You might create a website with no prior coding knowledge. But thankfully, you have a variety of platforms that can help you do that. For freelancers and other creatives in the industry, having a portfolio is necessary. You must have a portfolio so that it is easier to showcase your skills whenever you pitch a potential client. Portfolio websites also can help you attract potential clients who may land on your site across the web.
Adobe Portfolio and Squarespace are some common alternatives apart from the versatile WordPress, of course. These two services, although build for different purposes, can be helpful. They have their own similarities and differences, as well. So, choosing between them may require some prior knowledge of each. And that is what we are going to cover in this article precisely.
We will take you through the various features that are available in the two platforms, including their ease of use, templates, editing, and more, plus even their pricing to help you make an informed decision.
TL;DR? Then read our summarized version of the whole article below.
In this review, Squarespace is the winner. Despite Adobe Portfolio being the cheapest option, it falls short on features. And after all, Adobe Portfolio is not extremely cheaper; there is a tiny gap in terms of pricing between the two. Squarespace has a rich catalog of features that make it an outright winner. It has a WYSIWYG editor, many premade templates, eCommerce support, and also includes a hosting package. Apart from this, moving from other CMS’s is also made easy through its import feature available. Squarespace is also eCommerce friendly, and you can use your website to sell merchandise as well as services. Another vital functionality in Squarespace is the developer support, which enables developers even to customize sites built with this CMS even more. Not forgetting the SEO friendly nature of Squarespace. With all these features, which most of them lack in Adobe Portfolio, Squarespace is worth paying for. You can read the full in-depth review below.
Adobe Portfolio VS Squarespace: Features
Adobe Portfolio Features
Adobe Portfolio has several templates that you can choose from. Currently, there are only twelve templates to select. This number is minimal, and for someone who may wish to get extra customization, you may want to customize your theme more, so that it does not look like a copy-paste from another creative’s portfolio. The available templates are suitable for any creative field, though, ranging from illustration, photography, graphic design, fashion, web design, and architecture, among others.
Adobe Portfolio allows for customization of the provided templates. While getting started with Adobe Portfolio, you will be taken through several steps where you will be customizing your website to look and feel in a certain way, which is in the vision of your end product. You can create your pages, customize any design layout on your website, and even include unlimited galleries of your work. That should not be a problem since its an easy to get started with the process. If you prefer the “off-the-shelf” layout, then you can still go with the available templates. Adobe Portfolio’s design templates are also responsive. Which means that they are optimized to fit in any screen type without breaking. These platforms also give you a chance to preview the changes you make on the different screen layouts, including desktop, tablet, and mobile, as you edit.
Just like in WordPress, Adobe Portfolio is also included with a live preview editor so that you can view any changes you make without leaving the page. For drag and drop editing, do not consider Adobe portfolio as your go-to choice. Unlike most common editors in different CMS’s out there, Adobe Portfolio does no support drag and drop editing, which to some, is a bummer.
Domain and Hosting
Adobe does not have its own hosting or domain solution; that is why it allows you to use your custom domain name and host it with your own hosting provider. This will not sit well with beginners in the whole new world of hosting and domains. It would have been better if Adobe included a hosting option in their package. With Adobe Portfolio, you will have to buy a domain, set up your hosting account, pointing to the domain name servers (DNS), which is not an easy setup process for beginners. So, you will have to learn how to do this if you are not aware of how hosting can be setup. However, Adobe, in partnership with Namecheap, offers a way to host your domain with the latter in case you buy a domain with them from the Adobe dashboard. Notably, this does not eradicate the manual setup process of setting up your hosting service.
SEO friendliness is a core factor to look at when you want to create a website, even if it’s a mere portfolio website. Companies know that, and that is why anyone will pitch you this idea. Oh, our theme is SEO friendly and blah blah blah. But this is not just a pitch its something that you need to consider. Adobe Portfolio sites are SEO friendly. The platform allows you to customize some aspects of your website that can help boost SEO. This includes the ability to edit titles and descriptions, and the favicon. These are just basic SEO practices, but for advanced SEO options, you will have to rely on a versatile CMS like WordPress.
Widgets and Add Ons
With Adobe Portfolio, there are a few options. The number of widgets available out there that can be integrated with Adobe Portfolio are very little. As per now, Adobe allows integration with Photoshop Lightbox, Behance, or Adobe Stock. If you need more than this, Adobe Portfolio should not be among your alternatives.
Adobe Portfolio does not support eCommerce as per now. For creatives who may want to sell their merchandise, Adobe Portfolio is not an excellent choice for this. Although you can still sell merchandise even with no native support, native support usually delivers more functionality.
Squarespace certainly wins when it comes to templates. It offers a wide variety of templates than adobe portfolio. Squarespace being more than just a portfolio showcasing CMS, it has more functionality built inside. The platform has many templates that are put into categories, so it is even easier to find and use them. The categories range from portfolios, online stores, events, weddings, restaurants, photography, blogs & podcasts, and more. With these categories, Squarespace gives you a ton of options to choose from, unlike Adobe Portfolio.
On customizability, SquareSpace is more versatile, unlike the contender in this review – Adobe Portfolio. First, there is a range of templates to choose from. Other design features include the following;
Custom CSS – Squarespace allows you to make your website even more eye-catching with its built-in custom CSS editor. What’s good about this inbuilt CSS editor is that it also provides image and font file storage for CSS assets.
Chart Blocks – For those who may want to showcase interactive line graphs, bar graphs, and pie graphs that are fully responsive, Squarespace has you sorted out.
Font customization – Squarespace allows you to customize the fonts on your website. This can be easily done by choosing a curated set of fonts from Google’s font library or Type kit Fonts. By the way, this does not need you to insert any embedded codes.
Customizable Content Layouts – Each of Squarespace’s design includes an inbuilt Layout Engine and Content Block system that are fully customizable. Any site sections from pages, blog posts, footers, and sidebars can be any of the available content block types like video, audio, text, markdown, etc.)
Template Switching – This feature is a unique functionality that is only available on Squarespace. Template switching allows one to install multiple templates onto a single website and work with the multiple designs at once.
Style Editor – Squarespace allows you to customize almost anything on its templates to make your website look unique.
Starter Layouts – Creating a page on Squarespace is almost of no need. This is because it includes the necessary pages that are needed for a website, including the about page, contact pages, and more.
This feature makes it easy to work with images on Squarespace. It also ensures that images on pages load faster and are responsive. The image manager includes features like drag and drop editing, which enables one to drag images directly from your desktop to the browser window. The image loader is also responsive by including several scalable versions of the same image so that the appropriate one will load when on a particular screen type. Another excellent addition is the progressive loading function that ensures images on top of the page load first. Squarespace also includes Getty Images integration that gives its users access to over 40 million images from Getty Images’ collection of high-quality creative and editorial photos. Oh, and we will not forget to mention that you will still have to buy the images normally retailing at $10.
The image manager also allows image editing inside Squarespace. Other features include CDN integration, image SEO control, Focal Point Control, Lightbox presentation, and also Metadata Importing.
In addition to the image manager, Square space galleries feature allows you to add gallery blocks at any place on your website. They also include multiple lightweight hovers and transition effects, plus you can also add different content types like images, audio, and even video in one gallery.
SquareSpace’s WYSIWYG Editor allows you to customize any aspect of your website. The editor includes a drag and drop editor, and you can also do anything with it, including the addition of blocks, widgets, and more content types. The custom CSS editor also allows you to embed anything at any point on your website. Squarespace features include automatic text wrapping, automatic image scaling, markdown support, responsive design, full-screen editing, variant blocks like audio, video, gallery, amazon, map, index, menu, product, social, quote, and even button blocks among others. You can also collect emails thanks to the available user data collection features.
Squarespace is eCommerce friendly, unlike Adobe Portfolio. Some features targeted at eCommerce include the following; addition of unlimited products, product image zoom, product quick view, product embed, product merchandising, rich product descriptions, flexible product variants, point of sale, product importation, subscriptions, multiple payment methods, multiple currency accepted, customer accounts, gift cards, inventory management and orders, tax rate, ship station, orders API, among others.
Squarespace is also SEO friendly. And by the way, Squarespace includes the best SEO practices, so there is no need to rely on third-party plugins for that. Squarespace automatically generates Google Sitemaps. In addition to that, they also create a robots.txt file and link it to your sitemap, excluding the search points. You can also customize page titles and URLs to include focus keywords. Apart from this, Squarespace also includes automatic tagging, redirects, and canonical tagging. Also, it supports Facebook Open Graph and Google Author Rank and fights spam on your behalf.
Domain and Hosting
Unlike Adobe Portfolio, Squarespace makes it easy to get started. If you have no domain on your own, you can buy a domain from Squarespace. The platform has over 200 TLDs that are available to select from. If you purchase a domain with Squarespace, it includes free WHOIS privacy. For starters, Squarespace offers a custom domain for free. The company also provides hosting inside its packages, so you will not touch any of that DNS records. If you already have a domain, you can still connect it to Squarespace.
Import and Exporting
If you already use other CMS platforms like WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, or Squarespace 5, you can import your blog content directly to Squarespace. If you want to move from Squarespace, its again easier, but you will only have an option to move to WordPress and no other CMS. For eCommerce folks, you can also import products from BigCartel, Shopify, and Etsy and other platforms.
Squarespace is developer-friendly. Developers can have full code control and change any aspect of the site. Developers can also work as teams via Git integration. Other developer-friendly features include; SFTP access, JSON access, Query tags, LESS.css, custom code, query tags, and there are also native development tools.
Adobe Portfolio VS Squarespace: Small Comparison Table
Who is this for?
Squarespace and Adobe Portfolio apply to those creatives who want to showcase their portfolio. Apart from this, Squarespace offers more functionality; hence, this is a full CMS rather than just a portfolio website builder. It is appropriate for all types of website designs.
Adobe Portfolio VS Squarespace: Pros and Cons
Adobe Portfolio Pros
- Mobile friendly templates
- Free for Creative Cloud subscribers
Adobe Portfolio Cons
- No eCommerce support
- Lacks advanced SEO settings
- No email hosting
- Rich in functionality
- Offers better value for money
- Tons of templates available
- Some find it difficult to understand
For Adobe Portfolio, you will have to choose either the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan which goes for $9.99/month. This plan includes Photoshop, Lightroom, and Adobe fonts. Another way to get Adobe Portfolio is by purchasing the Creative Cloud Complete Plan which costs $52.99/month. Creative Cloud subscription includes the entire collection of Adobe Creative apps, including Photoshop, Illustration, InDesign, and more.
Squarespace has several plans available depending on your needs. The first plan is the personal plan which goes for $16 per month billed monthly or $12 per month billed annually. It includes the following features;
- Free Custom Domain
- SSL Security
- Unlimited Bandwidth and Storage
- SEO Features for Site Visibility
- Templates to Fit Every Need from Blogs to Portfolios
- Contributors 2
- Mobile-Optimized Websites
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Basic Website Metrics
The next plan is the business plan which costs $26 per month billed on a monthly basis or $18 per month paid annually. It includes all the features available in the personal plan plus;
- Professional Email from Google
- Premium Integrations and Blocks
- Advanced Website Analytics
- $100 Google AdWords Credits*
- Promotional Pop-ups and Banners
- Fully Integrated E-Commerce
- Transaction Fees – 3%
- Accept Donations
- Sell Unlimited Products
For solely commerce users, there is an eCommerce focused plan which costs $30 per month paid monthly or $26 per month billed annually. It includes all the features in the business plan plus;
- Point of Sale
- Customer Accounts
- Checkout on Your Domain
- Powerful E-Commerce Analytics
- Related Products
- Products on Instagram
- Label Printing via Ship station*
- Integrated Accounting via Xero*
The last plan is called Advanced eCommerce and adds more functionality for those who want to build eCommerce websites. It includes the following features;
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- Gift Cards
- Sell Subscriptions
- Advanced Shipping*
- Advanced Discounts
- APIs for Orders and Inventory
- Limited Availability Labels
Adobe Portfolio VS Squarespace: User-Friendliness
In general, if you already have experience working with other CMS’ platforms like WordPress, you will not have any issue working with these two platforms. But Squarespace is easier to use than Adobe Portfolio. Squarespace allows you to customize your website easily with its WYSIWYG editor with the drag and drop functionality.
Adobe Portfolio VS Squarespace: Integrations Table
Squarespace allows integrations with the following services;
- Apple Pay
- Adobe Fonts
- Google fonts
- G Suite
- Google Domains
- Getty Images
- MailChimp and more
Adobe Portfolio can be integrated with the following apps;
- Adobe Lightroom
Adobe and Squarespace both provide amazing customer support. For Squarespace, you can get support via email 24/7. The company says its employees respond in an hour. In addition to that, Squarespace also offers support via live chat 24hours on weekdays from 3 am to 8 pm EST. Apart from this, you can also seek support from their community forums or self-help via the knowledge base center.
For Adobe, you can seek help via email, support forums or via live chat.
For this review, it is clear who is the winner. Squarespace is the winner. It has tons of templates available and you can customize these templates the way you like. With Squarespace, you can be able to create more than just a portfolio website. You can be able to even sell merchandise on your website with its eCommerce friendly features. Squarespace also offers better value for money thanks to its package prices which includes both the hosting package inside. That means you won’t be able to get your hands on the DNS configuration. Thus, Squarespace is a better alternative to newbies. Squarespace is also developer-friendly and allows them to access the source code of the website created, allowing them to customize anything. On top of that, you can also integrate many services to Squarespace. Not forgetting that Squarespace also allows you to easily migrate from other CMS platforms like WordPress, Blogger and more easily. Apart from that, you can also migrate from Squarespace to WordPress with its export button.
Weighing these important functionalities against Adobe Portfolio, it is clear that Adobe doesn’t stand a chance. Even with the cheapest Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan which goes for $9.99/month, Squarespace offers better value for money and you only pay an additional $2.