Website Tips

Why I Switched From a WordPress Website to Showit 5

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Back in August 2016, I re-launched my FIFTH website for this business. You could say I’ve been around the design block when it comes to websites. I’ve gone from a Wix Site, to a ProPhoto Site, to a custom designed site, to a Restored 316 Site and finally to the Showit 5 Website that I have now. Whew!

Not all website platforms are created equally. Platforms like Wix and Squarespace (and even Showit 5) are all tailor-made for the DIY website builder at heart. But just because you can make a site look really pretty really easily, does not mean you have a good website.

My very first website for this business was built on Wix. It was a breeze to design as a total newbie to using the world wide web for my own website, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you actually want to gain traction online.

Enter my transition to WordPress.

It is no secret that WordPress is king when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization!). Having a WordPress site helped me skyrocket my website’s SEO and in turn got me more bookings and business (that was back when I was still a wedding planner!). I went from practically non-existent in your average Google search for Jacksonville Wedding Planner to on the first page within a matter of months after switching to a WordPress site and ramping up my blogging efforts.

When I first switched to WordPress, I used the ProPhoto theme. It is a great theme and I still recommend it to this day. It is fairly easy to design on (I had virtually zero coding knowledge at the time and was able to create a design I loved!), and better than ever with their updated ProPhoto 6 version.

I left ProPhoto behind about 2.5 years into business. At the time, I had built another branch of my business: Brand Design. I was completely booked out with branding clients and was building sites right and left with the ProPhoto template, but I really wanted to get into custom WordPress design and partner with a development team to help me uplevel my design client experience.

It seemed natural to have my own custom site if I wanted to offer the service for my clients. So I hired a local company to take my custom web design mockups and complete the development.

Well… that experience didn’t go so well. The developer I was working with from their team completely dropped the ball and the entire working relationship was a MESS. I finally got them to at least finish the site enough for me to launch and use it, but as I continued to grow my blog, I quickly realized that the site was very poorly developed in terms of functionality. Creating a blog post took hours longer than it ever should because I had to custom code each post to fix this or that issue and after a year or so, I couldn’t take it anymore.

I needed to grow my business, not spend countless hours dealing with a functionally obsolete website… as pretty as it was.

I was heartbroken. I can’t tell you how many people would email me or tell me how much they loved my custom website design. Leaving it (and the investment of hiring developers for it) in the dust really just stunk.

Why I Switched from a WordPress Website to Showit 5 on Megan Martin Creative, website design, creative entrepreneur

A peek at what my Custom WordPress Website looked like! It became the inspiration for our best selling Leftover Peonies Showit 5 Website Template!

So I turned back to templates with Restored 316. While I love ProPhoto 6, it is much better suited for an informational website. Informational meaning not blog focused. A service-based business typically has a much heavier informational emphasis to their website than a blog-based business.

Since my blog had really started to take off and grow, I needed a template that could give me a lot more flexibility in terms of plugins and tweaks to optimize my blogging process.

And I needed it A S A P.

I love the gals at Restored 316. They have beautiful and functional WordPress templates for both informational and blog focused sites and have a wide array of informational articles to help you quickly get the hang of working with their template under the Genesis Framework.

Restored 316 wordpress template, why I switched from a wrodpress website to showit 5 on Megan Martin Creative, Showit 5 Website DesignA peek at what my Restored 316 WordPress Website looked like!

I launched my Restored 316 blog design in mid-2016 and was thrilled to have a WordPress website that actually worked with me and not against me.

So why did I need a new website this year?

Well, while WordPress is king for SEO and even with the Restored 316 template that I loved, my needs continued to grow as my business completely evolved this past year.

If you’ve followed along with my journey, you probably know that I took quite a bit of time off in 2016. 2016 was the year that I let go of both my wedding planning and brand designing services for both personal reasons and to focus on my family.

When I launched my Restored 316 website, I was solely blogging in my business.

Since that time, I launched my first digital shop.

Running a digital product based business is NOTHING like running a service-based business. They are completely different. Two totally different ball games.

Passive income isn’t actually passive my friend. It takes a whole lot of work and grit and gumption to be in the “passive” game.

My experience in the service based world has definitely given me perspective, but since I launched the shop in November of 2016, I have basically been learning about and growing an entirely new business (even though my brand name didn’t change!).

With that evolution and growth, I have learned that what I need is a true blend of an informational site and a blog focused site. I needed to be able to build out very in-depth and helpful informational pages (like my Resources Page), have a high functioning blog, and be able to create completely custom landing and sales pages to effectively grow my digital product line and email marketing strategy.

While there are a whole slew of tools I could share with you that could accomplish all the things I needed, I like simplicity. I don’t want to manage 305874598 different tools, softwares, and platforms if there is an option for me to do it all under one roof.

So even though I really did love my template on WordPress, I knew I needed something a little more heavy duty.

And I wanted to be able to have complete control over the end product. Aka I didn’t want to go back to the nightmare of relying on a developer to do the job right.

Over the past three years, I have become very well versed in both HTML and CSS and have a working knowledge of JavaScript and PHP coding languages, but not enough to fully custom develop a WordPress website from scratch. I’ve got more important things to do than hack code all day. 😉

But I also didn’t want to lose ALL the traction I had built from the previous years by going to a DIY website building platform just because I wanted a pretty site.

Enter Showit 5. And the 5 reasons I made the leap to become a Showiteer.

5 reasons why I switched from WordPress to Showit 5 on Megan Martin Creative, Creative Website, Website Design, Website Builder, Showiteer

#1: Showit 5 includes Fully Integrated WordPress Blog

I was extremely skeptical of Showit 5 at first, but I am fully convinced now that it is the best of all the worlds and needs I have for an online space.

The number one reason I decided to take the leap was because I wasn’t fully leaving WordPress behind for a DIY site builder.

With Showit 5, I could have the user-friendly power of a DIY site builder AND a powerhouse blog with a fully integrated WordPress site in one. All housed under the same exact domain.

You can design your blog to your heart’s content in Showit’s easy design interface and they automatically push your design to your WordPress blog. It is legit magic. Like the wizarding world of Harry Potter magic. I have no idea how it functionally works, but it does and it makes me a very happy business owner to have the benefits of a WordPress blog within my Showit 5 website.

#2: No code necessary with Showit 5

With Showit 5, you can create a completely custom website design without ever looking at a line of code. Seriously, magical. I chose to start with a free template to get my bearings in the design interface, but my site has since completely morphed into its own unique look. And I never once had to look at the coding.

While Showit 5 can easily be used for even a novice designer (or literally the NON-designer ha!), if you have any experience with Adobe Illustrator or the graphic design side of Photoshop, getting the hang of working in Showit 5 will be a total breeze.

I was nervous about the amount of time it was going to take me to learn the ropes (again I had other things to do, ha!), but by starting with a template, I was able to quickly figure it all out well within Showit’s free trial period.

Once I got a taste of just how much I could do in terms of responsive design with Showit 5 plus the added bonus of an integrated WordPress blog, I was completely convinced that I wouldn’t be turning back anytime soon. (2019 update here – I am still in LOVE! And now use the Showit Platform for my website templates! My customers rave about it and how easy it is to use!)

5 reasons why I switched from WordPress to Showit 5, website design, Showiteer, Creative Entrepreneur, Megan Martin Creative

What my site looked like in 2016 with Showit 5!

# 3: The beauty of the Showit 5 +Site

Showit’s big feature +Site functionality is what actually made me take a closer look into the website builder in the first place. If you remember back to my needs as my business was evolving, you might have caught the term “landing pages.”

A landing page is simply a page where a viewer can “land” on. But a landing page isn’t equal to a static page (aka a page that isn’t constantly changing or updating like your blog) on your website like your About Page. Pages like your about page, contact page, investment page and etc all fall into that informational based page design.

And traditionally static pages live within your main site. They are literally called interior pages, meaning the design of your site doesn’t change when you visit them. So you will typically see the same header (where your logo and site navigation lives) and the same footer (that section at the bottom of your site with your copyright information and such) that you would see on your website’s homepage.

In the online world of marketing and advertising, a landing page is more often referred to as a stand-alone web page that is meant to look completely different from your main site design. The reason you would want a page like this is for when you want your viewer to take a very specific action, like sign up for your email newsletter or download a guide.

The less distraction you have on a landing page, the better.

Landing pages are made to convert your viewer and complete one important task, so you typically don’t want them to see your site’s main navigation or social icons or fancy footer or any other thing that would distract them to click away from the page and miss completing the main mission of the page.

With my previous WordPress template, I would, in essence, have to custom code an entirely new page every time I needed to build a landing page. And these days I create a new landing page almost weekly. #nope

Like I said before, there are some great user-friendly third-party tools (and even WordPress themes you can buy) you can implement to accomplish this goal, but since I needed to have the capability to easily create in-depth interior informational pages in my main site design AND the capability to easily create landing pages, I wanted a solution that would take care of both needs under one roof.

And Showit 5 does that with it’s no code needed design interface and +Site feature.

With +Sites, you can create an unlimited amount of websites and web pages under the roof of your account.

It is hands down my favorite feature.

I’ve created both websites and landing pages within my Showit account. Every guide we put out uses a +Site that I can easily copy and paste to save time. 

Showit 5 website, landing page design, opt-in page design, colorful brand

Worth every penny!

#4: Showit 5 has Amazing Customer Support over the lifetime of your account

One of the arguments against Showit 5 (or any other membership based website builder) is that you don’t own the keys to your website. You stop paying for Showit, you lose your site and all that work.

The age-old lease vs owning debate.

I know it well because I was on the ownership side of the debate for a very long time.

Would I rather pay $199 for a one and done WordPress template that accomplishes some of my same needs over a never-ending monthly fee?

Of course.

But after 6 years of being online and five websites in, I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter whether you own or lease your website. Even if you run your own site, you will still have to regularly update it to keep up with the times as technology and your needs evolve. And unless you are an expert designer and developer you’ll probably have to pay someone to help you make those changes happen. And even if you aren’t an expert and you use a theme, unless that theme comes with lifetime customer support, you will inevitably run into issues where you will need to hire help.

And help isn’t cheap. For good reason. It takes a lot of time, dedication, experience, and knowledge to be a designer or developer.

One way or another I’ll pay the bill. Whether in smaller monthly payments or every year with a big fat check, I’m going to end up paying for it. I know because I’ve done it.

You may have a different opinion on the matter, but I would much rather have a support team at my fingertips all year long over a limited time of support for a smaller bill or a once a year freelance project on my site.

When I had a WordPress site, I had a dedicated assistant on my team whose sole job was to run routine backups on my site, keep everything up to date, and be there when I needed her to fix issues as they arose (like the time I got hacked!). I can tell you that I paid her much more than the $39 a month fee I pay for Showit 5 now.

Customer support is included with my monthly Showit 5 membership as long as my membership is active. And they are very helpful in answering both the big and little questions. That is gold to me!

Why I Switched from a WordPress Website to Showit 5 on Megan Martin Creative, Showiteer, Creative Website, Website Design, Simplified Planner

(Captured by Sarahdipity Photos)

#5: The Showit 5 Showiteer Community

Showit calls their members Showiteers. And the Showiteer Community is strong, tight-knit, and helpful.

The community was the icing on the cake for me when making the decision to switch from my WordPress website, but since becoming a member in August, I’ve seen the real benefit of the community much clearer.

Along with the support team, having an entire community of people to reach out to for advice, inspiration, help, and connection has been an awesome addition to my website experience! Many creative industry peers (and educators that you probably follow!) are Showiteers. Being a part of a community with them in Showit is a great way to build relationships. All while having a beautiful and fully functional website. 😉

I’m proud to be a Showiteer!

Are you a Showiteer? Let’s be pals! Comment with your website so I can see your pretty digs!

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  1. Michele McGraw

    November 16th, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Now I’m interested. I’m in the same spot you were. I’ve been working on trying to move to Squarespace, but I have been blogging for 10 years and I have over 1000 posts and any it seems any trial I’ve done of moving things over doesn’t go so well. Plus I’m so used to WordPress.

    BUT…I’m so tired of spending time fixing. I’m a one-woman show and always have been. I don’t want to pay someone to do my site. I can do, but I just don’t want to. I want to get back to blogging. I want it to be simple.

    So, I want to understand. Showit 5 is kind of like creating a site on something like Squarespace or Wix, but it’s on WordPress????

    That’s like the best of both worlds!!!

  2. Megan Martin

    December 13th, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    In essence, yes! The actual blog part is WordPress hosted! I sweat it is magical. You do all the design work in one space (Showit’s interface) and then you magically get a WordPress blog with the package. All my blog posts are done still in WordPress, not in the Showit design interface, so it is all super familiar! I would hands down suggest making the leap! It has been so SO awesome for me!

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  4. Lesley

    June 14th, 2018 at 12:36 am

    Hey Megan, I’m just learning about Showit. I’m curious what theme you choose and where to buy it. I understand that they are highly customizable. Wondering if you just started with a base theme or what? THanks

  5. Megan Martin

    July 12th, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Lesley! I started with a free theme to get my bearings, but have since created my own custom site (what you now see!). I’ve also got an entire line of premium Showit templates coming here soon and you can get on the waitlist for them here: https://meganmartin.net/showit-templates I LOVE Showit! <3

  6. Jody Senna

    June 19th, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Megan, Thanks so much for this post; I’m thinking of moving away from my unusable WP website because it needs to be updated and fixed and I have to hire someone to do the work.
    Would you mind sharing which ShowIt template you chose? I really like it a lot!
    Thanks again,
    Jody

  7. Fran Boloni

    January 3rd, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    This is so cool. You actually convinced me to change from wordpress to showit for my photography website. Thank you!

  8. Megan Martin

    January 23rd, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Woohoo!!!!

  9. Qian

    January 7th, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Hi! Great information! I’m thinking about changing to Showit. But I’m curious how do you manage SEO in Showit?

  10. Megan Martin

    January 23rd, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Showit has built-in SEO helpers in the back-end of the editor. Makes it super easy!

  11. Cengiz

    January 22nd, 2019 at 11:04 am

    This is incredibly inspiring. However, it is a big jump after so many years to switch content management systems … and WordPress is still quite intuitive. The challenge I have with WordPress is that things seem to change all the time, and some of my plugins do not work (if they are low-quality plugins). I do need to say I will consider Showit for 2019 … certainly for my educational site.

  12. Megan Martin

    January 23rd, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    I definitely understand the jump is a big one! But over 2 years later, I’m so glad I did it!

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  14. Nicole

    March 28th, 2019 at 11:23 am

    How did your website fare in seo? Did you lose ranking?

  15. Megan Martin

    April 2nd, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Hey Nicole! As far as I know, my ranking has been fine! I still get quite a bit of traffic through search engines. Any site will take a temporary hit when you redesign (or switch platforms) and publish it live as Google has to work to re-orient itself with your site, but it was never a huge issue for me.

  16. Shahan

    April 22nd, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Hi Megan,
    I’m hoping to DIY a personal blog of my own soon. I only have a basic understanding of the tech stuff related to setting up a blog. I have my domain but, yet to pay for hosting. Please could you explain how hosting works with Showit? Do I pay for the hosting serparately on servers like Bluehost or Hostgator first and then build my blog on Showit or is hosing included in Showit? If separate, which site would you recommend for hosting?

  17. Megan Martin

    April 23rd, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Shahan! Showit will host your site for you (for a fee) so as long as you have your domain you’re all set!

  18. Juliana Sabo

    May 21st, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Oh my word, I can’t even begin to tell you how often I said, “Yep!” while reading this post!! I can relate to ALL OF THIS. I have been SO SO SO frustrated with my website and just recently discovered Showit 5! I haven’t made the transfer yet, but I am actually having fun designing my new site! Thank you for laying this out! I’m saving this as a favorite in my tabs!! 😀

  19. Megan Martin

    May 23rd, 2019 at 11:01 am

    So glad it resonated, Juliana! Cheers to your new site in the making!

  20. Elizabeth

    June 4th, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Hi! I love this article! Thank you!! Will you share which template you use? I was looking at Gimlet…some because it is free. I dont really understand why some templates cost over$1K and others are free. I am a non designer. I am a lifestylists…helping women over 40 regain energy and enthusiasm to accomplish all their dreams…even the ones they dont yet believe are possible!

  21. Megan Martin

    June 5th, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Hey Elizabeth! I custom designed my site! Since making the switch to Showit, I have launched my own line of Showit Templates. As you can see if you explore the shop, my templates are in the premium price range. For our company, that pricing reflects the level of detail we put into every one of our unique designs AND the fact that we only sell a limited number of each template (10) so that our customers can really stand out in their market! I can’t speak for the other designer’s price points, but I know a few friends who also sell in the premium price point and that is a direct reflection of the design abilities and level of detail as well! I hope that helps! I love your mission!! Sounds so encouraging and is so needed for these women! I think you will love Showit!

  22. Nakia Mohair

    July 22nd, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    This is seriously making me consider Showit as a new blogger that has not even launched a website! I am picky and very particular, and I’ve spent SOOO much time wrestling with my WordPress theme and trying to make it what I want it to be. So needless to say this sounds like a dream! Two quick questions…

    1. Does ShowIt allow “shop the post” capabilities and built in affiliate links?

    2. If ShowIt goes out of business or something crazy, will my website be forever lost?

    Thanks!! This was such an inspiring post!

  23. Megan Martin

    July 24th, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Hey Nakia! I love Showit! And feel your pain on WP woes. Sigh. To answer your questions: 1. Yes, you can add in shop the post capabilities with companies like RewardStyle and etc. All that happens in the WordPress dashboard as usual! 2. This is one of the biggest arguments for pro-Wordpress sites. Yes, if Showit went out of business, you would lose your site. I used to be on that side of the fence. But like I said in my post, I would end up spending the money VERY regularly anyways to get my site updated to stay up to date with the times/technology/styles/etc with my custom WordPress site AND had the most annoying issues on the daily with it which made my job a nightmare. Showit has been such a game-changer! I wouldn’t go back for a second 🙂 Hope that helps!

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