6 Best WordPress Portfolio Plugins 2018

Looking for a great WordPress portfolio plugin to show off your work? If you're any type of creative, you probably have a collection of work that you share with prospective clients or employers.

Using a WordPress portfolio plugin lets you display those pieces in a user-friendly way so that your work gets the attention it deserves.

While there are plenty of great free portfolio themes and premium portfolio themes, the advantage of a portfolio plugin is that you can integrate it into an existing theme or site.

So if you have already have a WordPress site, or if you're just in love with a theme that doesn't have portfolio functionality, using one of the plugins on this list is what you want.

In total, I've rounded up 6 different WordPress portfolio plugins. For each plugin, I'll:

  • Show you what an example portfolio looks like
  • Tell you what types of work fit best with the portfolio
  • Share some other relevant features
  • Let you know all the gory details on pricing

Let's get started!

Essential Grid

As the name suggests, Essential Grid is a grid plugin, not specifically a portfolio plugin. But if you think about it, most portfolios are just grids! And Essential Grid also has some other features that make it a great option for portfolios.

An Example Of An Essential Grid Portfolio…

Here's an example of a filterable portfolio. Users can either browse all the portfolio items, or they can click on one of the tags to filter out just those images without any page reloads:

Essential Grid demo

Types Of Portfolios That You Can Create

Essential Grid is pretty flexible because it lets you display any content in your portfolio.

One simple implementation would be to just upload images and create what is essentially a gallery of your work.

But Essential Grid also lets you create grids from posts or post types. So you could also create a custom post type for portfolio items and then use Essential Grid to display that content, complete with links to the full portfolio item where a visitor can learn more about the project.

Or, if you're a filmmaker, you could use videos in your grid to showcase your reel – Essential Grid supports players for both videos and audio files.

Basically – if it works well in a grid, Essential Grid will let you do it.

Other Relevant Features

One of the most relevant features for portfolios is that dynamic filter feature you saw from the example. With it, you can tag your portfolio items and then let visitors filter them as desired.

Essential Grid also includes a ton of templates that you can use to create more interesting portfolio layouts. And if those templates aren't enough, Essential Grid also includes a visual builder if you want to create your own.

Finally, if you want to let visitors see your work in more detail without requiring them to click through to a different page, Essential Grid supports lightbox functionality, including a neat lightbox feature to let visitors play videos in the lightbox.

Essential Grid Pricing

There's no free version of Essential Grid. You can purchase the full plugin for $27 at CodeCanyon.

More Info / Download Demo

The Grid

You can probably guess from the name that this is another grid plugin that's easily adaptable to work as a portfolio plugin.

In fact, you'll notice a lot of similarities between Essential Grid, so your decision will probably come down to the templates/styling of each.

An Example Of A The Grid Portfolio…

Here's an example of a basic three column portfolio grid, complete with tag filters, sorting options, and an embedded video player that appears on hover (look at the top-left grid item):

The Grid demo

Types Of Portfolios That You Can Create

Like Essential Grid, The Grid is also quite flexible because it lets you include a variety of content types.

So you can do the same thing – you could just include a simple portfolio of images or videos. Or, you could create a Portfolio post type and actually link to separate pages for each individual portfolio item.

Other Relevant Features

This list is pretty much identical to Essential Grid.

The Grid offers that same filterable portfolio feature that lets visitors sort by tag without a page reload.

You can also choose from a bunch of pre-made templates or build your own template using a drag-and-drop skin builder.

Finally, The Grid also has lightbox functionality.

Again, I'd say that for most portfolio users, styling is the most notable difference.

The Grid Pricing

One area where The Grid differs significantly (!) is pricing. Whereas Essential Grid will cost you $27, The Grid weighs in at just $26. So you can take that dollar and treat yourself at McDonalds.

More Info / Download Demo

WP Portfolio

WP Portfolio

Unlike the previous two plugins, WP Portfolio is specifically marketed as a portfolio plugin. While you can use it for anything, this plugin really excels if you're a web designer looking to show off complete websites that you've built.

The reason? Your visitors will be able to preview the entire website in a popup that looks a lot like the WordPress Customizer.

An Example Of A WP Portfolio Portfolio…

For this example, I'll give you two screenshots because it's essential to what makes WP Portfolio unique.

First, it displays your portfolio items on this grid. You can either display all portfolio items, or you can just choose items from a specific category. Your visitors can also make use of multiple tag filters on the search box:

WP Portfolio list

Then, once a user clicks on a portfolio item, it opens this full-screen view that's kind of like a lightbox. What's different from your average lightbox, though, is that the website preview is fully interactive.

So visitors can actually browse around the website from the portfolio interface. They can also preview how the site looks by using the device icons on the bottom bar:

WP Portfolio Lightbox

You can see a live version of this effect at the Astra Starter Sites library – it's the exact same idea (the Astra team basically just rebundled this functionality as the WP Portfolio plugin).

Types Of Portfolios That You Can Create

Again, WP Portfolio excels when it comes to creating a portfolio of websites that you've built.

But that's not all it can do – you can also create portfolios of images or videos. Those types use a more traditional lightbox approach.

Finally, you can also create images that link to separate pages for individual portfolio items.

Other Relevant Features

WP Portfolio also includes the filterable tag functionality that lets visitors filter portfolio items without a page reload.

You also get a shortcode builder that makes it easy to customize:

  • Which portfolio items are included
  • How many columns to use in the portfolio grid

You can also include search functionality for especially large portfolios. And you also get infinite scroll to let people view everything, as well as lazy loading to avoid slowing down your site by loading all of the portfolio items at once.

WP Portfolio Pricing

There's no free version. The paid version starts at $49. Or, you can also get it as part of Brainstorm Force's bundles.

More Info / Download Demo

Media Grid

Let's go back to the grid plugins! Media Grid is another solid option that lets you put together your portfolio items in a flexible grid. One neat thing here is that you can add a search box to your portfolio display, which might come in handy if you want to display an especially large portfolio.

An Example Of A Media Grid Portfolio…

Here's an example of a grid portfolio that you can create with Media Grid. A few things to note here are the:

  • Tag filters
  • Search box
  • Different content types (you can see the embedded video player in the bottom left, as well as an embedded slider above that)

Media Grid demo

Types Of Portfolios That You Can Create

Media Grid supports:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Audio

So, as you saw above, you can let people play different media types right from the portfolio. Or, you can also link through to the full post if needed.

You can either create your portfolio items from static content – like a specific set of videos or images. Or, you can also use dynamic content, like the latest posts from a Portfolio custom post type.

Other Relevant Features

I already pointed out the fact that you get both tag filters and the search box.

Another cool thing about the plugin is its grid builder. You have a lot of control over each individual grid item, which lets you create some interesting designs:

Media Grid builder

Media Grid also supports lightbox popups so that visitors can see each portfolio item in more detail.

Media Grid Pricing

Media Grid costs $25 at CodeCanyon.

More Info / Download Demo

Go Portfolio

Go Portfolio is a popular portfolio plugin that comes with a ton of pre-built portfolio demos that you can plug-and-play into any WordPress theme.

An Example Of A Portfolio From Go Portfolio…

Go Portfolio comes with 38 pre-built portfolio styles. Here's a look at one of them…

Go Portfolio demo

Types Of Portfolios That You Can Create

Go Portfolio works a lot like the grid plugins in that you can include both “basic content” (images, videos, audio, etc.) as well as pull in WordPress posts or post types.

One helpful thing is that it has dedicated thumbnail and lightbox types for:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Audio

So if you could, for example, embed playable videos from YouTube or Vimeo in your portfolio.

Other Relevant Features

Go Portfolio comes with 38 starter templates, as well as lots of design options, like:

  • 2 filter types
  • 4 default styles

It also has the option to add tag filters, as well as lightbox support, including an option to play videos in a lightbox.

Go Portfolio Pricing

Go Portfolio costs $24 at CodeCanyon.

More Info / Download Demo

FAT Portfolio

FAT Portfolio is a dedicated WordPress portfolio plugin with some neat display options.

One of the unique things about this plugin is that it includes carousels and sliders in addition to the more traditional grid approach that a lot of the other plugins offer.

An Example Of A FAT Portfolio Portfolio…

While FAT Portfolio can also do grids, I'll give you a look at one of the carousel portfolio types because, again, I think that's what makes this plugin unique on this list.

Here's the Flipster coverflow, though FAT Portfolio has more traditional carousels, too:

FAT Portfolio

Types Of Portfolios That You Can Create

FAT Portfolio supports both images and videos, including an option to use post types as the portfolio items so that you can link to separate pages for each item.

You can also use FAT Portfolio to embed a Flickr or Instagram gallery, which might come in handy if you're a photographer and want to show off the work you're posting on social media.

Other Relevant Features

FAT Portfolio includes the same tag filter option as the other plugins. But what's cool is that you can also add filterable tags to carousels (these work without a page reload).

You also get lots of different animations, as well as controls for:

  • Pagination
  • Lazy loading
  • Infinite scroll

You can also open portfolio items in a lightbox gallery if desired.

FAT Portfolio Pricing

FAT Portfolio costs $22 at CodeCanyon.

More Info / Download Demo

Which WordPress Portfolio Plugin Should You Use?

That rounds up our list, but which of these portfolio plugins is actually right for you?

Well, I think a large part of that depends on what type of work you need to display.

If you just want to display some images in a grid or pull in content from a “portfolio item” post type that you've created, you'll probably be happy enough with any of the grid plugins. If you have any specific needs, you'll want to poke around the feature list and demos – for example, some have better video players than others. But at a high level, they're all doing mainly the same thing.

If you're looking to show off websites that you've built, give WP Portfolio a look because the way it offers a live preview is pretty unique.

And if you're looking to showcase video or audio, definitely make sure to pick one that lets you embed the player right in the portfolio. A lot of them will do it, but I especially liked the way Essential Grid handles externally embedded videos (example here).

Have any other questions about creating a portfolio with a WordPress plugin? Let us know in the comments!

Colin Newcomer

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer for hire with a background in SEO and affiliate marketing. He helps clients grow their web visibility by writing primarily about digital marketing and WordPress. You can hire him to write for your website.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, we may receive a commission. All opinions however are our own and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

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