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Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: Which is Better?

Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: Which is Better for Ecommerce?

Adobe Muse and Squarespace are website builders that come with a rich feature set, advanced functionality and impressive design customization options. They unveil multiple web development opportunities, making it possible to start different types of projects, including those for business and commercial use. Each system, however, has its own peculiarities, features and tools that have to be compared separately to realize what advantages you can avail, while using them.

Adobe Muse – is a desktop application, which mainly targets professional web developers, who intend to launch quality web projects with no coding skills required. The tool was initially introduced as a part of Adobe Creative package yet its support has been discontinued by the platform since May 2020. This means that the system does not issue any update or tech support options to enhance its use.

Squarespace – is the all-in-one website builder, which mainly targets creatives, entrepreneurs and online retailers. Its advanced performance, extensive feature set, powerful integration options as well as blogging and eCommerce engines have made the system one of the top contemporary web development tools.

Website Builders Comparison Chart

Adobe MuseSquarespace
Our score:          
Best for:Small business websites, professional portfolios, commercial and non-commercial projectsBlogs, small business websites, professional portfolios, web stores
Templates:No built-in templatesDozens of free responsive designs
Technical Support:Separate customer care page, forum with industry pros, video tutorials, written guidesLive Chat, Ticketing System, FAQ section, Email Support, Community Forum
Blogging Options:Blogging option realized via third-party widget integrationIntegrated blogging CMS
SEO Options:No integrated SEO settingsAdvanced SEO parameters
Pricing:Starts from $14.99/moStarts from $12/mo
More info:Adobe Muse Review →Squarespace Review →

To make the right choice, you need to explore and test both systems at a time to see what they are ready to offer you. If you are currently interested in the features of these platforms and can’t decide, which of them meets your web building needs most of all, let’s analyze and compare them right away.

Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: General Overview

Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: General Overview

Adobe Muse is a desktop software, which was launched with the needs of professional web design experts in mind. The platform makes it possible to start and publish quality web projects without any coding required. It was offered as a part of Adobe Creative pack along with other popular Adobe products, such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop and more. Websites created with Muse have professional interactive design and powerful integrated functionality.

The software was first introduced to the market in 2012 and it has won popularity with professional web developers searching for a quality code-free web design tool. Statistics states that it is possible to get access to 326 533 websites powered by the system. The overall amount of subscribers currently constitutes 811 112 projects.

The only notable issue users should be aware of is that Adobe has discontinued Muse support in May 2020. This means that the software will no longer be updated and no support options are provided to its subscribers. Those users, who have already downloaded the service, may keep using it, while new signups are impossible.

Squarespace is a well-known DIY cloud website builder, which is used to start a variety of projects for personal and business use. These include portfolios, business websites, blogs, landing pages and web stores. The system comes with a handy WYSIWYG editor, high end design customization tools and features that contribute to easy and hassle-free website development.

The website builder was launched in 2003 yet it quickly developed into one of the leaders of the contemporary web design niche. According to recent statistics data, the number of live websites started with the system constitutes 2,366,357 projects, while the total amount of the system subscriptions equals 1,648,179 and it keeps increasing with every passing month.

Adobe Muse and Squarespace differ a lot from each other, especially in terms of functionality, ease of use and design customization options. Squarespace prevails over its competitor, offering more extensive web design solutions. Adobe Muse, in its turn, is no longer available for download and this is the fact that speaks for itself.

Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: Which One Is Easier to Use?

Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: Which One Is Easier to Use?

Adobe Muse initially focuses on the needs of experienced web developers and, thus, may be a bit complicated for newbies, who have never used any Adobe products at all. It’s hard to call the service too complicated and confusing, but you will definitely need time and effort to explore its features and learn how to use the web design tools it offers to create a quality website.

The system is the downloadable software, which requires preliminary installation. This cannot be considered a drawback. Everything depends upon your preferences, plans and web design habits. If you have ever worked with Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign, Adobe Muse interface won’t seem scary to you. Instead, it is logically structured and offers a set of options and features, the smart use of which will ensure stunning result. The service comes with a drag-and-drop editor, which is an extra benefit for those, who have at least a bit of web design experience. It takes time to master the system.

Muse Editor

The software has a powerful customer support center. They offer official tech support as well as an extensive community base. There is a customer Care Page, where each user can get quick and quality assistance. Additionally, it’s possible to look for the tips and recommendations provided by other system users at the community forum. For those users, who are just starting exploring the system features, there is a chance to use multiple manuals, text and video tutorials as well as valuable Adobe knowledge base, which reveals all the nuances of the system performance and features. After the discontinuation of the system live support provided by Adobe experts is no longer available.

Squarespace is much simpler in use than Adobe Muse. The system allows choosing and customizing templates depending upon the niche you specialize in. There is a feature allowing to launch an online store here, which is a real advantage for entrepreneurs willing to get their businesses online.

The system comes with an intuitive and easy-to-understand dashboard, where all the elements are grouped to help you select the required settings. The menu of the service is lightweight and user-friendly. All in all, there are 6 menu sections here, each of which offers more options. The system is logically structured and convenient for users, irrespective of their web building experience. So, if you are a newbie looking for a chance to design a quality website with extensive functionality, don’t pass by this solution.

Squarespace editor

When it comes to customer support, Squarespace doesn’t lag behind Adobe Muse. The system offers an extensive knowledge base, which manifests itself through the community forum assistance, availability of video tutorials, manuals, FAQ section and other information resources. Apart from the knowledge base, Squarespace offers 24/7 email support and live chat, which is available on weekdays from 11am to 7pm EST. This is more than enough to find answers to all the questions you might have.

From the point of view of ease of use, Squarespace is a more preferable solution than Adobe Muse. The system was created with all user categories in mind, letting subscribers start projects with no coding required. There are multiple opportunities that enable web developers to effectively master the platform and start using it to build quality and functional websites for creatives and entrepreneurs.

Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: Design and Flexibility

Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: Design and Flexibility

Adobe Muse and Squarespace both offer distinctive integrated functionality required to start quality projects. Adobe Muse features are more focused on providing extensive web design options, while Squarespace proves to be a multifaceted platform that lets you start all types of websites, using the toolset provided out-of-the-box. To figure out what exactly both systems have to offer, it makes sense to compare some of their crucial parameters.


Adobe Muse doesn’t have an integrated eCommerce platform. This means that you won’t be able to start and manage a web store from scratch here. If you still have the intention to get the one, you will face the need to connect some of the extra plugins or specialized online store building solutions. The most popular of them currently include Shopify, WooCommerce, Ecwid, PayPal store, Sellfy eCommerce Widget, Snipcart eCommerce and more.

Squarespace excels at integrated eCommerce functionality (see its online store examples). This includes inventory tracking tools, digital and physical goods, coupons, taxes, shipping, blogging option, product import, express checkout mode, abandoned checkout recovery, multiple currency use, XERO, Stripe and PayPal integration and what not.

Squarespace edit product

When it comes to the eCommerce aspect, Squarespace is definitely a winner. The website builder boasts powerful web store development and customization options, while its competitor doesn’t have a built-in eCommerce platform at all. Thus, there is even nothing to compare here.

Third-Party Extensions

Adobe Muse is compatible with any software included in the Adobe package. Just decide on the integrated functionality you wish to apply for your website and pick the system you would like to cooperate with. While Muse doesn’t have built-in blogging and eCommerce engines, it still realizes its blog/web store development potential via integration of third-party widgets used for the development of these types of websites. Browse the available options to find out whether they are compatible with the system or not.

Squarespace is good at integrations as it allows connecting external applications and widgets, if you intend to boost your website performance. The choice of suitable extensions mainly depends upon your web design needs and objectives you wish to avail in the long run. The system has strong partnership relations with trusted companies, such as Disqus, Etsy, PayPal, BookingBug, MailChimp, Typekit etc. This cooperation contributes to the web building result you will avail. The website builder also supports Lightbox and Getty Images integration, which ensures impressive image presentation.

As to the integration options, Squarespace prevails over Adobe Muse. The website builder makes it possible to connect with multiple third-party widgets that contribute to quality website performance. The list of extensions the system offers is quite long and it’s up to you to pick the apps that come up to your website specialization most.

Template Editing

Adobe Muse doesn’t have any ready-made themes unlike its multiple competitors. What you get is a blank canvas you can use to design a website of your own. You may apply the entire set of web design tools to do that. These include videos, sliders, text blocks, footers, headers, buttons, social media features, menus and what not.

Another design option you can go for is the use of custom layouts available on the web. They are paid and free and it’s up to you to choose what you need. These themes are developed by the third-party users (mainly web designers and agencies) and are uploaded to the global network so that other people could make use of them. On the one hand, this is quite convenient.

You just select a theme that corresponds to your own niche and customize it as you need. On the other hand, though, this may be quite risky, because you can never be 100% sure about the quality of the template you will download. There is always a risk to deal with an unreliable seller, who will offer you a template with a code that will eventually have negative effect upon your website performance in future. If you are ready for such challenges, then you are welcome to use this option. If not, then it really makes sense to spend some time mastering the system and start designing your own projects.

muse editor

As to template customization, Adobe Muse has an impressive clear interface, which makes it possible to create your website layout by adding and editing content, buttons, menus, social media features and other elements, which contribute to the efficacy of any website. You can control each step of the project development, making the changes whenever required.

One of the crucial advantages of the system is that it allows making the changes without going online. They can be made in the program any time of the day. As soon as the changes are made, you can update a website through FTP and watch the result. To make your website accessible on the web, though, you will need to set up hosting. This option is paid.

It’s worth mentioning that Muse can be used both to create responsive websites and those that come with fixed width. Whatever web building purposes and objectives you have, the system will adhere to these needs. Adobe Muse offers an amazing set of tools you can’t go without, if you need a full-featured website. These include automatic text synchronization, self-hosted and Typekit premium web fonts, right-to-left language support, advanced customizable third-party widgets providing an ability to create and manage web stores and blogs etc.

Squarespace offers a collection of quality ready-made templates, belonging to different niches. The themes are responsive by default and look engaging and user-friendly. The system offers seven design categories, namely Musicians, Restaurants, Personal, Commerce, Business etc. There is also a separate category of templates – one-page websites called “Cover Pages” used to present your company to the advantage in a precise and effective way. The templates are free for everyone.

Squarespace template

Whatever template you will go for, you can change it any time in case of necessity. What’s more, you can have a look at the way your website will be presented on different mobile devices by making use of the Device View feature. This is an important benefit for everyone, who plans to use mobile versions of their websites. Take a look at the best Squarespace website examples.

Squarespace does not offer standard template customization features only. It additionally allows designing websites by making use of code editing options. The system comes with Code blocks, Developer platform and Custom CSS area. It’s also possible to integrate a third-party app in case of necessity. This depends upon your web building needs.

Adobe Muse doesn’t have any customizable template collections. Instead, the system offers an opportunity to create a website from scratch using a blank canvas and a set of design tools or download and customize a tailor-made Adobe theme from the web. This gives user a chance to get unique website design that will stand out from the crowd. Squarespace is much simpler in this respect. It offers dozens of thematic templates, many of which are specially designed for online stores. All the themes are free and mobile-optimized.

Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: General Pricing Comparison

Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: General Pricing Comparison

Adobe Muse is included into the Creative Cloud Package on the paid basis. You can either purchase the entire package (if you need several Adobe products at a time) or one website builder only. The monthly subscription fee constitutes $24.99, while the annual cost is $179.88. Paid plans include customer website design, premium fonts and 20 GB of disk storage space. At the same time, the system offers a free 30-day trial, irrespective of the subscription plan you will go for.

What’s more, you will separately have to pay for the hosting and domain name to publish your website. This will correspondingly cost you $5-$10/mo and $12/year. To give your website advanced functionality, you may also consider adding widgets to it. The widgets are also paid and free.

Squarespace makes it possible to test the integrated functionality of the website builder absolutely for free. As soon as you get the intention to start a quality project and go live with it, you will have to pick one of the paid subscriptions it provides. Have a look at them now:

Squarespace price

  • Personal ($12/mo billed annually) – unlimited bandwidth and storage, free custom domain, 24/7 customer support, SSL Security, 2 contributors, SEO features, website metrics;
  • Business ($18/mo billed annually) – advanced website analytics, fully-integrated eCommerce, unlimited contributors, professional email from Google, CSS/JavaScript design customization, 3% transaction fees, premium blocks and integrations etc.;
  • Basic Commerce ($26/mo billed annually) – customer accounts, Instagram synchronization, domain checkout feature, powerful eCommerce analytics etc.;
  • Advanced Commerce ($40/mo billed annually) – APIs for order and inventory, abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, advanced shipping and discounts, limited availability labels etc.

When subscribing to Squarespace, you will avail more extensive pricing options as the system has several plans to choose from. It also has a free plan, which lets you explore the platform in details before upgrading for a paid subscription. The cost you will eventually pay, will depend upon the type of the plan chosen and the goal you pursue. The more functional and complicated website you need, the higher cost you will pay for it.

Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: Which One Is the Best for SEO?

Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: Which One Is the Best for SEO?

Adobe Muse doesn’t provide automated SEO optimization for the websites created with it. This means that you will have to make the required settings independently with regard to your project specifications and search engine ranking expectations. Thus, you will have to add metadata keywords and descriptions to page properties (this is done in the corresponding “Page Properties” section of the Page menu). Additionally, you will have to add titles and ALT text to images (reach the Image Properties dialog box to set these parameters). Finally, you can create tooltips for linked images and text. This is helpful for visitors as they will avail more info about the content provided via the link before they actually click it. What’s more, the system also allows using paragraph styles to apply various text formatting parameters and to set tags for paragraphs. As soon as you are done with your website export or when you decide to upload your ready-made Adobe Muse website to the selected third-party host provider, the software will automatically generate a sitemap that enlists all the website pages and assets it includes. This also contributes to more effective indexing of your project in the search engines.

Squarespace positions itself as a SEO-friendly website builder. It lets you fill out the required SEO boxes to specify web page/website descriptions and meta tags. The website builder automatically generates headings for posts and products that will further be used as SEO titles for web pages. In other words, it is impossible to independently set up SEO settings and website titles in the system. One of the undeniable highlights of the service is the opportunity to hide your website (or its pages) from indexing by the search engines until you are sure it is absolutely ready for publication.

Squarespace SEO Settings

As to the Search Engine Optimization, Squarespace undoubtedly has more to offer. The website builder makes it possible to set up SEO parameters for your project and it automatically generates headings for products and posts. What’s more, it allows hiding web pages or the entire website from indexing.

Key Differences Between Adobe Muse and Squarespace

Adobe MuseSquarespace
Ease of Use:Adobe Muse is a desktop software included into Adobe package, which makes it possible to start quality projects for web design professionals, ensuring a code-free website environment.Squarespace is a DIY drag-and-drop cloud website builder. This is a good choice for users with various web design skills. The platform can be used to start commercial and non-commercial web projects, namely web stores, blogs, landing pages, business websites etc.
Functionality:The website builder is geared towards the needs of professional web developers looking for a quality platform to start a website with. The system comes with multiple design-focused features as well as powerful integration options.The website builder has an integrated WYSIWYG editor, blogging and eCommerce engines, high end Logo Maker, social integrations, SEO options, advanced marketing features, Cover Page Builder, statistics tracking tools as well as Google Maps embedding, Unfold App and Acuity Scheduling platform.
Design:Adobe Muse excels at design customization as this is initially a design-focused system. There are thousands of free and paid responsive external templates you can choose from along with multiple tools to give them unique design.Squarespace design collection involves over a hundred of quality and responsive themes. They make it possible to set up various professional and fully-customizable projects for commercial and non-commercial use.
eCommerce:The website builder doesn’t have an eCommerce platform. Thus, it is impossible to start web stores with it unless you use third-party eCommerce widgets.The system comes with an integrated eCommerce engine that allows starting and updating small and medium web stores, setting up their basic parameters.
Blogging:The system doesn’t have a blogging engine provided out of the box. To connect a blog into your website, you have to pick and integrate a blogging widget.The website builder has a powerful blogging engine. It is possible to run a quality blog with it. It’s up to you to update the resource when required as well as to customize its design with regard to your special preferences.
Small Business:Adobe Muse allows starting websites for entrepreneurs, offering an extensive feature set for this purpose.Squarespace works great for small business website development. It lets you integrate business widgets, media files, Acuity Platform as well as useful statistics tracking and email marketing tools.
Pricing:The website builder offers monthly and annual plans to come up to versatile users’ needs.The website builder has a 14-day free trial and several pricing plans for standard and eCommerce websites. Their cost starts from $12/mo.
SEO:The platform allows setting up SEO parameters for your project in the manual mode. It also offers automated sitemap generation for more effective website promotion.Squarespace is a SEO-friendly website builder. Along with the opportunity to individually fill out the main SEO parameters for effective website promotion, it also allows hiding your website (or its pages) from indexing by the search engines.
Customer Support:Customer support has been discontinued along with the software updates since May 2020.24/7 Live Chat, Ticketing System, Community Forum, Email Support, FAQ section.

Comparison Conclusion: Which One Is Better?

The choice between Adobe Muse and Squarespace doesn’t have to be complicated. The systems differ from each other in the feature sets, options and designs provided.

Squarespace is simple, convenient and user-friendly. You don’t have to possess coding skills to create websites with it. One of the major advantages of the service is extensive integrated eCommerce functionality, which makes it possible to design functional online stores.

Adobe Muse may seem a bit complicated to those users, who work with it for the first time and have never seen any other Adobe products before. Unlike Squarespace, Adobe Muse lacks integrated eCommerce and blogging features yet it’s possible to launch a web store or a blog with it by connecting extra plugins. What’s more, Adobe Muse has been discontinued, which makes it impossible to work with it. Thus, the conclusion is obvious: if you need a quality website builder, go ahead to use Squarespace.

Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: Which is Better?
  • Desktop web design software
  • No eCommerce/blogging engine
  • Monthly/annual plans
  • Discontinued since May 2020
Adobe Muse vs Squarespace: Which is Better?
  • Powerful all-in-one website builder
  • Integrated eCommerce/blog platform
  • Acuity scheduling platform
  • Unfold App - Storytelling tool

About the Author

I'm Howard Steele, the founder and editor-in-chief of this website. With over 10 years of web building I know how complicated and tiresome this task can be for a non-IT person. Can’t decide which service to choose? Feel free to ask me for advice. Just describe your website needs, and I’ll gladly help you.

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