work that you’re featuring, and so that they can easily interact with (contact) you. 

The 10 Best WordPress Themes for Portfolio Sites

There’s a seemingly endless array of WordPress themes that would lend themselves well to portfolio websites. While having a lot of options to choose from is certainly a great thing, it can also make trying to pick the right theme for your WordPress portfolio an overwhelming task. To help you on your quest for finding the best WordPress theme for your portfolio, we’ve taken the liberty of doing the legwork for you. 

Keeping the above-mentioned factors in mind, our web designers from Blue Whale Media have assessed tons of WordPress themes, and narrowed down the options to what we believe are the 10 best. 

1. Airi

If you’re looking for a minimalistic, visually appealing WordPress theme for your portfolio, Airi is a great choice. It has full Elementor integration, so you can create and customise page layouts with ease. In addition to showcasing your portfolio, thanks to WooCommerce, you can also include an online store so that you can sell both physical and digital items. From customising fonts to changing colours, and even adding your own background images, Airi is super customisable, so you can easily make it your own. It’s also equipped with lots of pre-made demos that can be used as a jumping-off point and totally customise them to suit your taste and needs. 

2. Sydney

The Sydney WordPress theme is highly responsive, features front page blocks, and is completely free, making it a great choice for a portfolio website. Designing a homepage wand building a professional image for your business is very easy with this theme. You can also adjust the settings, fonts, images, and more with on Sydney. Because it’s translation-ready, visitors can choose the language they can view your site in, so you can reach an even larger audience. You can use sliders that move around image banners that link to other parts of the site, or if you prefer, you can use a static image. It also features parallax backgrounds, which lend to the professional look. The Sydney theme has a single-page layout with an array of customisable rows, and the portfolio area has a grid-based layout, which lends to the appeal. 

3. Ultra

Ultra is one of the most popular WordPress themes used for portfolio websites. You can use it to instantly create a visitor-engaging and interactive website that users will love. This theme supports pretty much every popular WordPress plugin and extension, and will really bring your work to life. Editing the background, font colours, and elements is a breeze, and users can even submit their comments without having to go through a page reload, making communication with visitors an easy and efficient process. 

4. Neve

The Neve WordPress theme has a clean, minimalist design, making it easy for site visitors to focus on the works featured in your portfolio. It’s ideal for all types of creative professionals, including illustrators, painters, graphic and fashion designers, photographers, and anyone else who would like to display their projects in a stylish, professional way. With Neve, you can easily showcase client testimonials, establishing trust and building your authority. This theme is very customisable and you can quickly and easily change colours, incorporate your own fonts, upload your personal blog, and a whole lot more. As if all of that wasn’t appealing enough, the Neve WordPress theme loads quickly and is equipped with lots of extra features, such as Blog Booster, which will give you even more ways to optimise and customise your portfolio website. 

5. Portfolio Web

This simple, yet sleek WordPress theme offers a clean design that will make your projects pop. Portfolio Web is the perfect way to display your past projects, and it can be used for personal and/or agency portfolios. With this WordPress theme, you’ll be able to showcase your skills right there, on your homepage, and even highlight client testimonials, so that visitors can instantly see what you’re all about. You can use the Live Customiser to customise a website on Portfolio Web. You can change colours, customise fonts, upload your personal logo, and so much more. With more than 10 custom widgets, you can create a portfolio that will really meet your unique needs. Portfolio Web is translation-ready, too, so you can reach an even wider audience. 

6. Astrid

One of the fastest free WordPress themes for business websites, Astrid is a great choice for portfolios. It offers a simple, modern, and clean design, which will allow your visitors to find your content with ease. Colour options and fonts can all be managed on the backend, and you can select from an array of settings, so you can find the perfect branding set-up for your business. Custom widgets are available, too, making the process of designing your site a simple drag-and-drop process. There’s a slider on the header, if you’d like to use it, and video support is available (which is one of the key features of the Astrid theme). A footer branding is there, too, which will enhance branding for your site. In addition to client testimonials, the portfolio featured on Astrid provides thumbnail images that you don’t need to edit ahead of time. Quick animations and links will make your portfolio site more engaging, interactive, and appealing. There are translation settings, too, so you can reach a larger audience. 

7. OceanWP

For creative professionals who would like to create a modern, clean, stylish, and flexible portfolio website, OceanWP is a great choice. This theme is very flexible, so you can easily customise the design and layout. It offers portfolio-specific demos, which are basic, but highly effective for displaying your work. An image grid is an excellent way to showcase your projects in a visually appealing way. It also features a blog template that you can use to share more details about your work. Not only does OceanWP offer templates that are specifically designed for portfolio websites, but it also offers 19 extensions and features deep compatibility with the most popular page builder plugins, like Beaver Builder and Elementor. It’s easy to customise, too, with tons of design options, including three styles of mobile menus and seven header styles. 

8. Blossom Coach

If you’re looking for a light, airy, and fresh look for your portfolio site, Blossom Coach would be a great WordPress theme for you. This theme can be used for both personal and agency portfolio websites. It features a visually-pleasing full-width banner, which is ideal for incorporating a concise tagline that illustrates you who are, what you do, and a call-to-action that will point visitors to the most important pages on your website. You can also easily showcase your projects, as well as client testimonials, right on the homepage. Another feature that we love about Blossom Coach is that you can easily incorporate links to your social media accounts, which will allow you to interact with your visitors in a multitude of ways. You can also choose from an array of colours and fonts, and choose the options that will best suit your needs. If you’d like, you can even incorporate video banners and translate your portfolio website into any language. 

9. Creative

The Creative WordPress portfolio theme is an excellent choice for agencies who would like to display their creative works. The layout that this theme offers is simple, clean, and modern, making it a very effective way to display the very best work. You can also incorporate media into the theme, such as images and videos that highlight your work. Other notable features you’ll find on the Creative theme is a responsive slider, customisable menus, and compatibility with all web browsers. This theme also comes with a theme options panel that will let you customise the background image, the colours, the fonts, and so much more. If you’re looking to build a minimalist website for your online portfolio, then Creative is a WordPress theme that you should definitely consider using. 

10. Virtue

Last but definitely not least on our is the Virtue WordPress theme. This theme was developed by Kadence Themes. It’s highly responsive, and it was built on HTML5, CSS3, and Bootstrap, which means that it’s super-reliable and intended for professional use. Highlight your creative works by utilising the portfolio posts and pages, and create a grid-style layout that will appeal to your site visitors. The clean design of this WordPress theme will let your creative work stand out and capture the attention of site visitors. There’s a theme options panel, too, which is a major perk that the Virtue WordPress theme offers, as it allows you to modify the layout of the homepage, the sliders, the fonts, and so much more. You can even choose from an array of colour combinations. What’s more, you can make all of these modifications without having to use a single line of code. Talk about an easy way to design your portfolio website!

Conclusion 

As you can see, there are lots of awesome WordPress themes that are perfect for building and maintaining portfolio websites. With that said, the 10 options that are featured on our list are, in our opinion, the best of the best, and will be sure to make your work shine.

Work With the WordPress Experts

Blue Whale Media are the local experts when it comes to WordPress website design. If you’re looking to showcase your creative designs, latest works or products on a brand new portfolio website, look no further. As a web design company in London, we are highly experienced in providing website design & development services to creative professionals. Contact us today for a free quote!