Think of your website like your home; your beautiful digital home that serves as a window to to your business offers and brand. None of us enjoy company popping by when are house is messy and the same goes for your website. Keeping it current, optimized, and strategic couldn’t be more important in the fast online world in which we live in. Visitors will judge your business in a matter of seconds based on what they feel when they land on your website. You want it to be a good feeling… that’s for sure.
But when going about building your website there are multiple directions to go in regarding which platform to chose, and even more information circulating the internet. Just Google, “which platform should I build my website in?” and you’ll fall deep into a black-hole of forums and passionate internet chats that end up leaving you more confused than you started.
Some heavy hitters in the space are WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, & Wix. A newer player to the scene is Webflow, a platform I know little about yet but hope to learn in 2021. Each one has its unique pros and cons and to understand why Big Wave Studio builds websites primarily through Showit, it’s important to be informed about the options.
Another disclaimer is that there is no “bad” platform, but there are platforms best suited for your business needs depending on your offerings and goals. Let’s dive in.
WordPress is easily the biggest name of the above. Equipped with a powerful Content Management System (CMS) that’s able to be completely customized with code, brands like Vogue, The New Yorker even the White House use WordPress to power their websites. There are thousands of plugins available and infinite possibilities for customization with WordPress.
You’re sitting thinking, why wouldn’t I just use WordPress if all of those incredible brands do?
Here’s the thing; those brands have teams of dedicated developers and designers taking on that task. Your zone of genius is likely not web development nor coding which means if you want a customized site you’ll need to constantly hire out to a developer or learn that skill yourself. As a busy entrepreneur running all the things, those ideas likely don’t appeal to you much.
Enter the conversation — Software As a Service (otherwise known as SaaS) providers, aka Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, and our favorite Showit.
What does this mean and how is it different than WordPress? With WordPress you “self-host” your website which means you call all the shots and maintain full control. Essentially you “own” your site. There are pros and cons to this, but self-hosting requires constant vigilance and education to ensure the site is properly updated and compliant. This again, requires a good level of comfort with coding and web developing. For some that will be a breeze, for others it’s an annoyance that turns them onto fully hosted platforms.
With website builders like Squarespace and Showit, the company is hosting your website. That means if these companies decided to shut their doors tomorrow, you’d be out of luck for your site. However, that seems unlikely as many small – medium businesses are finding these builders better suit their needs. As mentioned before, small biz owners are uninterested in taking on these developer roles and utilizing a builder makes much more sense for their business goals.
I came across Showit through wedding photographer friends and it blew my mind from the moment I experimented with it. Initially created for creatives and primarily photographers, Showit is a completely drag and drop website platform that offers insane creative flexibility backed by the power of WordPress blogging (more on that below).
This was the biggest selling point both for me and for my clients. My zone of genius is design, not development nor coding, and therefore Showit suits me best to build beautiful websites without code. It also helps my clients as they feel empowered using the Showit beyond our time together. With every web client we do an off-boarding video that’s recorded for them for later use where we walk through the basic functionalities, key tips and tricks, to leave them feeling confident to utilize and make changes to their sites as they grow. Websites should never be static, they’re constantly evolving concurrently as us business owners do.
Showit has partnered with WordPress to utilize their CRM for the back-end. This means that you design the blog format in Showit but all of your blog organization and creation happens in WordPress. it’s truly the best of both worlds. You get the use of drag and drop design combined with the power of WordPress for blogging, which is immensely helpful for SEO and overall running a blog.
This is a big one folks. Having worked in WordPress, Squarespace, and Showit the level of customer support from Showit wins by a lot. There are Support documents, not to a mention a support button within the website builder where you can ask customer service a question and you’ll get an answer within hours. They host webinars, there’s a buzzing Facebook group, and passionate community around Showit. Coming from the hospitality industry and maintaining white glove service as a key pillar of my brand, it feels very aligned to promote a website builder that’s known for their customer service.
So there you have it, a mini breakdown of why we love Showit here and the difference between hosted website builders and self-hosting through WordPress. Remember there’s no right or wrong platform, but there are strengths that will work best for you depending on your big business goals.
— Cathryn DeLine of Bloom Allay CBD
—Lindsay Kreighbaum of Linny Co.
—Sarah benner of sarah b photography