Of all the blogging platforms and Content Management Systems today, WordPress is quite possibly the most well known and the most used. Just about anyone has heard of the platform and has most likely even visited a particular website hosted by WordPress. It is simple to use, accessible, and versatile – easily a lot of people’s go-to choice for building a site.
However, most people are under the impression that WordPress is mostly for pure blogging. Artists like graphic designers and photographers may not consider WordPress as a place to display their portfolio. Designing an online portfolio can be quite complicated, requiring certain extra functionality to effectively showcase the artwork or photograph.
What some people do not know is that WordPress might have been built to be simple but you can download the right plugins to enhance and emphasize your visual content. What is even better is that plugins are easy to find and even easier to use. Whether you are showing your digital art or your photographs, there are plugins that can make your portfolio look and function so much better. Add in some gorgeous backgrounds from PixaBay, a site where you can find the best free and premium high-quality backgrounds, and you will have a stunning visual portfolio in no time.
We have accumulated 8 of the best plugins you can use for your portfolio site. A lot of artists swear by these plugins and perhaps you will find one that will suit your portfolio’s needs.
8 Best WordPress Plugins
1. Huge-IT Porfolio
Starting off this list is a plugin to vastly improve your visual gallery. Huge-IT Portfolio is a freemium plugin which means you get the basic features for free but have to pay for the premium version which offers additional features. Fortunately though, the free option is already more than enough to give your portfolio site that extra kick.
With this plugin, you can show off your works on a neat and organized gallery. Moreover, you can customize how your gallery looks like fixing how large (or small) the thumbnail photos should be and including pertinent information on the project window. Another useful feature is that you can create galleries of photos on a thumbnail. That way, your audience will be given a sneak peek to more of your works without overloading the page.
If you are looking for a simple plugin to organize your portfolio, this is definitely for you.
2. Grand Flagallery
Obviously, if you run a photoblog or a portfolio site, you are going to need a reliable gallery. One could even say that galleries are center of every WordPress photography and art website. After all, it is with the gallery that you can manage and organize your extensive media files so you can present them on your website smoothly. Grand Flagallery combines a professional photography theme and a gallery plugin for executing high quality gallery experience.
This plugin allows you to upload all kinds of media content and combine your files into single galleries. This maximizes efficiency as well as makes it easier for you to present your work. Grand Flagallery is also compatible with tablets and smartphones so you can check and update your portfolio anywhere. Additionally, this plugin is configured to respond to search engine requests.
3. Speed Booster Pack
One of the drawbacks to having a website that caters mostly image files (or any other heavy media files) is the risk of being extremely slow to load. Users tend to avoid such slow-loading websites so what is a designer or photographer to do? Well, if you want your audience to stay on your site, you will need a plugin that will facilitate faster page loading. Speed Booster Pack is a great plugin choice because not only does it quicken the load speed but also makes your site engaging and functional.
This WordPress plugin automatically minifies your website’s scripts, removes blocking scripts, and optimizes database calls and loading assets. The outcome is that your website will appear to have a lightning fast loading time even with so much media content.
4. Product Catalog
At some point, artists, designer, and photographers will want to open their own e-commerce shops to sell their most popular pieces. Online selling is a pretty lucrative venture so you will want to set up your online shop as best as you can. Product Catalog plugin allows you to list all of your current items on a single page and connects it to the WooCommerce system (a free e-commerce plugin for WordPress).
Besides that, Product Catalog also lets you add custom widgets to your website’s homepage (or sidebar) where you can display your products. That way, even first time visitors will see that you are open to selling your products.
5. Google Analyticator
You do not need to be a marketing strategist to be able to successfully promote your website. If you want people to find your website and see your work, you can download Google Analyticator to effectively promote your website. With this plugin, you will be able to easily view Google Analytics on your WordPress dashboard. You will learn the keywords visitors use and you can incorporate those keywords in your next web post. That way, you stand a higher chance of being found in organic search results.
6. Feed Them Social
Obviously your WordPress website is not the only site where you post your work. A lot of artists make use of social media not only to build their visual portfolio but also to gain a wider audience. This plugin, Feed Them Social, is a great way for you to showcase your many social media feed you want. It supports all major social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and so on.
The Feed Them Social widgets are incredibly responsive and even looks great on mobile. You can customize your widget and choose where on your page you want to display it.
7. POWr Photo
This WordPress plugin is particularly appealing to photographers and those obsessed with Pinterest. POWr Photo is a freemium plugin that organizes and displays your photos in a Pinterest style gallery. This plugin caters to all types of images from portrait-sized photos to small icon designs.
Moreover, you have the option to customize this plugin’s design and even have a masonry grid style where you can combine different sized images on a single grid and they’ll all fit neatly (just like Pinterest’s layout).
8. Ultimate Image Filters WordPress Plugin
Last but not the least, we have this plugin perfect for photoblogs in particular. Oftentimes, photos need a little bit more tinkering to look as gorgeous and eye-catching as they can that is why people adjust photos with filters. However, when you are a photoblog and work with hundreds to thousands of photos, manually adding filters can be a living nightmare. Ultimate Image Filters WordPress Plugin can help ease your pain. You can add more than forty filters to your photos all at the comfort of your admin dashboard. Image Filter also allows you to recreate your photos that have filters since the original image will still be available on your server should you decide to switch back.
WordPress is a haven for bloggers and artists alike. With so many plugins that allow people to enhance their website, it is easy to see why it is such a popular platform. We have listed only a handful of the useful plugins graphic designers and photographers can use for their website. There are countless more available out there. While we’ve only scratched the surface, it is clear that WordPress is a very flexible platform where, with the perfect plugins downloaded, you can do just about anything.