Have you been thinking about investing in a website template, but you’re afraid to end up looking like everyone else? I know the feeling.
I stayed away from website templates for years because I didn’t want to look like everyone else! I mean, there was a certain look that all the female entrepreneurs were going for, and it just wasn’t me!
But then one day I needed to switch website platforms so I invested in a template. It made it so easy to set up my site! And then I invested in another template when I switched platforms again. And this time I didn’t even change the colors or the branding because I liked it so much!
Website templates are a great way to set up your online business faster and better than you could on your own. Templates can give you the custom look for a fraction of the price, an nth of the time, and a whole lot less headache!
And while it’s tempting to find a template that you love and just pop in your own text and images (like I did), it’s a much wiser strategy to customize the template to fit your business and style.
In this quick post, I’m going to show you how to change a few key things so your Showit website template looks less like a template, and more like a design created and customized just for you!
In this quick tutorial, we’re going to be learning how to customize a Showit website template (like one of the templates that I sell in my shop). So let’s play DIY designer and learn how to customize a template to create a standout brand!
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1. Use Your Own Branding
One of your first jobs as a DIY designer is to match your website to your branding. For our first step, this involves changing the template’s default fonts and colors.
To change your brand settings in Showit, you’ll want to go to the Design Setting tab. This is in the top-left corner of your Showit dashboard.
Click on that, and the settings panel opens to give you options to change your colors and fonts.
Showit uses 8 colors by default; if you have fewer colors, just make sure that the rest of the colors are lighter tints or darker shades of one of your primary colors.
Every time you change a color, it will affect all instances of that color in your design, so every background, box, and text color will change accordingly.
To change your fonts, click on the three dots next to a title or heading and you’ll be presented with your font options. Add new Google fonts or upload your own .woff (web font) files. Be sure to hit save!
As with color settings, your fonts will automatically change across your site for all Titles, Headings, Subheadings, and Paragraph text. However, if you customized any of those settings (like made a block of text larger or smaller than the default, for example) you’ll have to go back through and change those places manually.
Once you change font and color settings, it’s very important to go back and check that your new design settings work with your layout. Some fonts, for example, have a higher line height or wider letters than the defaults. You can make adjustments to some settings in the Design panel, or manually adjust individual elements on each page to get a more ideal look.
If you haven’t created your own branding yet, it’s of course OK to follow the template font and color styles. In fact, each of my templates comes with a brand style guide in case you want to do this, but I still recommend changing some elements to create a more unique look!
2. Create Your Own Layouts
Pre-built layouts will only get you so far. Luckily, you can duplicate any layout from anywhere on your Showit site, and put it on any page. (You can’t do this with other builders like Squarespace.)
You can duplicate full pages, or individual sections, which are called Canvases. So you can reuse your favorite layouts to house new content and still keep on-brand.
To add a pre-existing Canvas, just click the three dots next to a page title (in Page view) and choose “Add new canvas”. You can then select a canvas from any page on your site, or any other Showit site in your account.
This is also a good time to replace the images in your template without your own (images are not included with a site transfer). You can click the link below to find out the best places for female entrepreneurs to get placeholder stock photos.
3. Change up Your Canvas Backgrounds
It’s easy to change the color, style, or function of any canvas on your site. If you have a static color section, you could consider changing that to an image instead. Or, if you have an image background, you could replace that with a video.
You can do all of this on the right-hand Canvas Panel under Canvas Background.
Keep in mind that you might need to change the colors or position of some elements to make these changes work for you. See the image below of a change I made in under 1 minute to a background section in the Anika template.
4. Change the Animations
So, say you’ve tried the previous tips on adding pre-built sections or changing your section background, but you’re still looking for more.
Another fun thing to do is to change the way your canvases come in and out. You can set canvas animations in the Canvas panel on the right.
You can also set custom animations like hover effects and fade-in for text and images. This requires a little more finesse as you want to make sure that all of the elements move harmoniously. To see some amazing examples of websites in motion, visit Dribbble (you might have to sign in to see animations) or Behance.
5. Embed your email signup
Now that you’ve started changing the look and the way that your website functions, you need to think about the really important things–like how to get people onto your list and into your CRM so you can book those clients.
Showit doesn’t have a built-in email provider like Squarespace, but it’s easy to embed forms from your favorite email provider, quiz program, or client management system like Honeybook or Dubsado. Just use an embed box and drop in your HTML code.
You might need to adjust the box size or other surrounding elements. And as always, be sure to check your website preview on desktop and mobile.
BONUS: Extend your website with template add-ons
Templates are meant to be a starting place for your own content. While you choose a website template based on its looks and functionality, there’s so much more that you can do with it to make it your own!
I go over a lot of this in the training videos that are included when you purchase a website template from Creative Day. But sometimes you still need more! Like more blog styling options, an online shop, or a sales page…
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Templates are meant to be just that: templates. They’re great starter pieces to build your brand, but you’ll want to go deeper into the design and freshen up your website with your own touches. So whether you change just a few colors and images, or you build out your own pages based on the design, be sure to makeover a few things to make it your own!
And if you do need help customizing your Showit template and you’d rather have us do it for you, just get in touch for our current availability.
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