Squarespace and Format both are well-known platforms for building creative and beautiful-looking portfolios for Creators, artists, photographers, and designers. Format platform is focused only on creating portfolio websites whereas Squarespace is useful for creating all kinds of websites, both of them have distinctive features and we have compared them in this blog.
Below are a quick summary of Squarespace and Format platforms.
- The format has 3 plans along with a free plan and the price range from ($4– $13)
- Format has provided a maximum of 2TB storage.
- The format has 70+ portfolio themes
- An inbuilt marketplace to sell prints
- The format doesn’t have much integration
- Format has advanced Client management features
- Format too provides excellent support to its users.
- Squarespace has 4 plans and the price range from ($16 – $49)
- Squarespace offers Unlimited Storage, Bandwidth, and Backup for all plans
- Squarespace has 40+ portfolio themes
- There is no inbuilt marketplace to sell prints
- Squarespace has 25+ integrations with third-party apps.
- Squarespace has a basic client management feature.
- Good Support team and resources
#7 Main Differences
Squarespace offers over 150+ Free portfolio templates, Whereas format offers over 70 free themes & a variety of niche portfolio themes. Squarespace theme editor is design-centric and the page builder included many features that you can expect since Squarespace is the #1 website builder in the USA.
2. Portfolio Features:
Squarespace has separate a section for Artists, photographers, and Wedding websites. You can showcase your work or portfolio beautifully as well as systematically. On the other hand, Format website builder is specifically built for Artists and Photographers.
3. Tools for Photographers & Artists:
The format provides excellent tools for photographers such as gallery protection, client management, proofing, photo sharing services, inbuilt client photo print on demand, Lightroom & one-touch integrations, and a total of one workflow for photographers which Squarespace doesn’t offer.
Format and Squarespace prices are similar but the format is comparatively cheaper as its annual pricing ranges from $4-$13 per month, Whereas Squarespace’s first two plans are ($16 & $27/month) enough to build a professional portfolio.
5. Photo Blogging, Portfolio News & SEO:
As Squarespace is a good CMS, it offers better blogging, and news with good SEO features, whereas Format provides decent features for blogging and SEO.
6. Online Store
Squarespace has a fully-fledged online store with advanced eCommerce features. You can sell unlimited products & services and take millions of orders a day. Format also offers an art store with simple eCommerce features.
7. Site Speed
We analyzed the Top 10 Websites of both platforms for their server response and found that most Format website average server response time is 600-650 milli-seconds, Whereas the Squarespace website’s average speed response time is 190-230 milli-seconds. that means websites hosted on Squarespace load faster in comparison to Format.
My Recommendation: If you are a photographer and want to manage your clients directly from your website, then Format is better
If you are an artist and want to make your own awesome portfolio website and sell your artwork, then Squarespace is better.
# FAQ: Squarespace vs Format
See Detailed Squarespace Review
|Website||1 website per plan||1 per plan &
Unlimited per account
|Support||Live chat support|
Phone: 1.888.568.8276 (please leave a message)
|Live chat - 4am to 8pm Eastern Time, Monday to Friday|
|Free Trial||14 days||14 Days|
|Best For||Best for professional Photographers to manage their clients.||Designers, artists, photographers to showcase their best work, share & sell their work.
General website builder with multi purpose features such as appointment booking, eCommerce, event calender, restaurant website and tons of inbuilt features
|Speciality||Creatives client proofing, management & communication, a niche based portfolio builder.||General website builder to create any kind of web project,
Good inbuilt features and themes
|Domain||It offers a free custom domain if you are on annual pro or plus plans, if you have a existing domain you can connect it with help of the customer success team or connect manually in the domain and email setting section.||Squarespace provides more than 300 domain extensions, You can own 100% ownership and you can connect or transfer to any other account and platform, get a Free custom domain upon purchasing any of the annual plan.|
|In format you can't get photography related domains, you can connect them from third party provider.||There are photography related domains, you can buy domains like .video, .photography price ranges from $30/year to $70/year on squarespace domains or get them free on purchasing any squarespace annual plan.|
|Site Editor||Theme editor with basic layout for designing.||A great website builder, Drag and Drag editor, tons of web elements with good CMS Feature.|
|Pricing||Starts from $7/month to $20/month||Starts from 14/Month to $49 See Squarespace Pricing 2020 – 3 Pros & 8 Cons You Should Know|
|Money Back||30 Days||14 Days|
|Email newsletter subscription|
|Abandoned Cart features||You can automatically send reminders to customers who add products to their cart and leave without completing an order|
|Sales transactions fees||0%||0% for Commerce plan & 3% Squarespace fees for business plan (They take 3% profit from you)|
or Disable right click
|You can set Warnings but still customers can download the images.||
You need to inject the codes.
|Save, buy, download Favourite images|
|Client Album showcase|
|Privacy Control For Client Albums|
|Album Advanced Customization|
|Control Image Downloadable Sizes|
|Collection||Yes, you can store and add lots of images and galleries||Add unlimited pages ,products and galleries.|
|Backup- Restore||No proper content backup provided, you can download and keep the content in the local storage||Content backup provided for upto 30 days .|
|Overall Server response time|
(First Byte Time)
|500-600 milli seconds||190-230 milli Seconds|
|Free SSL Security|
|Photo Storage||In format, you can get photo storage of up to 1 TB.||Squarespace provides unlimited storage, it has an image library that stores all your images and files.
|Hosted Video Minutes||Upload videos of 15 minutes on the pro plan and 120 minutes on the pro plus plan.||Embed videos to your site from Vimeo, Youtube and upload videos to section background, know more on Squarespace videos
|High-Resolution Images||Add from 100 to unlimited high-resolution images on your site,||Yes, you can add images of high resolution up to 120MP, Squarespace optimizes images for the lesser size so it loads faster.
Create and send secure, branded contracts that can be signed electronically.
Client contract through Squarespace form
|adobe Lightroom integrations|
1. Setup and Ease of use
The format website builder includes inbuilt hosting and also offers a free custom domain if you are on annual pro or plus plans, if you have a custom third-party domain you can connect it with the help of the customer success team or manually in the domain and email setting section. The format builder is an easy-to-use platform, Just upload images to create a gallery and design your website, it has provided several themes as per your professional requirements. While it’s easy to set up the homepage, you can add a store and blog section to your main menu from the left-side dashboard. If you have prior experience in building websites it will be easy to get started.
Squarespace comes with powerful inbuilt hosting and if you buy any of their plans annually you will get a free custom domain, Squarespace provides plenty of theme options to choose from, It’s easy to use and customize the templates, just double click on the theme section and start customizing it. They have added lots of inbuilt features and also have an app store that helps you add new functionality. if you can code you can make changes to the theme.
2. Theme Design and Customization
|Theme Customization level||Good||Good|
The format offers 70+ templates that include all categories of portfolios, you can sort out them by type of gallery arrangement. These themes are mobile responsive, they also have different styles within the templates, you can customize these templates for different types of layouts and colors, and they have ready-made templates for contact pages, blogs, etc.
In format you can design the theme for different colors, styles, and typography, you can also add custom CSS to the theme.
Squarespace is the best when it comes to design flexibility, it has over 150+ themes to choose from, You can choose from the assigned portfolio themes. Squarespace’s drag-and-drop customization allows you to build a store quickly, they have ready-made templates for photography, wedding, artist gallery, contact, blog pages, and more. You can customize each section for different styles and colors and fonts.
3. Pricing and Plans
|Trial Period||14 days||14 days|
|Ecommerce Plans||$4/mo – $13/mo||$23/mo – $49/mo|
|Enterprise Pricing||No||custom pricing|
The format offers three types of plans Portfolio, Workflow, and Bundle, before switching to any of these plans you can get a 14-day free trial (no credit card required) These 14 days are enough to know about the platform before switching to any one of the three paid plans,
Format Portfolio has four plan
- Pro Plus:$36/m($13)
(Prices in the Bracket are applicable when you buy a year plan)
These three plan differs in terms of the number of pages, storage space, number of features, and online store feature as you unlock the pro plans you can access the full benefits of plans
Squarespace has four plans
- Basic Commerce:$36/m($27)
- Advanced Commerce:$65/m($49)
(Prices in the Bracket are applicable when you buy a year plan)
If you want a simple portfolio then the personal plan is good, if you want a portfolio with basic eCommerce functions then a business plan is best for you.
For more details – Visit Squarespace Pricing
4. Support and Resources
The format has provided live chat and email support to its customers, They have plenty of videos and articles on each of the topics to help you out in setting up a portfolio site.
Squarespace provides support through live chat from Monday to Friday and 24/7 email support 7 days a week to its customers, They have video tutorials on using Squarespace step by step, They also have an active forum and community for solving queries.
The format has a blogging section that allows you to create a blog and write content about the products and arts. You can add images and videos to your blog, at the blog setting option you can do SEO of your blog, specify tags for each page, enable commenting and sharing, you can customize the design of the blog. you can read this article to know more about format blogging
Squarespace inbuilt blog section has ready-made templates that can be customized easily, Insert beautiful sections, forms, and pages, into the blog. it lets you have multiple authors for the blog, you can enable comments, social sharing, saving, and RSS feed subscriptions to your customers. the blogs can be optimized for SEO, you can change URLs, and add tags to your blog posts.
The format has provided two types of SEO settings as Global and Content settings, In the global SEO setting you can optimize your homepage, and In the content setting, you can do SEO of the Individual pages. here you can optimize Blogs, collections, digital products, and galleries by adding keywords in Titles and descriptions. Format generates Sitemaps which you can connect with the search console to index your web pages.
Squarespace provides all basic settings for optimizing content for search engines, it provides box type layout to edit title, description and adds keywords, and it provides automated sitemaps, AMP pages, multiple domain redirection, Automatic tagging, and inbuilt tags, These all features indicates that Squarespace platform is well optimized for search engines.
7. Ecommerce Features
Format platform has an eCommerce section that allows you to sell products and services, These features are available in the Pro plan (sell up to 3 Products)and Plus plan (sell up to 1000 products), you can sell both physical and digital products. it provided page settings for product visibility, SEO, Stock, and shipping. The format has only PayPal as a payment option. Previewing of the store is not proper in the format it has loading issues after previewing it keeps on loading if you move back to the store,
The Squarespace platform allows more advanced features for an eCommerce platform, you can choose various templates and customize them, whether you sell physical or digital products, it provides all kinds of basic requirements and extra add-ons in the form of apps to help you sell your service and products. you can offer subscriptions, and donations, to your customers. Squarespace offers PayPal, Apple Pay, and Square as payment options.
Squarespace Portfolio sites Examples
Format Portfolio sites Examples
Pros and Cons: Squarespace vs Format
|Format Pros||Format Cons|
|1. Cheaper Plans||1. limited payment options|
|2. Themes include various styles||2. limited integrations and apps|
|3. more selling options to sell design,|
|3. Basic blog and eCommerce feature|
|Squarespace Pros||Squarespace Cons|
|1. More themes and design options||1. Bit expensive plans|
|2. Excellent Ecommerce Features||2. themes don’t have multiple styles|
|3. More payment options||3. doesn’t offer many inbuilt features for portfolio building.|
Conclusion: Squarespace vs Format
Use Format over Squarespace,
- If you are looking for an affordable website builder specifically for client management and proofing, then the format is better than Squarespace.
- If you want to set up a small store and sell products easily then the format is best as it allows you to sell your prints in their marketplace, and also offers a few integrations to reach your clients
Use Squarespace over Format,
- If you are looking to trade your art and offer services to your protentional clients then Squarespace is better than format.
- If you are keen on building a personalized brand and scaling it as a business then Squarespace is best, it has all those inbuilt features to grow your business.
Michal Leszczynski is immersed in developing, implementing, and coordinating all manner of content marketing projects as the Head of Content Marketing and Partnerships at GetResponse. He has 9-plus years of expertise in online marketing with a Master of Science Degree in Strategic Marketing and Consulting from the University of Birmingham (UK).