Web Developer Portfolio: 20 Examples and Project Ideas | Udemy Blog
Every web developer must have their personal portfolio so that they can present it to potential employers and clients. Thus, your web developer portfolio is one of the most important things.
In this article you will find:
– Tips on creating a web developer portfolio for front end developers and full stack developers.
– 10 portfolio sites for your inspiration
– 10 Ideas for personal projects for front end developers and full stack developers
So, let’s get to it!
Tips on making your web developer portfolio
If you want your portfolio website to look professional and attractive, follow these 5 tips.
1. Keep it simple and optimized
Most begineer web developers think that potential employers and clients spend a lot of time studying their portfolio website, but it’s not true in reality.
You can consider yourself extraordinarily lucky, if they spend even 2-3 minutes looking it over.
To keep their attention, you have to:
a/ make a website design with a nice color scheme – really attractive and, at the same time, it must be clean and simple;
b/ use an easy-to-read font;
c/ use images and videos;
d/ minimize the load time;
e/ optimize the navigation;
f/ optimize for all devices: mobile devices, desktops, and tablets.
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2. Know your target audience
Always remember that your online portfolio will be checked by at least 2 people: an HR Manager and a Tech Specialist – *and they each check different things!*
What the HR Manager checks:
– Whether your portfolio website looks nice visually on their computer/smartphone/laptop
In fact, HR Manager is the very first person who interacts with your developer portfolio. So, user experience is of extreme importance! Your web developer portfolio website must be very easy to browse and quick to load. Otherwise, the HR manager will consider you to be not professional enough and will not pass you on as a potential candidate to a technical specialist.
What the Tech Specialist checks:
– What functionality you built in projects
– Stack of technologies
– UI UX design
– Responsive design
– Clean code
– Load time
– SEO basics
Also, your online portfolio can be checked by your potential clients – especially, if you work as a freelancer.
What Potential Clients check:
– Projects done by you
– Testimonials of clients
– List of your services
– Prices on your services and deadlines
– Your BIG PROMISE to your clients: “Why do they need to choose you over your competitors?”
– If you are a registered freelancer on freelance platforms (Upwork, fiverr, etc.), then your rating is also very important.
3. Use pre-built templates. YES or NO?
Most beginner level web developers tend to create their portfolio website from scratch. But is it really necessary to build it from scratch? Let’s take a look at pros and cons.
- Pre-built templates (e.g., Webflow, EditorX, uxfolio, Wix, etc.):
– it is really fast and, as a result, you can spend more time on your projects
– technical specialists will judge you by your portfolio projects, not a portfolio website
– good UI UX design and quick loading
– as a rule, design is developed by professional web designers
– template is already with SEO basics
– not a unique design
– some templates are paid
- From scratch:
– unique design
– you can state that your portfolio website is built from scratch and it will be considered as a separate project
– free – only requires more of your time and the purchase of images, videos, etc. if necessary
– you can easily make adjustments to your portfolio website because you know how it works “under the hood.”
– it takes a lot of time for building a well-designed portfolio website
– you have to be good at UI UX design
– all elements of your portfolio website must work ideally without flaws, which is difficult to do for a beginner level web developer
– if your website is not optimized, it will have a negative impact on its load time
– you should know SEO basics to make it SEO-friendly
If you asked me:
“What would you advise for a junior web developer: to create a portfolio website from scratch, or use a pre-built template?
My answer would be:
“Use a pre-built template. Just find a very good one, and spend a lot of time on making all your portfolio projects perfect”.
4. Which pages to add?
Below I will list all the pages for your portfolio website:
a. About yourself
In this section, you should add your photo, full name, and a short and sweet description about yourself (1-2 sentences). Your task is to sound professional, somehow stand out, and grab attention!
b. Contact information
Your contact information (email and cell number) has to be easy to find. You can even repeat it several times in different parts of your web developer portfolio website.
If you wish to add links to your Twitter, Facebook, etc., make sure that this information helps you to build your image in front of your potential employers and clients.
c. Your skills
Be honest about your skills and education:
– Don’t try to exaggerate!
– And at the same time, don’t be a victim of Imposter Syndrome!
d. My projects
In this section, you should post the projects that you want to show to your potential employers and clients. If you are a contributor to an open source project, then add this information as well because this is also considered to be your portfolio.
You can create a section with your resume:
– as a separate webpage with your CV. It is the easiest way which is frequently used.
– as a pdf-file which can be downloaded. If you want to create it this way, please make sure that everything works correctly.
If you want to learn how to create a professional web developer resume, read my article on the Udemy blog: Stunning Web Developer Resume Examples and Tips. There, I explain every step in detail: the best resume format, how to write a resume summary, how to analyze job postings, how to adjust your resume to each job posting with an example of a real job vacancy from Indeed, etc.
f. Testimonials (this page is optional)
If you have testimonials from clients, you can add them to your portfolio website:
– as quotations with the names of clients
– as links to reviews of your clients on the freelance platform where you have your freelance developer’s account.
g. Blog (this page is optional)
If you write about technical things (e.g. on dev.to, Medium), add links to your articles. This will show your passion for technologies.
h. Coding challenges (this page is optional)
a. Pick your best projects
I know – you want to show all your projects – especially this nice one you proudly built your first week of studying web development because you find it really cute. But please don’t do it!
Be selective! Choose only the best of the best!
I could say: “Add all your projects if these are really big projects, which you can proudly add to your portfolio. Also, if you built a project with your friend(-s), don’t forget to indicate which part you did”
b. Think of each project in terms of its functionality
When you work on a project so as to add it to your portfolio, always ask yourself: “Which of my skills does this project prove?”
– With this project I prove that I know how to make websites responsive with media queries and Flexbox
– With this project I prove that I know how to work with Bootstrap
– With this project I prove that I know how to work with Node.js and MongoDB
c. Customize projects from online courses
If you use projects from online courses – it’s NOT A MUST, but it is better to customize them.
d. Use links – not images
Sometimes developers add ONLY snapshots of their projects. This is a big NO-NO – Adding links to your projects is obligatory!
Make sure that:
– There is a short description of each project (stack of technologies, etc.)
– There is a link to its code (e.g. GitHub) or to a live website
– A demo is added if necessary
e. Animations, gamification
Adding nice animations can give additional energy to your portfolio website and this will help you to stand out and create your own style. However, you must be sure that all animations work correctly and load quickly. If this is not the case, then it is better to avoid using animations.
f. Each project must be optimized
Of course, don’t forget to optimize each project:
– responsive design on all devices (desktops, smartphones, etc.),
– basics of SEO,
– quick load time,
10 examples of web developer portfolios:
Now, let’s take a look at 10 amazing web developer portfolios. They are mainly built by highly professional developers with lots of experience.
If you are a beginner level web developer, don’t try to make a portfolio website of the same level! These online portfolios are presented to you for inspiration and to learn from them:
– how to present yourself
– which structure to use
– creative elements
This web developer portfolio has:
– an excellent structure with a good UI UX design
– easy-reading typography (fonts, sizes, etc.)
– excellent navigation
– a low load time, even though the creator used a video on the background. Yes, it is a video because he winks 😉
If you check the code of this portfolio website, you will notice that the creator used:
- This video: https://hellomichael.com/src/video/hello.mp4
- And these 3 pictures:
I am delighted with this portfolio website. Obviously, this is a personal portfolio of a very experienced developer.
Every element of the website “speaks” that its owner is a Programmer:
– color scheme
– texts of navigation links as JS methods,
One of the most popular portfolio sites is a portfolio website created by Bruno Simon.
His website portfolio is created in a form of a game, and he used a lot of different web technologies. Most likely, you will be playing his “game” for a long time J When you are back, move on to the next portfolio website.
Another example of a personal portfolio with game elements.
In the “Portfolio” section, there is a filter by technologies used in projects. When we select, for example, “REACTJS”, only projects with this technology are shown.
This portfolio website has a nice color scheme, creative fonts and funny animations. Cassie is mainly focused on the development of different animations, and is even a speaker. That’s why on her website we see examples of SVG animations she has made.
Another example of a very creative online portfolio with lots of excellent animations and even “affirmations” to cheer up the HR manager if their day has not been really good:
“Ever positive, never negative”, “Your attitude determines your altitude”, etc.
This portfolio website is developed by a very experienced web developer. No one expects that a beginner level web developer to have such a portfolio website.
It’s a masterpiece. WOW! WOW! WOW!
One of the most difficult portfolio websites from my list. A great number of technologies were used, and a lot of time was spent on creating each element of this website.
As I have already mentioned before, if you create your portfolio website from scratch, you should mention it in the “Portfolio” section. That’s exactly what Claudia did.
She also used a filter by technologies, nice animations and a very good UI UX design. Claudia even developed her website in 2 languages: English and Spanish with 2 modes: light and dark.
This is a landing website where all the necessary information (About, Experience, Work, et.) is on the first page. There is also a separate section with blog articles.
General recommendations for beginner level web developers:
As a beginner web developer, you need to focus on creation of portfolio projects with that functionality which proves your skills. Later in this article I will give you 10 ideas of very good projects.
For now, let’s discuss five useful tips:
1. When you’re looking for ideas of projects, don’t try to be the most creative person in the world. Try to make something similar and not very complicated.
2. Don’t try to recreate something very difficult like Amazon, Facebook, etc.
3. Check the requirements of job vacancies on your market and create small projects with the requested technologies and languages. For example:
– if you need to use Canvas, show a small project with Canvas.
– if you need to use Bootstrap, create a small project proving your knowledge of Bootstrap.
4. It’s better to create several small projects which cover each functionality/technology than one huge project.
5.If you still decide to work on a huge project, make sure that you will have enough time to complete it properly. Because “Oh, this is a huge project, I spent so much time but it is 70% ready!” is not an excuse! Make it properly or create several small projects as I mentioned above.
10 Ideas for personal projects for front end developers and full stack developers:
Frequently, beginner web developers think that only huge project can be considered as a project. In fact, even a big element of a website can be a separate project. Below are two examples of such projects.
Project 1: Calendar
If you want to work as a full stack web developer, you can create a calendar with the front-end and back-end parts.
Project 2: Slider
If you create a difficult slider from scratch, it is also considered to be a project of a beginner web developer. The complex slider shows lots of your skills and your coding logic.
The next 2 project ideas are projects from my Udemy course: “The Result-Oriented Web Developer Course”
Project 3: “Clock & Countdown”
Preview of the project: https://youtu.be/MopupRnfz4E
– 100% responsive on all devices
– built without the usage of any libraries
– works in real time (shows current time with an update every second)
– works a countdown functionality. Such functionality is frequently used by marketers on websites to make potential customers buy products really quickly.
– nice interface
Project 4: “Let’s Travel (Advanced)
Preview of the project: https://youtu.be/hdIt3Fj9698
1. The project is composed of the Main Page, post webpages and Admin Panel. Users can add, remove and update posts.
2. It is built according to the main REST principles.
3. The used technologies:
– front-end: no line of custom CSS, it is built with Bootstrap 5
– back-end: Node.js with the Express.js framework, and the MongoDB database
– Admin functions are protected with the help of JWT
– EJS is used for an automatic generation of landmark pages
Project 5: “Weather Application”
Preview of the project: https://youtu.be/h4HStzWveUg
– 100% responsive on all devices
– Shows current weather and a 5-day forecast
– Geocoding API is used in order to search for a city by a text being typed by a user
– Uses OpenWeatherMap API
– All standard icons were replaced with third party images
– Looks nice thanks to the usage of modern CSS (filters, transitions, etc.)
Project 6: “Piano”
Preview of the project: https://youtu.be/QHlKmdGiMS0
– no images were used. All “visuals” were made with the help of HTML and CSS.
– can play music on a piano with the help of your mouse or the keyboard of your computer.
– a list of melodies which can be played automatically with the possibility of adding new ones
– the speed (tempo) of the melody can be easily changed
Project 7: “Paint”
Preview of the project: https://youtu.be/leUdSdGQQHo
– simple but functional
– no libraries have been used
– built with the help of Canvas API
– created several tools (Brush, Line, Rectangle, Circle, and Eraser)
– color and width of a line can be changed
– built “undo” functionality
– an online drawing can be saved as a file
Here are other 3 project ideas for your consideration:
Project 8: Family Budget
The best project is a useful project. Create an application for calculation and check of your family budget.
Project 9: Simple browser game
– Floppy Bird
Don’t copy the code of games which you can find on the Internet, build a game on your own from scratch. You need to know how every element was created so that you can answer all questions on it at the interview.
Project 10: Online Cinema
Build a platform where you can search for films, read their descriptions, add films to favorites, watch films, etc.
I hope my recommendations will help you a lot. Good luck, and believe in yourself!
Also, as I have already mentioned, if you need to create a perfect web developer resume, you will find tips and examples in my article Stunning Web Developer Resume Examples and Tips.
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