Showit vs. Squarespace – I’m sure you’ve been thinking about this one if you are a photographer. You undoubtedly have options if you’re looking to build your next website or your first. And, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed when comparing all the information between website builders, this blog will hopefully help clear the fog and get you on track to choose a website platform for your creative business.
First, know that every website platform has pros and cons, so it’s not about finding the perfect website builder. Rather, it’s about finding the perfect one for your specific business needs.
If you’re on the fence between Showit and Squarespace, hang out for a few minutes, and I’ll share what you, as a photographer or wedding industry professional, need to know to make the best decision or to switch from your current Squarespace site to Showit.
An interesting fact… So many of my clients who switched to Showit are moving from Squarespace.
Squarespace has been around for a hot minute, and it’s a tried-and-true alternative to WordPress for people who want to simply manage their own sites and change out images or copy without a ton of tech-savviness. So while I’ll say straight out the gates that I’m partial to Showit, I’ll also say Squarespace is a solid and straightforward platform.
I’ll share my experiences with both!
Many use Squarespace as a starting point to launch their business, and I still design a handful of Squarespace sites for creative business owners each year. Squarespace has continuously improved its templates and design options.
When creatives like photographers and wedding professionals want to experience a brand glow-up and show up with a more refined presence, many of them shift to Showit.
As a matter of fact, when Showit started in 2006, its founder designed it to bridge the aesthetic desire and tech simplicity photographers were seeking. I once designed in Prophoto, another popular photographer platform choice, but when I switched to Showit in 2016, I never looked back! Showit has become the main website platform I recommend for my clients and my all-time favorite for design freedom.
How are Showit and Squarespace similar?
1. Each platform hosts websites and gives you the interface to build the site.
Sites built on platforms like Wix or WordPress require you to pay for an external hosting site. This all-in-one option is an excellent sell for Showit and Squarespace.
2. You can find templates for Showit and Squarespace.
You’ll find that both companies and many outside designers sell templates for both. So, you’ll have options to fit your design needs. Templates also mean no coding is needed for either platform.
3. Their support teams are great!
If you have an issue, you can get an email response quickly or talk to a live person who will walk you through to resolution. If you’ve ever had a problem with your social media platform or other technical business platforms, you know how valuable the option for a representative can be (and what a pain it is not to be able to access a human is).
And even though we’re focusing this blog on Showit vs. Squarespace, if WordPress is a consideration, too, know that WP doesn’t offer support. That means your options for troubleshooting or handling any issues on the backside of your site will be to hire a company for site support, rely on what your host can provide, or learn how to be your own support. For busy creatives, the time you have to handle sticky site situations might weigh heavily on which platform you select.
Now let’s talk about what sets each apart.
1. Showit offers design freedom, while Squarespace is no-fuss.
If you want more design freedom, Showit is the clear winner. If you value “drag and drop” with ease into static templates, then Squarespace might fit your needs. Chiming in as a designer, when I design websites for creative entrepreneurs, I appreciate Showit for its elevated look and customization options. For example, when I create a site for a photographer, I want the site to blend beautifully with the brand and set the artist apart from the first time a potential client lands on their site.
When you’ve been dreaming of a website that gives you and your site visitors all the feels, customization is the key to seeing that dream come true! I offer my clients two options. The first option is template customization, where we start with a Tonic Site Shop template and transform it to be unique to you, OR we create a completely custom site. If you like showing up to the party in a dress no one else has, this is probably the right option for you!
2. The mobile view can be customized on Showit and is self-optimized and static on Squarespace.
This can be a pro or con depending on what you value most, but remember that people use mobile devices for viewing websites all day long. Showit will allow you to customize the mobile view, while Squarespace optimizes itself and elements cannot be moved. So what you see on Squarespace is what you’ll get.
So, while a little more time is needed to set up the mobile view, with over 60% of people viewing your site on their phone, you may want to consider if it’s important to give an impactful first impression that gives off premium vibes whether people access you on their desktop or mobile device. Squarespace will provide you with ease for mobile view, but if you’re a perfectionist about your images and alignment or want to include or delete something on mobile view, Showit will allow you to be nit-picky about your mobile view.
3. Showit allows edits to be made without coding, while Squarespace changes have to fit into the template and any changes require coding.
There’s one way to make modifications to a Squarespace design, and that is to add code. I can do that, but I love when I can design a site that my clients can edit on their own. Think of everything you might want to customize, like fonts, the size of mobile texts, hiding elements on mobile, and all the little things. Unless you’re a coding whiz, the likely right person for Squarespace is good with their templates “as is.”
4. Squarespace and Showit blogging is done differently.
No matter your platform of choice, you can (and should) blog on either. Showit integrates seamlessly with WordPress for blogging. Both platforms have blogging capabilities. But, Showit integrates with WordPress for blogging, which gives you all of WordPress’s well-known SEO capabilities.
If you’re twitching at even hearing WordPress, don’t worry! Blogging through WordPress is very simple. It’s everything else that’s complicated. I even have a BONUS lesson that I provide my clients on how to blog with Showit and WordPress and use the Yoast plug-in to enhance their SEO standings. So it’s the best of both worlds- the beautiful Showit design combined with what WordPress does best.
5. Squarespace’s e-commerce options are built-in, and Showit will require optimization for e-commerce.
Some people may feel that integrating pieces into a website platform is more cumbersome than a built-in e-commerce option, but I don’t feel this is a limitation. With courses and shops needing so many details to be paid attention to, there is often a solution to fit any client’s needs that we can integrate with ShowIt.
And, just keeping it real, when your business is expanding to offer these services/products, you should know you’ll need to make an additional investment to create the proper funnels and launch/market your services.
I even offer these integration services to my clients, so they don’t have to guesswork their way through the e-commerce end of their site, the site looks professional, and their end goals are met.
6. SEO matters and Showit comes out way on top!
You want to be found on Google searches, and while it’s not impossible with a Squarespace site to rank, it’s much more challenging than with Showit.. A Showit site will give you the option for on-page SEO optimization for each page of a Showit site. I even have a member of my team who does the foundation work for SEO on each site, so we always launch with confidence that search results will turn up the site from the time we hit publish.
As a website designer, it’s my choice for my own site. But, I want to note that if you want simplicity and are ok with giving up some creativity for a quicker “drag and drop” design, then Squarespace might work best for you.
Why I recommend Showit for Creative Entrepreneurs
It’s true that Showit makes me swoon, and I can’t imagine loving another platform more. As a website designer, it’s my choice for my own site for all the reasons I mentioned of design capacities, SEO, top-notch support teams, and the freedom my client has to change their site’s design elements. But, if you want simplicity and are ok with giving up some creativity for a quicker “drag and drop” design, then Squarespace might work best for you.
If you know it’s time to uplevel your business with the new and beautiful site of your dreams, we can work together on a template customization or a custom site design. Book a call with me today to talk about the best option for your business goals!