When you’re building a custom website for your photography business, 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, including Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, WordPress, Showit, GoDaddy, just to name a few. How on Earth do you choose? After more than a decade of combined photography website design 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. Additionally, their SEO integration, WordPress-based blog, mobile customization and top-notch technical support staff are features not matched by other platforms. We also really wanted a platform that could offer all of these features for our photography website design, 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 website design 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 for an entirely custom website. Once you’re ready to take your business to the next level, your professional website designer will transform your hobbyist beginnings into a website representative of the professional photographer you are. While it has to start with a template, it just acts as a placeholder or starting point. 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 photography website designers out there are hesitant to use Showit. They’re worried that 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 shows slight favoritism to WordPress because everything is custom from the ground up. Yet, Showit has a secret weapon.
Showit does it all 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!). Other platforms automatically configure the mobile version of your website and your images and text can turn out wonky. With Showit, you have the power to hide, move or change elements as needed. Showit helps your stunning photography look its best, no matter the device your clients use.
Perhaps one of the most beneficial features of Showit is that it works as a true drag-and-drop platform. This means you are able to easily make edits on your own, even after the professional website designer is finished. When you’re ready to update your portfolio or prices, Showit enables you to make changes 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. These are very helpful when you need to make an update and are struggling. If that doesn’t fix things, they have incredibly responsive chat support and an emergency email contact. They go above and beyond to get the help you need if you are experiencing any issues with your website. We’ve personally contacted them on numerous occasions and are always pleased with the response.
Let’s talk about your financial investment because obviously, you’re in business to make money, not spend it all. Although WordPress templates are typically free, Showit does have a small charge. 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. We’ll analyze your current hosting and adjust the services you are paying for, if necessary. 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 email@example.com or scroll through our portfolio today!
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