Building a Portfolio Website with Gatsby JS - A Step-by-Step Guide

By Sumeet Shroff
Last Updated On : September 20, 2023
Building a Portfolio Website with Gatsby JS - A Step-by-Step Guide

In today's competitive employment market, having a solid internet profile is vital. By exhibiting your work and experience on a portfolio website, you may impress potential employers, clients, and partners. Gatsby JS is a cutting-edge web development framework that makes it easier to create a mobile-friendly, flexible online portfolio.

We'll teach you how to utilise Gatsby JS to construct a stunning web portfolio in this tutorial. From setting up the development environment to delivering the final product, we'll cover all you need to know to design a fully working portfolio website.

1. Getting Started with Gatsby JS

The following websites can help you install Gatsby JS. They are current, and mentioning them in our blog seems excessive.

  1. Installing Node.js and npm

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime that allows executing JavaScript on the server-side. npm (Node Package Manager) is used to manage packages and dependencies for a project. Reference Link: Node.js and npm Installation Guide

  1. Installing Gatsby CLI

Gatsby CLI (Command Line Interface) is a tool that allows you to create new Gatsby projects and manage them from the command line. Reference Link: Gatsby CLI Installation Guide

  1. Creating a new Gatsby project

Use the Gatsby CLI to create a new Gatsby project by running a simple command. This sets up the basic structure of a Gatsby site. Reference Link: Creating a Gatsby Site

  1. Configuring the project

After creating a Gatsby project, you can configure it by modifying various files like gatsby-config.js, where you can add plugins and configure site metadata. Reference Link: Gatsby Configuration

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2. Installing Tailwind and Open Source Perline UX Tailwindcss Elements

Installing Tailwind CSS:

Tailwind CSS is a utility-first CSS framework that allows you to rapidly build custom user interfaces.

Reference Link: Tailwind CSS Installation Guide

Installing Perline UI Kit:

Perline UI Kit is a customizable UI library with components and styles, allowing for the quick and efficient creation of modern web interfaces.

Reference Link: Perline UI Kit

3. Designing Your Portfolio Website

Choose a design strategy before creating a layout and UI components for your portfolio website. The first step in creating an intriguing and visually appealing portfolio website is to select a design approach that matches your aims and target audience. A well-thought-out layout will wow visitors and emphasise your expertise. In this section, we'll go over the procedures involved in choosing a design approach and putting out the basic UI elements of your portfolio website.

1. Minimalistic Design

Minimalist design is distinguished by a concentration on utility and form purity. By focusing on certain areas of the information, it highlights the most significant aspects of the text. It employs a limited colour palette and plenty of white space.

2. Bold and Colorful Design

Because of the use of vivid hues and sharp contrasts, the design is eye-catching. To make an impression, it employs eye-catching typefaces and pictures. This design is great for outspoken professionals or individuals who wish to stand out.

3. Flat Design

Third, the flat design approach accentuates straightforward, two-dimensional aesthetics that do not employ shadows or gradients. It utilises strong colours while accentuating clarity and simplicity of usage. Today's appearance is sleek and minimalistic.

4. Material Design

Material Design prioritises usability and realism. 3D effects such as depth, shadows, and dynamic animations are included. Provides a simplified, cutting-edge interface that is simple to use.

5. Illustrative Design

Illustrative Design use unique pictures or graphics to convey information. Adds a creative or whimsical edge to the webpage. Attracts inventive listeners and makes tale creation easier.

6. Dark Mode

'Dark Mode' provides a black background with white text and other components. Ideal for creative portfolios and other sites where the viewer will be staring at a screen for a long period of time.

4. Homepage and Hero Section

A landing page that highlights your work while also impressing with its style and content. Interesting hero part that rapidly exposes the issue and urges the reader to act. Easily navigate between pages by using the site's easy navigation bar.

The display of partner and customer logos improves credibility. For the Hero Section, you use a slider to showcase your work. Here is a list of popular image slider libraries that are compatible with React and can be used in Gatsby to create an attractive image slider section for showcasing photos


  1. react-slick NPM: react-slick A carousel/slider component for React that supports various customization options and is highly compatible with Gatsby.
  2. react-image-gallery NPM: react-image-gallery A responsive image gallery component for React that's easy to use and customize.
  3. Swiper NPM: swiper A modern mobile touch slider with hardware-accelerated transitions and native-like behavior. It's highly customizable and works well in React applications.
  4. react-responsive-carousel NPM: react-responsive-carousel A flexible and responsive carousel/slider component for React that's suitable for showcasing images.

5. About Me and Resume/CV

Give information about who you are and what you've done in the past. To start a dialogue and create rapport, share your opinions, values, and hobbies with site visitors.

Allow users to save a PDF copy of your resume or CV on their computer. Don't forget to provide information about your education, experience, and skills.

Clearly identify and categorise your technical and soft skills. Give samples of your work and the length of time you've used each skill. Demonstrate your versatility and breadth of knowledge.

Put your email, phone number, and physical address anywhere others can see them. Send us your LinkedIn, GitHub, and any relevant profiles. Include links to your online profiles on sites like GitHub, LinkedIn, Dribbble, and Behance to showcase your work and build connections.

6. Parallax Scrolling:

The backdrop and foreground appear to move at slightly different rates when you scroll down a web page, creating the illusion of depth and immersion. This is referred to as "parallax." It's an excellent method for attracting visitors and increasing the overall appearance of a website. In this post, we will look into parallax scrolling and how to leverage it to create visually appealing UI components.

Parallax Scrolling Plugins and Libraries

  1. Skrollr Website: Skrollr Skrollr is a JavaScript library that allows for simple parallax scrolling effects. It's easy to use and highly customizable.

  2. Parallax.js: Website: Parallax.js Parallax.js is a simple and lightweight JavaScript library for creating smooth parallax scrolling effects on your website.

  3. Rellax: Website: Rellax Rellax is a lightweight, vanilla JavaScript parallax library that provides smooth parallax scrolling for your web projects.

  4. ScrollMagic (also good for other scroll animations): Website: ScrollMagic ScrollMagic is a powerful JavaScript library for creating scroll-driven animations, including parallax effects.

7. Images and Media

Optimize images for web to ensure fast loading times without compromising quality. Use images that align with your branding and add visual interest to your portfolio.

Images and media are required to create a visually appealing and interesting portfolio website. They enable you to display your work, skills, and personality in an unvarnished manner. We'll go through numerous tactics for making the most of images and music on your online portfolio in this section.

Use high-resolution images and videos to showcase your work in the best possible light. Images of the greatest quality reflect professionalism and attention to detail. Include images and videos in a separate section of your portfolio to emphasise the quality of your work.

Optimise photographs such that they are both excellent quality and fast to load; this will result in a satisfied user.

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8. Responsive Design

Ensure your design is responsive and functions well across various devices and screen sizes. Test the layout on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices to guarantee a consistent experience.

Responsive design is essential if you want your portfolio website to look amazing and work correctly across a broad range of devices and screen sizes. A responsive design's layout and content vary based on the device being used to see it. Let's look at what it takes to make your portfolio site mobile-friendly.

9. Portfolio Section

Display your artwork, projects, or case studies. Excellent samples of your work in images, videos, or interactive media. Each project should be summarised, including its aim, technology used, and your participation.

Make it easier for people to search and find projects that fit their needs by adding project filters or categories.

Here are some popular image gallery libraries that are compatible with React and can be used in Gatsby to create visually appealing image galleries on your website:

React Photo Gallery NPM: react-photo-gallery A flexible and responsive photo gallery component for React, supporting both grid and masonry layouts.

React Images NPM: react-images A responsive lightbox component for displaying images, videos, and HTML content in a modal.

React Image Lightbox NPM: react-image-lightbox A simple lightbox component for displaying images in a modal, with navigation and zooming capabilities.

React Gallery NPM: react-gallery A highly customizable, mobile-friendly photo gallery component for React.

Gatsby Image Gallery Github: Gatsby Image Gallery A Gatsby starter showcasing an image gallery with a masonry layout, leveraging Gatsby Image for optimized images.

React Masonry CSS NPM: react-masonry-css A simple, responsive masonry layout component for React that works well for creating image galleries.

React Awesome Lightbox: NPM: react-awesome-lightbox A customizable, lightweight, and accessible lightbox component for displaying images and videos.

Gatsby-Plugin-Gallery: GitHub: Gatsby-Plugin-Gallery A Gatsby plugin that allows you to create a simple and responsive image gallery on your Gatsby site.

10. Modal Popups

Here is a list of some Model Popup javascripts that you can install on your gatsby Website

When it comes to modal/popup effects compatible with React and Gatsby, there are several plugins, libraries, and snippets you can use to achieve this functionality seamlessly. Here are some popular choices:

FsLightbox Website: FSLightBox One of the best scripts for a simple and powerful lightbox as a React.js component. A React.js plug-in for displaying images, videos, or, through custom sources, anything you want in a clean overlying box.

React Modal: Website: React Modal React Modal is a widely used library that allows you to create accessible and customizable modal components in React. It's compatible with Gatsby and offers a straightforward way to implement modals.

React-Modal-Popup Website: React-Modal-Popup React-Modal-Popup is a simple and customizable React modal component that can be easily integrated into your Gatsby project.

Material-UI Modal Website: Material-UI Modal If you're using Material-UI in your Gatsby project, the Material-UI Modal component provides an excellent way to create modals with various customization options.

11. Scroll Animations and Effects

Implement scroll-triggered animations for elements, like fading in or sliding up as they come into view while scrolling down the page. To integrate scroll animations into a website, you can use various libraries, frameworks, plugins, or snippets that facilitate this functionality. Here are some popular sources where you can find tools, snippets, or plugins for scroll animations:

Animate.css: Website: Animate.css Animate.css is a popular CSS animation library that provides a collection of pre-built CSS animations that can be easily applied to elements for scroll animations.

ScrollMagic Website: ScrollMagic ScrollMagic is a powerful JavaScript library for scroll interactions, enabling you to create scroll-triggered animations with ease.

AOS - Animate On Scroll Library Website: AOS AOS is a library that provides smooth and customizable animations triggered on scroll. It's easy to integrate and offers various animation options.

WOW.js Website: WOW.js WOW.js is a JavaScript library that reveals CSS animations as you scroll down the page. It's simple to use and comes with a variety of built-in animation options.

12. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of making a website more visible to search engines. Use particular keywords, meta tag descriptions, and image alt text. Install Analytic software (such as Google Analytics) may be used to track site visits, user actions, and engagement. With the aid of analytics, you can make better decisions and increase the site's efficiency.

13. Testimonials

Display testimonials from delighted clients and/or coworkers to demonstrate your competence, reliability, and abilities. Provide the names, titles, and photos (if any) of the persons involved for further credibility.

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