Ah, the never-ending quest to find the perfect website platform for your creative business.
You know what? I don’t think it exists. I’ve built on 6 platforms so far and they all have their appeal, but I recently learned about Showit and quickly started designing client sites and templates on this fun and versatile platform.
Showit is aimed at photographers and though many other creative businesses are jumping on the trend. It’s a front-end page builder that makes it easy for you to create unique websites without having to know code. Your site sits on Showit, but your blog is hosted by WordPress, so you get the best of both worlds.
But many people claim that if you want to have the most flexible website around, that gives you the most control over the way that it works, and the best SEO benefits, you should be on WordPress.
WordPress is fully extendable (meaning that you can integrate just about any feature if you have the know-how or hire a developer), there are definitely some drawbacks for the average creative business owner or solopreneur who just wants a fast, beautiful website that’s easy to update on their own.
This is the category that most of my clients come into, and also where I find myself. Though I’ve spent years learning my craft and many late nights buddy-buddy with Google search and Facebook groups, I ultimately want a pretty website that gets the job done.
So when I sadly moved my site from Squarespace (which worked PDG) because I wanted to blog on WordPress, I had two choices: learn Showit or WordPress. I chose WordPress because I wanted to use WooCommerce for my online store. But I build website templates for Showit because I love the total creative freedom that I get with the drag-and-drop editor. And, Showit sites hook up with a WordPress blog.
So now that I’m officially versed in these two platforms, I feel it’s time to give my little opinion about the pros and cons of using these two systems so that you can make a decision for yourself.
So then, what are the benefits of creating your site in Showit over a straight WordPress site (for example, a site built with Elementor, Divi, or a paid WordPress theme?)
Which platform gives more design freedom?
Have you ever felt hemmed-in by your current blog’s look? You know how it goes: you buy a theme and then a few months down the line, another, prettier theme comes out and you want to switch again? Or maybe you change your focus and need to keep most of your content but makeover your whole website?
These times hit when you’re busiest and you either don’t have the time or cash to hire a designer or find a new theme (or both).
That’s why we love site builders, #amiright?
Well, Showit’s maybe the queen of pretty site builders because you have complete drag-and-drop, no-code-required freedom over the look and feel of your website. Push a button to add text. Drop in a gallery and add images. Changes the color and style of any text or image with a few clicks. Ahhh, design freedom!
While WordPress Elementor has many more features and you can extend it endlessly with plugins, it’s a lot more complicated to use. Everything has to fit within a specific page structure and it’s not possible to create a totally different mobile experience like you can on Showit.
For a beginning-to-intermediate user, you just can’t match the level of freedom you get with the Showit site builder.
For the win:
Showit for ease of use and creativity
WordPress for advanced features + customizations
Does Showit or WordPress have better SEO Abilities?
The word on the net is that WordPress is the best platform for SEO. Is this true? I’m not sure, but I do know that within a few weeks of switching my site off of Squarespace and onto WordPress, I got several inquiries of people asking to guest post on my blog and also more comments — and this was in a time where I had been doing zilch marketing and hardly any publishing.
So I thought that maybe switching to WordPress was a good SEO move on my part.
Had I moved to Showit, though, I could have designed an even prettier site much faster while still getting WordPress SEO benefits thanks to the integrated WordPress blog.
Of course, Showit has its own SEO settings panels so you can still integrate keywords in all the right places, tag text with properly, include alt text, page descriptions, and all the other necessary housekeeping to help your Showit site rank well in search engines.
WordPress might let you go a little further, though, because you can assign “schema” to certain parts of your page to help Google recognize that, “Hey, this is an FAQ section” and they might pull you up faster in search rankings.
For the win:
WordPress for its infinite abilities to optimize your site
Showit Vs WordPress Site Speed Compared
Speaking of site speed, a common concern for every business owner is how fast their website loads. Slow load times might make people bail before they even read what you’re about and now that Google’s penalizing slow sites with a badge of shame, your site speed should be top of mind.
In my speed performance tests, I’ve found Showit sites to load much faster than most WordPress websites. This honestly shocked me, and it’s another reason why I wish I had moved from Squarespace to Showit instead of straight WordPress.
Also, you can streamline your mobile site so that it loads even faster; just leave out certain images and design elements that you don’t need. Your visitors will still love your unique look… and not having to wait for your website to load!
To test your site’s load speed, try Pingdom or Google Page Speed Insights.
For the win:
Showit sites load blazingly fast
Which platform has better support?
Hands down, Showit wins here. Sorry to spoil the WP party, but everyone knows that you’ll either have to learn code or hire a developer to troubleshoot WP problems. Showit has a dedicated support team that responds to your questions within a day, or else you can try to get your questions answered in the genuinely helpful Facebook group.
WordPress, on the other hand, is open source, and while there are more than enough WordPress pros out there and also many FB groups for WordPress users, you’ll probably have to pay for detailed help.
For the win:
Showit because they’re there when you need them
Blogging on WordPress vs Showit
It’s a tie! Yes, I mentioned that Showit works with a WordPress blog. So the cool part is that you can design your site in Showit and blog in WordPress. Showit will pull in your posts into your unique website design.
The downside is that in Showit you’ll have to learn how to use the WordPress settings if you’re going to get really creative, whereas in WordPress you can often buy a nice theme and just load one of their page variations to get the look that you want. But, it might be hared to make changes on your own.
Also, you have to be on the Showit Advanced Blog plan to use custom plugins. This plan is a bit pricier than many businesses would like to pay monthly. But Showit sites are hosted on WordPress Engine, a reliable and well-rated host, and their plans always run more. So if you’re looking for cheap hosting, Showit might not be for you.
For the win:
Showit for designing and changing up the look of your blog
WordPress for its customizations and ability to choose your hosting
Who has better website security?
Website security is a huge topic for good reason, and it’s commonly cited that WordPress websites can get hacked. People can break in or install malware on sites, usually by finding openings in insecure plugins or themes.
While Showit takes care of security and hosting for your website (the part built on Showit) hackers can still potentially find their way in through insecure plugins or an outdated version of WordPress. You should always be careful to update your software and plugins and I suggest purchasing additional security software to buckle down your blog.
Who wins here?
Tie. You’ll have to take extra measures on both platforms
Are there any drawbacks to blogging with Showit?
So you see that I really love Showit for its design options and ease of use, but WordPress still has so many good features that some people might want to stay on WordPress. And in some areas, it’s a toss-up which is the better platform.
So to be fair, let’s talk about a few potential downfalls to creating your site with Showit.
You’re hosting on their platform
We touch on the great debate again about “owning your content” vs. hosting on someone else’s servers. I think this debate gets a little silly because no matter where you host your site, it’s going to be on someone else’s servers. It’s just that with a Showit site, you can’t take your whole site as-is and migrate it to another platform because it just won’t work. You’ll have to recreate it somewhere.
This shouldn’t be a problem if your blog hosts your main content because if you ever do decide to switch platforms, you can always take your WordPress blog with you wherever you go (sorry, but you can’t move main pages on Squarespace, either–at least without a lot of hassle).
Showit is hosted on WordPress Engine and Amazon software (don’t know details here, so don’t quote me!) and when I messaged them during the pandemic while worrying whether sites might go offline, they assured me that things would remain up and running. And when there are any server outages (as sometimes happens with any platform I’ve been on), Showit’s on top of making sure that things are back up and running ASAP.
Also, WordPress Engine is one of the most trusted WordPress hosting names and they make frequent site backups just in case you need one!
All that said, some people just really want the flexibility to pick up and switch hosts at any time. If that’s you, you might be better off with plain WordPress.
You might be limited on your choice of plugins
What’s a plugin? If you’re new to WordPress, just know that a “plugin” is something like an app that gives your website extra features. This could be anything from an integrated post scheduler to an affiliate marketing plugin or an image optimizer.
Plugins are some of the coolest parts of WordPress because you can basically create anything and everything with the right plugins (and maybe some extra developer work).
Showit structures its paid plans based on the number of site visitors you will have and also the kinds of plugins that you can use. If you’re on their Basic blog plan, you’re limited to the few premium plugins that Showit offers. These are helpful things like Smush images WordPress jetpack for related posts, but serious bloggers will want to be on the Advanced Blog plan, where you can install plugins that can help speed up your site, potentially increase your SEO ranking, and help you with affiliate marketing.
There’s also a list of “approved” and “blacklisted” plugins that you need to check out because some plugins are incompatible with Showit.
In other words, you can do a lot with plugins on Showit, but you can’t do everything. So if you want unlimited freedom to customize your site, you should also not use Showit.
Not built for e-commerce
The last drawback to using Showit is that it’s not built for e-commerce. Online stores need a whole set of advanced features that just aren’t on this platform that was originally intended for service-based photographers.
There are a few ways to keep your site on Showit, though, while selling:
- Use Shopify Lite and link your products
- Use Thrivecart and link your products
- Link out to a store on another platform (like Shopify)
For those selling only a few items, it might be easy enough to integrate Shopify Lite or Thrivecart. Shopify Lite gives you a fully-functioning cart while Thrivecart helps you build funnels and is ideal if you’ll be linking to other platforms, like course platforms, too.
So you would have to pay for your Showit subscription and another platform’s fees on top of it.
If instead, you go with a straight WordPress site, you can use WooCommerce to keep everything in one place.
Wrapping it Up
So… that’s a really long analysis of two great website platforms, WordPress and Showit.
I’m using Elementor Pro for my own website ATM, but I ultimately love to design sites on Showit because they’re fun to build and they work so well for creative businesses and bloggers. I just can’t take on another personal website redesign when I have so many great template ideas!
If you’d like to try Showit out for yourself, sign up for a free 14-day trial and see how you like it. Or, if you’re going to build on WordPress, I highly recommend trying WordPress Elementor.
There’s going to be a learning curve whichever platform you choose, so pick the one that works best for you!
PS – Check out my new Showit template shop to get a beautiful website for your creative business. All templates come with guides and training so you can set up your own gorgeous, high-converting website in under a week!