Back when I was starting out in web design, I decided to build at least one site on each of the leading platforms – WordPress, Showit, and Squarespace – so I could figure out exactly which one I wanted to specialize in. Of course, I’m now a dedicated WordPress designer – but after getting to know the ins and outs of each service, Showit came in as my second pick for the best way to build websites! Depending on your unique needs, it can be a great alternative to WordPress for some business owners.
So, if you’re wondering what the differences are between these two and how to choose, you’re not alone! It can be tough to sort through all the details of the different site builders on the market and figure out what is best for YOUR business. Today I’ve put together a head-to-head comparison of my two top picks for building brand websites: Showit vs. WordPress. Pull up a chair and get comfy because I’ve got you covered with a head-to-head comparison of Showit and WordPress, the pros and cons of each, and what to consider before you choose!
Before we get started, just a reminder that whenever I talk about building sites in WordPress, I always talk about WordPress.org. WordPress.com shares the same name, but it’s a totally different service – if you’d like all the details on the difference between the two, just head over to my post on WordPress(com) vs. WordPress(org). Now, let’s dig into all the details!
What is WordPress?
WordPress is free, open-source software that millions of people have used to create their websites. In fact, over 43% of all the websites on the internet are built on WordPress! To get started, you’ll have to bring together a few elements on your own, like a domain name and site hosting. Then, you can install the software to your site, choose a theme, and start building. With thousands of existing plugins, themes, and ways to modify your site with code, WordPress sites are almost infinitely customizable. You can create any kind of website on WordPress, but it’s especially great for incorporating blogs, e-commerce, and memberships into your site.
What is Showit?
Showit is an all-in-one website hosting and site-building tool that lets you create a custom website design without ever having to use code. Instead, the design process is made simpler with a user-friendly drag-and-drop page builder. Initially created as a way for photographers and other creative professionals to easily make online portfolios to showcase their work, it’s now grown popular with hundreds of small business owners. Showit requires an annual subscription fee, but it’s an appealing option for people who are DIY-ing their first site, don’t know code, or just prefer a purely visual design process.
What are the pros and cons of Showit vs. WordPress?
Even though you can design basically identical sites in either of these site builders, the process of making it happen can be a very different experience in Showit vs. WordPress. And even once your site is up and running, there are key contrasts in maintenance, SEO & mobile optimization, and pricing to consider.
Ease of use
Showit’s drag-and-drop editor takes a little time to learn, but once you’ve oriented yourself, it’s a breeze to customize the look of your site by dragging shapes, images, and text around. If there’s something you can’t work out how to do on your own, Showit has extensive help documents and online tutorials to point you in the right direction as you get your new site set up.
WordPress, however, has a reputation for requiring a bit more technical know-how, which can be challenging! You’ll have to set up your own appearance with themes, and then you’ll probably want to make some changes to achieve precisely the look you want. That means you’ll either need help from a WordPress expert or you’ll need some coding knowledge (or fearlessly use Google to figure out how to modify WordPress templates! 😉)
Since Showit is a one-stop shop for building and hosting, they take care of all the technical back end details, like site updates and backups. Because all your data and hosting are in one place, getting one-on-one customer service is simple and speedy if your site ever goes down or you lose data. Plus, if there’s an element of your site’s content or design that you want to modify after launch, all you have to do is pop back into the site builder to make changes. Overall, Showit is a low-risk option for people with a high priority on hands-off site maintenance.
It’s no secret that WordPress maintenance is more hands-on, even after your site is “finished” and has launched. You’ll need to periodically ensure plugins and security are updated, and that your site is regularly backed up in case of emergency! Because you’re in charge of setting up your WordPress hosting and backups, you’ll be responsible for reaching out to the hosting provider if your site goes down. That said, if you choose one of my preferred hosting services, getting your site back online can be much smoother (with fewer headaches!) If you’re not comfortable using WordPress on your own, you might need to wait for your web designer to make changes to your site’s content or design.
SEO is one area where WordPress comes out head and shoulders above the competition. Even though Showit offers essential functions like Google Analytics compatibility and on-page SEO like title, meta description, and keywords, it’s missing more advanced tools. WordPress plugins add more functionality that make site SEO more easily optimizable, which pays off big time in site traffic over time. Showit’s site builder uses WordPress for adding blogs onto sites, so if you choose a package that includes blog services, you’ll still have access to some of the powerful WordPress SEO plugins for that section of your site.
Mobile Responsive Site Design
WordPress and Showit both make designing mobile sites seamless, but they approach it in very different ways. With Showit, you’ll develop a mobile site separately from your desktop site in a dedicated mobile frame, so you can see precisely how your mobile site will appear. On the downside, Showit’s mobile designs don’t always work well on Android phones – and you can’t control your site’s tablet version at all.
In WordPress, you edit your site’s appearance and theme in one place, with the ability to toggle between mobile, tablet, and desktop appearances. Mobile and tablet layouts auto-generate based on your chosen theme, so all you have to do is tweak any design elements you want to display or hide based on the device used to visit your site.
Whether you choose Showit or WordPress, you can design similar-looking websites – but a site’s visuals are just ONE way to customize a website! Showit’s drag-and-drop builder is a straightforward way to design sites if you’re solely focused on getting a great-looking page with minimal effort. But if you want to create a one-of-a-kind site with additional features and plugins, that’s where WordPress comes out on top.
WordPress is the clear winner in this category for anyone who wants to build a fully-featured e-commerce or membership site. Plus, many online marketing tools small businesses use already have ways to integrate with WordPress, helping you streamline workflow and amp up marketing efforts. Technically, you can install custom WordPress plugins on your blog through Showit, but you’ll have to be a member of their top subscription tier.
Many specific factors come into play when pricing out your options, and Showit can be more or less expensive than WordPress, depending on how you choose to set up your site. I know that might make your head spin, so let me break it down!
Showit subscriptions cost between $228-408 annually, and it will cost you a little more if you’d rather pay monthly. WordPress sites usually cost $12/year for a domain and $25/month for hosting. Since WordPress is so flexible, there are a ton of optional costs if you don’t decide to go the entirely DIY route – things like purchasing a theme or hiring a web designer to create a custom site geared toward your business goals.
Showit vs. WordPress: Which one is best for my website?
Both Showit and WordPress are solid site building options that give you outstanding amounts of creative control over the design of your site. Once you’ve considered the strengths and weaknesses of each, along with your needs, it’s a sure bet that one will stand out as the better service for you!
A custom WordPress site will always be the best solution for clients who want to build a strategic website that will attract and convert clients, all in one platform. But if you don’t have much need for integrations with other software or plan to build a membership service or shop on the same platform as your site, Showit might be the way to go! Even if you sign up with Showit, I’d still go for one of the packages that includes a WordPress blog, so you can continue building amazing site content that will bring new visitors to your site!
Still need help deciding between these two website builders? Take my free Showit vs. WordPress quiz to figure out which one is best for you!