Portfolio WordPress Plugins

Audee Mirza

Written by Graphic designer & WordPress developer

December 8, 2022
Portfolio WordPress Plugins

Professionals or agency companies in the creative industry gain success by showcasing their work. As a content management system, WordPress CMS can easily manage the media file content for those who work in the creative industry to make stunning portfolio websites with the help of portfolio WordPress plugins.

In this article, you will learn the basic features that portfolio WordPress plugins should have and plugin recommendations based on their main specific function to build a portfolio website for different professions in the creative industry.

An Introduction to Portfolio WordPress Plugins


Showcasing creative works as part of a web portfolio is different from adding a simple photo gallery to a web page. This is mainly because the portfolio showcase will have more detailed information about the work and focus on gaining the prospective clients’ attention.

Portfolio WordPress plugins are designed to display media files such as pictures and videos. Besides displaying visual content, some portfolio WordPress plugins can manage audio files and other types of content if needed. However, its functionality doesn’t stop right here. It also has essential features that make it different from a typical gallery WordPress plugin.

Essential Features in Portfolio WordPress Plugins


To effectively manage different types of media content and showcase them, what are the standard basic features that Portfolio WordPress plugins should have? Let’s have a closer look at each feature below:

  • Content Filtering and Sorting

  • Easy Configuration and Customization

  • Content protection

  • Web Elements for Media Showcase

  • Pre-made Style or Templates

  • Image Effects

  • Accessibility

  • Layout Options

  • Easy Integration

Content Filtering and Sorting

Portfolio content may consist of multiple categories. Adding a filtering and sorting system to the content will make it easy for the audience to browse great numbers of creative work uploaded to the web portfolio from time to time.

Easy Configuration and Customization

The configuration and customization settings provided by a portfolio WordPress plugin can be different from one another, but easy access to these settings would be preferable and save time. The features could be as follows:

  • Batch upload options

  • Media customization (crop, resizing)

  • Add pictures by post type/ category/ tags

  • Drag and drop feature

  • Flexibility to upload different format types of media files

Content Protection

The common feature found in portfolio WordPress plugins is to disable the right-click on media files to give content protection from those who try to make irresponsible use of your portfolio content.

Web Elements

The portfolio gallery's web elements help visitors browse the media content conveniently. The web elements would be as follows:

  • Media caption

  • Pagination

  • The “Load more” style (lazy loading or button)

  • Link or CTA button

  • Social Media Share

  • Lightbox to closer look or view the media content

Pre-made Style or Templates

This feature will save much of your time as you don’t have to make customization from scratch on your portfolio gallery. The styles often consist of different padding gaps, animation on hover state, filter and sorting placement, borders and overlay colors, the caption position as well as the link and CTA button position for each media file thumbnail for example.

Image Effects

What makes a big difference between the portfolio WordPress plugins and simple gallery plugins is the image effects that sometimes can include more media file information overlay on the hover state. Additionally, the animation would make the portfolio gallery look appealing and professional.

Accessibility

The display nature of the portfolio WordPress plugin requires good accessibility on different types of screens. The portfolio layout should be responsive and mobile-friendly or ideally provide mobile touch options. Cross-browser compatibility would also be an important component for portfolio gallery accessibility.

Layout Options

A good portfolio WordPress plugin would have options for different layout styles, for instance, a masonry layout, or just a simple grid. The layout would add a more professional look and character to the overall portfolio gallery.

Easy Integration

Flexibility in integration enables faster portfolio updates and management. There are several types of integration that can be implemented to display a WordPress portfolio gallery:

  1. Inner integration using WordPress shortcodes, widgets, or Gutenberg block

  2. 3rd party integration to import the existing portfolio content hosted outside WordPress, such as Behance, Dribbble, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Vimeo, and many more.

  3. Integration using a WordPress page builder plugin or a supported WordPress theme.

5 Recommended Portfolio WordPress Plugins


The plugin's recommendation will give you a bigger picture before you decide which plugin suits your need as a creative professional.

1. WordPress Portfolio Builder

Demo

The plugin allows you to add unlimited portfolios or projects. You can simply add portfolio content faster with pre-made gallery styles. Several gallery styles are exquisite as they have a collapsible feature that allows you to hide/ show the media files if you have multiple videos or project/ image items. You can add a project/ image caption or description on the portfolio item setting page.

WordPress Portfolio Builder

Integration: shortcode, widget

Pros

Options to insert YouTube or Vimeo video URL
7 gallery styles preset
‘No right-click’ media protection
Provide Lightbox general options
9 loading icons to select
Cons

The category option is only available in the pro version
No filtering option in the free version
No option to upload a video file
The option to modify the gallery styling is only available in the pro version
Limited option to modify the lightbox settings

2. SimpLy Gallery Blocks

Demo

SimpLy gallery supports multiple media files format and the lightbox is enabled by default for interactive viewing. The free version features are more than enough for you to build a professional portfolio. The portfolio customization is done using the Gutenberg block interface with dynamic live preview. It’s mobile-friendly and supports multi-touch gestures.

SimpLy Gallery Blocks

Integration: shortcode

Pros

Supports photo, Video MP4, YouTube, Vimeo, and Audio MP3 file formats.
Filter media files by tags
Options to add media files captions
Provide social share buttons
Portfolio styling is easy to customize using the Gutenberg block settings and custom CSS
Cons

‘No right-click’ media protection is not available
Doesn’t provide any style preset
Dynamic galleries also integration into YouTube Playlist and WooCommerce products is only available in the pro version
Advanced tags filter is only enabled in the pro version

3. Responsive Filterable Portfolio

Demo

If you’re looking for a responsive portfolio plugin with a simple interface, you can try this plugin. The plugin provides a portfolio setting page, and media files management and you can preview the saved portfolio settings at the back end. There’s an option to show media image types in a lightbox.

Responsive Filterable Portfolio

Integration: shortcode

Pros

Options to insert YouTube or Metacafe video URL
Filter media files by tags
Options to resize image and settings for thumbnail height/ width and margin
Option to select a color for portfolio grid background
Options to add media files title and URL
Cons

Only enable one portfolio in the free version
The media type is limited to images, videos, and link
No option to upload a video file
No advanced options to customize the portfolio layout and style, accordingly the portfolio grid would only have good contrast for the tag buttons text in the default style
Pagination is enabled in the pro version only

4. Gallery Image – Photo Albums

Demo

The gallery setting interface of this plugin is super simple. You can add the media title and media description in the Media Subtitle field on the plugin’s setting page. The default gallery in the free version has a square thumbnail for each media file.

Gallery Image Photo Albums

Integration: shortcode via Gutenberg ‘Media Gallery’ block

Pros

Option to enable ‘No right-click’ media protection
Option to insert YouTube video URL
Option to add categories for the media files
Options for the Lightbox style settings
Options to set 1, 2, and 3 columns for the gallery
Cons

Only provide basic settings in the free version
Gallery album is only available in the pro version. It means you can only show one type category in one gallery shortcode.
Filtering is not available in the free version
Provide just one style preset in the free version
No option to upload a video or audio file in the free version

5. GT3 Photo Gallery

Demo + Video Tutorial

What’s interesting about this plugin is that it provides many grid-gallery types (square, several preset rectangle proportions, and circle) for faster setup. The masonry gallery-type horizontal order can be enabled or disabled on the plugin setting page.

You can enable the images in random order. The default margin settings for each gallery are properly stylized and you can select the corner type of the image either rounded or standard in style. This plugin is compatible with Divi theme page builder.

GT3 Photo Gallery

Integration: shortcode, Gutenberg blocks

Pros

Option to show and hide image title and caption
Options to select where to link the image
Option to add categories for the media files
Options to select the image size and borders styling
Options to set columns for the gallery (1 to 9 columns)
Provide custom CSS settings for the portfolio image
Cons

No option to integrate Youtube, Vimeo, Self-hosted & External video files in the free version
No filtering option by category in the free version
Right Click Guard only available in the pro version
The lazy load feature can only be enabled in the pro version

Conclusion


Choosing a WordPress plugin for your portfolio website would be much easier if you know what media content type you will upload or use the most to present your creative work. Hence, it should be practical to choose a well-fitted and functional plugin to keep the installation lightweight instead of using a rich-features plugin that would slow down your website.

Good media file management is an essential setting in the WordPress plugin, and also filtering as the number of your portfolio items will grow over time. Lastly, keep your portfolio website protected with the right-click safeguard feature.

And if you want to ensure your new portfolio is built on a solid platform, consider using Verpex web hosting. Our WordPress hosting plans are optimized for speed and excellent performance.

Frequently Asked Questions


Who should have an online portfolio?

Online portfolios are a must for artists, graphic designers, architects, videographers, and photographers.

How do I make a portfolio ready?

ou can make a portfolio ready by getting the structure right, make the introduction about your brief, display your project, and make it easy for people to reach you.

What should be included in an online portfolio?

Your online portfolio should include information about who you are and what you do, contact information, examples of your work, and a format that’s easy to navigate.

How do I make my online portfolio stand out?

To make an online portfolio stand out, you need to show your story and make it personal and showcase your work carefully, choosing only your best pieces of work.

Audee Mirza
About the Author
Audee Mirza

Audee Mirza is a graphic designer and WordPress developer at audeemirza.com who resides in Surabaya, Indonesia. She's also the author of Graphic Identity Blog, a professional logo designer, and often creates vector illustrations for clients and marketplaces. She enjoys good typography design and all kinds of animation.

View all posts by Audee Mirza
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