Today, I am diving into some of your most asked website questions. From platforms to SEO and everything in between I’m sure you’ll take away some good nuggets of information from this episode. So let’s dive into your top 3 most asked website questions.
It should come as no surprise, as a Design Partner (basically means I’m vetted and they promote my services on their website) that I am Team Showit. However, I will add that I have designed on every platform — I’m even a SquareSpace Circle Member — and still, choose Showit for many reasons. The main one being the ease of use for my clients. When I designed on WP and SS, I always had past clients emailing me and asking how to update some aspects of their website.
Since I started designing on Showit almost 2.5 years ago, I’ve had less than 3 emails from past clients trying to updating their website. Once the website is set up, designed and launched it’s so easy to maintain. You can update your portfolio in five clicks of the mouse.
As far as other platforms, here is why I’m not a fan or don’t recommend them to creatives. WordPress is way more robust than more creatives need a website to be. It’s like using a shovel to crack an egg — overkill — that was a weird analogy, but we’ll roll with it.
You also have to update plug-ins. I will say when you have a Showit website, you still blog through WordPress which I love! Because no other platform can beat the SEO capabilities of WP.
Squarespace is great for small business owners. I have designed my fair share of SS websites. However, my clients are creatives and SS is very templated. SS doesn’t allow for the customized, artistically-driven websites and layouts that I think most creatives desire (unless you code).
You also can’t design your mobile layout separately from your desktop view. Which is another huge advantage of Showit. In 2019, it’s crucial that you’re creating an experience for your website viewer and that’s just not possible with SS, unless, as I said, you know CSS/HTML code.
Wix is the platform I have the least experience with. I would put Wix into a lower tier category with Weebly. They’re great for freelancers or individuals just getting started because they’re cheap, but it’s one of those — get what you pay for kind of things.
Major con to Wix is its search engine optimization. It’s not the most SEO friendly platform. If you have a good lead generation through word of mouth or social media, then it’s okay. But if you want your site to grow organically, it may be a slow process. Wix says they have improved it considerably, adding advanced SEO techniques like 301 redirects, etc., but it remains to be seen how effective these actually are for a blogger writing with high competition keywords.
This may be different from case-to-case, but I believe in keeping everything together as much as possible. I have organically have gotten the opportunity to help a lot of multi-passionate creatives with their websites. Like photographers who specialize in senior and wedding photography or event planners who are also lifestyle bloggers.
I think the most straightforward reason to keep it all together is that it’s easier to manage. I’ve personally tried to create a separate website for my in-person workshops back in the day, a separate website for the podcast, a separate site for my group coaching program — it’s a full-time job trying to manage all these different websites and social media platforms.
I believe a lot of creatives struggle with the ideal client and SEO part of housing everything on one website. Which I’m going to use another analogy — let’s hope that one works better. Your homepage is the entrance to your house. You have multiple rooms inside a home. Those rooms are the interior pages on your website.
You can have a homepage that directs people where they need to go on your website. And then optimize the SEO on each page for whatever the offer is.
I will say this is an advanced way of designing a website so I wouldn’t recommend tackling it on your own without a designer who has experience with building these kinds of sites for multi-passionate people.
My answer may surprise you! But first, I want to start by saying if you are trying to grow a business in 2019 then you need a website. No, Instagram, Facebook, and word-of-mouth aren’t going to cut it. When Suzie down the street recommends your business to Alice — what the first thing Alice is going to want to check out? It won’t be your social media profiles.
Back to the question, as a website designer, I wouldn’t recommend putting a lot of money into your website when you’re just getting started.
Your first year in business, you’ll be taking every project offered which is a good thing. You want to find out what you’re best at and most passionate about. You also don’t have a real solid foundation of who you enjoy working with or what your USP (unique selling point) is.
You need to have a good understanding of all of those elements before you take a plunge into a custom website design on any platform.
I would recommend making your own, so you can update it as you go along. While saving up for your branding and website down for the next year.
I also have a quiz that may help some of you decide which is the best choice for your business. If you aren’t sure if you should DIY a Showit template or invest in a custom designed website then visit carrylovedesigns.com/quiz. It’s a short quiz that’ll give you the next best step for your website.