Adobe Portfolio – is a worthy platform for both beginner photographers and dedicated pros looking for a simple way to establish a recognizable public face online. While professional galleries are probably the best way to introduce your skills and creativity, Adobe Portfolio appears to be a solid software that lets you manage and curate the content as well as benefit from worthy design features, build catchy dynamic galleries, and introduce yourself to the global web audience.
The platform has already been on the website building market for a while. It has some obvious pros considering its professional design tools although newbies might find working with the tool a bit daunting form the start. The system is not as easy as you might expect. At the same time, there are no eCommerce features to sell your services. On the other hand, Adobe Portfolio still has something to offer in terms of professional galleries and photographers’ cover pages.
1. Ease of Use
Adobe Portfolio is free for Creative Cloud users. The system was initially launched as a website building tool for dummies. It means that the building process does not require any HTML or CSS knowledge. Adobe Portfolio creators claim it is very easy to use although page customization may be a bit more time-consuming if compared to typical WYSIWYG editors.
Software’s main mission is to let users create dynamic galleries, beautiful portfolios, and cover pages at less time. Moreover, the system makes it easy to update already existing content featuring the Google Cloud integration, which is good in case you need to reduce the pressure on your wallet.
Before you dive into the building process, you will need to choose whether your plan to create a gallery or a one-page site to introduce your services. In our review, let’s consider you need a stunning image gallery to highlight some of your best works.
The next stage is to choose a theme for your future site. The platform offers 12 different layouts available from the start. It will hardly be a problem to replace the theme even during the customization process. So, do not be afraid to experiment with various templates. The last step is to sign in using your Google or Facebook account (or simply indicate your email and password). You will get a confirmation letter while the system will automatically transfer you to the dashboard.
The template you choose will already have baseline pages including your works and contacts. You may start editing them as well as create new pages. Users will find all necessary tools in the left sidebar. Here you may add new albums, galleries or pages as well as upload your own images, etc. To make things easier for users, there is an integration feature that lets you import all your photos from Behance, Photoshop or Adobe Stock.
Here you may also change gallery fonts, add text blocks, “About Me” sections, change the theme layout depending on your preferences, etc. The overall editing process is pretty simple. However, some issues look a bit strange. For example, each new page is automatically displayed in the menu with no chance to edit it. Moreover, you will need to create a page from scratch with no ready-made section layouts.
General settings make it possible to create an SEO-friendly website title and description. Here you may also upload icons and favicon as well as integrate analytics.
Adobe Portfolio is truly for dummies considering its inline editing feature and intuitive interface. However, some aspects of the building process might require more time to figure out.
2. Features and Flexibility
Adobe Portfolio has all the tools you need to work with images and create attractive galleries to showcase your works. It offers a baseline integration functionality to import photo collections with just several clicks. At the same time, users will access some solid design features and more. Here are some core capabilities you would appreciate:
- Simple Project Importing – integration with Photoshop Lightbox, Behance or Adobe Stock make it easy and fast to upload your projects.
- Automatic Image resizing – the system will automatically optimize your images and reduce the resolution in case of necessity. It will improve the load time despite the file format. You are free to upload even RAW images synced with your Adobe Cloud. The feature optimized the disk space usage while users are not forced to change color or pixel settings.
- Instant Image Depiction – Adobe Portfolio synchronizes all your image versions no matter how many times you change or edit it. Unlike other software that takes down the old version and creates a new upload, Adobe Portfolio updates the new edit instantly every time you need to tweak the photo.
- Unlimited Photo Collections – we have stated earlier, that creating a new collection requires building a new page. What might look like a drawback at first eventually turns into an advantage, as users are free to create as many collections as they need? You may display various topical collections combining works of different genres and styles.
- Link a Domain – the system lets you connect your own domain to boost the website’s recognition. However, the integration process is far from being a walk in the park. To replace a built-in Adobe domain, you will need a custom name bought via the platform or other services like GoDaddy or Dreamhost. If you buy a domain through Portfolio, it will be hosted by Namecheap. The key problem is that all settings should be done manually. A user is responsible for modifying DNS Records as well as indicating correct IP address and host. To find the IP address you need, you should go to general Portfolio settings and look it up in the “Connect domain” section.
We should also mention that all Creative Cloud users might access a huge collection of Adobe fonts in addition to advanced security means, password protection, etc. We failed to find at least basic eCommerce features. It might be a drawback for people who sell images online. On the other hand, you may insert the link that will redirect your visitors to the checkout page.
As we have already said, the system offers about 12 different themes. All templates are mobile-friendly featuring adoptive galleries and styles. It means that your portfolio will run smoothly on mobile devices as well. The design is good. The only problem is that there is not as much space for on-page customization as some may expect. There is actually nothing to customize with the exception of gallery types and text blocks.
On the other hand, the selection of gallery layouts is wide. Here you may choose a full-width style or create several dynamic galleries and Lightroom albums at the same time. Seamless importing and social media integration let you easily upload your professional collections and share them with users online.
4. Customer Support
Adobe has risen up a huge community of followers. They include users from around the globe that are always ready to help via relevant forums, YouTube videos, etc. As for the platform itself, it has a huge Help Center with tons of articles covering different process stages. Here you may find guides on how to integrate Adobe products, portfolio building basics, website settings, troubleshooting, etc.
The software has a separate Pricing & Billing FAQ describing the use of Creative Cloud membership and other financial aspects. Users may also opt for a traditional mailing system to get in touch. Simply submit your claim and wait for responses. No live chat feature or phone support is available for subscribers.
5. Pricing Policy
Adobe Portfolio is integrated with the Adobe Creative Cloud. It means that Creative Could subscribers may use the platform free. If you are not a lucky Adobe user, you are still free to purchase any of the available Adobe Photographer packages. They have everything you need to create a professional gallery and go online. The Creative Cloud Photographer plans are as follows:
- The Starting Plans will cost you $9.99. It includes access to major Adobe products such as Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom Classic CC as well as website customization features in addition to 20GB of storage.
- The Advanced Plan costs $19.99 per month and has the same features as the previous one. The only difference is that you get 1TB of storage.
- Creative Cloud Complete Plan will cost you $52.99 per month. It provides full access to all Adobe apps and functionality.
On the one hand, Adobe plans are not much flexibility. On the other hand, they come with everything you need during the building process. Also note that you will need to register and manage your domain separately, which will cost you from $10 to $20 annually.
6. Pros and Cons
Adobe Portfolio is a simple and effective tool in terms of creating a photographer’s portfolio. It has a pack of good features to create dynamic galleries as well as unlimited photo collections. The system has a set of stylish layouts although with not as many customization tools as you might expect.
| ✔ Instant image importing.|
✔ Integration with Behance.
✔ Stylish and mobile-friendly templates.
✔ Automated photo optimization.
✔ Free for Creative Cloud users.
| ✘ No eCommerce tools.|
✘ No advanced SEO settings.
✘ No access to CSS to customize templates.
✘ Pricy plans.
✘ No email hosting. You will need to host it separately.
The Bottom Line
Adobe Portfolio might be a good platform to build a stunning portfolio only in case you have a Creative Cloud subscription and use other Adobe apps and tools. If you only plan to purchase the subscription, you would probably want to review some other website building platforms with more affordable plans and a wider selection of features including eCommerce, SEO, blogging, etc.
On the one hand, the software looks like a professional instrument to go online and represent your public face. On the other hand, it obviously lacks flexibility in term of on-site customization and future project growth.