Note To Self

Top 3 website platforms for creative entrepreneurs

The Importance of Your Brand’s Online Presence

In today’s digital age, having an online presence for your brand and business is not just important but essential. You can think of your brand’s online presence as anywhere content and information about your brand exists publicly online, including social media platforms, any publicity about your brand, and most importantly, your website. Here are a few reasons why your website is one of the best places to invest in your brand.

1. You Own Your Website.

I know several business owners who have suffered from hacking and temporarily lost access to their social media accounts. Without a website, they would have had no other way to continue marketing their business online or making a transaction. However, security is not the only reason for having a website.

2. Conversion.

Your website serves as a showcase for your brand and is primarily responsible for converting followers into customers. The more accessible for someone to hire or purchase from you, the more revenue you’ll generate. Your website should sell for you even when you’re off the clock. That’s why, when working with web design clients, I consider the conversion and transaction process the key factor in determining the best platform for them.

3. Organic Traffic.

The most crucial aspect of your online presence is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Optimizing a website for search engines can significantly impact your ability to attract clients and make sales. Many people find businesses through online searches, and according to a survey by Salesforce, 85% of consumers research a product or service before making an online purchase. Furthermore, 74% of that research occurred on the business’s website.

As a seasoned web designer, I created custom websites for over a dozen creative entrepreneurs before finally building my own. From my experience, I can promise you that while running a business without a website is totally possible, doing so limits your growth and leaves potential profits on the table. Furthermore, an outdated or poorly designed website will not benefit your business in any way. But at the end of the day, with so many website builders available, it’s tough to determine what that goldilocks perfect fit will be for you.

Three Platforms to Consider

In this blog post, I’ll be breaking down the three platforms I recommend to my one-on-one clients, which are some of the most popular website builders on the market: Showit, Shopify, and Squarespace. All three are excellent choices in their ways (or else I wouldn’t design on them), but they also have their drawbacks. I won’t hold back on what they do best and their not-so-great aspects.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear idea of which website builder is right for your brand’s goals. I don’t believe in gatekeeping or a one-size-fits-all approach to branding and digital marketing for creative entrepreneurs. Therefore, I’ll give you my honest opinion on each platform’s features.

Are you ready to launch your online store or revamp your existing website but unsure where to start? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered! I’ve created some fun names for each platform, inspired by my love for Friends (I mean, who doesn’t love that show?), and by the end of this article, I’m confident you will have a better understanding of which platform will be the best fit for your brand’s website.


Season 3 Yes GIF by Friends - Find & Share on GIPHY
The One Where The Designer Can’t Help But Fall In Love

Showit is an intuitive website builder enabling users to create unique designs and artistic compositions. It offers various customizable features and responsive designs that ensure your website looks flawless on any device. One of the most notable features of Showit is its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface that enables custom design options with no coding required.

Showit is highly recommended for photographers, bloggers, and small business owners looking for a website builder to help them create a website that reflects their brand’s personality and individual aesthetic. With Showit, you can customize your website’s layout, fonts, images, and colors, ensuring that your website is unique and stands out from the crowd.

The ability to create beautiful websites and have almost total creative freedom (without needing to know how to code) is the best thing about Showit. Its intuitive interface, customizable features, and responsive designs make it a top choice among website builders (and my personal favorite).


  • Easy to use
  • Customizable design
  • Great for visual content, such as images and videos
  • Responsive design
  • Compatible with the WordPress blog interface
  • Easily customizable automation
  • Customer support is amazing.
  • Tons of resources and educational info on their blog on how to do pretty much anything you can think of on the platform.


  • Limited e-commerce functionality
  • Expensive compared to other website builders
  • You must keep assets, layers, etc., labeled well, or things could get confusing.
  • The preview mode can get a bit glitchy.
  • You have to know SEO basics to optimize your website; it doesn’t create the metadata for you.
  • Limited plugins & backend capabilities (the embed option makes up for it, but it can be a little tricky)
  • Securing your website & connecting your DNS can be a bit tricky.

In the real world:

  • If you are really good at Canva (or can use adobe products), you can probably figure out how to design your website on Showit.
  • You can customize many free and paid templates (Cedar June Showit Templates coming soon)!
  • Showit has design partners, and many designers (including myself) primarily design in Showit.
  • Get your first month free!


Season 9 Episode 23 GIF by Friends - Find & Share on GIPHY
The One Where You Can Start Selling Stuff Online & Look Really Legit

Shopify is a highly acclaimed and widely-used e-commerce platform that has revolutionized how businesses operate online. It is a comprehensive platform that allows entrepreneurs of all sizes to easily create and manage their online stores with its wide range of features and functionalities. In addition, with its responsive design, Shopify can handle high volumes of traffic and is suitable for businesses looking to expand their online presence.

Although Shopify is mainly used by e-commerce companies that sell physical products and is known for its features that make keeping stock and managing shipping simple, I love it for its digital product capabilities. For example, an online educator or service-based business can easily sell digital downloads and create a high-end shopping experience in Shopify.

Furthermore, Shopify’s payment processing system is highly secure and reliable, ensuring businesses can process transactions seamlessly without issues. The platform also supports a wide range of payment options, making it easy for customers to pay for their purchases in a way that is convenient for them.

Overall, Shopify is a versatile and powerful e-commerce platform that offers businesses of all sizes the tools they need to succeed in the online marketplace. Shopify doesn’t give you a ton of design & creative freedom (unless you can code), but that isn’t necessarily a drawback in my book; Shopify is created for conversion and selling. Hence, its pre-determined layout options are purposeful, designed to convert and make your shop look super professional – If you can figure out how to use Shopify and have high-quality brand assets, making a bad-looking website will be pretty hard.


  • Powerful e-commerce functionality
  • Large app store with many integrations
  • Secure payment processing, including shop pay
  • Easy to design a high-end branded user experience
  • Email integration for welcome & abandoned cart sequences
  • Some automation features


  • Expensive pricing plans
  • Limited design customization
  • The steep learning curve for advanced features
  • Not the most straightforward user interface; you need to be more tech-savvy

In the real world:

  • Unless you can code, you need to customize a template to fit your brand.
  • Some free templates are available, but the commerce features will be limited to free options.
  • Paid templates can get pricy fast.
  • There are tons of designers who specialize in building Shopify websites for e-commerce companies.


Excited Jennifer Aniston GIF by Friends - Find & Share on GIPHY
The One Where They Did A Little Of Everything, & They Did It Pretty Well

Squarespace is a fantastic website builder that provides users with many templates and design options when creating their websites. This amazing platform is well-known for its exceptional functionalities, making it an excellent pick for anyone looking to design a visually appealing and user-friendly website.

Squarespace is particularly popular among artists, designers, and creatives who desire to showcase their work in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

Notably, Squarespace also boasts of e-commerce functionality, making it a suitable option for small to medium-sized businesses. As a business owner, you can leverage Squarespace’s e-commerce features to create an online store where you can sell your products to customers worldwide.

In summary, Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder that is perfect for artists, designers, creatives, and businesses of all sizes. Its vast range of templates, design options, and e-commerce features make it a top choice for anyone looking to create a stunning website that stands out from the rest.


  • Beautiful templates and design options
  • Good e-commerce functionality
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Scheduling features built-in
  • Option for a donate button (great for non-profits and fundraising)
  • Membership capabilities
  • Blog built-in


  • Limited customization options
  • Limited app store
  • Not as SEO-friendly as other platforms
  • Not so user-friendly to wireframe

In the real world:

  • Square Space can do a lot in one place, which is nice.
  • With a little trial and error, a tech-savvy millennial can build a site on square space that looks great

Stacking up the competition

Benefits & FeaturesShowitShopifySquare Space
Design & Creative Freedom⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️
Ease Of Use⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️
E-Commerce Capabilities⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Available Plugins ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Backend Functionality⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Responsive Design ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Online Resources⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Overall Score2.25 ⭐️2 ⭐️1.75 ⭐️

Choosing the Right Platform for Your Website or Online Store

When building a website or an online store, choosing the right platform that aligns with your specific needs and goals is essential. It can be overwhelming to sift through the various options available in the market, but understanding your priorities can help you make an informed decision.

Consider Multiple Platforms

Your solution may be twofold (or even three). Unless you are a web design pro, you probably won’t notice, but I actually have two websites disguised as one. A Showit website for my main pages and a Shopify website as my online shop. They are connected through the navigation in my online shop and allow me to have the best of both worlds.

Shopify for E-commerce Functionality

If you are looking for a website builder emphasizing robust e-commerce functionality, Shopify is an excellent option. Its robust features and integrations are designed to help businesses of all sizes sell their products and services effectively.

Showit for Customization and Responsiveness

On the other hand, if you value customization and responsiveness in your website, Showit might be the better choice. Its drag-and-drop interface allows you to create a unique design that reflects your brand identity, making it an ideal platform for creative businesses and entrepreneurs.

Squarespace for Beautiful Design and User-Friendly Interface

If beautiful design and a user-friendly interface are your top priorities, Squarespace is an excellent option to consider. Known for its sleek and modern templates, it is perfect for businesses that want to showcase their products and services visually.

Factors to Consider

Ultimately, when choosing the right platform, it is essential to consider factors such as your budget, technical skills, and business goals. Keeping these in mind allows you to make a well-informed decision that sets you up for success. We hope this comparison has provided valuable insights to help you make the right choice for your website or online store.



Top 3 website platforms for creative entrepreneurs

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