Review: Adobe Spark and Adobe Portfolio
Staff Writer By: Sergio Rosa (nemirc)
Adobe Spark and Adobe Portfolio are two web applications that allow you to easily create pages or websites for branding or showcasing purposes.
While they do not offer the power and versatility of a web design application like Adobe Muse or Adobe Dreamweaver, it will be useful to users and segments that want to work on their branding or online presence, without having to spend the time (and/or money) learning web design.
The first application, Adobe Spark has mainly two uses:
1. It allows you to create landing pages and branding pages. For landing pages, you can think of Adobe Spark as an "Adobe version of about.me" where you can design a page to display images, add your information, videos, and relevant links. The page is then stored on Adobe's servers, so you can link to it from your social networks, LinkedIn or similar services (although it's better if you use a link shortener because the generated links are not very user-friendly).
2. Adobe Spark can also create promotional images. For example, flyers or other kinds of images that you can use for marketing purposes: a business launch, sales, awareness campaigns, etc. First, Spark will ask for your logo, and then it will allow you can create these promo images from templates. As I said before, a designer would rather use any other Adobe tool for this purpose, but this tool is not meant to be used by designers, but rather regular people that, for one way or another, don't have that as an option.
These promotional materials can be downloaded as images, so you can print them or distribute them via web.
The other application, Adobe Portfolio, lets you create a complete site and host it on the Adobe servers. Unlike Spark, Portfolio can create multi-page sites so you can display the information across them.
Similar to Adobe Spark, Portfolio first asks you to select a template, and then, you are free to add pages and add more information.
Using Adobe Portfolio feels similar to using an online site builder like the ones from certain hosting providers (like GoDaddy, Wix, etc.), which is a good thing since it's very open when it comes to adding your information. Portfolio also includes instructions to link it to your own domain name, in case you want to use your Portfolio site as your main site.
Another difference between Portfolio and Spark is that, unlike Spark, Portfolio only allows you to create a single website. There shouldn't be a problem with this since both applications are meant to be used for different things.
Portfolio (as the name implies) has been designed for people who want to display their work (photography, architecture, design, handcrafting, etc.), so there are specific types of pages (or rather, page structures) meant for that.
Having used Adobe Muse in the past, I can say the Portfolio site builder is not nearly as powerful as Muse.
However, you are trading power for convenience, if web design is not part of your main line of work, don't have Muse as part of your subscription, and don't have a hosting provider. For example, in my case, I am a game developer and I only have an Adobe CC Photography plan, so building a Portfolio site to display my work is far easier and cheaper than hiring a website with an online site builder or build my site in Muse or Dreamweaver.
Adobe Spark comes in two options: free and premium, with the free service being obviously limited in some ways. However, if you already have an Adobe CC subscription (including the CC Photography plan, the one I have), you automatically get the premium plan.
On the other hand, Adobe Portfolio is only available as part of an Adobe CC subscription (any plan). If you already have a subscription, you should check out these two services, as they can be very valuable and save you a lot of time.
Relevant links: https://spark.adobe.com/ https://www.myportfolio.com/
Sergio Aris ROSA, Sr. Staff Writer