Web development 101: how to create the best portfolio

Being proactive and adaptable through your website portfolio is essential in the modern day, you cannot narrow your web development in one direction, versatility and openness are key if you are looking to secure opportunities and make a name for yourself in the web development world. 

EDGE Creative is a local digital marketing agency that supports our graduates in developing their skills to break into the industry, and this is their look into why you should look to keep an up-to-date and versatile website portfolio.

Edge Creative
Creative Marketing Agency

Who are EDGE Creative?

EDGE Creative are a marketing agency based in Sutton Coldfield, providing businesses across the country with bespoke marketing services. They are a team of web developers, designers, content writers, SEO specialists and more who work together to help businesses be seen. 

They are passionate about innovation, imagination, and entrepreneurialism, and work hard to help people find and develop their career in marketing. They love to see people thrive in the workplace and enjoy what they do, and often take on apprentices, nurture those new to the industry, and develop them into experts across multiple fields within marketing. 

How is web development is changing?

It is obvious that technology is advancing rapidly across the world, and this continual change results in new development tools and languages. This means that web designers and developers need to be highly adaptable and proactive, ready to utilise every new release immediately. 

At EDGE Creative, we have an in-house team of web developers. Read on for their insights into the industry and the importance of expressing your skills and adaptability in your portfolio. 

A positive user experience is a crucial aspect of web development. In the past, how a website looked was not important. Websites were entirely functional and focused on achieving set goals, which resulted in unformatted, blocky, and text heavy pages. One of the biggest changes in web development since then has been the focus on the user. Someone is unlikely to spend much time on a site that is out of date, complex, or messy. That is why modern websites appeal through interesting designs, functionality, and fast loading speeds. 

A successful website needs to be logical and easy to navigate for users on all platforms, including mobiles and tablets, to appeal to a wider audience. And, with WordPress being the backbone web development in Europe and North America, static HTML sites are far less common. WordPress is built for modern audiences and uses PHP to render content that can quickly be changed. 

It is simply impossible to predict the patterns of a field that changes this rapidly. With the release of WordPress 6.0 in May 2022, the focus of web development near-term could be moving away from creating page templates and more towards creating “blocks” or sections. The convenience of creating individual sections rather than whole pages means that these blocks can easily be adapted and used across a website, allowing for a much more flexible approach when coding. 

But look more than a year or two into the future and questions need to be answered. Which new tools will be adopted industry-wide? How will consumer preferences change? Is WordPress here to stay? Consumer preferences are unlikely to change massively over a five-year period, and WordPress is so universal that only a monumental shift in industry methods could usurp it. 

However, some experts believe that web development may need to take emerging technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), into account. With the Metaverse taking shape and VR being adopted in other industries, such as entertainment and gaming, it is something that developers should consider. Websites have never been interacted with in a first-person, virtual space. Whether VR integration is something that will overhaul web development, however, is yet to be seen. 

The future of web development

With so much unpredictability in the industry, you need to prove that you are versatile, quick to learn, and able to cope with change. While you can discuss it in an application, nothing is more valuable than proving it. It’s important to maintain a dynamic mindset for web development. You need to be able to utilise new features the moment they are available to stay at the top of your game. However, constructing a portfolio can be a challenging task. Knowing what to include to show the skills they need is not easy, especially if you have no professional experience.  

Creating the perfect web portfolio

So, what do you do? Consider starting with university projects. What have you produced using modern tools, and what can reflect your willingness to learn? While functional and accessible products are best to use, sometimes that is not possible, so think about how you could express the skills you’ve learned in your cover letter. 

Alternatively, try undertaking your own projects by creating something that is useful or interesting to you. Create your own portfolio website or prove your coding ability through something else entirely. For example, one of our developers at EDGE created a string of code that connected his lights to his gaming PC. Whenever something happens in-game, the lights in his room start flashing assorted colours according to the corresponding event. Innovation and creativity like that is proof of your ability, even if it does not necessarily link to a specific skill. 

A solid portfolio will show that you can not only produce effective development work, but that you can also explain it, and that you have the skill to learn and adapt when necessary. If you have multiple pieces of work that can demonstrate everything you need, or a single piece of work that covers all bases, then you have made a great start. 

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