I first found Showit a few years ago after a frustration-induced Google search.
At the time, I had been using WordPress, but was starting to feel stifled in my design options and abilities without knowing PHP. I tried Squarespace as an alternative and found it so annoyingly cumbersome to use. I also briefly tried Wix, but didn’t like it at all. Ultimately, I just wanted to find a website platform that was simple to use and didn’t limit my creativity.
From a designer’s perspective, Showit was exactly what I was looking for when it came to ease of use and design freedom. After several years of using Showit, I wanted to share the pros and cons of using Showit as a web designer.
Pros of Using Showit as a Web Designer
As a web designer, I love that Showit has so many features that allow for creativity, saving time, and getting support when needed. While there’s a lot I could mention, these things are definitely the highlights when it comes to using Showit as a web designer:
- Code-free creative freedom
- Add uniques details with custom CSS
- Site canvases make for streamlined designing
- Easy to share and install designs and templates
- Simplified site maintenance for clients
- Actually helpful customer support
Code-Free Creative Freedom
The biggest draw to using Showit is having code-free creative freedom! Since Showit is a drag-and-drop and WYSIWYG website building platform, you have the ability to be as creative as you like.
Add Unique Details with Custom Code
Site Canvases Make for Streamlined Designing
Much praise for site canvases! Site canvases are single canvases (divs/ sections) that can be used on multiple pages of your Showit website. The great thing about site canvases is that any updates you make will be made on all pages that have that site canvas. Being able to quickly add content to a page and making universal updates saves so much time when designing and building out a Showit website.
Easy to Share and Install Designs and Templates
A share key is a code that allows you to easily import designs from one Showit account to another, and they are quite the miracle when it comes to website themes and templates. If you’ve ever installed a WordPress theme or a Squarespace “template”, you know what a pain in the ass that can be 😅😒
With Showit share keys, you can share or add any Showit design by simply copying the share key and pasting it into your design library. All the designs, design settings, and photos that were on the original site will show up as they were when added to your library.
You can use share keys to add or share full web designs or single pages and canvas to an existing design. Both of these are useful easily sharing designs with your clients, or streamlining your design process.
Simplified Site Maintenance for Clients
There are plenty of reasons why business owners choose to use a website builder rather than opting for a fully custom-coded and self-hosted website. If the cost alone doesn’t scare you, then the headache of trying to maintain that on your own probably will! One of the best things about Showit is that it’s fairly simple to maintain after the site has been built.
Showit doesn’t require any code, nearly everything you see in the builder is what the live site will look like. This empowers your clients to more easily maintain their websites and make changes, like swapping out copy or photos or adding new content, without feeling like it’s an impossible task or that they need to hire someone for site updates.
Actually Helpful Customer Support
The Showit support team is super friendly and resolves issues fairly quickly. You can also let the Showit team know that you’ll be using your account as a Showit web designer. They’ll tag your account so they can provide any additional support you may need as a designer.
Cons Pros of Using Showit as a Web Designer
As much as I love Showit, it isn’t a perfect platform. Here are the biggest downsides I’ve found after several years of being a Showit designer:
- No element grouping
- No snap to grid feature
- No locking feature
- The Showit builder is only 1200px wide
- Limited ways to make universal changes
- Creating certain design trends can often be time consuming
No Element Grouping
As a fellow designer, I’m sure you know how handy it is to group design elements together as one. There isn’t a feature to do this in Showit, so anytime you want to move a “group” of elements, you’d need to select each one individually. This isn’t hard, of course, but it does involve extra steps and clicks that wouldn’t be necessary with a grouping feature.
No Snap to Grid Feature
Showit has basic alignment and positioning buttons like “Center to Canvas” or “Align to Group”. There’s also an option to position elements precisely by adding pixel values. Although these tools are helpful, having a snap to grid feature would save time and help reduce alignment errors.
No Locking Feature
There are times when being able to lock certain elements in place would be immensely helpful! Unfortunately, it’s not possible to keep elements locked into one place.
The Showit Builder Is Only 1200px Wide
The desktop build space in Showit is only 1200px wide, while standard web browsers are 1920px. Having a workspace that’s only around ⅔ the size of how the finished product will be displayed can create some challenges when it comes to spacing, alignment, and positioning of elements. Most of the time this isn’t too much of an issue. However, for things like split canvases or building out sites that weren’t mocked up at the correct scale, it can be somewhat problematic.
Limited Ways to Make Mass Changes Simultaneously
There are a couple ways to make universal changes across a Showit site. One one way is by using site canvases and through the design settings. Any changes made to a site canvas will update on any page that uses that site canvas. Updating the design settings will change either the font, font size or spacing, or colors across a site.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to make mass changes on a page through any other code-free methods though. For example, if you wanted to change the color of the font of several text boxes, you wouldn’t be able to select all the text boxes and make one click to change the color. You’d have to select each text box individually and update the color.
Creating Certain Design Trends Can Often Be Time Consuming
There are a few popular design trends on Showit websites that aren’t as simple to implement as you’d think! For example:
The Arch Shape
The only photo shapes or shapes you can “draw” in Showit are rectangles and ellipses. If you want to have arch-shaped graphics or images, you’ll need to create them in something like Illustrator first. You could also create a frame that you can upload as a custom icon to place over regular shaped images.
Borders Around Photos
Showit only has the option to add borders to shapes. If you want a border around a photo, you would need to upload the photo with the border already added. Alternatively, could also create a border in Showit using a shape and layer it behind the image.
Italicizing Or Bolding Individual Words in a Heading
Showit only allows for one font style and weight property per text box. If you want to have one or two words italicized or bolded for emphasis in a heading or sentence, you would actually need to use multiple text boxes or use an image to achieve this look. This can be time-consuming when it comes to making updates, as you’d need to change and align several text boxes rather than one or create a new graphic. Having fragmented text and images replacing text can also be harmful to SEO.
While none of these trends are difficult to implement, they do involve extra steps, and can make edits or updates a little more involved than they need to be.
Curious about using Showit as a web designer?
Are you a web designer looking to switch to Showit or wanting to expand your design service offerings? Then I’d highly recommend giving it a try! Showit offers a free 14-day trial to test out the platform, along with comprehensive help documentation and chat support. I also have a free intro to Showit email course to help you get started 😉