Choosing the best website builder is simply not as simple as it should be – it’s crazy how long we can get caught up on this decision. From Squarespace to WordPress and Showit, it’s difficult to decide which one you’re going to stick with for the long haul. Sure, you can start on one and move to another, but doing so will cause more headaches than it’s worth. That’s why it’s worth getting the decision right first time.
Today, we’re going to compare WordPress, one of the most popular website builders out there, with Showit, which is still a little of a best-kept secret.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a website builder that allows you to self-host your website. That means you can install WordPress on almost any website hosting service and build your site there. WordPress is like a blank canvas; it’s up to you to have the right tools and skills to bring it to life.
Why WordPress is So Popular: Most people recommend WordPress because it is so customisable. You can really do anything with it – provided you know what you’re doing. You can buy templates online and upload them to your site to get that look instantaneously and buy and install plugins to get additional functionality.
Why WordPress isn’t for Everyone: The problem? All the elements that you plug into WordPress come from different places, which means they won’t all play nicely with each other. This often leads to your site partially or even completely breaking until you update other plugins, or remove the elements that can no longer work together. Another issue for many is that you build it from the backend, which means you can’t build it via a drag-and-drop visual interface. There are plugins that can make this possible, but again, they don’t work with every theme and plugin. You can waste a lot of time figuring out the maintenance yourself or paying for professionals to manage your site for you.
What is Showit?
Showit is also a website builder, but unlike WordPress, it’s entirely visual. You work within a drag-and-drop editor so you can make tweaks to the design easily, you don’t need additional plugins or the expertise of a developer.
Why I Love Showit: I love Showit because it is just so user-friendly. It has an interface that looks similar to the Adobe suite, so it’s especially intuitive to use if you’ve used their software. If you haven’t, don’t be turned off – it’s still incredibly easy to use.
When I Don’t Recommend Showit: It may not be ideal if you want to run a store, but if you’re a creative entrepreneur or brand, Showit will rock your world!
WordPress vs. Showit: Key Differences
Hopefully, you’re starting to get an idea about which platform is going to be best for you. Now you know the major pros and cons, let’s dive deeper into the differences between the two platforms.
Ease of Use
Everyone is attracted by the idea of having the “most powerful” option, but the truth is, if you don’t need those options (or know how to use them), then they’re going to be useless to you. This is essentially what WordPress is for many people – it’s like having a supercar that you don’t know how to get out of second gear. Worse, no one else has the same engine specification as you, so troubleshooting is often just taking a stab in the dark.
WordPress has a pretty big learning curve, and while you can get the basics relatively quickly (talking hours here, not minutes) if you’re tech-savvy, problem-shooting is definitely best left to the professionals.
Conversely, Showit can be picked up in just minutes. You still have a huge amount of customisability, but you don’t have to worry about using rigid templates or plugins that will often cause more problems than they’re worth.
There’s a huge difference between the customisability of Showit templates vs. WordPress templates. While you can find hundreds of thousands of different WordPress templates online, they aren’t fully customisable. Most templates have a set layout you can change to some degree, but there are certain elements you’ll be stuck with (or need someone who knows code to remove or change).
Showit, however, allows you to change anything you can see. You simply click to change the colour, font, rearrange, or remove. It’s so simple. I’m never worried when I hand over a Showit site to a client because I know they’ll be able to use the site and make changes easily.
WordPress is often paraded as the cheapest option for getting a site up online, but this isn’t often the case when all is said and done. Why? Here are a few things to consider:
- Basic hosting is advertised as just a few pounds a month, but that’s for the most basic type of hosting and for at least a year’s hosting, often two or three. This often means you’ll get the slowest site speeds (essential for SEO), low levels of security, it may not come with an SSL certificate (also essential), and you may not get access to fast support.
- You need to pay for your theme (£30-60 on average) and for some plugins. You may find you start facing problems here, and have to hire a developer to fix them for you, which at £25-85 an hour, will add up fast. These costs will be ongoing, because all the independent pieces you’ve used to build your site update at different times, potentially breaking your site.
- You must (must!) pay for site backups, or upgrade to a hosting plan that includes them (usually £20+ a month). If you don’t, you could potentially lose your entire site if you make a mistake and have no way to get it back.
Showit is more expensive at face value but more affordable in the long-term. They offer fast hosting with their websites, so you won’t have to worry about moving to a new host in the future. For a Showit site and basic blog Showit is $24-$34 a month when billed annually, or $29-$39 a month. You can use WordPress plugins for your blog, too, if you want additional features.
Over 50% of all searches are now made from a mobile device – that means your site needs to work perfectly for those users, whether they’re using an older iPhone, the latest Samsung, or an iPad. Not all WordPress sites are built to be mobile responsive, which means you may have to use additional plugins to get that essential feature. That may lead you to another problem, which is that users typically give a site 3 seconds to load before they’ll go back and choose another option from the search results. If your site can’t match a 3 second load time, you may lose visitors.
Showit understands just how important mobile responsiveness is and takes everything a step further, by allowing you to design a custom site for your mobile users. Why do you need to do that? Think about it – your desktop users, iPad users, and smartphone users are having entirely different experiences with you. The person who comes to your site on a desktop may even be looking for something slightly different than the person who’s on their iPhone on the move. You can greatly improve your conversion rates if you design your site with all these different users (and intentions) in mind.
One thing that really stands out about Showit is that it shows your mobile site and your desktop site side-by-side. Few (if any!) other website builders offer this feature, and it is such a great tool for ensuring the two experiences align and differ in all the right places. You can make them differ as much as using a different call-to-action, to something as “minor” as swapping a landscape image on your desktop site for a portrait on mobile. It’s such a great way to optimize your mobile experience.
Showit also has integrated SEO tools so you can easily edit the metadata for each page, so you don’t need to worry about additional plugins or diving into the code.
No one likes having to contact support for help, but you need the support to be good when you need it.
There’s one big problem with support when it comes to WordPress, in that it doesn’t really have any. If you’re using WordPress, you’ll have to rely on the quality of your host’s support, and those people are rarely WordPress experts. If they can’t help, you’ll have to spend hours on Google trying to find a solution, or hire an expert to fix the problem.
Showit is such a different story. If you have a question or have a problem, you can turn to Showit’s support team for fast support. You can chat with a real team member through your account and if that’s not fast enough, they even have “emergency” support. Knowing you’ve got an entire team there for you if anything does wrong gives you peace of mind that you won’t be stuck fixing problems with your website when you should be serving your customers.
The Best of Both Worlds
If you’re worried about losing out on the blogging power of WordPress, don’t! Showit actually uses WordPress as a blogging platform, so you can integrate the SEO (search engine optimisation) power of a WordPress blog with the ease and style of a Showit site. Showit knew that WordPress had one of the best blogging platforms, and so they decided to integrate it into their sites rather than creating their own.
If you’re a creative entrepreneur, service provider or brand, you seriously cannot go wrong with Showit. It’s powerful, flexible, and it makes editing your site incredibly easy. I’m always so confident when I hand over a Showit site to a client because I know they will be able to manage it themselves. When you’re a small team or solopreneur, it’s so important that you have control of your own site. You shouldn’t have to go through a third party to make simple changes.