So you’ve made the (very smart) decision to use Showit for your website. First of all, congratulations! Choosing a platform to host your site is a big deal, and we think Showit’s the best out there and we’re so happy to welcome you to the Showit fam!
Secondly, you’ve decided that you’d like to start with a template versus a custom build. Sounds great! But the template biz is boomin’ babe! There are SO.MANY.OPTIONS out there, that choosing just one can be a lot like trying to decide between tacos or tequila. (I mean, who says a girl can’t have both)!?
But alas, while you can (thankfully) have tacos and tequila in tandem, a website template must be a solo endeavor. So how do you choose which one?!
Lucky for you, we’re here to give you 5 things to consider before choosing a Showit template. Annnnnd, here we go!
What is the main purpose of your website? What pages do you really need?
What are you trying to get visitors to do from your website?
Before you get lost in a sea of beauty, ’cause let’s face it, once you’re on the Pinterest train there’s no going back, you need to determine what the primary purpose of your website is going to be.
Are you selling a service(s), products, blogging…if you had to pick ONE thing, what would it be? (And don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you can’t offer multiple things, like services & products, but for the purpose of choosing a template it’s helpful to pick just one to start with.
This will help you easily eliminate certain templates based on what they were primarily designed to do.
Sure, Showit templates are infinitely customizable…so could you effectively turn any template into any thing…sure! But my guess is, you decided to start with a template because you #1 don’t have the budget for a custom build ergo #2 you want the process to be as easy as possible for you to do yourself.
So, for example if your primary purpose is to sell your services as a social media manager, it wouldn’t really benefit you much to choose a template that was built primarily to sell products, yes even if it’s the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen. #sorrynotsorry
This will help you determine which pages you need.
If you’re selling products, it’s going to be important for you to find a template with a shop. If you’re selling services or courses, keep an eye out for templates that have sales pages and layouts that help you describe your offerings, your process and what it’s like to work with you.
All Showit templates should come with the standard pages:
But depending on your goals, the pages outside of these are going to be important.
For example, photographers and other service providers will want a good Portfolio, while product sellers would be more interested in a Testimonials section or page.
Some additional things to consider would be how you plan on marketing your content and when you plan to launch. If IG is your marketing weapon of choice, a nice IG Links landing page would be a valuable inclusion. If you’re needing some time to get your new website up and running while still being able to give visitors a way to contact you, look for a template that includes a Coming Soon page.
Really sit down and map out which pages you need, and which ones you’d like to have. Then you can compare those requirements with the templates you find.
The overall aesthetic of the template should feel at least somewhat close to your brand.
Again, pretty matters…but ultimately you want a template that is going to work for you without wanting to sell your first-born child to hire a professional designer.
Now, I’m not saying you need to look for a template with your exact brand colors, but it wouldn’t exactly be ideal to purchase a colorful, vibrant template with bold typography if you’re an elegant, luxurious wedding photographer. Right?
When you’re looking at Showit templates, try to envision your branding, your colors & images and typography in that template. Go ahead, close your eyes…I’ll wait…
Annnnnd, we’re back!
The bottom line here is, the overall feel of the template should at least be in the same style as your brand, otherwise you’ll be very disappointed when trying to make your content look good in it.
Are we lookin’ at a Rolls Royce or more of a Nissan Sentra? (Without selling a kidney on the black market)?
There’s two things to consider here: the quality of the template itself and the bells and whistles that come with it.
It goes without saying that you should be checking for quality work…but what you should really think about is how much of the extras on top of that quality you can afford.
If you’re just starting out and feel like you can get by with just the basics, then a lower tiered template may be just the thing you need. We’re talkin’ just the basics: Home, About, Services, Portfolio, Contact. If you really need an add-on like a blog or long-form sales page, you can usually pick those up at a lower price point. In the Wolf & Willow shop, we offer all of the blog designs from our full templates as add-ons, so if you love one of our templates but only need a blog, we gotchu!
But, if you’re ready to really invest and get pages that you need now and maybe even some you would grow into needing in the future, then obviously your budget would need to be much higher.
Showit templates can range anywhere from under $100 to over $1,000. So it’s important to know where you stand on that scale based on what you need. Many Showit designers offer templates in multiple tiers, which is great because if you find a particular design shop that you like, you can more than likely find something that fits your budget.
I recommend narrowing down your search to 2-3 designers that you vibe with and that have templates within your budget and go from there.
What tools & resources come with the template?
If you’re buying a Showit template, chances are you’re not a web designer yourself (it’s not always the case, designers actually have a really hard time designing for themselves!) which means you likely don’t have an advanced knowledge of Showit or websites and the tech stuff that goes with it.
This means it’s really important to find a template that comes with plenty of resources to help get you up and running. Here are some great things to look out for:
- Training videos
- Walkthrough tutorials
- Facebook groups
- Slack channels
- Launch checklists
- Content planning checklists
- Matching social media templates
The idea here is to choose what type of support works best for you. More of a visual learner? Video tutorials are going to be your thing. Prefer to go checklist or guide style? Then maybe a written walkthrough tutorial would benefit you most. But at the end of the day, the more the better.
The last thing you want is to purchase a template, get a Share Key (the way Showit templates are shared), and then get left high and dry on what the hell to do next, amiright?
One of the things we do differently here at Wolf & Willow is record template specific tutorials. Yup, you read that right! We record videos that are specific to the template you’re purchasing.
Why? Because each template has its own unique features, and we know that providing you with tutorials on how to use those will only help you get launched faster and without the stress.
So, when shopping for templates be sure you’re looking for the resources each designer provides to help you, now and in the future. And if it’s not listed on their website, don’t be too shy to ask! We truly love answering questions about our templates from our community!
Are you wanting to customize the template yourself, or hire a designer to do a template customization for you?
This is something really good to know up front, because it will help dictate what resources you need and could even save you some moolah.
If you’re planning to DIY, then it’s really important to ensure that the design shop you’re purchasing from has a ton of great resources that can help you feel more confident in your journey to getting your new website launched. The last thing you want to happen is to purchase a template, then get stressed because you get stuck trying to figure out #allthethings on your own.
If you already know you’d like to hire a designer, you can feel less overwhelmed about what to do after purchase. And, it can be helpful to know if the designer you’d like to purchase a Showit template from offers template customizations themselves, because then you have a one-stop-shop experience.
Another benefit to working with the same designer is some will offer discounts for purchasing a template customization package when you purchase one of their templates.
So there you have it!
Those are my top 5 tips of things to consider before purchasing a Showit template. Choosing to invest in your business is a tough decision as it is, so making sure you put your hard earned dollars to the best use is crucial.
Whether you’re purchasing from us or from another amazing designer, we’re always here to support you along the way.