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Semplice vs Squarespace: Which Is Better?

Semplice vs Squarespace: Which Is Better?

Semplice and Squarespace are quality web design platforms that can both be used for effective portfolio development and promotion. They cover an extensive range of users’ needs, being a top solution for artists, models, photographers and other representatives of creative professions willing to showcase their works and services to the advantage. Despite their portfolio focus, the systems still have a number of distinctions that differ them from each other. These differences may notably affect users’ choice.

While Semplice is initially a portfolio website builder, Squarespace is the all-in-one platform that can be equally used to start different types of websites, including full-featured portfolios. This explains the fact that it has a more extensive sphere of application, offering an advanced integrated functionality by default.

Website Builders Comparison Chart

Our score:          
Best for:Portfolio websitesBlogs, small business websites, professional portfolios, web stores
Templates:No ready-made templatesDozens of free responsive templates
Technical Support:Video tutorials, FAQ, Help Center, extensive social media communityLive Chat, Email Support, Community Forum, Ticketing System, FAQ section
Blogging Options:Blog creation opportunityIntegrated blogging CMS
SEO Options:Standard SEO settingsAdvanced SEO parameters
Pricing:From $99Starts from $12/mo
More info:Semplice Review →Squarespace Review →

The website builders prove to be a nice choice, when it comes to portfolio creation and customization. The systems have the entire feature set required to run such projects, but there are also tools and high end solutions that make each of them stand out from the crowd. To understand which platform exactly has more to offer and which of them works best for your individual requirements, have a look at the detailed comparison of the systems now.

Semplice vs Squarespace: General Overview

Semplice vs Squarespace: General Overview

Semplice is a self-hosted portfolio website builder, which was created “by designers for designers” and this is what makes it a great pick for creatives willing to offer their works/services for sale. The platform is powered by WordPress and positions itself as an advanced portfolio design tool, delivering full-scale technology.

The system was created in 2014 and it now enjoys notable popularity with the target audience. There is no need to learn coding basics to work with the platform yet the system grants access to the source code, making it possible to create truly unique and personalized projects. It also comes with high end design customization tools and powerful integrations that ensure worthy result in the long run.

Squarespace is one of the most popular website builders available in the modern web design market. The system has much to offer to the target audience, being a perfect choice for digital stores, small business projects, blogs and portfolios. No coding expertise is required to create web projects with it – so intuitive, fast and convenient its dashboard and control panel are. This is what makes it a handy tool for all user categories, including non-techies.

Squarespace was created in 2003 and, thus, its customer base is quite stunning. What’s more, it keeps increasing with every passing year. According to recent statistics, the number of the system subscribers has exceeded 4, 092, 388 users, while that of live websites the platform currently powers has reached 2, 583, 557 projects. These numbers are more than impressive and they really speak for themselves.

Semplice and Squarespace both work well for portfolio development yet the systems offer diverse features to complete the task. Squarespace enjoys greater user popularity and it has more powerful integrated functionality – just have a look at statistics to make sure of the platform’s credibility.

Semplice vs Squarespace: Which One Is Easier to Use?

Semplice vs Squarespace: Which One Is Easier to Use?

Semplice is a downloadable portfolio design software, the feature set of which goes down to the development of these projects, highlighting creative works/services, engaging user interest and starting email campaigns. The website builder works best for art directors, photographers, web/graphic designers, artists, models and other users, who may require worthy online presentation.

The website builder is quite easy-to-use, even if you cannot boast sufficient web design background. It does not imply in-depth coding proficiency to reach a high end result. Having downloaded and installed the software, you will immediately get access to the visual editor of the system, original source code and other tools needed to start your first portfolio. The system offers limited drag-and-drop functionality, but this does not restrict users’ creative freedom.

Semplice visual content editor

If there is anything you don’t understand about the software or if you’re going to use it for the first time, you may require third-party assistance. Unlike standard website builder, Semplice does not offer typical customer support. You won’t find a Live Chat or phone assistance here. Instead, you will be able to use fast email support, browse informative Help Center with useful video tutorials, comprehensive FAQ section, rich Knowledge Base as well as consult with the growing social media community.

Squarespace is not a simple website builder, especially for users, who don’t have any web design background. However, it doesn’t take much time to explore and master it to the advantage. The sign up process is easy and quick here. Having completed the task, you will get access to the dashboard, which is intuitive enough to understand all the intricacies of the web design procedure.

Squarespace Page Editor

The website builder has a convenient WYSIWYG editor, which makes portfolio creation clear and fast. What you need to get started is to pick a template and use the abundance of design customization tools to give your portfolio high end design. Mind, however, that the system does not have a preview feature, which makes it impossible to see the result of your website creation in progress. Instead, you will have to publish our portfolio to see the way it looks and to make edits afterwards. This is not quite convenient for beginners.

Squarespace offers helpful and versatile customer support. There is a Help Center with informative tutorials and video guidelines here, a blog, how-to guides and FAQ section. Additionally, users have an opportunity to get in touch with the support team via the Live Chat or email realized in the form of the ticketing system.

As to the ease of use, Semplice seems to be a simpler platform because of its limited narrow functionality. Squarespace definitely has more extensive web design options, which imply certain time/effort investment for proper exploration and effective portfolio management.

Semplice vs Squarespace: Design and Flexibility

Semplice vs Squarespace: Design and Flexibility

Semplice is a niche website builder, which comes with a rich set of integrated portfolio-related features and tools. As opposed to it, Squarespace is the all-in-one platform, which grants access to a more extensive range of design customization options. Both systems work well in their niches, but they have common features along with those that distinguish them from each other. To define the one, which works best for your individual requirements and needs, it initially makes sense to compare their integrated functionality. Read on to find out more about that.


Semplice doesn’t have an integrated eCommerce engine. Thus, it is impossible to start a web store with it or to connect the one to your portfolio website. This is a notable demerit for a website builder of this type. To launch a digital store with Semplice, though, you’ll have to use specialized eCommerce tools/plugins for WordPress websites, such as WooCommerce.

Squarespace has a powerful eCommerce platform, which lets you start a quality full-featured small/medium digital store. This lets you both showcase your works/services to the target audience and sell them online. The website builder generally makes it possible to sell up to 100 products, adjust payment/shipping/tax parameters, update and customize product lists, add and manage online orders, track web store/customer statistics to make sure your web store functions as required.

Squarespace edit product

If you already own an online shop created with another eCommerce platform like Shopify or BigCartel, for example, the system lets you import the products from these systems to your Squarespace-based web store.

As to the eCommerce aspect, there is nothing to compare here at all. As opposed to Semplice, which does not have any eCommerce options at all, Squarespace comes with a powerful integrated eCommerce engine that lets you run a small/medium web store.


Semplice makes it possible for its users to create small blogs with a few clicks only. These projects can be managed in two ways – either from the Semplice dashboard or from the WordPress control panel that grants access to the set of content editing tools available in the CMS. However, blog management options are quite limited here, which prevents you from starting full-featured projects.

Squarespace has a feature-rich integrated blogging platform you can use to start and manage a quality blog. You can use it to schedule/post articles, customize blog/post URLs, set up GEO tags along with other blog-related features. Additionally, the system allows connecting Google Analytics.

Squarespace Blogging

This is helpful, when it comes to tracking your blog stats to be able to manage the project with regard to your needs. Finally, you can enable commenting and multiple author support features, which also matter a lot for effective blog management. Do you have a blog started with any other platform like WordPress, Blogger, Posterous or Tumblr, for example? Then feel free to import it to Squarespace as the website builder supports this option as well.

When it comes to blogging, Squarespace has more to offer. The website builder comes with a powerful blogging engine that lets you start and manage quality blogs to boost your portfolio functionality. Semplice blogging options, however, are quite limited as it allows starting small blogs only.

Portfolio Management Options

Semplice unveils multiple portfolio creation and management options. This is quite understandable due to the niche specialization of the website builder. The system allows starting feature-rich portfolios, which can be effectively customized and managed in the visual content editor. This is where you can add new sections or edit the existing ones, change fonts and background colors, customize margins, add buttons, upload images and videos etc.

Portfolios created with Semplice rarely look the same. This is because the website builder provides advanced features for effective customization of each project. It offers a set of high end typography tools for correct content formatting as well as an opportunity to use the cover preset option that lets you create a personalized cover from scratch. The system also grants access to multiple quality portfolio grids (visual, text or split grids) users may choose from. What’s more, the platform integrates with MailChimp to let you grow your mailing lists. There is also an opportunity to keep your portfolio safe by using a Private Project feature – it’s only up to you to decide whether it makes sense to provide project access or not.

Semplice select your cover preset

To simplify the system use, Semplice makes it possible to browse its collection of integrated video tutorials. This will especially be helpful to first-time users, who may require assistance on any stage of the portfolio development process. What matters a lot here is that each user can watch video tips anytime without the need to leave the editor.

Squarespace abounds in portfolio management features that contribute to the development and promotion of feature-rich websites. The system comes with an integrated Page Editor that lets you edit website pages in a simple and intuitive way. There is also access to HTML/CSS editing tools that lets you create individual portfolio design. Image Manager is available here as well, making it possible to edit your images to improve their quality.

Along with standard typography options, Squarespace allows applying visual and animation effects to separate pages. Likewise, it is possible to independently edit image blocks and buttons, customize product pages and special item parameters. The website builder allows using its Logo Maker to create your individual business/portfolio logo, if you don’t have the one yet. This is done with a few clicks only.

Squarespace logo maker

Squarespace abounds in powerful integrations. You can choose from multiple add-ons and widgets that can notably boost your portfolio design and performance. Among widgets you may pick, it makes sense to mention Google Analytics, contact forms, Google Maps, social sharing buttons and more. Among the undeniable highlights of the system, it makes sense to mention Unfold App – a free storytelling tool and Acuity Scheduling Platform that contributes to effective business management. Finally, the website builder provides an opportunity to launch email campaigns to boost your portfolio promotion opportunities.

As to portfolio management, Squarespace remains on the top of the list in this comparison. The website builder abounds in portfolio customization, promotion and marketing features that don’t require any knowledge or coding skills to be used to the advantage. Semplice functionality is not that impressive.

Template Editing

Semplice doesn’t have pre-designed templates. Instead, you should create new pages from scratch to build your own unique portfolio. At the same time, the system excels at animations and special visual effects that make your website one-of-a-kind. There are currently 27 pre-built animations along with the opportunity to create and add your own unique animations here. It is possible to add interactive animations here as well as preview each item before their integration.

Semplice design presets

The website builder lets you add gallery making elements and apply interactive options on them. You can also create full-screen image galleries, adjust style pagination features, add customizable arrows and use SVG support feature. The latter ensures smooth display of website elements and icons on mobile/desktop devices with various screen dimensions. As to template editing features, Semplice comes with intuitive dashboard that encompasses all pages in one place. Its drag-and-drop editor is convenient and easy to work with – just pick the required elements and drag them to your page. You can also create your own layout, upload images, add texts, create separate custom sections and complete other steps here. Prior to publishing the project, you can preview it and make edits, if required.

Squarespace boasts advanced design customization options. There is a collection of high end templates here, which currently includes over 105 free and completely responsive designs. They fall into various categories with regard to the niche specialization they belong to.

Squarespace template

The website builder does not imply coding proficiency, while the process of design customization is quite easy for everyone. At the same time, the system lets you use coding skills to edit website codes, if you have skills and desire to give your project a touch of personalization. The only thing is that you just need to get used to the dashboard of the system before using it. Squarespace has a Cover Page Builder with 29 pre-designed templates you can use to create professional portfolios.

The system comes with a convenient drag-and-drop editor, which contributes to smooth, fast and intuitive website development. Due to the integrated Style Editor, you will get access to high end design customization options, such as the opportunity to modify web page backgrounds, images, fonts, colors and other available elements.

When discussing the design customization aspect, Squarespace has more to offer. Along with a rich template gallery, the website builder allows using high end features and tools to create unique portfolio design. Semplice also provides a possibility to start a quality portfolio, but its integrated functionality is somewhat limited as compared to its rival.

Semplice vs Squarespace: General Pricing

Semplice vs Squarespace: General Pricing

Semplice is a downloadable software, which means that it doesn’t have any subscriptions. Instead, users may pick the required version of the program and make a one-time payment to use it. Currently, the system allows buying the following packages:

Semplice pricing

  • Single ($99) – baseline features, including access to the visual editor, code modules, gallery sliders etc.;
  • Studio ($138) – baseline features plus MailChimp and Instagram modules, advanced portfolio grids etc.;
  • Business ($599) – features included into Single and Studio packages plus 10 more licenses that make it possible to use the software for commercial needs.

Squarespace has a free trial that lasts for 14 days and lets you test the functionality of the system prior to upgrading to one of the paid plans. As soon as the trial comes to its end, you will be offered to pick one of premium subscriptions. There are currently 4 of them here, namely:

Squarespace price

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

Speaking about pricing, the website builders offer two quite different approaches. Semplice has three types of packages that require one-time payment, while Squarespace provides four paid plans that can be billed monthly or annually. When it comes to the cost aspect, Semplice is somewhat more expensive as compared to Squarespace.

Semplice vs Squarespace: Which One Is the Best for SEO?

Semplice vs Squarespace: Which One Is the Best for SEO?

Semplice comes with standard SEO settings, adjustment of which contributes to higher positions of your portfolio in the search engine results. To make your website content more search engine-friendly, the website builder lets you optimize web page titles and descriptions. This can be done in a special section of the dashboard.

Squarespace also offers quality SEO optimization. The website builder makes it possible to access the SEO section in the dashboard to fill out the required boxes there. Thus, you can adjust the main meta tags along with website descriptions and titles. The platform automatically generates headings for posts or products available on the page. These headings are further used as SEO titles. Manual adjustment of these parameters is currently unavailable here. What’s important, Squarespace allows hiding your portfolio from indexing until you make sure it is ready for publication.

In terms of Search Engine Optimization, Squarespace unveils more extensive options. The website builder lest you fill out the main SEO settings and it is also possible to hide your website from indexing here. This results in more effective portfolio promotion after its publication.

Which One Is the Best for Portfolio Website – Semplice or Squarespace?

Which One Is the Best for Portfolio Website - Semplice or Squarespace?

Semplice is a professional portfolio builder, which is powered by WordPress and requires download/installation. The system does not offer ready-made portfolio designs, but it allows starting a brand new project from scratch. There is no need to master coding basics to work with the platform, but it grants access to the source code and advanced design customization tools to ensure top notch result.

The website builder has an integrated blogging platform, a convenient drag-and-drop editor, high end and versatile portfolio grids, SEO optimization parameters, Private Project feature and useful integrations to ensure effective portfolio creation process.

Squarespace works well for portfolio development, customization and further promotion. The website builder comes with a collection of ready-made responsive templates suitable for customization, eCommerce and blogging engines, Logo Maker, useful integrations and abundance of design customization tools (see Squarespace portfolio examples).

There are also multiple marketing tools here, Google maps/web forms embedding option, Unfold App to post stories in social media and Acuity Scheduling platform to boost your website performance. All these features make it possible to start impressive portfolios with almost no special skills or extra knowledge required.

When it tackles the issue of portfolio creation, both Semplice and Squarespace are geared towards this goal. As a portfolio-focused system, Semplice provides a distinctive feature set required for the development of this type of projects. Squarespace, however, is a more multifaceted system and, thus, its functionality is more extensive, making it possible to create full-featured portfolio websites.

Key Differences Between Semplice and Squarespace

Ease of Use:Semplice is a portfolio website builder, which is powered by WordPress and requires download/installation. It is quite easy to use as it does not require coding proficiency.Squarespace is a cloud drag-and-drop website builder. It lets you launch different types of web projects, including portfolios. The system does not require programming skills, which is crucial for beginners.
Functionality:The website builder delivers a set of portfolio-related features that let you effectively present your works/services to the target audience. It comes with a built-in blogging engine, Private Project feature, advanced portfolio grids, image/content editing tools, useful integrations etc.The website builder has a simple WYSIWYG editor, useful social integrations, blogging and eCommerce engines, Logo Maker and other tools that ensure effective portfolio creation. When working on your project, you can also use a high end Cover Page Builder, Google Maps embedding feature, stats tracking tools, Acuity Scheduling Platform, Unfold App and other high end features.
Design:As a WP-powered system, Semplice doesn’t have pre-designed portfolio templates. There is an opportunity to start completely unique portfolios from scratch here. The platform makes it possible to design your own animations, using 27 ready-made effects and animations provided by default.Squarespace has a stunning collection of free, responsive, customizable and niche-specific templates. There is also access to powerful design customization tools here, Image and Style Editors, Logo Maker and other tools that let you create truly unique designs.
eCommerce:Semplice doesn’t have an integrated eCommerce engine. It’s impossible to start a web store with it.Squarespace comes with a built-in eCommerce engine.It lets you run and customize small/mid-size digital stores to offer services/products for sale.
Blogging:The website builder has a blogging engine, but its functionality is somewhat limited. Still, it is possible to start and manage a blog here to boost your portfolio popularity.With Squarespace, you can launch and customize quality blogs due to the integrated blogging platform. You can set up special blog parameters here, schedule posts, enable commenting feature etc.
Small Business:Semplice is geared towards portfolio development only and, thus, it can’t be used to start business projects unless they imply the need for portfolio creation.Squarespace is a nice pick for small business website creation. It allows integrating versatile business widgets and media files, while its high end Acuity Scheduling Platform along with effective stats tracking and email marketing tools ensure quality result.
Pricing:The website builder doesn’t have paid plans. Instead, it offers 3 types of packages to choose from. Their cost starts from $99.The website builder has a free 14-day trial and 4 paid subscriptions. Their cost starts from $12/mo.
SEO:Semplice comes with standard SEO settings you can set up as required to ensure nice promotion of your project in the search engines.Squarespace is a SEO-friendly website builder. Along with the opportunity to fill out basic SEO parameters for effective portfolio promotion, it also makes it possible to hide your website (or its pages) from indexing by the search engines.
Customer Support:Video tutorials, FAQ, Help Center, extensive social media community24/7 Live Chat, Ticketing System, Email Support, FAQ section, Community Forum

Comparison Conclusion: Which One Is Better?

As soon as you get an intention to start a portfolio website, you will undoubtedly encounter the problem of picking the best tool for the completion of this task. To ensure a worthy result, the platform should not only comply with your basic requirements, but it should also deliver niche-specific features that will make it possible to create an impressive and visually-appealing portfolio. Semplice and Squarespace both let you build this type of project yet there are many aspects that distinguish them from each other and may affect users’ choice.

Semplice – is a specialized WordPress-based portfolio builder. The system required download and installation yet it does not imply coding proficiency. It grants access to multiple tools/features that are a must for quality portfolio development yet it lacks baseline functionality.

Squarespace – is the all-in-one drag-and-drop website builder used for a variety of web design purposes. The system allows starting all types of websites. Portfolios are not an exception. The platform comes with advanced features that contribute to successful portfolio creation, management and promotion.

The choice between Semplice and Squarespace should not be complicated – Squarespace is the undeniable leader here. If your portfolio creation needs go far beyond starting a project for personal application and you need a feature-rich portfolio for professional presentation of your skills, then this is surely the top notch solution.

Semplice vs Squarespace: Which Is Better?
  • Specialized portfolio builder
  • Powered by WordPress
  • Extensive portfolio design capabilities
  • Lifetime license with fixed cost
Semplice vs Squarespace: Which Is Better?
  • All-in-one DIY website builder
  • Blogging and eCommerce included
  • Acuity Scheduling and Unfold App
  • Extensive customer support options

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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