Yes that title sounds a bit clickbaity, but I assure you this post is not all fluff. Buckle up!
I speak to a lot of folks breaking into tech. Many of these folks have a portfolio website, as it's a requirement to land a role, especially that first one.
Some things have probably been repeated, but they need repeating. You have to stand out in a sea of people who all want the same thing as you.
Say you're in a boot camp. You all typically do the same projects aside from your keystone project, but this can even apply to your keystone project.
Go that extra mile. Automate the deployment. There are great platforms that simplify this task, like Netlify (disclaimer I work there 😎). You can set it up to deploy on pushing code to your repository and get a deploy preview if you have pull requests etc.
Consider accessibility (a11y). You don't need to be an accessibility expert, but you can get many a11y wins from just a bit of reading. I have a great list of a11y resources in my Frontend Developer Resources 2022 article.
Consider adding some testing to the projects. That could be unit tests, component tests using something like Testing Library, Storybook, or Cypress Component Testing. Or even end-to-end (E2E) testing using something like Cypress or Playwright. Btw, I'm giving a talk for The Collab Lab this week on E2E testing with Cypress for anyone interested.
Automate something aside from the deployment. Use something like GitHub Actions. There are lots of pre-built actions at your disposal, but creating your own for a task could be fun and make you stand out.
Get feedback from great welcoming communities. I've named some of my favourite ones to be a part of in this post:
All the above is excellent advice you may have heard or heard parts of. Still, the one big thing that I never hear about and see consistently, is the lack of a custom domain for a portfolio site.
Instead of having your portfolio site at e.g. https://my-awesome-portfilio.netlify.app, have something like https://janesmith.dev.
It looks more professional and shows that you know a bit about DNS as you need to set it up to point to where your site is hosted. And they're not that expensive typically. 5-10$ USD can usually land you a decent domain name.
There are many services out there that allow you to purchase a custom domain, but one that I've been delighted with is Namecheap. The prices are super reasonable, and I've never had any issues.
Hope these points help you out! Until the next one!
Top comments (21)
Thanks for the article, I agree with each point.
As an addition I would reccomend to try to setup everuthing from scratch on your own everything, especially if you are a novice.
I mean that you rent some VPS, buy domain, tinker with cronjobs and git hooks etc. For a beginner it will give a huge amount of knowlage on how stuff works that would be extra profitable later on.
I agree with you on the point of implementing CI/CD (tests and deployment). So much so, that I even have articles written about it:
Great article! I completely agree that having a custom domain for your portfolio website can make a huge difference in terms of professionalism and standing out from the crowd. I also appreciate the emphasis on accessibility and testing - these are often overlooked but so important for creating a high-quality website (and can show competence if one makes their website's code viewable to the public). Thanks for sharing your expertise and resources, it's really helpful for those of us looking to improve our portfolios. I'll definitely be looking more into E2E testing with Cypress (a recent open-source contribution I made required a Cypress test to complete successfully). Keep up the great work!
Thanks for the kind words and congrats on the recent open-source contribution!
I actually love Netlify 😅 I use it for small side projects I have that I just want up fast as the deployment is so slick! One of the best I’ve come across 😊
Thanks for sharing Nick
OMG,THIS IS HILARIOUS
Thanks for your Ideas !
Keep up the Good work 👍
Great tips! I love Netlify, I host a load of brochure sites on there for friends. My own site is all handwritten HTML and CSS though - I get enough frontend framework headaches in the day job! 😉
This is insightful, thank you 🙏
Very good post
Great article, I am going to build my portfolio website.