Pros and Cons of Squarespace and Showit
Whenever I'm in certain Facebook groups, I can count on hearing the people asking questions about which platform is best for their business.
These comments can be, "which platform is the best for starting out?" or "Should I start with Wordpress?" and the classic, "How do I know which platform is best for me?"
Comments like these are good questions we should be asking, so in an effort to shed some light on this popular topic, I'm bringing my web design experience in Squarespace and Showit and chatting with you about each one, what I like and don't like and which platform is best for your business.
When I started the whole online business thing, being strapped for cash and wanting a great website, I did what most people do, and I started a site on Wordpress.
While I did learn the basics of coding, I quickly got upset at how little control I had over the site. If I had a more comprehensive understanding of coding it wouldn't have been a problem but because coding is NOT my skill-set, it quickly left me feeling not in control and a bit helpless.
After that episode, I began my search across a wide range of platforms including Wix and Weebly, until I finally stumbled upon Squarespace.
A designer I really admire recommended Squarespace so I hopped on the bandwagon and I've loved it ever since. So let me tell you about the good, the bad, and the wonderful of this platform.
What I love about Squarespace:
While some people can see this as a negative, I view this as a positive. A template-based platform means that you are restrained in your designs to the templates Squarespace provides.
As a designer, this can get frustrating at times because you don't have 100% control over the look, but you do have a lot of template options that are clean, minimal and professional.
Having a range of templates is great, but something that is also fantastic about templates is that on Squarespace you have the ability to change templates fairly seamlessly from one to another. So, if you're not a big fan of the template you chose, you can switch to another.
Squarespace is truly a platform where you can get everything in one place and their simplistic and spacious designs make it seem easy and manageable.
Squarespace offers domain, G suite, blog and e-commerce all in one spot which makes it a great choice for makers who want to sell a product and for anyone interested in keeping a blog.
3. Reasonable Price
Squarespace isn't as expensive as you may think. While it's more expensive than a free web platform (obviously) Squarespace is worth the investment due to the fact that you'll get a lot out of the investment.
They have 3 plans: personal, business and premium. I was on the personal for the first year in my business and it was just fine. I upgraded to the business when I was ready to add an unlimited amount of pages to my site, etc.
4. Blogging is a breeze
I mentioned this earlier, but blogging is SO easy with Squarespace.
You can easily create categories, set up posts to publish in the future, create drafts, and rearrange posts, create archives, manage comments, make changes and even duplicate posts.
If you're heavy into blogging and sharing content, Squarespace is one of the best options, in my opinion, for creating and managing a blog. It's very beautiful and very easy.
5. You can make changes easily and quickly
I mentioned this earlier as well, but if you're not happy with a template you can easily switch templates. Or if you just want to make other changes, you can easily move things around, add in images, take away content or add to it.
Squarespace makes it SO easy to make tweaks or big changes to your site in minutes, such as copying whole pages and moving navigation around.
6. There IS an option for a more customized look
If you're anything like me, you want your site to look special. Not just like a template. With that being said, I invested in a course to help me learn the coding required to make a Squarespace site more custom, with special little features that make the site your own. With this knowledge I've helped my own site out and the sites for my clients as well. So if you DO want those custom looks on a Squarespace site, make sure to find a designer who offers those coding tweaks.
Some things that I wish Squarespace offered was a little more customization and more robust templates. The templates tend to be a little basic in terms of design and ability to create a unique experience, with that being said, you can make small to medium changes using code.
Who benefits the most from Squarespace
- New business owners –who want a professional website where they have a great deal of control
- Product-based businesses owner or anyone wanting to sell on their site
- Bloggers– Squarespace makes it so easy to keep up a beautiful blog
- Business owners who want control over their site, detailed analytics, and the ability to manage the backend
How I got on to Showit...
My biz buddy told me how much she loved the platform when we were on one of our monthly chats. And, because I was wanting a little more customization, I wanted to see what Showit was about. When I first got on the platform it was confusing (just like anything else when you're first starting out) but once I got into it, I thought it was brilliant.
What I love about Showit:
Showit is a designer's dream. With complete control, you can create a custom site that is completely tailored to individual clients and their work, which makes it the ultimate platform for a custom experience and a stunning showcase of visuals.
1. Made from scratch
Showit is a drag-and-drop platform that requires no code. This means everything you put into the site you can customize down the kerning between the text. The amount of control is incredible and you have this over the entire look of the desktop version AS WELL as the mobile version.
Showit's set up is similar to Illustrator, so for designers, it seems almost familiar in the sense that the set up is like canvas (and, the pages are called canvases). If you're looking to create something completely custom, Showit may be the perfect solution for you.
2. Wordpress Blog
Unlike Squarespace, the blog is sold separately with Showit, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. If you're planning on NOT having a blog that means you won't be spending money on it, but if you DO plan on maintaining a blog, the extra cost can seem like an extra financial burden.
The blog is set up through Wordpress, so when writing a post, it can seem a little more complicated because you'll set up the "finished look" in your Showit site, but you'll write and post blog content via Wordpress. Like I said, it can be a little complicated but you do have more control over the blog.
Something nice though is you can add in pluggins and get even more advanced, such as with SEO optimization. For advanced options, this is a great feature.
3. Showcase your work with style
Because Showit is a drag and drop and you have 100% control, you can create a portfolio that is as unique as the work you create.
Showit was originally designed for photographers but it works great for artists, product makers, or anyone with a visual product. Showit is an incredible tool where you can showcase work in a unique and beautiful way.
4. Incredible customer service
I have to admit, I was impressed with the level of customer service Showit offers. Something I love the most is the chat feature so you can communicate with a specialist right away rather than looking up articles based on the topics.
Their customer service is unrivaled to other platforms in my experience with the way they handle and appreciate their customers to their dedication to helping you solve your problems.
5. Completely custom website experience
The customizable nature of Showit also gives you the chance to create fun little adventures of sorts for your visitors.
You have so much control that you can create little games and clickable stories so your website visitors can stay awhile and enjoy a unique experience. And we all know, that the longer someone stays on your site the better it is for SEO.
Showit doesn't offer e-commerce, which can be a BIG hinderance to product-based businesses. There are ways to add it in through pluggins but it can get complex. Showit is also on the pricey side, especially if you want to maintain a blog. It all depends on the goals for your business and how you want to show up online. And the fact that it's 100% customizable has a draw back if you want to make quick changes. In order to make any change, you have to move individual pieces around in order to change the look of anything–and that goes for the mobile version as well. In this case, and in many other scenarios, the best thing about it can also be the worst thing.
Who benefits the most on Showit
- Someone who wants to show their work in a unique and beautiful way
- Someone who values a custom experience and wants to make a stunning impression
- Perfect for photographers, designers and visual artists
If you're looking to launch a website I recommend Squarespace for several categories of people: for beginners–especially if you want to DIY, for product-based businesses, bloggers and business owners who want an easy to maintain website. Squarespace has a learning curve like anything else, but it's one of the easiest platforms I've ever used and there are a lot of excellent video tutorials that can help you walk through things you may have questions about. And if you're looking for a more customized look for Squarespace, search for a designer who offers coding customizations... Wanna look at my services?
If you are wanting a show-stopper for a website I recommend Showit hands down. It has all the qualities of offering the most exceptional customer experience and it's incredible for letting your work shine in a unique way.
I would love to hear what you think! Are you on the fence about which platform to go with?
Do you have questions about either Squarespace or Showit that I didn't answer?