It’s time for us to move on, so we’re leaving Showit in 2019! If you want to find out why, read on.
Showit can be a great platform for photographers. They do some things very well over other platforms, and some things not so much. There’s really only a handful of photographer themed platforms out there that are good at what they do, and Showit just happens to be one of the good ones.
When we started with Showit in July of 2016, it was right after they finally switched from flash to html 5 (thus, Showit 5). They made the right choice since flash is now completely dead.
Showit has added a few features and a lot of small usability improvements to the overall theme since then, especially right after release. Lately it hasn’t really changed all that much in the last few months and updates seem to slow to a crawl. Showit isn’t very transparent with updates. There is no public repo of feature or roadmap changes, and it’s hard for us to tell what’s changed in 3 years. WordPress is the biggest thing I could even remember them adding next to the site canvas feature.
What we love:
Showit as a whole is good, you can literally drag and drop and place anything anywhere. This makes for some really custom, flexible, designs that you can’t really get with a lot of boxed in builders out there. This is by far the best thing about Showit.
Showit has a lot of conditional logic features that work really well. What I mean by that for example, you can make something that when clicked, displays content directly into the page and not in a new tab or window and you can pretty much make anything you add to Showit that way.
Support has been really great. So that’s something that we love about Showit. The team was always there for us when we needed them and the built in support chat is a feature we wish other platforms would integrate.
What we don’t love:
The WordPress portion is still not great. Showit doesn’t integrate the design very well into the WordPress platform. There’s still lots of basic WordPress features that have no power in Showit at all, even after two and half years. It’s definitely the weakest link in the software.
As of October of 2018, they no longer allow external themes like ProPhoto to be installed into WordPress. This change forces the use of only using Showit for the WordPress portion. Does it make sense for them to make this change? Absolutely!
They should’ve made sure that the WordPress portion of Showit was more robust first. It’s still missing a lot of basic functionality that WordPress core has that you still can’t change in Showit. Most plugins don’t work well in the Showit WordPress theme we’ve found in our experience.
Showit has a very complex way of building pages by allowing you to add any content to the site anywhere, but lacks an option to make something simple, like a button with a hover property.
Same thing for making grids. I’ve never understood how it can have such complicated features, and yet still miss basic things you would have in a website that all other builders provide.
Mobile vs Desktop
They’ve made some strides recently in trying to make it easier to use, but they completely separate out the mobile version vs the desktop version. This makes it more flexible to create something that works well on Mobile, but you spend countless extra hours designing for both desktop and Mobile separately.
In other themes it’s just automatically done for you and you only have to make minimal changes to match the desktop design. The likelihood of needing two completely separate versions of your site is super slim (and probably not good for SEO). This design idea that you build them out separately is an old one. When the iPhone came out and mobile web browsing called for building separate versions of the website, it made more sense but in 2019 that’s just not the case any longer.
Behind The Scenes
From here, you’ll get to see kind of behind the scenes of why we’re deciding to no longer offer Showit template designs.
There was a period of time when they were accepting design submissions from just about anyone, and in fact had so many, that designs haven’t been approved for their market in almost over a year. As a designer in a new market, we were only with Showit for 12 months before we were no longer able to submit new designs to their shop (and haven’t since).
The Showit market was flooded with photographers who wanted to become designers to make an extra dollar, and they couldn’t keep up with the approval process for so many new designs. Showit’s shop re-opening has been delayed over and over again with many promises of changes happening. As of this writing, the latest update that was supposed to come in January has come and gone. Showit designers are still not able to submit new designs to the store. The designs that have been releasing are designs that were originally submitted months and months ago.
They have a vip designer program called a “design partner”. It took us more than 12 months to have enough sales and service clients to even qualify. We were turned down because they were no longer accepting design submissions (due to the market freeze). They don’t really say it, but they put their design partners over the rest of the designer community. This, as a designer isn’t a good way to make their template shop evenly balanced. Showit is one of the only stores that sells templates on the web with a program like this.
What we’ve made from Showit in 2.5 years isn’t enough for us to continue supporting, marketing, creating new designs and paying taxes on minimal sales when they take a cut and run specials on our designs. This isn’t very sustainable for us in the long term.
As of today we are officially announcing that we will no longer be selling Showit template designs. We will still be offering our hourly and custom website services for Showit for the foreseeable future.
We still think it’s a good platform, but from a business stand point it’s not sustainable for us. We’ll be moving into some other markets for 2019, stay tuned on the blog!
Should you leave Showit?
There are plenty of other themes and templates out there for you to try, even if they aren’t photographer specific. I think it really comes down to if you’re happy with the service you’re getting and if you find it easy to use after using it for awhile.
Mileage is going to vary a lot between web builders these days. I personally always encourage someone to stick with their chosen platform for a little while before deciding to switch. If you decide to switch, you’ll have a whole new learning curve every time you move.
It becomes increasingly frustrating over time for users to continuously switch to different themes. Especially when they have to spend hours re-learning something new. It would be better to try to be a little patient and learn what you’re using first for awhile before making a quick decision, especially if you’re feeling frustrated with the builder.
Leaving Showit for us was primarily due to sales. From our standpoint, it’s just not sustainable for us in the long run. We still recommend Showit as an alternative to our current offerings.
Yes, Showit will continue to support our designs going forward. Support is part of the subscription service you pay for when signing up, and isn’t determined by what design you choose to purchase.
Absolutely. If you’ve ever received a share key from us, then you’ll continue to be able to use your design.
If you’ve ever purchased a product from our website, you’ll also always be able to download that product from your account here at La Lune.
YES! We will still offer up our hourly and custom design services to those users who decide to go with Showit.