Showit and Squarespace are two very popular website platforms for wedding photographers looking for an alternative to WordPress. Both Squarespace and Showit have large followings of people who are thrilled with their website services, and they are both known for being extremely user-friendly, all in one platforms.
But how do you know which website platform is right for your wedding photography business? Should you choose Showit or Squarespace to build your website, and which one will serve your business best long-term?
You’re in luck, my friend. As a Squarespace and Showit web designer for wedding professionals, I wanted to shed a little light on the Showit vs Squarespace debate, to help you choose the right platform for your business!
In this post I’ll go over some of the key similarities and differences between Squarespace and Showit to help make your decision a little easier!
While both Squarespace and Showit support templates, the meaning of this is very different between the two platforms.
In The Ultimate Guide to Squarespace templates, I mentioned that Squarespace template families actually determine the basic functionalities of the Squarespace website (like whether or not you can have index pages, parallax scrolling, menu choices, etc) and not just the look of the website.
Templates on Showit, on the other hand, more resemble the Squarespace styling kit templates that you can purchase from places like Big Cat Creative and Go Live HQ, in that they help you determine how to set up your website to look pretty.
Showit offers some free templates to choose from, or you can design from scratch using their Simple template. You also have the option to purchase premium templates from web design agencies like With Grace and Gold and Tonic Site Shop.
Confused yet? Let’s sum all this up:
With Squarespace, templates control the way your site functions (& looks), like the skeleton of your website.
With Showit, the functionalities are all the same, and the template controls the look of your site!
With both Showit and Squarespace you have options to either design yourself, hire a web designer, or purchase a more premium template to help you set up your site!
See, it wasn’t that difficult 🙂
One of the reasons Showit has become so widely popular, especially amongst creative entrepreneurs, is the design freedom the platform has.
I’d like to say that this design freedom can be both a pro and con 😉 Let me explain!
As a web designer who started out with Squarespace and then expanded to Showit, I have to say that the complete flexibility on Showit is amazing. However; I also want to point out that the lack of restrictions can be challenging (unpopular opinion? Maybe so.) I found that as I’m designing on Showit, I miss some of the structure that comes with Squarespace design blocks. The blocks make it easy to align things, sure they can be restrictive, but I’ve gotten so used to working around the restrictions it’s not something I think of as a negative anymore.
In the flexibility category, Showit definitely wins, but does that mean that you have to go with Showit just because of this? Absolutely not.
If you’re super particular with how something looks, or maybe you need to be able to tweak very specific aspects of your website, Showit might be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you appreciate flexibility but also appreciate some restrictions and guidelines along the way, Squarespace is honestly a great option!
Cost is a major deciding factor for a lot of creative entrepreneurs. As small business owners, we’re always trying to keep our costs low so we can make more, right? Both Squarespace and Showit have a couple of different options depending on what your needs are. Both platforms also have monthly or annual subscription options available, depending on what suits your needs best.
The mid-tier Squarespace plan (Business plan) is $18/month (billed annually) or $26/month billed monthly.
In comparison, the mid-tier Showit plan (Showit + Basic Blog) is $24/month (billed annually) or $29/month billed monthly.
As you can see, the prices are pretty similar between the two platforms and include most of what you’d need to run your wedding photography business website like a blog and secure certificate (so your website starts in https).
If you want to see more specifically what’s included (and what isn’t) to make a full comparison, head on over to Showit and Squarespace to review the full prices there!
Overall though, if you are price conscious, you’ll get the most bang for your buck with Squarespace. Especially if you’re looking to sell digital products. Let’s dive into that next.
Squarespace is the #1 choice between the two platforms if you’re trying to sell digital (or physical) products through your website. Whether that be presets, workbooks, guides for other photographers, templates for other photographers, etc. Squarespace has great options for ecommerce integrated in the platform.
With the business plan mentioned earlier you are able to sell unlimited products for a 3% transaction fee using your Squarespace website.
Showit on the other hand is not ecommerce ready just yet, so you will need to add a 3rd party integration to enable shop functionalities for your Showit website.
The most popular choice when it comes to adding shop functionalities to a Showit website is through Shopify Lite. This integration costs $9/month in addition to your Showit plan. This is what I use for the Hygge Design Co shop!
If you’re looking for a tutorial on how to add Shopify Lite to your Showit website, Angela from Saffron Avenue has a great tutorial!
If cost & ecommerce integration is important to you, definitely take a look at Squarespace, as it will be the most comprehensive option for you!
Both Squarespace and Showit are mobile optimized platforms, but there are some key differences.
Squarespace is automatically optimized for mobile, which means that as you design your website, Squarespace sets it up to be mobile optimized as well. In some cases, this can look a little weird, or maybe you’ll need to utilize a couple of hacks to get it to look just right.
Showit on the other hand allows for basically full customization of your mobile site. In the Showit platform you can design the mobile and desktop versions of your site side-by-side to make sure your site looks just the way you want it to.
Again, this kind of goes back to the overall flexibility of the platforms. Where Squarespace has some limitations, Showit almost feels too free. There’s really no right or wrong choice when it comes to this, but more a personal preference and how particular you are with your final mobile layout.
Overall User friendliness
The final point to sum up this whole Showit vs Squarespace comparison is the overall user friendliness.
Again, this is not a definite answer on which one is the better platform, but just my personal opinion after designing websites on both platforms.
Squarespace is definitely the easier and less time consuming platform to design from scratch on. If you’re looking for something completely custom, that is also easy to navigate, I’d personally choose Squarespace.
While both platforms feature drag-and-drop editors, Squarespace forces you to design on a grid structure, which automatically helps align your website content. On Showit, this is a little more free, which also means it can be a little bit more challenging to get things to lign up just right.
Does that mean I prefer Squarespace over Showit? Nope! It just means that I think you’ll have to carefully choose platform based on your own situation, personal preferences, and what you need your website to do for you.
While Showit can allow you to create breathtaking web designs, Squarespace also allows for a lot of flexibility once you learn their rules and then how to break them 😉
So which platform should you choose?
The final answer on which platform you should choose will totally depend on your personal situation. Where is your business today, how are you hoping to grow or scale your business over time, and what will fit well with your brand?
This post does bring up some of the key deciding factors I use for my own clients to decide on the best platform for them. And I hope this was beneficial for you in shedding some light on some of the main differences between Showit and Squarespace.
Since writing this post on Showit vs Squarespace, I moved my own website from Squarespace to Showit. If you’re curious about why, or even how to move your site from Squarespace to Showit, be sure to take a look at this post:
* this is an affiliate link, which means I may get some benefit at no extra cost to you!