Portfolio Website


I was planning to make my own website to show my portfolio one day. I already did it once and used WP and installed a theme. I got fed up with the theme but wasn’t skilled enough and hadn’t enough time to change it the way I wanted. So I want to make a simple website to show my portfolio with keeping the ability of fairly easily altering it. Maybe something like this
I have some experiences in programming and I am willing to read some stuff before starting but I have absolutely no idea where to start and what’s the best way to go. I’ve heard about bootstrap, drupal, drupal+bootstrap (???), hugo,… So it would be very helpful if someone with experience could point me a way to go.

cheers wapitifass

Drupal is a lot like WordPress, so if you were not happy with WordPress, hard to imagine you’d like drupal.

Hugo is a static site generator. We use it a lot and like it. Read some of their docs, find a nice theme and go for it.


Sigal is fairly simple and should do the job. Drupal is definitely overkill.


There are also flat file CMS such as Grav. I think it is possible to add static pages to Piwigo and Zenphoto, too.

I put together my own with python flask and a couple of jquery plugins (self-hosted). I drop my images into a folder on my PC and my website automatically picks them up and creates thumbnails and 1080p versions of the images with imagemagick.

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OK, thanks alot for your hell.

@paperdigits Hugo looks interesting. So I can look for a Themen which comes close to my needs and alter it the way I want? Is it possible to choose a main-theme and a different one for a sub-portfolio section or even combine it with one subpage which I write myself? Propably this is possible but also for a non pro like me?

Sigal looks like it’s only a gallery if I get it right?!

And the Grav CMS looks interesting too. I’ll habe a look at the available themes.

I think my Problem with CMS is that I want to present artistic work and documentary photography on the same Website but in a different way. The artistic work will be shown individual and more intuitive in image arrangement and the documentary work can be shown very clean and sorted. So if I go for a CMS with Themen I have to really understand what i’m doing to make these changes. At least I’m guessing it’ll work that way.

Thank you @elstoc but this sounds way over my skilllevel. :smile:

Habe a nice day.

An interesting thread. I’ve been meaning to do a website for myself for a few years now, but I find wordpress etc quite complicated if you just want a simple site without blogs etc.

Understood, though I’ve tried a lot of “off-the-shelf” solutions and none of them quite do what I want. In the end I found it took me less time to build my own than to try to hack other people’s solutions, though I was also looking for an excuse to learn some python.

So true. I’ll check it out.

I’m sure your needs are different, and python might not be a good fit, but if it will help I’ve put my code on github. The two most useful jquery plugins I found were justifiedgallery and fancybox and, apart from the python code to retrieve the images, they do most of the work.

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It s possible, yes.

thanks for the code Chris! Can we also look at the final result I mean the gallery itself?

For people who want a simple website, one possibility is to learn HTML and CSS. Yes, there are many tools that remove the need to learn HTML and CSS, but you may find that learning the tool takes longer.

But if you want interactivity, then that would mean also learning Javascript or similar.


I’d rather not share it publicly, since it’s mostly personal and family pics. Sorry.

Tell you what, though… here are a couple of screenshots:

The main gallery

Viewing individual images


Ahh that was of great help @elstoc . Thank you. So I just had a look at these two plugins and found out that jquery is JavaScript :smiley: . And thanks for your screenshots. Looks pretty nice. I know some HTML and CSS and think I’m gonna try to write it myself and merge justifiedgallery and fancybox into it.

And if anybody had the same question: it’s also working on mobile devices. At least the demoversion did.

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A really cool option is Publii. It’s essentially a static site generator and CMS with a GUI! And open source, too.

I used to have a hosted WordPress website for my personal photography/blog family thing. Mostly pictures with a bit of text here and there. But WordPress was such a pain. Things broke constantly, the web interface was slow, and the less said about the exporting experience, the better.

I migrated that website to Publii, and am loving it. Instead of clicking around in a web interface, you do all your edits locally with a GUI app. It’s a clean interface. I’ve not experienced a single bug yet. It’s stable. And if you want to change anything, there are several levels of customization available, from adding a bit of CSS and JS from the GUI, to creating/forking your own theme, to changing the rendering code entirely.

I’ve been using that for about a year now, and remain a huge fan.


That Publii does look good! I’ll give the appimage version a play with I think!

IMHO Wordpress is very easy to use and has what feels like a million themes. Drawback, it’s ‘fat’ and needs lots of server tuning (nginx, cache etc etc) to get good load times.
Another tricky bit is, Wordpress is very famous with hackers. Even though they usually can’t break in, expect hit on you login.php etc every few seconds - which again puts load on the server.

The middle way would be to install Wordpress locally (Xampp/Wamp etc), then use the “simply static” plugin and make Wordpress a (much smaller) static website. The Wordpress comment system (SPAM prone anyway) won’t work, but Disquss, GraphComment ets. are a good option.

Or go straight for a static site, Hugo, Grav and many more. I like Hugo a lot, fast and very flexible. I couldn’t find a theme and just created one for myself.

Bootstrap is some sort building kit. It’s a bit bulky and not so flexible. I prefer TailwindCSS. Makes the pages (code) look clean and very easy to learn.

For me Hugo (without theme) + Tailwind is good. But there are many other out there.

(BTW, I tried publii, seems limited, Grav, didn’t like it much, PicoCMS, zero support sites)

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Just a few words about my WordPress experience. I used the hosted WordPress from wordpress.com. Most of my negative experiences were probably caused by the hoster, not the software itself.

Image uploads were very brittle. Eventually I figured out a sequence that worked on a slow connection. Something like open gallery view, in internet explorer, and use the file picker instead of drag and drop. Anything else would get stuck on a slow connection, or corrupt images.

Images were at some point automatically compressed and reduced in resolution, for some reason. They were the originals in the beginning, there were not later on.

Images are always saved in triplicate. Once for the gallery, once on a dedicated post per image, even if that post is not linked anywhere. And one more for unknown reasons. My one gigabyte of images therefore consumed almost the entire five gigabyte plan I payed for.

Image galleries broke several times during the year I used it. They just wouldn’t render right for a day or two on new posts. Old posts still looked fine.

Of course any customization needed an upgrade to my hosting plan, or a payed add-on. Even editing the plain HTML of a post was a payed upgrade. There are still two separate settings UIs that do mostly the same things but sometimes not.

When exporting my blog, there was no bulk delete option. I had to manually click every single image one at a time. That was great fun to do for several thousand images.

So, at the very least, I can not recommend wordpress.com at all. Maybe self-hosted WordPress is better, but I doubt it.

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I’d like to add my experience. Years ago I decided to use WordPress, hosted at a german hosting company. I bought a theme (with lifetime updates) and a gallery-plugin (with lifetime updates). But after several updates more and more problems occured. Despite the updates theme and galleries don’t work correctly any more. They do with older versions of Wordpress, but older version may have security issues… And the developing company of the gallery software was sold, so bye bye lifetime updates. And I got lots of spam becauseof this pingback-thing in Wordpress (that I didn’t understand).
I looked around for a CMS and tested Grav and Automad. But they are the same as Wordpress: You have to learn them, they are between you and the html/css-files, and they offer only limited possibilities. For example, I could not cut the ties to CDNs like Google Fonts. Already knowing Github, I started searching code snippets and found everything I needed / wanted: A theme from here, portfolio from here and galleries from here. As I’m on Linux for many years I’m familiar with filemanager and texteditor, my knowledge-level of html / css raised extremely from 1% to nearly 2% and I got it: All code was brought together, and all CDNs were replaced with local files (see here, still in testing). It operates not only, I understand it.