We’re coming up on our one-year anniversary of launching a very special collaboration: the Saffron Avenue website templates hosted by HAVEN, tailored just for creatives like you—designers, photographers, stylists, and small business owners alike. This collab was born after we switched our own site from WordPress to the Showit platform, and we’re never looking back! So today, we’re sharing a bit more about why we made the switch and why you might want to, too.
When I reached out to Angela of Saffron Avenue to create a custom site for HAVEN, Showit was completely new to me. While learning a new platform felt a bit daunting, after trying out a demo, I soon realized it was going to change my business, save me time and even money. The one thing that really intrigued me was that I could update (and customize) my own site at any time, without having to wait on developers to update coding—not to mention, pay them hefty hourly fees.
We’ve invited Angela back today to share our mutual love for Showit, the pros and cons of the platform, and comparison charts.
What You Might Be Struggling with Currently
- Constantly having outdated plugins and theme updates (that sometimes crash your site)
- Every time you want a new page designed or edited, you have to pay a developer to do it and wait weeks or months for changes to be made
- Your hosting company may have a lot of downtime
- Your site isn’t as mobile-friendly
- Potential image upload issues
- Getting spam notifications constantly
The Benefits of Showit
Drag and drop. It’s insanely easy to design by literally just dragging and dropping. This might be the best part! Not only that but within your account, you can design as many sites as you want.
WordPress Blog. It uses a self-hosted WordPress blog! So, if you’ve had WordPress for years (with a lot of blog posts), your old posts will not change. Your pages will change, but the permalink will stay the same (so nothing hurts your SEO).
Support & Video Library. They have an entire library of HELP DOCs that I easily referenced when I couldn’t understand something or figure it out. You can also join their Showit Facebook Group, which is beyond easy to just search and find questions/answers instead of waiting. If you invest in one of the templates I tailored for the HAVEN collaboration, you’ll get access to my Video Library, which includes over 20+ tutorials that walk you through the template you chose!
Hosting. They handle website hosting (which is Amazon servers) as well as transferring your website/domain/blog posts. (This was huge) BUT, They do not host emails, so when I switched my site, I actually had to go on G-suite for Gmail and start over. But I didn’t mind that, it was like a fresh start and I can still access my old one.
Chat Support. They have Chat Support, which may not be super immediate, but really great when you get stuck. As well as an emergency email you can reach out to if needed.
Reliability. The HAVEN site (designed on Showit) launched in July 2019 and has never been ‘down’, crashed, or had any hacking.
Mobile-Friendly. It’s easy to make your site mobile. You can design a page and a mobile layout at the same time.
It’s very SEO Friendly! But, I’ve heard that you really need to focus on that within Showit (on each page) or it can hurt. So, if you do it right and pair it with the Yoast SEO plugin on the blog you will be all good.
Why it might not fit you…
- It is however limited when it comes to e-commerce and certain capabilities. Yes, you can use a small Shopify embed code for their ‘buy button’ which allows you to still have that custom feel.
- It can be tedious. It’s so easy to make small changes here and there and can end up taking way more time. If you make some changes on one page it doesn’t always reflect on the entire site, so a lot of testing is required first.
- You will have two separate logins: 1. for Showit, where you build the design and add content to all interior pages – 2. For WordPress, simply where you publish posts.
- You have to use Google Chrome with the app (because it’s an online platform), so if you hate Chrome… it might not be a good fit.
- One HUGE thing I keep requesting in their Facebook group is the option to have hover dropdowns on the navigation. So, if you need a hover dropdown, it might not be a good fit.
- AKA: because it is so custom drag-and-drop and you don’t have a lot of knowledge in website design, flow, etc..it could hurt you more than help you…but that’s why we offer you templates!
WordPress vs. Showit
WordPress is still amazing because the true capabilities of the platform itself are beyond impressive. You can build it out to be a machine and that’s great for those businesses who have additional needs (a full e-commerce shop, scheduling app, members-only section, online courses, etc).
But, for smaller businesses, I think Showit is a great option. Businesses like: Interior Designers, Photographers, Stylists, Realtors (if not needing home filter searches), etc. Basically, any business that really requires the basic number of pages, a blog, and even a small shop if needed.
You might be wondering right now, well what about Squarespace? I did some research to show you a comparison of them as well. Basically, they are very similar BUT Squarespace is limited in terms of truly designing and customizing, however, it has better advantages for online shops!
Have more questions about Showit or the templates? Head HERE and scroll to the FAQ at the bottom, or reach out on the chatbox on that page—Angela will be the one responding directly to you!
The Haven Workshop is an intimate, three-day learning experience for interior designers who are looking to up-level their business and build a successful brand.