If you’ve done a little research about the website platforms that are the most user-friendly while offering you outstanding aesthetics, you will have narrowed your search down to Showit and Squarespace.
Both of these website platforms are easy to navigate and use, provided you have a beautiful website template to use as your base. (We’ll get into this in more detail below.) So, how do you choose? Is one better than the other?
Today, I’ll guide you through all the pros and cons of each so you can decide whether Showit or Squarespace is best for your business in 2023.
Showit vs Squarespace: Which is Better for Your Business in 2023?
Let’s start with something both platforms do incredibly well – aesthetics. You’ll struggle to find a website on either that is anything but beautiful. You won’t find any websites here that look like they were built in 2006. You also won’t find cluttered templates and designs that pull a visitor’s attention in a million different directions. (That’s not to say that someone without design skills can’t make mistakes, but any template designed by a professional web designer will give most people the ability to make a good-looking website.)
While both platforms offer a handful of free website templates, you’ll get the best results if you purchase a template from a designer or get a fully custom site designed for your chosen platform. Once you’ve got a beautiful website design to customise, every page you create will be on-brand and designed to draw the eye to the most essential information.
Building a website from scratch on either platform is daunting, so best left to designers!
Ease of Use
While both have a little bit of a learning curve, both platforms are easy to use. Showit’s backend isn’t quite as user-friendly as Squarespace’s, but the design capabilities and ease of use of Showit is better than Squarespace. Showit’s setup is more fiddly than Squarespace’s (you need to talk to their team to get everything in order), but Showit’s support will always be there to help you (more on that below).
If you’re the kind of person who just wants to get on with your site independently, you may find Showit a little frustrating at times. Their support is great and they have resources online, but their team isn’t available 24/7 to help if you have questions, meaning working on your site can be stop-start.
If you wouldn’t consider yourself tech-savvy, haven’t used any adobe programs, or sometimes find it difficult to teach yourself a new piece of software, you’ll likely find Squarespace easier to use. (If you pick up new software easily, on the other hand, you’ll pick up Showit quickly.)
Blogging, Stores, and Other Apps
If you want to have other apps built-in into your website, such as a store, booking forms, client portals, and your blog, you may find Squarespace is a better fit for you. Showit shines where design is concerned, but if you need your website to offer anything other than the basics (pages, a blog, and forms), you’ll need to look to external apps to use with your website, rather than directly within it.
(The only caveat to this is blogging; Showit uses WordPress to manage your website’s blog. This means you’ll have a separate login, but it is a part of your Showit subscription, provided you choose a plan with a blog. If you’re not sure if you need a blog, click here.)
For some, this won’t be a problem, and may even be beneficial if you already have established processes in place. However, if you’re going to be managing your website yourself without any setup help, you may find integrating everything with your Showit site a little intimidating.
While there’s no denying that Squarespace’s design tools are top-notch, there’s also no beating Showit’s customisability. With Showit, you can do anything with just a few clicks. It’s not complicated, you’re not limited to a few options, and you can drag and drop everything you can see. Beyond that, you can change the spacing of all text in any way you desire, control the size of images down to the pixel, add hover and click actions, lock images to one side of the page or the other, and more. There are no limits.
With Squarespace, you used to be confined to predesigned blocks, such as image blocks and content blocks. These blocks would give you a limited number of design options to choose from. Things have now changed thanks to their new Fluid Engine. Fluid Engine gives you the freedom to change the size of objects and move them almost anywhere you want. It’s definitely not as flexible as Showit, but it’s a big improvement on its past limitations.
Showit bills in USD. They offer 3 different plans:
- a website ($228 a year or $24 a month)
- a website and a basic blog ($288 or $29 a month)
- a website and an “advanced blog” (meaning you have more than 10,000 visitors a month) ($408 or $39 a month)
Squarespace also offers a range of plans, but most reading this will choose from:
- Personal (£144 a year or £16 a month)
- Business, which includes an online store with a 3% transaction fee (£204 a year or £24 a month) (Note: this is the option you’ll need to work with a designer)
- Commerce Basic, which includes an online store with no transaction fee (£276 a year or £28 a month)
With the current exchange rate (late January 2023), UK businesses will be paying around £27 a month for a Showit site with a basic blog, or £240 for the year. That means, at the moment, Squarespace can prove a significantly more affordable option. There are also no traffic limitations for Squarespace blogs.
If you need to use other applications (booking forms, a store, client portals, and so on), you’ll also need to factor in the cost of some other apps. While Squarespace does offer some free integrations, most are at additional cost.
The benefit of Squarespace here is less the cost of using other apps, and more the ease of integration. It’s generally more straightforward to integrate other at-cost apps (such as Acuity Scheduling or Squarespace’s membership site feature) into your Squarespace site than it is a Showit site.
It’s also worth mentioning the cost of templates since you’ll need one if you aren’t ready or able to work with a designer directly. Both sites offer some free templates you can work with to get started, but if you want your site to look as professional as possible without working one-on-one with a designer, you’ll want to use a paid template. The cost of Squarespace templates ranges from £60 to £300, while Showit templates generally cost more, at £250 to over £1,000.
(The cost of working with a designer on a custom site varies, but you will be looking at £2,000 – £8,000 depending on the designer and the complexity of your site.)You’ll also need to factor in the cost of your domain name. While Squarespace does offer anyone who buys an annual plan a free domain for the first year, it’s generally better to buy your domain name with a different domain host (such as GoDaddy or Google domains) so you aren’t tied to any one platform.
Mobile-friendliness need not be a thought when choosing between these two – both have prioritised it and made it easy for you to manage your mobile site.
It’s worth noting that Squarespace will automatically optimise your site for mobile, while Showit doesn’t. Showit gives you another view of your mobile site so you can arrange all your elements there to best suit a mobile layout.
This is great in many respects – mobile accounts for a huge portion of searches so having a custom site will give users the best experience – but it also means that when you think you’ve finished one page, you’ve actually still got to go and arrange everything on the mobile site. Worth it? Yes, but certainly time-consuming.
Support is another area you don’t need to worry about with either of these platforms. Both have friendly and efficient service. Showit’s support is almost always immediately available if your work day overlaps with 9-5 PST, but since the US west coast is only starting work when we here in the UK are stopping for the day, it’s not always so convenient. That said, you can leave a message via live chat and email back and forth, so if you pose a question during a normal workday, you’ll get a reply by 7pm. Both Squarespace and Showit have helpful online articles that will guide you through most issues, and you can find YouTube tutorials for many others.
Both sites offer manual control over all the SEO things you need, such as titles, meta descriptions, alt text, and so on. There’s very little to compare here, so you can rest assured knowing both will help you with your SEO, provided you have the knowledge to optimise your site. (Here are 9 easy ways you can improve your search engine rankings right now.)
While we’re talking search engines, it’s also worth noting that Squarespace has built-in analytics tools, but Showit doesn’t. You’ll need to rely on Google Analytics for Showit sites. For those experienced with websites, this will pose no challenge, but others may find it a little time-consuming. I wouldn’t let this put you off, since I still recommend Squarespace users install Google Analytics, but the in-built analytics are convenient.
Showit wins on customisability, Squarespace wins on convenience.
If you’re a new business owner or simply looking for a site that offers a wide range of features (blog, analytics, store, membership, and so on), Squarespace will provide you with the best of both worlds.
However, if you’re more established and want a website that is fully tailored to your brand or that offers you complete control over what your website looks like, you’ll fall in love with Showit. Showit gives you control over even the tiniest of details (allowing for truly unique and beautiful websites), but you will need to rely on plugins and other platforms if you want your website to have additional functionality.
The good news is both offer you a free trial, so the best thing you can do is sign up for free, choose one of their free templates, and familiarise yourself with the way they work. You’ll soon get a sense of which will be easier for you to use. I love working with both, so I’m always happy to talk you through which will be best for you and your business. To find out more about my design services, click here.
Don’t panic if you’re still not sure if Showit, Squarespace, or another platform is right for you. I’ve got plenty of other resources that will help you decide. Find those here:
- Showit vs Wix
- Showit vs WordPress
- Webflow (best for larger businesses)
- Squarespace, WordPress, Shopify, and Showit Compared