With Some Simple Tips, You Can Build a Web Design Portfolio

How to Create a Web Design Portfolio With No Job Experience

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It isn't easy to get your foot in the door of a web design job when they all require that you have experience, and you don't have any. Experience is a requirement in many industries, but in web design, you can create your own experience by doing design projects for yourself. You build a portfolio around those projects and use the portfolio to get your first paid position. Whether you're just starting out as a freelancer or interested in a full-time salaried position, don't say you don't have a portfolio.

Instead, use these suggestions to create a portfolio to showcase your skills.

Your Website

If you've decided to become a web designer professionally, then you should have a website. Because you haven't had many or any paying jobs, you don't have the problem that other more experienced web designers have—a website that's been ignored. When you spend time creating and improving your website, you're not only improving your business, you're improving your portfolio.

Your website shouldn't be only one entry in your portfolio. Think of all the different things you've built for your site and make each one a portfolio piece. Be sure to include:

  • Homepage
  • Custom 404 pages
  • Contact forms
  • Any CMS templates you've built
  • A portfolio page on the website

Personal Web Projects

It doesn't really matter what subjects you choose for personal websites as long as you handle them well. You could build a site for your cat or a site for your mom's art.

Personal projects go in your portfolio because they showcase what you can do and can help you get your first paying web design job.

Take a Class or Online Tutorial

There's no shortage of web design classes and tutorials online, and there is no rule against using classwork as part of your portfolio. By taking a class, you might learn how to do something new and improve your portfolio at the same time.

Create Web Pages for Imaginary Clients

Dream up an imaginary client and create an Annual Report or page to sell a product. As long as you make it clear to your prospective clients that they are samples and not live designs, there is nothing wrong with honing your skills and improving your portfolio with these types of projects.


If you have a favorite charity or cause, volunteer to help out with web design and maintenance. You may end up with a portfolio entry and—possibly—a reference.

Modify Web Design Templates

There are lots of free web templates available for building web pages. Using one without modifying it wouldn't be a good portfolio project, but using a template to get an idea flowing is a great idea. Pick a simple template to give you a good starting point and then make it your own.

Choose Your Best Work

The point of a portfolio is to showcase your best work. Don't put something in it that you created simply to pad the portfolio. If it's only mediocre, work on it until it really shines or leave it out. A portfolio of two or three items that are outstanding is much better than a portfolio of 10 mediocre entries.

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Your Citation
Kyrnin, Jennifer. "With Some Simple Tips, You Can Build a Web Design Portfolio." ThoughtCo, Feb. 15, 2018, thoughtco.com/web-design-profile-no-experience-3469205. Kyrnin, Jennifer. (2018, February 15). With Some Simple Tips, You Can Build a Web Design Portfolio. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/web-design-profile-no-experience-3469205 Kyrnin, Jennifer. "With Some Simple Tips, You Can Build a Web Design Portfolio." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/web-design-profile-no-experience-3469205 (accessed March 20, 2018).