Well, here it is! The blog post that I'm sure many of you have been waiting for. If you have been following Viva la Violet for any length of time, you probably know that I have built my business over the last 10 years with WordPress. I built all of my client websites & premade themes exclusively with WordPress and the Genesis Framework, and was honored to be a Recommended Developer over at Studiopress. While I have thoroughly enjoyed my time strictly as a WordPress designer and took pride in the websites I designed for my clients, I feel like it's finally time to offer something new. Something that I am super excited about and something that still harnesses the powerful WordPress blog that we have all grown to love so much.
I've seen a lot of similar articles titled ‘Why I'm switching from WordPress to Showit', and I feel that those titles are a bit misleading. Using Showit does not mean that you have to stop using WordPress. In fact, Showit integrates a WordPress blog straight into your website design- so you get the best features of WordPress along with the creative freedom of Showit. It's a match made in designer (and client!) heaven.
So I'm just going to quit rambling and get down to the good stuff- the main reasons I'm introducing Showit to all of my past, present and future clients. And to anyone else who might be reading this article out of curiosity :)
1. Ease of Use
Ease of use is definitely my number one reason for moving to Showit. Since Showit is a drag-and-drop builder, this literally means that you do not have to have any coding experience to make changes and updates to your website content or design. Yes, that's right, zero. It's been a struggle in the past when the time came for some of my clients to make changes to their websites (especially the pages, but I'll get to that in a bit). They would either have to start messing with widgets or css & html code -or- hire me to do it for them. Neither of those options were truly ideal, especially for the clients who were not very tech savvy.
With Showit, you simply open up the desktop application and make those changes by clicking, dragging and dropping. I'm now super confident in offering a website design that my clients can edit and update with ease, as often as they want to.
2. Mobile Responsive Design
Moment of truth- it has always been a struggle designing for mobile with WordPress. There is really no way to see your desktop and mobile views side-by-side as you design, and this resulted in a LOT of coding, more coding, refreshing, clearing caches, having limited design options and
hair pulling downright frustration. For someone like me who is a designer at heart- the limitations were almost insulting. It was by far my least favorite part of designing a website.
The mobile designs for Showit pretty much knock it out of the park. I can see the desktop and mobile views side by side while I'm designing and make adjustments as needed. Again, with no code! It's pure magic I tell ya'. So magical that I'm just going to leave this little image here for you to see it for yourself:
3. Page Designs
Another thing that made me fall head-over heels in love with Showit was the flexibility of the website pages. With WordPress, you basically have one standard template to apply to each of your pages, unless you know a lot of coding and feel extremely comfortable designing your pages in the HTML editor. So yeah, that immediately eliminated about 99% of my clients right there. With just one available page template, the WordPress pages all ended up looking pretty much the same except for whatever photos have been added to them. Super boring, super limiting.
As I started working with more and more small business owners and bloggers-turned-entrepreneurs, I started to see a real need for beautiful page designs- not just beautiful blog posts and sidebars. This is where Showit comes in.
Showit uses canvases to create different sections on each website page, and these canvases can even be used on multiple pages by converting them to a site (global) canvas. What?! Each canvas has multiple options that you can set with just one click- things like setting a background image or video to a specific canvas or making the canvas the height of your screen. All of these options equal limitless design options for the pages as well as a polished and beautiful website overall. And who doesn't want that?
SEO is no longer a mystery with Showit. You can easily add a page title, meta description, meta keywords and image for each page. There are also SEO options for all of your images as well, and we all know how important the ALT text is for photos! No need for a plugin either. However, you can still use any SEO plugins with your WordPress blog if you have the ‘Advanced Blog' Showit subscription.
5. Cost & Customer Support
Did you know that you will no longer need a separate hosting account with Showit? Powered by WPEngine (the highest-rated WordPress hosting and the company that recently acquired my beloved Studiopress), Showit offers three different pricing options depending on your needs. Showit will host your website, which means if something goes wrong with your website, you can contact the Showit team directly instead of having to deal with an outside hosting company. (Did I mention that I've received adorable and funny animated .gifs through the customer support chat on multiple occasions?)
Showit also offers free blog migrations for your WordPress blog. This along with affordable prices and amazing customer support is a no-brainer in my book!
The Showit Myths
To wrap this up, I want to quickly point out some of the myths that have been circulating:
◇ Showit is only for Photographers
It is certainly true that Showit started out as a website builder for Photographers. However, due to it's popularity, creatives from every corner & niche are joining the Showit community. Just in my portfolio alone, I've designed for authors, bloggers, consultants, coaches and more. Not to toot my own horn here (ok well maybe just a little!), this website is the most detailed and polished design that I have ever had for my own business in ten years. And that says a LOT!
◇ You can't have good SEO
Just to touch on this again, SEO has actually never been easier than with Showit. Straightforward and simple- there's no reason to not have each and every page and image of your website optimized. Do you have a love for the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin? You can still use it to give your blog posts the boost they need.
◇ You can't have e-commerce
Well, that's just a big fat lie! Showit integrates beautifully with Shopify and the ‘SHOP' portion of my website is built using Woocommerce. Yep, you can use Showit and have a beautiful product or service-based shop too!
So now you understand why I've decided to make this huge shift in my business, and I want to give you the opportunity to try out Showit for yourself! Because seeing is believing, right? You can create a free account at www.showit.co and give it a try! I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you might have if you are interested in working with me on a new website design for Showit.
You're going to love it, I just know it!