When you’re building a website, there are numerous website platforms available to you. The sheer volume of options can be overwhelming if you aren’t quite sure what you’re looking for, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, WordPress, Showit, GoDaddy, etc. How do you choose? After more than a decade of combined experience, we’ve tried many of the options available today. After years of searching, Avenlee Collective has decided to align solely with Showit to build our custom websites for photographers.
Although we have used several platforms over the years and have had success with most of them, we’ve chosen to work exclusively with Showit for several reasons. First and foremost, we absolutely love the creative freedom we get with Showit. We also like their SEO integration, WordPress-based blog, mobile customization and top-notch technical support staff. We really wanted a platform that could offer all of these features, give us complete creative freedom, and still provide our clients the ability to maintain the website after we’ve completed the initial development. We found all of that with Showit!
One great benefit of Showit is that it is a template-based system. Template-based platforms make it very easy to use and update, allowing you to update your photos in a user-friendly drag-and-drop style. So, whether you have design experience or not, Showit makes it easy for you to have a great-looking site. Many free and paid templates are available directly on the Showit marketplace, and more are accessible elsewhere on the web. This is a great option for the beginning photographer who is just getting started.
While you do have to start with a template, the template acts simply as a baseline and is entirely customizable from there. The colors, fonts, shapes, images, layout and backgrounds can (and will) be changed. Once you’re ready to take your business to the next level with professional branding, customization and search engine optimization, your professional website designer will transform your hobbyist beginnings into a website representative of the professional photographer you are. While we may start you off with a simple template, it is more of a placeholder or a launching point because we “clean house” and remove all existing features and build everything back up from scratch. We take your new branding, combined with our experience and creativity and completely customize a site that works seamlessly with your new look. Yet, the ease of use of the Showit platform is still there for you to update with future photoshoots.
Many designers out there attempt to give Showit a bad name because it is a drag-and-drop website builder and can’t possibly be good for SEO. While it is true that Google has typically frowned upon these types of builders in the past because it likes websites to be custom, Showit isn’t like most website builder platforms. If we’re honest, Google does show slight favoritism to WordPress because everything has to be built from the ground up.
Showit gives you the best of both worlds by implementing SEO features for titles, tags, and descriptions to tailor each page based on your chosen keywords. But, perhaps one of the greatest features available is that Showit integrates with WordPress for blogging capabilities. Yes, Google’s favorite WordPress is also available on Showit. This means you get the best of both worlds; all the well-known advantages of a WordPress blog and its entire library of plugins with the design customization Showit can offer.
We’ll take it one step further since some of the SEO algorithms also incorporate the attractiveness of a website and the ease of use for the target audience. Since Showit makes it easy for you to update your site, you can edit your images, add in user-friendly features, include more information, offer additional services and more. With it being easy to do, it’s less likely to be a daunting task and something you can easily upkeep when you’re ready.
Did you know, Showit was initially created especially for photographers? It was built to handle the image quality that photographers expect when they showcase their work. Showit even has a built-in image processor! So there is no need to crop or compress images with a large file size to avoid slowing down your website.
As an added bonus, their software also supports SVG files, which means your logos, watermarks and brand icons show up in high definition independently from browser size.
Many website builders also create a mobile-friendly version of your website. The trouble is, with most platforms it happens automatically and you have little-to-no control.
With Showit, your mobile website is designed separately from your desktop view. This may sound like a hassle, but in reality, this allows for further customization and a better client experience (hello, SEO!). You have the power to hide, move or change elements as needed instead of having an automatic reconfiguration of your desktop view squished to fit mobile dimensions.
Perhaps one of the most beneficial features of Showit is that it works as a true drag-and-drop platform. What this means for you is that, even when you’ve had a professional design your website, you are still able to make updates on your own. Showit allows you to make changes to your copy and images with zero coding experience. In addition, we offer a walk-through with every client to familiarize them with maintaining their own website.
Showit has an entire library of help documents available on their website that you can use if you ever need to make an update and are struggling. Furthermore, they have very responsive chat support and an emergency email contact to get the help you need if you are experiencing any issues with your website. We’ve contacted them on numerous occasions and have always been pleased with the response.
It’s important to note that there are costs associated with using Showit (unlike WordPress, which is generally free to use). Showit subscription does run anywhere from $19-$39 per month, depending on the type of blog needed and payment frequency.
On the other hand, while the template is free on a WordPress site, the hosting has an added cost, and you typically need to pay extra for website backup and security features. In our experience, we have seen annual costs for WordPress sites with the minimum features necessary run anywhere from $600 to $1,000 per year. Compare that to Showit’s top tier at $408 annually, and you have yourself a cost saver.
Just to be sure, one of the services we include is our hosting audit, where we analyze your current hosting and adjust the services you are paying for. We never want you overpaying for services you don’t use or need.
Showit websites offer many advantages both during and after the design process. We want to set you up for success and we believe a big part of that is to set you up with a website that can grow with your business and sustain you for the long run. Are you ready to level up your business with your own custom photography website on Showit? Avenlee Collective has more than a decade of experience helping photographers just like you do just that. Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or scroll through our portfolio today!
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