Squarespace and Showit seem to be the most popular website design platforms out there right now, and they’re totally different. So which is better?
Unfortunately, most comparisons I see online are a bit biased. They’re usually made by business owners who only use one of the platforms. But as a website designer, I use both! I’ve created and managed websites (for myself and my clients) on both of these platforms, and I think they each have their strengths.
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VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION: Squarespace vs Showit + WordPress
Hey, I’m Galen from Local Creative Co. And in today’s video, we’re going to be talking about two of my favorite website building platforms, Showit and Squarespace. We’re going to compare and contrast each one and help you figure out which is going to be the best fit for you and your business.
Now, most of the time when I see a this versus that platform video, I find that the person recording the video is a little bit biased. They probably use one of those platforms specifically and spend the video, trying to convince the viewer to go in the same direction that they have.
When it comes to Showit in Squarespace, I actually use both of these platforms. I think I have four different personal websites right now. Some are on Squarespace some are on Showit. And I don’t think one platform is right for every single person. It’s really going to depend on you and your unique needs as a business owner to determine which website builder is going to be the best fit for you.
We offer custom design on both Showit and Squarespace. You can check out our client portfolio at the link below, and I’ll also include a link to our website templates. So, if you want to DIY your site, but you don’t want to start from scratch. This is a great option for you.
I’ve got my notes over here where I’ve broken things down into nine different categories. So, we can really look at the strengths and weaknesses of each platform. I may make a part two of this video. So, if you’d like to see that and make sure to leave any questions that you have in the comments.
The first category we have here is ease of use. Both of these platforms are very easy to get started with because they’re both drag and drop builders, meaning you can add content to your page and drag it around where you want it on your website. The biggest differences Squarespace’s built on a grid system.
So, your content kind of snaps into that. Whereas a Showit is completely free form. So, you can have your content live wherever you want it to. I think Squarespace wins a little bit in this category because I love on Squarespace that once you design your site for desktop, everything is already mobile optimized.
Whereas on Showit, it takes a little bit of time getting used to the fact that your mobile website has to be designed completely separately.
The other thing I really like about Squarespace is that it’s a completely set it and forget it platform. Meaning I have some clients that I designed websites for six, seven years ago on Squarespace. And they’ve never logged in since; they just don’t care to update their site, which I don’t recommend.
But in those cases, their website is still live. Nothing’s ever happened to it. They don’t have to make any updates to it. Whereas if you’re using Showit specifically with a WordPress blog, sometimes there’s changes you have to make or plugins that expire. So, there can be a little bit more maintenance involved there, but the difference is pretty negligible.
The next category on my list is customization. And while both platforms are very customizable, I have to say, Showit takes the win here. There’s something about being able to drag and drop your content wherever you want it, without any limitations and being able to design both the desktop and mobile versions of your site differently, that just takes the win for me here. So, wonderful to be able to have that flexibility. Now, on Squarespace, you can get a very similar level of flexibility, but you have to know some custom CSS. All of my custom designed Squarespace website include custom CSS, but that’s because I’m comfortable with it. If it’s not something you’re comfortable with, but you want that really custom look and feel without having to hire a designer Showit might be the better fit for you.
The next category we’re going to look at is security. And what I mean by security is how likely is your website to get hacked and how easily can you pull backups of your site if you need to?
I’ve personally, never had a website on Squarespace or Showit ever get hacked. I have actually had a few websites on WordPress, get hacked and Showit does use WordPress as a blogging platform. So, that’s something to keep in mind, but the one major advantage Showit has here is that they do take regular backups. So, if something happens, you delete something you shouldn’t have, or you mess up a page that you shouldn’t have. Not even just talking about hacking. I mean, you, as the business owner on your own website, we make mistakes. Right? If you accidentally delete something you shouldn’t have, you can just chat with the Showit support team, and they’ll be able to get that fixed for you.
This is a perfect segue into our next category, which is blogging. Both platforms, give you the ability to add a blog to your website with Squarespace it’s built right in and with Showit they have a wonderful integration with WordPress, which is one of the most popular blogging platforms out there.
With Squarespace, you can literally add a blog in two seconds and with Showit, it can take a couple of days to set up because their team actually has to set that up for you. So, you have to chat with support to start that process.
If you plan on having a blog on your website, you want to make sure that you upgrade your Showit plan to a plan that includes a blog because not all plans do. And if you are going to upgrade, I highly recommend the advanced blog plan, because that allows you access to tons of plugins from the WordPress plugin library, to be able to customize and upgrade your site.
Just a quick side note here both Showit and Squarespace are fully hosted platforms, meaning it’s all in one hosting. Hosting is included in your payment every single month. So, you don’t have to go find another third-party hosting platform.
The next category is one of my favorites and that’s SEO or search engine optimization. Both platforms are great for SEO. You can edit the page titles, the meta descriptions, the page content, the images, and you can optimize your entire site pretty easily.
Since Showit integrates with WordPress. It allows you to use the free Yoast SEO plugin. That’s really easy to add it to your WordPress site. And some people really like this because it helps to make sure that you’ve optimized each and every blog post. I’ve had clients do really well with both their Showit site, as well as their Squarespace site, when it comes to ranking in Google.
I haven’t noticed a lot of problems. The only thing you want to be careful of is both Showit and Squarespace websites can tend to load slowly if you don’t optimize your pages. Especially your images, which are very large files and take a long time to load. So, just make sure that you’re optimizing everything before you push your site live.
The next category is cost, and this can be a big issue for some people. Squarespace tends to be a little bit less expensive out of the box than Showit. And that’s something that you might want to consider, especially if you want to have a blog on Showit, which again, requires a plan that has a blog, which are more expensive than their no blog plans.
At the time I’m recording this video, it looks like Squarespace business plans start at $18 a month. And I always recommend the business plan because it allows you to add a little bit of custom codes or embedded content on your website. And this is something I think almost every business owner probably needs. On Showit, it looks like their advanced blog plan, which is what I recommend. If you want to have a blog for your site. Starts at $39 per month. So, there’s definitely a little bit of a difference there. Something to think about.
If you’re interested in buying a Squarespace or Showit website template, I find that Squarespace templates tend to be a little bit less expensive, whereas Showit templates tend to be more in that $300 to $700 range. You can get a really great Squarespace template for under $400.
The next category is support. And this is a big one. I have personally spent a lot of time and chatting with both the team at Squarespace, as well as the team at Showit. And I have to say, I think Showit wins here. I just think their support team is a little bit more personable and easy to deal with.
Whereas I feel like the Squarespace support team is just kind of going through the motions and a lot of time they can’t even help me with what I’m looking for.
Next up, we have managing multiple sites, and this may not seem like a big deal, but if you’re a web designer like me or somebody who helps out on multiple websites, it’s really nice to be able to easily switch between sites and Squarespace wins this hands down.
There’s no way to manage multiple Showit sites from one single login. You can design multiple sites on one login, but if you actually want to manage a client website, they need to give you their login information. So, you can log into their site that way and make the changes. Squarespace makes site switching so easy.
You just click on your profile photo in the bottom left of the menu, and it shows you all of the sites that you’ve worked on, and it gives you access to all of them. So, you can quickly switch back and forth.
The next category is e-commerce. I know some of you might be considering adding products to your website.
Squarespace makes adding products or e-commerce functionality to your website super simple. It’s basically just as easy as adding a new page, uploading your product information, filling out your shop details and pushing it live.
Showit on the other hand requires a little bit more finagling. You can add products to your website using something called, Shopify Lite. It’s the light version of Shopify, which basically just means you add your product details and embed a buy now button on your website.
This is really straightforward. If you only have 10 or maybe 20 products, it’s really easy to kind of keep that under control. But if you have more than that, it can just become a lot to manage. So, if that’s the case, I recommend using Showit’s WooCommerce integration, or if you have a really big e-commerce site, look at something like Shopify, just using the full regular version of Shopify, which is designed to host thousands of products.
And it’s designed specifically for e-commerce.
I personally sell digital products, online courses, and website templates on my website. And I use an app called Thrivecart for my checkout experience. I will put the link below so you can check it out. It’s a really cool, simple shopping cart app. And then I also use Podia to host and manage all of my online courses.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when comparing and contrasting these two website platforms. It can be a really tough choice to make. And I personally use and love both of them.
If you’re still stuck on which platform to choose. I would say that Squarespace is great for two kinds of people. The first one being a very hands-off business owner who just wants to have a beautiful website. That’s super easy to keep up to date when, and if they want to update it and they just don’t want to have to worry about their site at all.
The second type of person who might really love Squarespace is somebody who loves the simplicity of the platform wants to customize it but isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty with a little bit of custom code and some online tutorials.
There’s a wonderful community of Squarespace lovers out there. Ready to help you get your site to look exactly the way you want.
Showit on the other hand is perfect for somebody who’s really creative and wants their creativity to shine through in their website.
You can customize so much without touching a single line of code. And if you’re already used to blogging with WordPress, it’s going to be a very seamless transition.
At the end of the day, the platform you choose is going to be based on your personal preferences and you really can’t go wrong either way.
Let me know in the comments, which platform you’re leaning towards and why. And if you’re totally stuck and you don’t know which direction to go in, that’s okay. Let me know that too. And hopefully I can point you in the right direction.
Thanks so much for watching. If you enjoyed this video, make sure to subscribe and I’ll see you in the next one.
Squarespace vs. Showit + WordPress
To compare the two platforms, I’m breaking them down into nine categories.
1. Ease of Use
When it comes to ease of use, you can’t really go wrong with either platform. They’re both drag-and-drop designers, which makes it super simple to create new pages and edit existing ones. The biggest difference is that Squarespace is built on a grid system while Showit is freeform. That means your Squarespace blocks will lock into place while Showit allows you to place elements anywhere you like.
That being said, Squarespace wins for ease of use for their mobile optimization. Squarespace will automatically optimize your mobile site design, but Showit requires you to design the mobile version of your site separately from the desktop version. Plus, you’ll never have to update plugins on your Squarespace site.
Right off the bat, Showit wins for customization. You can drag and drop elements wherever you like, and you can make just about any customization you want without custom code.
While it’s possible to make the same customizations on Squarespace, it will require some custom CSS. There are tons of great resources for learning and applying custom CSS on your Squarespace site, but if you’re not ready to dive into that, I suggest going with Showit.
Personally, I’ve never dealt with hacking on either my Squarespace or Showit sites. But there’s a lot more to security than bots and hackers!
For security, Showit wins because they regularly create backups of your site. If you accidentally mess up a page or delete something important, their support team can revert your site to its most recent backup. We all make mistakes, and this extra peace of mind is valuable to me.
On Squarespace, you can create your blog and publish your first post in a matter of minutes. Showit, on the other hand, takes a bit more setup. You’ll need to upgrade your plan and contact their support team to create your blog, which can take a couple of days.
In my opinion, that extra setup is worth it for the WordPress integration that comes with Showit. Plus, when you upgrade to the Advanced Blogging Plan, you’ll get access to WordPress’s plugin library to help you customize the look of your blog posts.
For blogging, it’s a draw. Both platforms are great, they just have a different feel and slightly different functionality. Try both and see which you prefer!
Again, both Squarespace and Showit are great for SEO (search engine optimization). Squarespace editor has all the SEO tools you need built-in. With Showit, you get access to WordPress’s free Yoast plugin, a favorite among SEO pros. Either way, you can optimize your site and your individual posts.
For SEO, it’s a draw. Just be careful as both platforms tend to load slowly if you don’t optimize your pages, especially your images.
Both Squarespace and Showit run on a subscription payment plan. Squarespace’s business plan (which is required for custom CSS) costs $18 per month. Showit’s advanced blogging plan (which is required if you want a blog) costs $39 per month (pricing currently valid of August 2021).
I’ve also found that Squarespace templates tend to be more affordable than Showit templates. You can get a stunning, functional Squarespace template for under $400, but a similar Showit template might run you a bit more.
For cost, Squarespace is the clear winner. It’s much more affordable out of the box, and you don’t need any expensive upgrades to host a blog on your site.
Because I’m constantly designing new sites on both platforms, I’ve spent a lot of time with both Squarespace and Showit’s support teams. And while Squarespace really flaunts their 24/7 support in their advertising, I have to say Showit wins this round. Their team seems more knowledgable and a little easier to work with. I’ve found that Squarespace support sometimes seems like they’re just going through the motions, and it’s not rare for me to leave a chat session without a solution to my problem.
8. Managing Multiple Sites
Not everyone will need to manage multiple sites, but as a web designer, I’m constantly popping back and forth between my sites and my clients’.
If you do need this functionality, Squarespace wins for sure. You can access your sites and your clients’ under your own login. With Showit, you’ll need to log out and log back in under each individual site. For me, it’s just a bit of a hassle.
Both Squarespace and Showit allow for e-commerce, but the setup is slightly different.
On Squarespace, you can open an online store with ease, fill in your product information, and start selling immediately.
On Showit, you’ll need to run your online store through a plugin. If you just have 10-20 products, try Shopify Lite. If you have more than that, I recommend either the Woocommerce plugin or the full Shopify system.
Since I sell digital products, online courses, and templates, I use ThriveCart for my checkout experience and Podia to host my courses. This system creates a few extra steps on my end, but it’s worth it to me to have a seamless client experience.
If you just want to open an online store with the hassle, Squarespace wins. You can do it on Showit, but it’ll take some extra finagling.
So which is better, Squarespace or Showit + WordPress?
It totally depends on your needs!
In my opinion, Squarespace is great for two kinds of business owners:
- The business owner who wants to be hands-off with their website and really set it and forget it.
- The business owner who isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty with a little custom CSS.
If you’re ready to get started with Squarespace now, click here to save 10% off your first subscription of a website by using the code PARTNER10.
If you’re interested in trying out Showit, click here to get one month free.
Showit is best for:
- The super creative business owner who wants that to shine through on their website.
- The business owner who’s used WordPress before and wants a seamless transition to a new platform.
I use both of these platforms, and I genuinely love working with both of them. You can’t go wrong with either!
Not sure which platform to use?
Feeling stuck? Comment below I’d love to help you find the perfect platform for you and your business.
Looking for our templates? You can check out all of our customizable Showit website templates here.