Squarespace vs Adobe Portfolio

Squarespace and Adobe Portfolio have both distinguished themselves in their niches. As two trusted web design platforms, they make it possible to set up quality projects. Their specialization, however, differs as the systems were created to solve various tasks.

As the name suggests, Adobe Portfolio was initially designed with portfolio creation in mind. The system works best for artists and creatives willing to showcase their services and works.

Squarespace, in its turn, is a more multifaceted all-in-one platform that can be used to set up various types of websites. Portfolios are not an exception.

The main mission of this review is to help you identify the major pros, cons and special characteristics of both software. Their comparison will eventually help you pick the best platform to set up your own portfolio, be it a project for personal or business use. Let’s proceed to the details now.

Quick Summary

Squarespace is included in the list of the most well-known and feature rich platforms. It comes as the all-in-one system that includes a DIY website builder and a hosting platform. The software offers an easy and intuitive way to create professional-looking websites. As far as we are mostly interested in its portfolio-related features, we’ll focus on them further.

Squarespace Dashboard

The system provides a wide range of customizable templates and design options, making it suitable for various purposes. Squarespace has distinguished itself due to its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, which allows users to create and customize their projects with no coding required. It also offers eCommerce integration, built-in SEO tools, analytics, and responsive design. This means that your portfolio will look good on various devices.

You may take a look at my handpicked Squarespace website examples collection: portfolio, best, ecommerce, artist and photography.

Adobe Portfolio comes as a part of Adobe Creative Cloud subscription service. It’s designed specifically for creative professionals willing to showcase their work/services in online portfolios. Adobe Portfolio provides integration with other Adobe Creative Cloud apps like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom, making it simple and quick to import and update content directly from these programs.

Adobe Portfolio Dashboard

The software offers a variety of customizable themes and layouts to effectively display photos, design works, illustrations and other creative projects. While it might have a slightly steeper learning curve compared to Squarespace, it offers more advanced customization options for those familiar with Adobe’s tools.

Read also: Squarespace Review

Price

Squarespace has a free trial that allows testing its feature set for free. This opportunity, however, is time-limited as there are only 14 days to explore the software at no cost. If you are satisfied with the suggested pricing solutions and terms included in each plan, you will have to upgrade to one of premium subscriptions. Have a look at them now.

Squarespace Pricing

  • Personal ($16/mo billed annually) – free custom domain, website metrics, SSL Security, 2 contributors, 24/7 customer support, SEO features, 30 minutes of video storage, unlimited bandwidth and storage, Squarespace extensions etc.;
  • Business ($23/mo billed annually) – unlimited contributors, advanced website analytics, professional email from Google, CSS/JavaScript design customization, 3% transaction fees, premium blocks and integrations, fully-integrated eCommerce etc.;
  • Basic Commerce ($27/mo billed annually) – powerful integrated eCommerce analytics, domain checkout feature, 0% transaction fees, customer accounts, Instagram synchronization etc.;
  • Advanced Commerce ($49/mo billed annually) – abandoned shopping cart recovery, APIs for order and inventory, advanced shipping and discounts, limited availability labels, gift cards etc.

Whatever Squarespace plan you will go for, it will include a domain name and free hosting. However, if you have a domain registered with another provider, Squarespace lets you transfer it in several easy steps.

Adobe Portfolio is initially free for its subscribers. To get access to extra portfolio-related services and tools, you may buy the following packages:

Adobe Portfolio Price

  • CreativeCloud – Photography ($9.99/mo with annual commitment) – includes Adobe Fonts, Photoshop and Lightroom;
  • Creative Cloud – All Apps ($54.99/mo with annual commitment) – offers access to the entire collection of Adobe creative apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign etc.

If you are primarily interested in setting up a portfolio website and already use Adobe software, the Creative Cloud Photography Plan could be quite a cost-effective solution. However, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive web design platform with extensive eCommerce capabilities, Squarespace offers a range of affordable plans to come up to any needs.

Creating a Website

Squarespace offers quite a simple website creation process due to its integrated WYSIWYG editor. It unveils the opportunity to independently manage tasks while closely controlling and managing each step.

Squarespace Editor

The sign procedure is seamless, swift and not really time-taking. It somewhat resembles the process of working with Adobe Portfolio yet the steps are more intuitive and understandable for beginners.

The system will then prompt you to specify your personal/business objectives (like selling products or promoting services). As a result, you will be able to select from a collection of templates, thus expediting your initial steps.

Notably, Squarespace outshines by providing an extensive array of layout options. You get the freedom to bypass the initial stage and proceed directly to a comprehensive list of available themes to get the one you really like.

Adobe Portfolio boasts a user-friendly interface and a streamlined website editing process. The system claims to grant accessibility to virtually anyone, irrespective of coding proficiency or web design awareness.

Adobe Portfolio Editor

The initial step of the signup process involves choosing the project category. Given the software specialization in portfolio creation, the range of options might appear more focused.

Consequently, embarking on a portfolio website entails the setup of creative galleries for showcasing work, alongside an introductory cover page to present oneself to the online.

As mentioned above, Adobe Portfolio does not require programming knowledge, while its seamless integration with Google Cloud simplifies the process of image/content updating.

The platform’s core objectives are to enable users to set up and manage dynamic galleries, captivating portfolios and cover pages within the shortest time span.

Generally, it takes less time to set up a portfolio website with Squarespace, but if you are ready to spend more effort and time exploring the Adobe ecosystem and plan to work with it afterwards, using Adobe Portfolio also makes sense.

Interface

Squarespace prides itself on offering an intuitive and user-friendly interface for website creation. Upon logging in, you’re greeted with a clean and organized dashboard that centralizes all your website management tasks. The navigation menu is straightforward, letting you access essential features such as pages, design settings, commerce options, and analytics.

Squarespace Dashboard Website

The heart of the platform’s interface is its drag-and-drop editor. This editor lets you visually design your website by simply dragging and placing content blocks. You can easily add elements like text, images, videos, buttons and forms to your pages.

Squarespace offers a range of templates, each of which can be customized to match your brand style and project requirements. There is a separate category of themes for portfolio projects. The Style Editor makes it possible to adjust fonts, colors, spacing, and other design elements without needing to touch any code.

Pages and sections can be organized using the Pages panel, where you can add, reorder, and edit content effortlessly. Media libraries simplify the process of uploading and managing images, videos and documents. All in all, Squarespace interface is intuitive and simple even for a non-coder.

When it tackles the interface design, Adobe Portfolio focuses on simplicity and elegance. Having signed in, you will see a workspace overview, letting you manage and edit your existing projects.

Adobe Portfolio’s interface emphasizes visual content, making it ideal for showcasing creative works. Templates and layouts can be customized to suit your preferences using the intuitive interface.

Projects are organized neatly, enabling you to add galleries, images, and text in a structured manner. Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud apps simplifies content import from other Adobe tools.

Adobe Lightroom

Themes can be tailored and customized according to your creative vision by adjusting typography, colors and other design aspects.

Summing it up, Adobe Portfolio’s interface excels in its focus on visual content, ideal for creative professionals. Squarespace’s interface is user-friendly and intuitive for everyone, which makes it a better solution for beginners.

Templates and Website Design

Squarespace grants access to a broad selection of templates that cater to various types of websites. There are generally over 100 designs to choose from. The website builder offers themes categorized into different types. As a creative, you will be delighted to find a separate group of themes for portfolio projects here.

Squarespace Templates

Each template is developed with a specific style and purpose in mind, but you have the flexibility to customize various aspects. Due to the built-in Style Editor, users have an opportunity to move or add new elements as well as to resize them, change colors/fonts etc.

All designs, however, are built with a responsive approach in mind, ensuring that your project looks and functions well on various devices.

Templates come with predefined content blocks that you can easily customize and rearrange using the drag-and-drop editor. By the way, if you decide to switch to another theme on any stage of the design customization process, Squarespace lets you do that without content loss.

Adobe Portfolio offers only several (around 12) minimalist and visually appealing templates you can use to showcase creative work. The designs highlight visual content, thus being a perfect solution for artists, photographers, designers and other creative professionals.

Adobe Portfolio Templates

While the customization options are somewhat more limited compared to Squarespace, you can still personalize templates by adjusting colors, fonts, and layout arrangements.

Adobe Portfolio templates seamlessly integrate with Adobe Creative Cloud software, enabling easy content import from Photoshop and Lightroom, for example.

Having signed in, you will be redirected to the dashboard with the selected template. The system will grant access to the toolbar that comes with the required set of design customization solutions available in the left sidebar.

Unlike standard WYSIWYG website builders, Adobe Portfolio does not have a drag-and-drop editor. However, its designs also include baseline sections and pages that can be customized as required. This somewhat simplifies the process of portfolio creation.

What’s more, some functions (like starting a new page from scratch with no elements or sections from the original layout) are quite confusing. It may take time to get their essence and to learn how to work with them.

Squarespace offers a wider range of template categories and more design customization options to tailor the selected designs to your needs. Adobe Portfolio specializes in templates developed for creative portfolios only. Thus, their customizability is limited, which prevents you from setting up full-featured projects.

SEO

Squarespace places a strong emphasis on SEO features, letting you optimize your portfolio for better visibility on search engines. Its subscribers get access to the range of built-in tools like customizable meta titles, descriptions and URLs for individual pages and posts.

Squarespace SEO

Each web page and post can be individually optimized for SEO by editing the page settings. You can define keywords, descriptions, and other metadata.

Squarespace supports structured data markup, which helps search engines understand the content and context of your website, potentially leading to richer search results (such as rich snippets).

The website builder automatically generates XML sitemaps, which contributes to better indexing of your portfolio content by the search engines.

Adobe Portfolio offers only baseline SEO features to help improve your project visibility on search engines. Thus, you can also customize meta tags, titles and descriptions for the portfolio pages, but these settings are quite limited as compared to Squarespace.

Adobe Portfolio SEO

The software lets you customize URL slugs for projects, providing an opportunity to incorporate relevant keywords.

If needed, you can upload your website favicon directly in the dashboard to make it more recognizable among the competitors.

All in all, Squarespace’s SEO features are more comprehensive and versatile. This allows setting up more full-featured projects that will rank high in the search engine results. Adobe Portfolio cannot boast such an impressive versatility of SEO settings. They are limited to baseline parameters here.

Publishing a Website

Squarespace provides you with intuitive guidelines on the major stages of portfolio creation. You can design and customize your project look, structure and content in its user-friendly interface.

As soon as you are done with the customization process, you can pick and connect a domain name. If you already have one, you are welcome to transfer it to Squarespace, using special guides the system provides in its support documentations. You can also contact the support team to help you with the task.

Once you’re satisfied with the design and content, you can hit the “Publish” button to make your website live. Your project will now be accessible to anyone with the provided domain or subdomain.

With Adobe Portfolio, the process of portfolio publishing does not seem quite complicated yet it takes time to get used to the software. Go ahead to use its customizable templates and layouts to set up your own project. You can further organize your creative works into categories for a cohesive presentation.

Before going live with your website, you should connect a new domain name or point the existing one to the system. Finally, preview the result to ensure the design and content appear as needed. Then publish the project to make it accessible online.

Actually, the process of website publishing is quite similar in both systems. It is rather straightforward and understandable, including a set of must-have steps. Squarespace, however, offers a simpler approach to the process of portfolio publication as less time is needed to handle the task.

Online Store

When it comes to portfolio creation, it is crucial for a user to have an opportunity to offer services/works for sale. Squarespace copes with this task pretty well.

Squarespace eCommerce

Due to its integrated eCommerce engine, it makes it possible to set up, manage and customize small and medium online stores to sell creative works.

The software offers extensive product management options, letting you add and organize items using the intuitive interface. You can assign special parameters to each product, such as its name, price, description, specifications (color, size etc.), SKU number, discounts etc.

Likewise, the website builder makes it possible to track inventory levels in the real-time mode to prevent overselling. With this purpose, you can set up low stock notifications to make sure you can spot the time when you run out of products.

To boost the efficacy of online sales, you can adjust automated abandoned shopping cart notifications and email reminders, enable customer reviews and ratings, integrate analytics and reporting tools along with extensive marketing solutions.

Other eCommerce features the system has in stock include integration with popular external trading platforms, CSV product import/export, multi currency support, Xero integration etc.

For more effective storefront design, Squarespace makes it possible to choose from multiple portfolio and eCommerce templates. The choice will depend on your portfolio focus and goals you set.

Squarespace allows integrating various payment gateways to let users pick the most suitable solution. These include Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, credit card transactions that make it possible to securely process transactions. What’s important, the system provides an opportunity of SSL certificate connection to protect customer info during the checkout process.

Need a smooth and convenient mobile shopping experience? Squarespace allows creating and managing web stores on mobile devices, ensuring responsive design and optimized mobile checkout.

Finally, the platform makes it possible to choose from various shipping options, including flat, weight-based and real-time carrier rates.

As opposed to Squarespace with its impressive web store development features, Adobe Portfolio does not have an integrated eCommerce engine. This is quite strange, considering the portfolio focus on the software. The thing is that a user may not just want to showcase his works, but also to get profit by selling them. Unfortunately, doing this with Adobe Portfolio will not be possible.

Obviously, Squarespace has much more to offer in terms of eCommerce. Whether you’re selling physical or digital products, it offers tools to streamline the process, enhance customer experience and grow your eCommerce business. Adobe Portfolio cannot boast eCommerce functionality at all. The conclusion is obvious in this case.

Blog

Squarespace offers a range of blogging tools to help you connect a blog to the portfolio. As a result, you will be able to post useful and informative content your viewers will be interested in.

Squarespace Blog

Due to the intuitive built-in editor that supports rich text formatting, images, videos, and embedded content, every user will be able to add and manage project-related posts. You can easily add headings, bulleted lists and other formatting options to enhance readability.

If needed, you can organize the submitted posts into categories and assign tags for efficient content navigation. A useful feature is scheduled post publishing. It allows planning your content strategy by scheduling articles for the best suited days. This helps maintain a consistent publishing schedule, updating your blog on a regular basis.

For more effective blog promotion and encouraging users for better interaction, Squarespace lets you add comments under each post/topic. Likewise, you can respond to other users’ comments to foster a sense of community and initiate discussions with readers.

To build a customer base, it makes sense to integrate social media sharing buttons in your portfolio website, thus letting readers share your blog posts on other platforms. A search bar that enables readers to quickly find specific content is available here as well.

Are blog performance metrics crucial to you? With Squarespace, you get an opportunity to gain insights into your project functionality using built-in analytics, tracking parameters like page views, popular posts, reader engagement rates etc.

Adobe Portfolio doesn’t offer a blogging platform as well. Starting a blog or adding one to your portfolio is impossible here as well. This is not as important as including eCommerce functionality yet this can contribute to better interaction with readers and potential clients.

Whether you’re a casual blogger or a professional content creator, Squarespace grants access to the toolkit needed to share your ideas, connect with your audience and build a successful web presence. Adobe Portfolio cannot offer such functionality at all.

Third-Party Integrations

Squarespace integrations are quite versatile and numerous, which gives an opportunity to create a full-featured portfolio website. Unlike its multiple niche competitors, the website builder does not have an App Market. This, however, does not prevent it from offering exclusive add-ons (Google Maps, contact/feedback forms, social sharing buttons, integrated performance metrics, Google Analytics etc.).

If you plan to share portfolio news, updates and blog posts in social networks, Squarespace allows doing that via several popular platforms. These include Google+, Behance, Pinterest, SoundCloud, LinkedIn, Dribbble, Dropbox, Yelp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Tumblr and many more. Additionally, you can use the Unfold App as the advanced storytelling tool for sharing stories in social networks.

When it comes to appointment booking, planning meetings, events, presentations, shows and suchlike activities, Squarespace Scheduling Platform will certainly come in handy.as well as to Unfold app.

Extra Squarespace features include Logo Maker for exclusive logo design and Video Studio App for sharing video presentations. These are the features you won’t find in other website builders.

Adobe Portfolio does not have such an extensive collection of add-ons and integrations. I suppose, this is because the system is generally focused on creating dynamic galleries and image collections rather than standard portfolios. Actually, this is one of the notable software highlights.

With the software, you can create an unlimited number of photo galleries, using special tools to sort the images by categories. The automated resizing feature will give your images a touch of personalization. It will also optimize your disk space and photos, synchronizing galleries with Adobe Cloud services.

As a part of CC service, Adobe Portfolio seamlessly integrates with Behance, Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Stock for easy and quick project updates. Unfortunately, this is all about its integration advantages.

Adobe Portfolio Integrations

As seen from above, Squarespace is also the winner when it comes to the integrations aspect. The DIY website builder offers a set of social sharing tools, integrated analytics, metrics, contact forms etc. along with numerous add-ons and widgets. Adobe Portfolio, on the contrary, is limited in the widget selection. The available add-ons are mostly related to portfolio/gallery presentation.

Technical Support

Squarespace boasts comprehensive customer support options to help users at different stages of their portfolio creation and management. The team is available 24/7 via email.

The live chat makes it possible to get intouch with the support team representative during the specified hours. This helps instantly solve system-related issues without the need to wait for extra help.

The Help Center that serves as a valuable resource containing a vast collection of articles, guides and tutorials is available here round-the-clock as well. You can explore various topics ranging from getting started with the platform to advanced customization and troubleshooting. Squarespace also grants access to video tutorials covering a wide range of niches.

Finally, every Squarespace subscriber has an opportunity to engage with other users via the community forum. This is the place to ask questions, look for suitable answers, share experiences and seek advice.

As a part of Creative Cloud, Adobe Portfolio excels at user interaction. It has a community of followers who get together to share their experience, ideas and discuss tech aspects in various forum threads. There is also email support, multiple tutorials, online guides and other tools to help you explore and master the software ASAP.

If you are a beginner looking for quality customer support services, Squarespace has more to offer. Its support options are more versatile, letting you choose the option that works best for you. Adobe Portfolio can only boast an informative community form, while live support is obviously lacking here.

The Winner

Both Squarespace and Adobe Portfolio can be used for portfolio creation as both systems offer a toolset sufficient to complete the task.

As a DIY website builder, though, Squarespace still works best for this task, offering features Adobe Portfolio obviously lacks. These include eCommerce, blogging solutions as well as multifaceted customer support, external integrations, template selection and advanced design customization.

You don’t have to learn coding nuances or explore the basics of web design to work with Squarespace. The system is intuitive and simple even for a non-coder.

Using Adobe Portfolio may be a good idea for designing cover pages or simple portfolios without further monetization goals. It will also be a nice pick for users, who plan to work (or currently work) with other Adobe products. In other situations, Squarespace will be a better investment.

Malcolm ThomasAuthor

For over 15 years, I've delved into the dynamic world of website builders and hosting. As a seasoned expert in web development, my passion for technology fuels my journey of exploration and analysis. Through meticulous reviews and comprehensive insights, I empower readers to navigate the digital landscape with confidence. With a commitment to staying abreast of the latest trends and innovations, I strive to offer practical advice and informed perspectives. Join me on this adventure as we uncover the best solutions and strategies for building and hosting your online presence.