In the photography world you hear a few big names when it comes to website hosts: Squarespace, Showit, Wix, and WordPress.
Recently, there has been a huge push for most creative entrepreneurs to make their way over to Showit. Showit is known for its customizability and intricate templates (I am simplifying things here–Showit definitely has other merits as well). With that ability to personalize almost everything, comes a higher price point. With that ability to personalize almost everything, comes a steeper learning curve when it comes to learning to use the interface. When I was first beginning my business I had two limited commodities: money and time. Both of which would have been sacrificed in order for me to use Showit. Add that to the fact that I had no idea what Showit actually was…well, it wasn’t a good option for me.
Alas, I am here to tell you that Squarespace is a perfectly adequate place to host your website, and here’s why:
- I did it for three years and still received steady inquiries.
- It is easy to learn how to use, even for those that are not as tech savvy.
- There are pre-made templates. Like I said, they are less customizable than a Showit site; however, it does not overwhelm you with options when you are simply trying to organize your website, choose your images, and write your copy.
- Squarespace templates are free. While some Showit templates are free, many are $300+. When already paying to host your website annually, plus a domain name, that is an easy place to save start-up dollars!
- As with most subscription-based services, you can pay for an entire year or monthly. If you think you would like to make the jump to Showit sooner than a year, then pay the slightly higher monthly premium until you can afford to transfer your site over to Showit.
- The Squarespace blog is extremely user-friendly and included in the price to host your website. With Showit, the blog portion of your website is an additional fee and you have to learn to use WordPress as well (all Showit sites use WordPress blogs). To be fair, there are a few more plug-ins that are more powerful with Showit that supports SEO. However, my point still stands–that it is a much steeper learning curve than Squarespace!
So, all that to say, Squarespace served me well in the beginning stages of my business. When I was overwhelmed with legitimizing my business, building my portfolio, learning how the heck to shoot in manual, and so many other things…it was nice that Squarespace was so user-friendly and quick and easy to set up. For my entire website, I sat down and designed it, wrote copy, and selected images in about a day and a half…which would not have been the case if I was designing a Showit website!
See? Still extremely professional!!
With that being said, I believe Squarespace should be seen as a starting point. As you hone in on your ideal client, your brand identity, and your client experience, I think Showit is a good platform to grow into!