I recently went through the exciting process of redesigning my website. As somebody who has built out quite a few websites over the past few years, I’ve been an avid supporter of the traditional route of installing WordPress on your preferred host and building out the site from there. But no matter how hard I tried, I just could not create the intricate designs I wanted without having to pay for several plug-ins or writing custom code. That’s when I discovered ShowIt.
I kept coming across these beautiful websites on Instagram and Facebook Groups that I absolutely loved. After doing some research, I soon discovered that almost all of these sites were built through a platform called ShowIt. Despite my distaste for these sitebuilding platforms (SquareSpace? Wix? No thanks.), I couldn’t wait to try out ShowIt.
As much as I love my finished site, I have to admit that the process wasn’t perfect. There were parts of creating this site on ShowIt that I absolutely loved. But there were also parts I hated. Here’s my full review on ShowIt and whether or not it would be a good fit for your small business.
What is ShowIt?
ShowIt is a visual drag-and-drop website builder. The best part is arguably the fact that it doesn’t require any understanding of code or backend development. The only thing you really need to get started with ShowIt is an eye for design. It’s marketed towards photographers and other creative professionals, but I could see this being a useful platform for any informative site.
One of the things I loved about ShowIt is it uses a WordPress backend. It’s a great way of combining the functionality of WordPress with the improved designing capabilities of ShowIt. That also means you have access to all of the WordPress plug-ins. A few disclaimers — you can only use advanced WordPress plug-ins with the Advanced Plan for ShowIt which runs $39/month. Also, not all plug-ins have been tested for ShowIt, so you might find a plug-in that interferes with your site’s functionality. To make it a bit easier, ShowIt does provide a list of approved plugins that have been tested by ShowIt developers.
How Much Does ShowIt Cost?
ShowIt offers a range of subscription plans ranging from $24 – $39 per month. It’s likely that most small businesses would be able to start with the middle plan, which is $29/month. This includes the ability to add a blog and access to ShowIt’s basic WordPress plug-ins.
If you’re a business that is looking to sell products online, you will have to use their highest-level package at $39/month. This plan will give you the ability to use WooCommerce on your site. I would only recommend using ShowIt if you plan on selling less than thirty items. If you have a large catalog with several variants for your products, you’re much better off selling on Shopify.
What are the Pros?
Ease of Use
As I mentioned earlier, ShowIt requires zero experience with coding or backend development. It’s a super simple drag and drop tool that allows you to build sites in the same way you would design something in Canva or Photoshop.
In all of my years of web design and development, it has never been easier to mobile optimize your site. (Which, btw, is absolutely essential.) The platform gives you the ability to view your site as a desktop version or a mobile version (or both at the same time). From there, you’re able to move around design elements on the mobile version without affecting the desktop version and vice versa. You also have the option to hide sections on mobile or desktop versions.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You’re able to install the Yoast SEO plug-in to perform sitewide SEO. They also have SEO settings on each page directly through the ShowIt front-end, making it easy to control how your site appears in search engine results.
ShowIt’s support team is completely free to use, which is another major pro for those who are less experienced in web design and development. It usually takes them a few hours to respond, but they’re always able to help you out and point you in the right direction.
If you have a preexisting site, they will also perform free blog migration for you. This takes 3-4 days depending on your plan and afterwards you’ll have all of your blog posts transferred to your new site.
They also have an endless library of support documents and videos that walk you through the process of setting up your ShowIt site.
What are the Cons?
Since you are on a shared server, if your site is super complex or you plan on listing a large number of products (30+), ShowIt is not going to work for you.
There are also certain steps of the ShowIt process that they require you to do through their support team. For example, to launch your WordPress blog, you need to submit a request. As somebody who has experience developing websites, this was frustrating for me. It took 3-4 days to launch which I had not originally planned into my timeline, assuming it was a step I would be able to complete on my own.
ShowIt is a fantastic platform and I don’t see myself switching back anytime soon. It’s given me the ability to easily create the website of my dreams. I would highly recommend switching to ShowIt if the following applies to you:
- You’re looking to build a simple 5-15 page website for your small business.
- Your site does not need any complex functionalities.
- You never built a website before and don’t have the budget to hire a developer.
- You own a creative business and design is important to your brand.
I would not recommend using ShowIt if the following applies to you:
- You want to sell 30+ products on your website.
- Your site needs complex functionalities like account creation, community events, etc.
- You have a lot of development experience and rely heavily on custom coding.
- You want full control and access to the backend features like cPanel + FTP.