Adobe Portfolio and Squarespace are two well-recognizable website building platforms popular with users around the globe.
Both have been for a while in the niche and made the names for themselves thanks to the ease of use and range of features to create different website type. In spite of some things in common, the two platforms serve different goals.
A Quick Snapshot:
Adobe Portfolio – is a website builder designed mainly to create catchy portfolios. It was initially launched to help photographers establish their online public face. The software brings some essential features to create dynamic image galleries, photographers’ cover pages, and more.
Squarespace – is a more versatile website building instrument. Launched in 2014 as a SaaS content management system, it boasts intuitive WYSIWYG editor, a selection of customizable and responsive templates, intuitive interface, and more. Although it was initially launched as a content-based website builder, today it lets users build cover pages, professional portfolios, small digital stores, etc.
Our today’s rumble is not actually to compare the two platforms but to show how each might help in particular situations. While Adobe Portfolio serves its main goal to let users create photographers’ portfolios, Squarespace provides a bit more freedom in terms of website types.
1. Ease of Use
Both platforms claim to have a simple site-building process. Both platforms do not require special knowledge or coding skills. In other words, you may create a site from scratch without HTML/CSS knowledge. However, Adobe Portfolio might look a bit confusing for beginners especially from the start while Squarespace simplified the process thanks to its intuitive WYSIWYG functionality. Before we dive into the technical details, let’s have a look at the signing in process.
At this stage, both platforms have literally the same procedure. For example, Adobe Portfolio will ask you to choose the website type first. It may be a portfolio to create dynamic galleries and showcase your works as well as a cover page to introduce yourself to the online audience. Squarespace establishes the same approach. The system will ask to indicate your project goals (sell products, promote your services, etc.) before the registration process to let you choose from a set of relevant templates to get started.
The only difference is that Squarespace offers more options in terms of layouts. At the same time, you may simply skip the first stage and go to the list of all available themes to choose the one you like. On the other hand, Adobe Portfolio can be integrated with Google Cloud, which works fine whenever you need to update already existing photos and content.
The last stage is to sign in and start the customization process. Once again, both platforms establish the same approach letting you sign in using social or google accounts or simply indicate a user’s name and password. Here you are at the dashboard with a chosen layout.
After you have successfully signed in, you will find yourself in the dashboard with the template you have chosen. Once again, Adobe Portfolio and Squarespace hardly differ at this stage. They even have a toolbar with all features in the same place (in the left sidebar). However, Squarespace comes with a drag-and-drop editor while Adobe Portfolio is a bit different from the traditional WYSIWYG editor.
Adobe Portfolio editor
Using Squarespace would be easier for newbies. They may easily change the existing layout page structure or design the one of their own. Moving or replacing blocks and elements is very simple. You may rearrange them as well as opt for the toolbar to add media files or other elements. Here we have the Style Editor with advanced settings not only to move or add new elements, but also to resize them, change fonts and colors, and more. By the way, you may ignore ready-made templates and implement your own design from blank using custom sections.
Squarespace page editor
Adobe Platform has a bit different customization functionality although its ready-to-use templates also come with a number of baseline sections and pages that you may change or customize. The platform does not have a typical drag-and-drop editor. It makes the process a bit more difficult. Moreover, some functions are confusing like creating a new page from scratch that will not have any of the elements or sections from the original layout. But the overall impression is that it is still pretty easy to use.
Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace: Squarespace will take you less time to create a website from scratch. However, the overall website building process looks almost the same with some slight differences, which make Adobe Editor a bit more complicated.
2. Features and Flexibility
It would be wrong of us to compare Adobe Portfolio and Squarespace as two equal website builders in terms of features and flexibility. As we have stated before, they serve different goals. However, we will and highlight some of the key differences.
Domain and Hosting Management
Website management is the first thing we need to mention. Squarespace is an all-in-one solution, which means the system will take care of your domain and hosting. You do not need to look for a best-matching server solution. Simply choose a plan depending on your goals and get a full set of features whether you need to create a digital store or a small business site.
Adobe Portfolio domain settings
The situation with Adobe Portfolio is more complicated. It does not have its own hosting or domain solution. Users will have to register and host their domain names manually. The good news is that the platform teams up with Namecheap that will host your site in case you buy a domain through Adobe Portfolio. The bad news is that you will need to handle all the settings manually from indicating required IP addresses to modifying DNS records. Newbies will hardly appreciate such an approach.
Both platforms let users care about their sites’ SEO friendliness. Of course, they should never be compared to more SEO oriented platforms like WordPress, for example, although they still offer some baseline optimization functionality. Squarespace has a pretty clear page configuration with boxes for meta titles and descriptions. Seamless social media integration will also be a good advantage for newbies. In all cases, no coding or special skills are required.
Squarespace SEO Settings
Adobe Portfolio also makes it pretty easy to boost the website’s SEO. Users may use the dashboard to upload site’s favicons for better recognition, integrate analytic tools, and edit titles and descriptions with a focus on keywords. Once again, no special would be necessary.
Widgets and Add-Ons
Squarespace looks a bit more versatile in terms of add-ons and widgets. However, this is only because Adobe Portfolio is mainly focused on building dynamic galleries and image collections of different styles. This is where the platform certainly wins. Users have a chance to create literally as many photo galleries as they need. Special tools make it easy to sort them out by categories for easy listing.
Moreover, the system will take care of the look of your galleries thanks to the automated resizing feature. The system will optimize your photos as well as disk space and synchronize your galleries with Adobe Cloud. No problem if you already have an existing project and want to import all your images to the new site. Adobe Portfolio can be integrated with Photoshop Lightbox, Behance or Adobe Stock to let you update the project with a couple of clicks.
However, this is where Adobe Portfolio benefits end. It actually brings nothing with the exception of gallery building and optimization features. On the other hand, Squarespace has a selection of add-ons that include social sharing buttons, integrated analytics and metrics, contact forms, and more. At the same time, we should keep in mind some baseline eCommerce features delivered by Squarespace as well.
No matter how strange it sounds but Adobe Portfolio can offer nothing related to eCommerce functionality, why is a bit strange considering its cover page building functions. What should a photographer do in case he or she wants not just to showcase his or her works but also sell services online? Squarespace looks like a better option here.
The system also lets you build professional portfolios with baseline selling functions as well as small digital stores. Users may sell up to 100 products as well as integrate some of the most popular payment options such as PayPal or Stripe. The platform has a simple product management editing system where you may change product descriptions or set new ones, edit, price, etc.
Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace: Adobe Portfolio lets you establish web presence but not actually sell services online. The lack of eCommerce features is a huge miss at least for now. This is where Squarespace looks more flexible.
Design Comparison Chart
|Number of Themes:||12||105|
|Custom Themes:||✔ YES||✘ NO|
|Visual Editor:||✔ YES||✔ YES|
|Responsive Design:||✔ YES||✔ YES|
|CSS Code Editing:||✔ YES||✔ YES|
Adobe Portfolio certainly lacks flexibility in terms of design. It offers about 12 different templates. They look pretty good and are mobile responsive. However, the system does not offer much on-page design and customization features. You actually have to work with what you get changing gallery styles and sizes.
Squarespace has a wider selection of themes. Users may choose from about 90 different templates that run smoothly on desktop versions as well as different types of mobile devices. The overall templates’ design looks good.
They are divided into categories for a faster search. The access to the website’s HTML/CSS is another huge plus in favor of Squarespace. Although it will work out for experienced developers, they may modify the page and style however they need. Make sure you have access to the Developer Platform with your plan. We should also mention the Squarespace Cover Page builder with 29 ready-to-use themes.
Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace: Squarespace boasts a wider selection of templates in addition to its custom Cover Page builder and HTML/CSS access.
4. Customer Support
As a part of Creative Cloud, Adobe Portfolio managed to gain a huge community of users and followers who discuss various technical and other issues on numerous forums and hundreds of threads. Squarespace does not have such a huge community although both platforms offer generally the same way to get in touch with the support team:
- Ticketing System – both website builders offer a traditional way to send an email with the claim or problem. However, Squarespace support team is faster to respond.
- Tutorials and Guides – while Adobe Portfolio has a huge Help Center with tons of articles and how-to guides, Squarespace comes with a more comprehensive approach sharing handy video tutorials, blog posts, and other useful info sources.
What’s more important, Squarespace has a Live Chat feature for instant contacting and Adobe Portfolio does not.
Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace: Squarespace offers more ways for users to resolve their issues as fast as possible. The lack of a Live Chat feature is not crucial for Adobe Portfolio users although it could be much of use.
5. Pricing Policy
The key difference between platforms in terms of pricing is the fact that Adobe Portfolio is free for all Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers. If you are not on the list of service users, the situation will be actually the same as for Squarespace users. Both systems offer several packages to choose from depending on your goals and functionality required.
Squarespace prices range from $12 for a Personal Plan (good for blogs and portfolios) to $40 per month with a couple of pf eCommerce packages:
- Business Plan costing $18 per month for a small digital shop to sell several items.
- Basic Online Store for a growing digital shop costing $26 per month.
- Advanced Online Store for large eCommerce projects selling hundreds of products.
As for the Creative Cloud Plans, they are as follows:
- Starting Plans will – $9.99 featuring all popular products including Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom Classic CC.
- Advanced Plan – $19.99/month with all Adobe products and 1TB of storage.
- Creative Cloud Complete Plan – $52.99/month with unlimited access to a full set of Adobe tools and features.
Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace: Adobe Portfolio plans may fit professional designers who may make the most of other Adobe products like Photoshop. If you do not need them and simply want to build a fully-featured website, Squarespace is a better option.
Our today’s review once again proves that choosing a website builder that meets your goals is the first and foremost step. It is vital to clearly understand your goals as well as the project’s prior objectives. Once you’ve got the full picture, the choice will hardly be a challenge. Do you need a professional portfolio or a website with over-than-average functionality?
Adobe Portfolio – is good when it comes to creative photographers’ cover pages or portfolios. Moreover, it could be a good idea in case you also plan to use other Adobe products. As a separate website builder, the platform lacks the flexibility to go further beyond dynamic galleries and image collections.
Squarespace – is a more flexible software letting you not just establish your web presence but also sell online. The all-in-one solution comes with a wider option of templates, more site customization features, and eCommerce functionality.
You should always look for project growing opportunities and opt for platforms that reserve more space for online business evolution.
Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace: Comparison Chart