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Hi, I'm Marisa, founder of Quill & Co. We work with doers and go-getters ready to do something truly ambitious so that they can stand out and find brand clarity.
Yay! I just launched my new website and I’m getting flooded with questions about why I switched from WordPress to a Showit website and how I’m liking it so far.
I just want to start this by mentioning that I am not affiliated with Showit (in fact, I’m not even sure if they have an affiliate program) I just want to share with you my honest experience of switching website platforms and why I chose to do so.
I started noticing these beautiful websites and realized they all had one thing in common – they were built with Showit. I did some research on Showit, and to be honest, I was super skeptical of it at first, like I am of any drag and drop website builder. But I finally decided to at least try it out.
My main motivator for trying Showit was because it’s a web platform initially created for photographers. They now cater to all visually creative businesses such as wedding professionals, marketers, coaches, etc. I wanted to serve my clients the best that I can and it seemed that by being versed in a platform that was made specifically for them was one of the best ways to do that.
More and more people are valuing the ability to update their website on their own on a user-friendly platform. I’ve always thought that WordPress was King when it comes to web design, but it can be really intimidating for my clients to update and maintain after I have finished designing and building it out their website.
This is my WordPress website before I switched. I got tons of compliments on it, but it just didn’t feel exactly like me
I started with the 14-day free trial to just play around and learn a new platform. Going into it, I didn’t have the intentions of building a new website for myself, but I quickly began to realize the full potential of Showit and decided to make the leap. I instantly knew that my clients could benefit from this platform so much!
I personally don’t think there is no wrong or right platform to build on. But, I do think that there is the wrong and right one for your needs. So I wanted to break down the pros and cons of WordPress and Showit.
WordPress is by far the most powerful content management system. It’s no surprise that 27% of the internet world is powered by WordPress. Some of the most successful companies in the world prefer WordPress as their CMS. This is because, with code, it is completely customizable and there are no limits on functionality. Because of this WordPress websites are great for scaling with your business as there are no limitations on what you can do.
WordPress is a self-hosted platform. Meaning you have to buy your domain and host it through a third party. Because of this, you have full control over your PHP files – you 100% own your website. One thing that is scary about not self-hosting is you don’t really own your website and you have very little control over what happens in the long term future of your website.
For example, let’s say that if SquareSpace went out of business tomorrow, you could potentially lose your website because it is hosted by them and they have control of your files.
There are pros and cons to self-hosting. Self-hosting is kind of like owning a home. When you self-host you are responsible for the upkeep, the utilities, and the insurance, and you have to deal with anything that could potentially go wrong. But you have more freedom to customize your property.
There are over 50,000 free and paid WordPress plugins. Plugs in are lines of code that extend the capabilities of your website. This could be something as simple as adding a custom “Pin It” button to your site to something as big and complex as adding e-commerce functionality.
While plugins add functionality, if you add too many they may slow down or break your site.
Often times plugins may not be compatible with each other or the developer hasn’t updated the code in a while. This often times leads to the risk of your site breaking. I’ve seen a lot of WordPress sites brake from downloading untrustworthy plugins or from not testing the plugins beforehand.
WordPress is SEO friendly out the box. The platform allows you to take care of a lot of different elements that factor into SEO such as proper HTML markup, SEO friendly permalinks, ability to add tags, headlines, and alt text, etc.
One of my least favorite things to do is coding. It’s not my strongest skill and it can be really time-consuming for me. This year a big goal of mine is to focus on my strengths and that means ditching coding and focusing on design.
The drag and drop builder is set up very similarly to Illustrator and was really easy for me to pick up. I love the idea of no longer having to make child themes, edit CSS, HTML, and PHP, or work with a developer.
There are some downfalls to Showit’s extreme customization. Because everything is so customizable, designing each element and page can become tedious and time intensive. Since Showit doesn’t work in a grid system like most website builders if you don’t have a solid knowledge of website design principles your website could quickly become disorganized, inconsistent, and messy. This could ultimately end up hurting you more than helping.
Showit has an entire library of help docs, chat support built into the dashboard of the website builder, and a Facebook community of people troubleshooting together. While there are tons of resources and communities out there centered around WordPress, I love that when I have a technical question Showit is there to help when I get stuck.
I also love that the Showit team will migrate and launch your website and blog for you. This means I don’t have to spend hours of time moving old blog content over (they take care of that) and I don’t have to deal with any of the messy backend developer stuff like DNS, A records, making sure plugins are updated or creating backups of websites (nooo thank you). I can finally focus on the things that I do best and serve my clients better. Showit is like adding another member to my team.
With up to 70% of web traffic coming from mobile devices it’s so important to have a dynamic and beautiful mobile website. I love that within Showit you can create a complete custom mobile site and design it side by side the desktop version. It’s also very easy to hide certain elements on mobile or desktop and change the stacking order which can be difficult within WordPress if you aren’t familiar with coding.
I was very worried about ditching the great SEO potential that my WordPress website. But Showit is very SEO friendly. I can still make short and relevant URLs, add titles, meta descriptions, alt text, optimize my images, etc. With a little bit of effort, Showit’s SEO is just as good as WordPress.
In fact, Showit even integrates with a self-hosted WordPress blog, meaning that you design within Showit but your blog posts are pulled from WordPress. So when switching platforms I didn’t have any issue with my permalinks breaking and it doesn’t hurt my SEO.
While WordPress has a media library, I absolutely love that you can organize your Showit medial library into several different folders. This is a super handy feature that saves you time by being able to bulk upload images and store them in their specific folder for future use. This can also be very useful for people with very image heavy sites, like photographers. I am also blown away that Squarespace doesn’t offer a media library, so you have to keep a local copy of everything uploaded to your site in case you need to make future changes.
This is my Showit website. I love that I finally have complete control over the design without spending hours on coding
I couldn’t be happier with my new website and I’m so excited to start offering Showit website design to my clients!