When it comes to website builders out there, Squarespace is a pretty popular option – especially within the creative entrepreneur scene. Showit is much newer, and it’s not as well known yet. However, both are great options for creating a quality website for your business. So, let’s chat about Showit vs Squarespace, and how you can decide which is best for your business.
This episode (or blog post, if you’re reading the shownotes!) is going to be different from the previous episodes I did on website builders for two reasons:
1) I’ve never designed a client website using Squarespace before, 2) I feel like out of all of the options I’m comparing, Showit and Squarespace are the most similar.
Also, just like I’ve said in the previous episodes, I’m not here to bash any website platform and tell you that you have to use Showit.
While I prefer to design sites using Showit, I see pros and cons to all of the options I will talk about. It’s my hope that as I’m sharing my thoughts, you can take what I’m saying with a grain of salt as you make the decision about what is best for you.
Even though I’ve never actually designed a client website using Squarespace, I know that it is a popular option, so I wanted to talk about it on the podcast.
So that I wouldn’t be going into this episode completely unaware of how Squarespace works, I did go in and play around with the editor so that I could get a feel for it. But I’m definitely not as knowledgeable about Squarespace as I am about Showit.
I have friends in the industry who choose to design websites using Squarespace, and I know that some successful creative businesses that have been in business for years have Squarespace sites.
With that in mind, my initial thought on whether you should go with Showit or Squarespace is that it honestly depends on your preference for how the platforms work behind the scenes.
Both have all the features you need for a quality website.
But let’s dive a little deeper, shall we? To explain how Showit and Squarespace are similar and different, and why you might choose one over the other, let’s break these platforms down in terms of Price, Quality, Customization, and Convenience.
As we dive into price, I want to say that a website is an investment that should serve your business well, not just another expense. Also, the saying “you get what you pay for” is true when it comes to web design.
I include price in my comparison because we all have budgets to stick to, but I encourage you to consider the other factors we’ll talk about, and not just price, when choosing a platform.
With website builders, it’s also important to mention that there are often two ways to pay – monthly, or with an annual subscription paid in full. Usually, if you pay for a year up front, you can save some money. This is the case with both Showit and Squarespace’s payment options.
To keep things simple, I’ll focus on the monthly subscription for now.
Let’s talk about Squarespace’s pricing first:
I personally use Shopify when it comes to eCommerce, but since I’m not familiar with Squarespace’s ecommerce features, I won’t try to speak on it. My recommendation would be to sign up for a free trial of both to see which you like best!
I’ll also note here that Showit does not offer eCommerce features, so that’s one way that these platforms differ. If you need to integrate a small shop with Showit, you can use Shopify Lite.
Now, let’s take a look at Showit’s pricing:
So when you look at the most popular plans, at $26/mo for Squarespace and $29/mo for Showit, the two are pretty comparable.
That’s pretty much all I have to share as far as pricing goes, so let’s move on to Quality.
The quality of your website matters. Research says that when a person is browsing on the internet and clicks on your site, they will make the decision to stay or leave in a matter of seconds. You want to make a good first impression!
What affects a site’s quality? A combination of structure, intentional design, and well-written copy (the text on your site) determines a site’s quality. You want a website that is:
The good news is that both of these platforms offer the features you need to check all of these off your list! You just have to put in the work to customize the templates for your business.
So, let’s move on to customization – I have a lot of thoughts to share on that topic!
The way that Squarespace and Showit sites are customized is very different. When I went into the Squarespace editor, to play around, I took notes to share with you.
The first thing that I was asked to do when I signed up for a Squarespace free trial was pick a template. With Showit, you’ll also be asked to pick a free or premium template when you sign up for a trial.
Of course, there is always the option of hiring a designer who specializes in Squarespace or Showit (explore my custom Showit design services) to customize your site for you. For the purposes of this episode, I’m going to focus on what it’s like to go the template route.
Squarespace definitely has more free template options than Showit does. But I’ll also say that so many of the Showit designers out there who create templates put their heart and soul into it, so the templates are worth the premium price. They look more like custom designed sites than templates.
I’ll include myself here, because I’m currently working on my own Showit template shop, and I’m so excited to have the first designs available for you in January!
Both Showit and Squarespace site pages are divided into sections. Each section of a page contains text, images, and other elements. However, with Squarespace, you are much more bound to the template. This is one big way in which the two platforms differ.
Showit is known for the creative freedom that it allows. Even if you are working within a template, you can literally put things anywhere you want. You just click and drag to move things around, there are very few rules. This was one of the main reasons that I feel in love with Showit and decided to switch to designing solely on Showit.
In Squarespace, everything is more contained than free flowing. Within sections of a page, you can add different types of content blocks to create the design you want.
For example, in Squarespace, if you want to add space between one section and the image at the top of the next, you’ll need to add a spacer.
In Showit, if you want to add space between two items, you just click and drag them further apart. It’s kind of like digital painting – you have a canvas, and you can put things anywhere you want. I hope this is making sense.
It’s important to note that Squarespace sites are global, which means that the changes you make to the desktop site will automatically be made on mobile, and vice versa.
As part of the creative freedom that Showit allows, you have the ability to choose what shows up on desktop vs. mobile, and how things are positioned on each.
By default, elements will show up on both desktop and mobile, but you have the freedom to customize as much as you like, the desktop and mobile layouts can look totally different!
While I personally didn’t enjoy the way that everything was contained in blocks on Squarespace, I honestly think that this comes down to personal preference – there’s no right answer here. I can totally see how someone might prefer having more of a system and streamlined structure to the way that their site is built.
Again, I’ve seen plenty of beautiful sites on both Squarespace and Showit, so neither is a bad platform. What’s most important is that your website serves your audience and business well, and that you’re comfortable editing it.
I can sit here and talk about the differences between how the two editors work for hours, but I don’t think you want me to do that. Let’s go ahead and move on to convenience.
Similar to Quality, there’s not too much to compare when it comes to convenience with Squarespace and Showit. Both builders make it easy to sign up for an account, select a template, customize it, and have your site ready to launch!
Well there you have it, my thoughts on Showit vs Squarespace. Like I’ve been saying this whole article, I really think it just comes down to personal preference with these two.
If you’re interested in the creative freedom that I’ve talked about with Showit, give it a try! Or if you are more comfortable with working in a block editor, try Squarespace.
And if you’re really not sure which you will like best, you can always give both a test drive.
Again, these are just my opinions, please take what I’m saying with a grain of salt and do what’s best for you and your business.
If you are interested in learning more about Showit templates, I’ve started a waitlist that you can join. I’ll be sharing more information about my Showit template shop that’s coming January 2021!
As a member of the waitlist, you’ll get exclusive updates and sneak peeks. You might even get a chance to get the templates early (hint, hint).
If I can answer any questions for you about websites, templates, choosing a platform, etc. feel free to DM me on Instagram @mayapalmerdesigns or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to help!