How to Build a Portfolio Landing Page

Your landing page is the first thing users see when they visit your domain. For instance, the content that comprises http://www.emory.edu is Emory's landing page, the portal to the rest of the content within within Emory's website. Emory also has different landing pages for the different departments, services, and institutions that are a part of Emory University. So before you begin configuring your content management system (CMS) to build your landing page, you should brainstorm what are the main components of the work you will publish on your domain.

Generally, your portfolio landing page will have the following categories:

  1. About Me
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Current Projects
  4. Blog

Create pages for the different categories you will feature. In this example, we'll create new pages (not new posts) titled “About Me,” “CV,” “Current Research,” and “Publications.” Again, choose the best categories that best organize your being-online. Be sure to disable (click the checked box) the option “Allow comments on this page,” because, honestly, you probably don't want to crowdsource feedback on your 180 word bio on your website.

Don't worry about the content now: you can always fill these pages, turn them into new landings, or even delete them in the future.

To get you started, here's a basic primer for creating a portfolio landing page in Wordpress:

  1. Go to Settings>Reading and select the option to display a static front page. Here, you should choose a front page (for instance, your “About me” page). Alternatively, you can create another page, with any title, that contains a single image or an update you feel will be relevant for a while. I have my blog as my front page, because I want visitors to be directly engaged with my writing. You should choose whatever you feel comfortable with.
  1. Go to Appearance>Menus. Here you have options to populate your menu bar(s). By default, Wordpress will automatically add your static pages. If it doesn't, or if you want different pages, select what you would like to add from the Pages widget to the left, and click “Add to Menu.” You can also choose categories that you've used to tag your posts or pages (you add these when creating or editing a blog post), and your menu will have links to a page that has all your posts of that category.
  1. Be sure to check the Settings>General tab so that you can make sure your blog has the right title and something other than the default subtitle. Your site title can be just your name, if you like. It (and a subtitle, if any) will be displayed above your menu.

There can be variations to this taxonomy, but it is helpful to know that your portfolio is a taxonomy—one you whose categories you decide, whose content you create, and whose outward face faces the public. You want your visitors to clearly discern what kind of content and information is available on your site and how to quickly navigate to it.

The landing page itself can be spare, only showing your name, your categories, and a brief bio or link to a project you especially want to feature. It can be as baroque as you like as well, but keep in mind that the purpose of this page is act as a map of your internet life, to showcase what you want to be showcased.