Adobe Portfolio and Squarespace are two well-recognizable website building platforms popular with users around the globe. Both have been in the niche for a while, having made the names for themselves due to the ease of use and range of features to create different website types. In spite of some things in common, the two platforms serve different goals.
Adobe Portfolio is a website builder designed mainly to create catchy portfolios. It was launched with the needs of creatives in mind, who intend to present their works or services to the target audience. Squarespace is a more versatile website building instrument, which provides a broad range of options and web design features out of the box to let users run quality websites (see examples).
SPOILER: Squarespace is better – read the Conclusion.
Website Builders Comparison Chart
|Best for:||Professional portfolios||Blogs, small business websites, professional portfolios, web stores|
|Templates:||12 mobile-ready themes||Dozens of free responsive templates|
|Technical Support:||Extended Help Center, YouTube videos, community support, forums, guides and tutorials||Live Chat, Email Support, Community Forum, Ticketing System, FAQ section|
|Blogging Options:||No||Integrated blogging CMS|
|SEO Options:||Standard SEO settings||Advanced SEO parameters|
|Pricing:||Starts from $9.99/mo||Starts from $12/mo|
|More info:||Adobe Portfolio Review →||Squarespace Review →|
Our today’s rumble is both to compare the two platforms and 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. Which of them, however, can overcome its competitor in terms of functionality and flexibility? That’s exactly what we are going to find out further.
Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace: General Overview
Adobe Portfolio is a website builder that serves the only mission – creation and management of professional portfolio projects. 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.
Having been in the web design market for quite a long period of time, Adobe Portfolio has become a professional web design tool to everyone, who has decided to start a portfolio website. As of today, the number of live websites started with the platform has reached 122 049 project, while the overall number of system subscribers now constitutes 163 421 users.
The system works equally well for beginners and for web design pros as it does not imply the awareness of coding nuances. However, the website builder lacks some of the features that are as must-have for any professional website builder. These include eCommerce and blogging engines, SEO settings and many more. So, if you need a quality portfolio only, the website builder might work pretty well for you.
Squarespace is a popular all-in-one website builder, the area of specialization of which is not limited by portfolio development only. The platform like its competitors allows starting different types of websites, which feature high quality and worthy performance. These include blogs, cover pages, small business websites, landing pages and even small/medium web stores. The website builder is a niche web design solution for newbies and it also works well for professionals willing to go online with their advanced web projects.
Launched in 2014 as a SaaS content management system, Squarespace boasts intuitive WYSIWYG editor, a selection of customizable and responsive templates, intuitive interface, and more. Currently, the website builder powers 2 270 402 live websites, while the total number of its subscribers has reached 3 855 807 users.
To sum it up, website builders differ a lot in their functionality and sphere of application. Adobe Portfolio is used exclusively for portfolio creation, while Squarepsace is the all-in-one platform that works great for all types of web projects. This also explains the difference in the statistics – the number of websites powered by Squarespace is impressive and it notably prevails over the number of projects started with Adobe Portfolio.
Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace: Which One Is Easier to Use?
Adobe Portfolio is quite a simple website builder that offers intuitive navigation asdn easy website editing process. It’s quite easy to get started with the platform. During the sign up process, you will have to pick 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.
As you keep working with the system, you won’t have to dive deep into details as the website builder does not imply the knowledge of programming nuances. It also easily integrates with Google Cloud, which works fine whenever you need to update already existing photos and content. The main mission of the platform is to let users start and edit dynamic galleries, impressive portfolios and cover pages within the shortest time possible. That’s what most users value most about it.
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. The platform also offers email support and it also encompasses multiple tutorials and guidelines that help you get started and work with the system in the best way possible.
Squarespace is an easy-to-use website builder, which offers a simplified approach to the website design process. This becomes possible due to the integrated WYSIWYG editor that lets you control the task and watch all the steps of the design process in details. The process of registering with the service is easy, fast and convenient. To some extent, it is similar to that offered by Adobe Portfolio.
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. The website builder does not have a preview option and this is what may somewhat complicate the web design process for beginners.
As to the customer support, Squarespace also offers email assistance as well as a powerful Help Center. There is also a Live Chat feature here for instant contacting, video tutorials, useful guidelines and community support.
Speaking about ease of use, 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.
Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace: Design 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 highlight some of the key differences.
Adobe Portfolio doesn’t have an integrated eCommerce engine at all and, thus, it can offer you nothing related to web store creation and management. To some extent, this seems really strange considering the cover page building functions of the website builder. What should a photographer do in case he or she wants not just to showcase his or her works, but also to sell services online? Squarespace looks like a better option here.
Squarespace is a website builder that comes with an integrated eCommerce engine. The system 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. this is enough to start quite a nice web store to offer your products/services for sale.
When it comes to the eCommerce aspect, there is nothing to compare here at all. Adobe Portfolio doesn’t have an eCommerce engine, while Squarespace has the one that lets you start and manage a small-to-medium web store.
Widgets and Add-Ons
Adobe Portfolio cannot boast an extensive collection of third-party integrations and widgets but this is mainly because it 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. It 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.
Squarespace looks a bit more versatile in terms of add-ons and widgets. The website builder has a selection of add-ons that include social sharing buttons, integrated analytics and metrics, contact forms, Google Maps and more. At the same time, we should keep in mind some baseline eCommerce features delivered by Squarespace as well.
As to the integration options, Squarespace has more to offer here as well. The website builder comes with a distinctive collection of social sharing tools integrated analytics, metrics, contact forms etc. Adobe Portfolio, in its turn, has a limited set of widgets, but they mostly center around portfolio/gallery presentation features.
Domain and Hosting Management
Adobe Portfolio domain and hosting management options require special attention. This is because the website builder 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.
Squarespace is the 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.
Speaking about domain and hosting management, Squarespace offers a much more simplified approach. The website builder provides these features by default – just pick a plan to get a domain name and have your project hosted with the platform. Adobe Portfolio, in its turn, doesn’t provide such an option, making users register and host their project domains on their own. That’s a real disadvantage, especially for first-timer subscribers.
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.
After you have successfully signed in, you will find yourself in the dashboard with the template you have chosen. The system will provide you with a toolbar that comes with the required set of design customization tools available in the left sidebar. Unlike traditional WYSIWYG website builders, though, Adobe Portfolio does not have a typical drag-and-drop editor, although, its ready-to-use templates also come with a number of baseline sections and pages that you may change or customize. This 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.
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.
Just like Adobe Portfolio, the system grants access to its toolbar with a set of features available in the left sidebar. The website builder comes with a standard WYSIWYG drag-and-drop editor, which makes it easier for beginners to control the wb design process. Users 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.
When it tackles the design aspect, Squarespace boasts a wider selection of templates in addition to its custom Cover Page builder and HTML/CSS access. It also has a standard WYSIWYG editor that lets you stay in charge of the process of website creation. Adobe Portfolio offers a less intuitive template editing procedure that may take more time and effort.
Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace: General Pricing Comparison
Adobe Portfolio is free for all Creative Cloud users and this is the main difference between the platforms. If you are not included into the list of the system subscribers, you will be offered several pricing options to choose from. Here they go.
- Starting Plans ($9.99/mo) – all popular products including Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom Classic CC;
- Advanced Plan ($19.99/mo) – all Adobe products and 1TB of storage;
- Creative Cloud Complete Plan ($52.99/mo) – unlimited access to the full set of Adobe tools and features.
Squarespace makes it possible to test its integrated functionality for free. As the trial period ends, you will be offered to upgrade to one of the paid subscriptions. Squarespace prices range from $12 for a Personal Plan (good for blogs and portfolios) to $40 per month with a couple of eCommerce packages. Have a look at them now.
- Personal ($12/mo billed annually) – free custom domain, website metrics, SSL Security, unlimited bandwidth and storage, 2 contributors, 24/7 customer support, SEO features;
- Basic Commerce ($26/mo billed annually) – powerful integrated eCommerce analytics, customer accounts, Instagram synchronization, domain checkout feature etc.;
- Advanced Commerce ($40/mo billed annually) – abandoned shopping cart recovery, limited availability labels, gift cards, APIs for order and inventory, advanced shipping and discounts etc.
As to the pricing policy, 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.
Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace: Which One Is the Best for SEO?
Adobe Portfolio 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. Thus, the website builder doesn’t offer any advanced SEO features, but this is not quite necessary, when it comes to portfolio development and promotion.
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. Additionally, the website builder automatically generates headings for posts and items that can further be used as SEO titles for separate website pages. At the same time, it is impossible to manually set up SEO parameters and website titles here. The undeniable advantage of the system is the opportunity to hide some of your website pages (as well as the entire website) from indexing by the search engines.
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 offers more advanced SEO settings as compared to Adobe Portfolio. This contributes to better promotion of its websites in the search engines.
Which One Is the Best for Portfolio Website – Adobe Portfolio or Squarespace?
Adobe Portfolio has the only crucial mission – letting users start dynamic, impressive portfolio websites and cover pages. It helps creatives present their talent and services in the most favorable light to attract the attention of the target audience. The system integrates with Google Cloud services, which allows for easy and quick content update. What’s more, integration with Creative Cloud is free for all the system subscribers. This lets users save the budget they plan to invest into their project.
As far as the website builder is portfolio-focused, it delivers an impressive set of tools needed to create appealing galleries and work with images. Adobe Portfolio provides baseline options to import photo collections with a few clicks only. The system offers simple project importing feature realized via Photoshop Lightbox, Behance and Adobe Stock integration. Additionally, it offers automatic image resizing, instant image depiction and importing, opportunity to create the unlimited number of photo collections, automated image optimization and other portfolio-related features. The website builder offers quite a limited set of templates – there are only 12 of them here. Each of these themes, though, is stylish and mobile-ready by default. They can be used to start a professional portfolio project.
Squarespace also works well for the development of quality portfolio websites. Along with the extensive collection of responsive portfolio templates, the website builder offes Google Maps embedding feature, integration of online forms and analytic tools, organization of email marketing campaigns etc. There is access to the built-in Logo maker and Image Editor that make it possible to work with images. The real highlight of the website builder is its eCommerce and blogging engines that let users both create their portfolios, stay connected with the target audience and sell their products/works of art/services on the web. Finally, Squarespace boasts its high end Unfold App, which allows creating and sharing visually impressive posts that drive user attention.
Speaking about portfolio creation, both website builders have much to offer. Adobe Portfolio is a specialized platform, which deals exclusively with portfolio design and promotion. The toolset and features it offers are geared towards this mission and, thus, work great for the effective completion of this mission. Squarespace is a more feature-laden and functional platform. It grants access to the broad set of tools provided out-of-the-box. This makes it possible to use the service for quality portfolio creation.
Key Differences Between Adobe Portfolio and Squarespace
|Ease of Use:||Adobe Portfolio is quite an easy website builder. It does not imply the knowledge of HTML/CSS coding basics and provides versatile customer support options to let you get started with ease.||Squarespace is a drag-and-drop cloud website builder. It is a nice solution for users with diverse coding skills. The system can be used to run web stores, business projects, blogs, portfolios, landing pages etc.|
|Functionality:||The platform comes with a broad spectrum of features that are geared towards portfolio website development. There is an opportunity of widget integration, instant image importing and optimization feature, Behance integration, free availability of Creative Cloud services for the system subscribers etc.||The website builder comes with integrated WYSIWYG editor, Logo Maker, blogging and eCommerce engines, social integrations, SEO tools, Cover Page Builder, statistics tracking options, advanced Google Maps embedding and marketing features, Unfold App and high end Acuity Scheduling platform.|
|Design:||The website builder comes with 12 templates only, which are mobile-ready and customizable by default. The designs are free and viewable on desktop and mobile devices. No coding skills are needed to edit them.||Squarespace designs collection includes dozens of quality and responsive templates. They make it possible to start various projects, which are fully-customizable and professional.|
|eCommerce:||Adobe Portfolio doesn’t have an eCommerce engine and thus, it is currently impossible to create a web store with it.||Squarespace eCommerce platform allows launching and updating small and medium web stores, assigning their special parameters.|
|Blogging:||The platform does not allow for blog creation as well.||With Squarespace, you can start a professional blog. It’s up to you to update and edit it when required as well as to customize its design with regard to your project and industry requirements.|
|Small Business:||Adobe Portfolio is not meant for the development of small business projects. However, you can start a portfolio website to further use it as a business project.||The system works well for small business website development. It lets you integrate business widgets, numerous media files, Acuity Platform as well as useful email marketing and statistics tracking tools.|
|Pricing:||The website builder is free for all Creative Cloud subscribers. Other users may work with it by picking one of the paid plans. Their cost starts from $9.99/mo.||Squarespace comes with a 14-day free trial and several pricing solutions. The subscriptions are meant for standard and eCommerce websites. Their cost starts from $12/mo.|
|SEO:||Adobe Portfolio websites are optimized for the search engines. You can adjust general SEO settings here, including title and description creation, favicon and website icon upload etc. Analytics integration is available here as well.||Squarespace is a SEO-friendly website builder. Apart from the opportunity to fill out the major SEO parameters for effective website promotion, the system also lets you hide your website (or its separate pages) from indexing by the search engines.|
|Customer Support:||Informative Help Center, forums, community support, YouTube videos, guides and tutorials||24/7 Live Chat, Email Support, FAQ section, Ticketing System, Community Forum|
Comparison Conclusion: Which One Is Better?
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 flexibility and functionality 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. This eventually lets you get the most out of your portfolio creation, reaching the goals you have set in advance. This is what makes Squarespace the leader of the comparison.