Showing off your work: three of the best WordPress portfolio themes

My page at daimoneklund.com will be a personal portfolio site with work examples (web production and writing) as well as a resume and any other pages I can think of which may help me grab the attention of prospective employers.

When looking for a theme, I primarily searched for portfolio, although I tried to think of other keywords that would give me themes which may have been designed for similar sites (resume as a keyword has almost no results, while professional has some promising themes, but mostly serves up pages intended for businesses). Most portfolio sites tend to feature a primary visual component like a slider. Since most of my work is text based I wasn’t sure how well this would work, but newspaper and writing clips can be presented in a visual manner which is more interesting as a design component than simple text links.

Searching the keyword “portfolio” turned up two themes which I think may work well:

Pitch

This theme offers a prominent slider for visual presentations, as well as several customizable sections which can be used to show off different types of content (or disabled).  It also also has a simple, clean navigation bar to lead users to different sections. The theme comes bundled with an icon pack for setting off text sections.

Ascetica

This is a more minimal theme, which also features a large visual slider. This theme is designed for use with a sidebar. While it doesn’t have as many customizable sections as Pitch, it does come with a sidebar widget to display visual posts. While it seems like it would work ok, I’m less happy with the default settings for font/background. It feels too minimal in some ways and is more of a telltale WordPress site compared to Pitch, which has some features that differentiate it from the default Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven themes.

After searching with keywords, I tried some of the other search filter options and looked with only the “Full Width Templates” selection checked. Most of the themes in the search result shared design elements with those found using the portfolio keyword, but there were themes which I did not see with my previous searches, such as:

Dzonia Lite

The example screenshots indicate this theme is built with businesses in mind, although I think it may work well for a portfolio with a single featured visual element, instead of a slider with multiple images. The design is clean with a large featured image, large but open (not long and cluttered) text elements and a section for links with images below.

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About Daimon

A former print journalist pursuing a Masters of Communication in Digital Media at the University of Washington.

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