An online portfolio website is an excellent way for business owners and freelancers to get their work, skills and client cases in front of potential customers.  The word portfolio simply means a bag for carrying loose papers, however, it has many meanings depending on how it is used. In relation to web pages, a portfolio design is typically defined by a popular and often used grid style layout of images of same size. Clicking on a portfolio item often takes visitors to a special page designed to present a client case, a project or a product. For website owners portfolio page templates therefore can be used to present business critical content in a great looking fashion and in a way that is easy for the users to navigate. Portfolio website typically also include special designs for contact pages, team member presentation and so on.

Most bloggers will probably agree that WordPress is an excellent choice for blogging. In addition, when it comes to showing off creative work by designers, photographers etc. it turns out that WordPress has great potential as well. Today many creative professionals have realized this and they use WordPress as the engine for building an online reputation. The ease of use of WordPress, the high number of portfolio style themes and plugins available for building a professional portfolio website makes the decision easy.

However online portfolios come in many different visual styles and with different features so it is a good idea to be clear on the requirements before choosing a theme to set up a portfolio website. I will provide some tips and guidance in this article along with an updated collection of the best WordPress portfolio themes I have been able to find. Keep in mind though, that there are many ways to set up an online portfolio. Besides WordPress I believe Tumblr is an interesting platform to check out and there are also some cool tumblr themes for portfolio sites you can use to get set up fast. In addition, it is an option for creative individuals to use popular portfolio communities like DeviantArt and Bhance to set up a showroom online.

This article provides a list of magnificent free and premium portfolio themes for WordPress and I am sure it will help you get started. Most of the really good themes for building a WordPress portfolio are not free, but certainly you can find great themes that won’t cost anything. Still the premium portfolio themes sometimes comes with features that makes your life a bit easier, like regular updates and support. This allows you to focus on your business and creating a cool portfolio. If you need to add portfolio capabilities to an existing theme, I recommend you look for some portfolio or gallery plugins.

Keep in mind that WordPress themes with responsive layouts are really hot right now because they allow your visitors to see a perfect website/portfolio no matter what device they use. Responsive themes use media queries to deliver layouts that match smartphones, tablets etc. Many of the themes we selected for this article are fully responsive. This post is continuously updated with more useful WordPress portfolio themes and all links are checked!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links (at no extra cost to you). I recommend that you do your own independent research before purchasing any product or service. This article is not a guideline, a recommendation or endorsement of specific products.


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Now to the 2016 Portfolio Theme Collection

I have categorized this article into three sections as some may be looking for free themes while others go for premium only. If you think that a great portfolio is missing let me know by leaving a comment. If you are new to portfolios make sure to check out the tips for choosing a WordPress portfolio theme at the end of this post.

Premium WordPress Portfolio Themes 2016 Compilation

Buying a premium portfolio website templates for building a WordPress based online portfolio is typically the safe direction go go in. You get support and updates for the theme and this can turn out to be essential in the building phase, but even more in the future. Keep in mind thought that there are no guaranties. Theme vendors may not be around forever, but compared to a free theme you are typically safe.

Flexible Responsive WordPress Portfolio Theme

flexible-awesome-web-design-portfolio-website-theme

This cool portfolio template is form ElegantThemes. Flexible offers a clean, modern  minimalistic portfolio and business style design for WordPress websites. The theme comes with a filterable , Ajax powered multi media gallery that can be sorted into different categories without reloading the page. It also has color control panel in which you can customize the color of your fonts and backgrounds. It is also has a font customizer and supports all major browsers.

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Venture

Venture theme

With Venture you get a minimalistic portfolio design with a business style look and feel. The theme is well suited for business owners with a need for sharing services and products online in an online portfolio. You get a premium theme with great theme options, a dynamic home page builder and visual composer. The theme is fully responsive and ready for users on mobile devices. You cam customize the theme while working on the live theme and see the updates as you make them. Venture is also WooCommerce ready and allow you to sell your products online.

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Extra – Divi Theme

extra wordpress magazine theme

Extra is a very powerful magazine style WordPress theme  powered by the very flexible and powerful Divi builder. The theme extends Divi with features and layouts that are useful for bloggers and online publications. The theme makes it possible and easy to customize the sidebar, the homepage and each individual post and page. Extra is prepared for mobile devices and even though it is a content heavy theme it scales perfectly to fit mobile phones and tablets. If you are starting a magazine style website or blot this is a must have theme in your tool box!

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Origin WordPress Theme

origin wordpress portfolio theme

This is another interesting portfolio website template using grid layout of images to tell a story. It is completely responsive and it will look and work great on any mobile device, It also maximizes the WordPress theme customizer in which it gives you full control over the color of your website. This is really a great theme of choice for anyone who would like to put up a photography or portfolio site. Get ready to show off your creativity!

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Grand Portfolio | Responsive Portfolio

grand-portfolio-responsive-portfolio

Grand Portfolio is a portfolio website design tool packaged as a WordPress theme. It provides a responsive, clean and minimal design for creative portfolio web site. The theme rely on the latest WordPress technologies and it supports various popular and useful plugins. Grand Portfolio offers a fully responsive layout looking great on all devices. It has predefined styling for architect, creative agency, photographer, creative designer, musician & band, publisher and many more which can be imported with one click.

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Vertex Creative Theme

vertex

Vertex is a great theme with a clean design built for service providers that want to showcase their products and services. The homepages gives you a chance to engage your visitors and tell your story through galleries, sliders, testimonials and team member bios. Vertex includes a powerful theme options solution, lots of shortcodes, page templates and more. The theme navigation is sticky and animates when users scroll. The layout of Vertex is fully responsive and ready for mobile devices.

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Mentas Portfolio – Art Portfolio

mentas

Mentas is a rich and powerful responsive portfolio theme for multipurpose usage and one of the best rated themes on Themeforest. It comes with tons of features and options which allow you to make your website unique. Mentas come with Visual Composer drag and drop page builder, through which you can create impressive page layouts, it allows any single element in every page to be re-arranged and re-sized at your will. Minimal means minimalistic design approach. The theme also supports quite some unique website styles as you can see below. Check out the demos.

mentas layouts

Mentas theme options allow to use any variations of custom colors, additionally it include predefined colors sets such as – brown, black, white, cream, chocolate, blue, green, orange, yellow, silver, bisque, grey, gray, cyan, coral, crimson, dark blue, dim gray, pink, ivory, khaki, light sky blue, navy, purple, violet

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Stardust – Multi-Purpose Portfolio WordPress Theme

stardust-multipurpose-portfolio-wordpress-theme

Stardust is a multi-purpose theme for WordPress with portfolio focus. It offers a large array of useful features you can apply into your creative process. You have more than 30 portfolio styles available, cool parallax effects, animated page transitions and more. The theme have a clean and simple responsive design that will wow your visitors.

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Nero Responsive Portfolio Photography Theme

nero-responsive-portfolio-photography-theme

Nero is a powerful portfolio theme with 10 useful portfolio templates included with filterable content. You can also create galleries and password protect them. The theme is responsive and the image grids adapt well to small screens. There is a skin manage er 11 skins to choose from. It is possible to add music to the home page and pages of the site. The theme also support full screen youtube and vimeo videos. You will find many useful building blocks to make your site unique such as shortcodes, custom post types and more.

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Mineral – Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

mineral-responsive-multipurpose-wordpress-theme

Mineral comes with a light and clean design that will allow full focus to the posrtfolio items. Theme theme have several portfolio options and will be a great pick for photographers, artists, designers and the like.  You will find 5 post formats in this theme also to make variations and adjust the look and feel over time to your needs. To feature content there are 2 images sliders in the theme.

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Folo | Premium Responsive Portfolio Theme

folo-premium-responsive-portfolio-theme

Folo is as simple and minimal as you can get. It is a clean and simple theme for creating responsive WordPress portfolio websites.

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Mozzy Portfolio Theme

mozzy theme

Mozzy is a cretive premium portfolio theme for WordPress with an advanced portfolio feature. The theme both support fixed width and full width slider on the front page and includes portfolio items in a nice filterable grid layout.

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Punch – Responsive Portfolio WordPress Theme

punch-responsive-portfolio-wordpress-theme

Another premium WordPress theme that has impressive animations suitable in showcasing your awesome work. This theme has superfast framework, SEO optimized, fully responsive that it adapts to any mobile devices, has shortcode generator, 400+ Google fonts and extensive documentation. Aslo included in this package is a Demo content and demo theme options for easy customization.

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Free WordPress Portfolio Themes

Choosing to go for a free portfolio website template is a good solution for startups with a low budget. There are many good free options available and if you are an OK with taking care of technical issues and minor updates, you are often safe. Major updated to WordPress is common though and sometimes break free themes.

Spun

spun

Spun is a very minimalistic portfolio theme with a cool image grid using rounded images. The theme is responsive and lightweight.

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Launch

launch

Launch is a sweet little theme for the personal blogger who likes to blog in style. Provides support for your own self-hosted video, audio, images, galleries, asides, links, quotes and of course good old standard posts.

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FontFolio

fontfolio

FontFolio is a cool free theme designed especially for building a creative online portfolio. The grid and masonry based layout used in this theme will make sure you can display your work the cool way. The theme works with latest versions of WordPress.

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Photo Theme Responsive – MORE INFO

phototheme

Another minimalistic free theme for WordPress that have been specially designed for photographers with a need for displaying their work online. It is a fully responsive theme that it works well on mobile and tablets.

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Tips and guidance for choosing a WordPress portfolio theme in 2016

Before you choose a theme for your WordPress portfolio I recommend you review my advice below:

  • Business continuity: Look for recent updates, support, ratings and comments: While I try, my best to keep this article up to date there is always a risk that themes are suddenly not supported any more.
  • Know your requirements: Start with making a list of portfolio features your solution will need to meet – and maybe make a simple sketch. This will make your life much easier once you start comparing the many available portfolio themes.
  • In addition, you will not risk choosing a theme or plugin that will not work in the end. Read on to learn about what features you may not know that you need.
  • Portfolio features in theme or plugin: When looking for a theme to set up a portfolio using WordPress there are actually two options. You can look for WordPress themes with build in portfolio page templates. This is a great option if you are able to find a theme with the right look and feel. If you have found a great simple WordPress theme that fits your business needs perfectly but it lacks on the portfolio capabilities you can often find plugins that easily extend WordPress with the ability to easily build and maintain galleries and portfolios.
  • One or multiple portfolios and flexibility regarding placement? Some themes for building WordPress portfolios have limitations regarding where portfolios can be placed and how many can be added. This may be OK depending on your needs, but the portfolio layout is a powerful design element that can be inserted successfully on many pages, including the front page of a website. Portfolio solutions that allow developers to insert the portfolios using WordPress shortcodes is typically recommended for advanced users.
  • Portfolio navigation options. Some portfolios use light boxes when the images are clicked, some take the user to a portfolio page, and some allow the developer to configure exactly what should be the action, e.g. opening an external link. Depending on what function the portfolio section have within your WordPress site this may be one of the most important things to get right.
  • Responsive mobile ready portfolio or not: if you take mobile users serious you should consider to build a responsive portfolio. You see, portfolios are really hard to navigate in a small screen because they are typically set up with a fixed width. A responsive grid makes the portfolio columns adapt to the screen size.
  • What data sources will be needed to fill the portfolio? Some solutions require portfolio elements to be added as custom post types where text and photos are added. Others can pull in regular posts and pages from WordPress and it can be really useful. Finally, there are solutions that can create portfolio pages from external data sources.
  • Do you have requirements for filtering and categorization? Many portfolios have filtering by tag built in making it simple for users to focus on elements that are important and relevant to them.

Portfolio layouts have many shapes. While most portfolio themes for WordPress have several column layouts included (1,2,3,4 etc. columns) it is also important to consider if you need flexibility related to showing / hiding text titles, descriptions etc.

Author : Lars Vraa

Lars is passionate about web design, web development, SEO, social media and loves to look into new technologies, techniques, tools etc. and to write articles for tripwire magazine readers.

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