How to Use WordPress Portfolio Plugin


If you need to display a portfolio on your WordPress site then, the WordPress Portfolio Plugin (WP Portfolio) is the one for you.  It’s free and you can customize it to your liking.  You’ll be able to add screenshots or use dynamic linking by signing up for a shrink the web account, which is also free.  I’m going to tell you how to use WordPress Portfolio Plugin from install to setup and how to add customized thumbnail images.

Let’s just dive right in with how you can install and use the WordPress portfolio plugin.

Install the Plugin

In your WordPress dashboard or home screen, you’ll see a list of menu items.  They’re located on the left-hand side of your screen.

  • Go down to Plugins and click on it. WP Plugins
  • Then, on the Plugins page click on the Add new button.  It’s right next to where it says Plugins at the top of the page.  Add New Plugin
  • In the search bar on the top right-hand side of the page type, WordPress portfolio and the first item listed is the WordPress Portfolio Plugin (WP Portfolio).  Plugin Search
  • Click on the Install now button next to the plugin description.  Only do so if the plugin’s compatible with your version of WordPress.  It says if the plugin is compatible under the Plugin description.

After you’ve successfully installed the WordPress Portfolio Plugin, you’ll see it listed in the left-hand panel of WordPress.  Next, I’ll tell you how to setup the WordPress Portfolio.

Add Items to Your Media Library

To add a photo for your portfolio item you can use screenshots.  You could also get an account with Shrink the web and it’ll display your portfolio item by gathering the information from the internet where your item is displayed.

I”ve always just used a screenshot to display my portfolio items.  You can use whatever you prefer.  This is my preferred method.  So, take a screenshot of what you want showing in your portfolio.  Mine are writing clips but, you can take screenshots of your artwork, websites, anything you need a portfolio to showcase.

After you’ve gathered your screenshots then, you upload them to your WordPress Media Library.

  • Click on Media in the left sidebar from your WordPress Dashboard.
  • Then, click add new on the media page.  This appears at the top of the page next to Media Library.
  • Upload all of your Screenshots to the WordPress Media Library and name them accordingly.

This method is easier than jumping back and forth between adding media items and building your WordPress Portfolio and adding them individually.

Make your Portfolio Groups

Go to WP Portfolio in the left sidebar.  A sub menu opens then, select Add New Group.  This is where you’ll name your portfolio categories for specific niches if you’re a writer, type of art of your an artist and type of websites if you’re a site developer.  You get the idea.

WP portfolio group

Once you’ve filled in the group name, description and group order if you wish then, click the Add Group Details button.

Add a Website

Next, you’re going to add the website where your work is displayed.  To do that go to WP Portfolio in the left sidebar once again and click on it.

  • Then, select Add New Website.  You’ll now be on the Add New Website details page.  Add New Website Details
  • Fill in the Website name, then, go to the website and copy its URL (the website address) which is the one linking to your work.  Details for Website clip
  • The Website description is the title of your post.  Mine is How do you blog on WordPress as you can see in the screenshot.

Website description post title

  • Then, where it says Website Group click the drop down arrows and find the group you created, choose it.  My chosen group is WordPress.
  • Last you’re going to click on Add Website Details.  That’s it you’re done with that part.

Make a Portfolio Page

Next, you’re going to make a portfolio page on your WordPress site.  Here’s how to create a portfolio page to display your WordPress Portfolio.

  • In the left sidebar of WordPress go to pages. Then, select Add New. Next, name the page Portfolio.  Add portfolio page
  • Then, on the right-hand side where it says Publish, click the publish button.  This creates your portfolio page to use with the WordPress Portfolio Plugin.  Publish Portfolio Page

Next,  you’ll need to add the shortcode to the Category you created earlier with the WordPress portfolio plugin. Then, you’re going to copy and paste it to the Portfolio page you just set up on your site. Don’t worry I’m going to walk you through it.

  • Click on the WP portfolio in the left side panel.  Then, navigate to the group you created.  WP Group code
  • Next, click on the group name to retrieve the shortcode.  This gets placed on your portfolio page.  Click Group name
  • On the next page, you’re going to copy the group shortcode at the top of the page.WP Portfolio shortcode
  • After you copy the portfolio shortcode go back to pages in the left sidebar of WordPress.  Find your Portfolio page and hover over it and select edit. Portfolio Edit Page
  • On the Portfolio page paste the shortcode for the group in the writing section.  Short code Paste
  • Then, click the Update button under the publish section on the right side of your screen.
  • Now when you view the Portfolio page, you’ll see the portfolio category, description, page title and link to it displayed nicely on your WordPress site.  View portfolio page
  •  Here’s what it looks like when viewing my portfolio, just to give you an idea.Portfolio viewing

Replace Generated Thumbnail with Your Screenshot

Now you can add the screenshot you took or leave the one that’s dynamically generated by the website where your work gets housed.  I like to use my own screenshots as I mentioned earlier.

To use a screenshot as the thumbnail photo for your portfolio posts, it’s simple.  First, navigate to media in the left side panel.  Next, select the photo you want to use as the thumbnail photo in your portfolio.

Then, copy the URL used for the picture on your WordPress site.Thumbnail URL

  • Next, go to WP portfolio in the left sidebar and find the post where you want to add your screenshot.  Then, click on edit.  Edit Thumbnail
  • Click where it says Show Advanced settings.Show Advanced Settings
  • Then, scroll down to where it says Custom Thumbnail URL.  Paste the URL information for the thumbnail that you copied above into the box.  Custom Thumbnail URL
  • Finally, click the Update Website Details button to save your changes.  Now when you go to your portfolio page and view it, you’ll see the custom thumbnail displayed.  Updated Custom Thumbnail

Pretty nice for a free portfolio plugin.

Wrapping Up

You’ve learned how to use the WordPress Portfolio Plugin (WP Portfolio) from install to setup and thumbnail customization.  It’s worth checking out and using when you need to showcase your works online.  It’s free and it’s very intuitive once you learn your way around it.

When I started out as a freelance writer, it got recommended to me by Elna Cain.  I had enrolled in her Write Your Way to Your First 1K course and it’s been a worthy investment.  It’s the most worthwhile thing I’ve done for myself as a writer and it’s gotten me to a senior editor position with one client as well as given me the confidence to start my tech website TechWhoot.

So, if you’re just starting out and you need a great WordPress Plugin to show off your portfolio WordPress Portfolio is one you need to try.  I also highly recommend Elna’s course.  It’s an excellent way to get started on a successful path as a writer with the support group and tools you’ll need.



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