Today is the day I’m finally launching my new website and I’m officially making the switch over to Showit after years of blogging on WordPress and then Squarespace. I’m going to break down why I made the switch and whether you should, too.
Note: This post may include affiliate links, which means that if you click through an affiliate link and take action, I may receive compensation at no additional cost to you. I only recommend services I have used and enjoyed.
Showit is a website software and publishing platform that you can use to publish your website and content on the internet. You can also seamlessly integrate a blog into Showit, and sell individual products using Shopify, ThriveCart, or similar software. There are similarities between Showit, WordPress, and Squarespace, but there are also some distinct differences.
Pros and Cons of WordPress
WordPress is an open-source content management system. It’s best known for its powerful blogging capabilities, but it is also used by businesses for all types of websites. WordPress is extremely customizable, but it requires the use of “plugins” which are basically pieces of code that you can integrate into your site to add different features.
There is a lot of confusion about WordPress because there is a WordPress.com version and a WordPress.org version. The WordPress.com version is a “free” version that is hosted by Automattic, the makers of WordPress. But, that version has restrictions and you have to pay to remove ads and add more functionality.
Instead, the self-hosted version of WordPress is recommended. The way it works is that you pick a website host like GoDaddy, Bluehost, WP Engine, etc. and sign up for a hosting plan. They then install the WordPress software for you. You pick (or purchase) a theme, then install it, and customize it or hire someone to do so.
WordPress is very powerful and very functional, but there are some downsides. You have to stay on top of updates to the software and plugins, and WordPress is very susceptible to hacking. So, it’s important to have backups of your site. If you’re not very tech-savvy, or if you don’t have a lot of time to keep up with these updates, then a traditional WordPress website might not be the best choice for you.
Pros and Cons of Squarespace
Squarespace is a website-building platform that also allows website owners to add a blog. One of the key benefits of Squarespace is that it’s an “all in one” platform, so you don’t have to sign up for separate hosting. The Squarespace software and hosting are all included in the monthly price that users pay for service.
Squarespace has a number of templates that you can use to start your web design. Unlike WordPress, you can’t purchase separate templates to use for your site design. But, you can purchase design kits. Design kits walk you through exactly how to customize your site.
This process has changed a bit now that Squarespace has moved to version 7.1. I used version 7.0 and version 7.1, and I think it was easier to customize the site under 7.0, but the process of choosing a template is easier under 7.1, because it’s basically now one template that’s styled differently.
When I used Squarespace, I used design kits by a company called Station Seven. They take all the headache out of designing your site because they install the design changes for you when you purchase a template.
There are many benefits of Squarespace, but there were some features of Squarespace that I didn’t like. The blogging features were very basic, and there were times when I accidentally deleted a blog post; unfortunately, they don’t autosave, and there is no way to recover deleted posts.
With the switch over to 7.1, Squarespace also took away the templates that included a sidebar, and many other features.
Another drawback to Squarespace for me is that they only allowed direct integration into their newsletter block with their own email marketing service and MailChimp. To integrate with another service, you had to either use a third-party program called Zapier or embed coding and then try to make adjustments to make the sign-up form integrate correctly.
Overally, I didn’t like the “block editing” feature of Squarespace and the limitation under version 7.1. Thankfully, the templates from Station Seven made the platform easier to use, but I eventually went back to WordPress for the blogging features and the variety of templates.
Why I Switched My Website to Showit
I had previously heard about the Showit platform, but I was really confused about exactly how it worked before I made the switch. Like Squarespace, Showit is an all-in-one platform, so you don’t have to pay for separate hosting and they offer a number of completely free templates, or you can start your design from scratch.
Unlike both WordPress and Squarespace, Showit is a truly drag and drop platform that is completely customizable without using a line of code or being limited to editing in blocks. Showit also includes lots of features to help you make an interactive site with a custom feel, even if you start with a template.
I fell in love with the templates designed by Elizabeth McCravy. Her Em Shop templates are perfect for coaches, entrepreneurs, and personal brands. For my website relaunch, I ultimately chose the Jena template with the podcast site add-on, but I made lots of changes to it to really make it my own. I’m also an affiliate for the brand.
One of the main features of Showit that helped me decide to make the switch was the ability to integrate a WordPress blog with Showit. Yep, you can get an all-in-one website with drag and drop features together with the power of WordPress blogging.
The way it works is that you sign up for a Showit hositng plan that includes a blog, then you create your website in Showit. You can then request that the Showit team create a blog for you and give them the information that’s required. They will create the blog and give you access information.
The blog seamlessly integrates with your ShowIt site and the styling from your Showit site will automatically be applied to your blog. Your blog is securely hosted on WP Engine, and the Showit team is available to help if you run into any problems.
Of course, with any website platform, there will be some cons. With ShowIt, the major con is that, while you can add the ability to sell digital products on your site using Shopify or ThriveCart, it’s not designed to integrate with a product-heavy shop, so you may have to create a separate shop to sell your products.
You also have to get used to signing into Showit to manage your site, and having a separate login to create your blog posts. Lastly, while the Showit team has good customer service, it’s not 24 hours, 7 days a week. Unless you have an emergency, you will have to chat with them during set business hours.
Overall, the functionality of Showit and the design features outweighed the cons for me. I do plan to sell digital products and courses, and I will likely use a separate platform and simply link to my shop. Even when I used Squarspace and WordPress, I never liked being entirely depending on one platform for my entire business.
If you’re interested in trying out Showit, they offer a free trial. You can start out with a free template to try it out, but I highly recommend Elizabeth McCravy’s Em Shop. Her templates includes a free course to teach you how to use Showit and fully customize your site.
Click here to visit Elizabeth McCravy’s Em Shop!
Are you in the process of deciding whether or not to make the switch? I’d love to hear your thoughts and help any way that I can! Just leave a comment below.