If you took a moment and looked at all of the tools you use for your business (Pictage, ShootQ, Quickbooks, SmugMug, PhotoJunction, Album Exposure, etc.) and had to pick ONE to get rid of which would you choose? If you had to pick one that you would forever be able to keep, which would it be?
For today’s Tuesday Photography Tips and Tricks, we want to share with you one of the biggest tools, if not THE biggest, that we have used and continue to use for our business that we would not be able to do without.
If we did not have Showit, we have no idea where our business would be. Seriously. You think we’re exaggerating. We’re not.
Showit in a nutshell:
A tool made by photographers for photographers to build your own fully customizable website.
Your website is your public face. It represents you. As photographers we are unique and creative individuals. Don’t we want that to reflect in our site? Don’t we want the freedom to do whatever to our site that we want instead of being constricted to templates?
Top 10 Reasons Why Showit is Amazing (and why we love it)
1. Flash + HTML + HTML5: Even though the site is flash, Showit creates an HTML file for every page so your site is searchable, AND when you publish it, it automatically publishes it in HTML 5 format so it can be viewed on all mobile devices!!
2. SEO that is the bomb: Read more here to see the full awesomeness
3. FULL customization: Away with templates, and enter in Style Groups that you can use as a foundation to start your website on (that are FULLY changeable), or you can start with a blank slate. Showit offers a variety of free Style Groups to choose from. It’s awesome!
4. Designers on hand: Don’t want to build your site from scratch? Want a fully custom site built for Showit? Oh, there are some great designers to partner with! SiteHouse is a company created by Promise Tangemen – a creative GENIUS (with a background in photography!) and when it comes to branding and design she is KILLER!!! Visit SiteHouse by clicking below!
We love, love, love, Promise’s design and aesthetic. Ever seen Jasmine Star’s kick booty website? Yup, Promise designed it.
Even if you get a designer to design your site, you still have full access and the ability to go in and update, modify/add images/tweak text, etc. It’s awesome :)
5. Easy ability to change: Something we love about Showit is it is SO easy to change things. Don’t like the color of the font after all? Want some fresh bio info on your bio page? Want to put your navigation on the side instead of the top? Want to add images to your site? Remove a gallery? Add a new page? No sweat. You can do that SO easily instead of goin back and forth with your web guy.
Below is our first Showit Site that we created-
Old home page:
Old About page:
So our first site was cool and all, but we decided that we wanted to crisp it up a bit and thus about 6 months ago launched our new and improved site! And guess what… we did it all for no extra cost :)
New Home page:
New About page:
After we had the above website for a few years, we decided to rebrand and get a website built by visual identity specialist, Melissa Love. Here is what we have now (which we can still change/tweak/add photos, etc. at any time!).
6. Custom Client Sites: THIS IS ONE OF OUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT SHOWIT! Through Showit you are able to create +Sites which essentially are custom URLs for each of your clients! You can do this for their engagement sessions, create their own custom wedding websites, then plug them into Facebook (more on that below) – how much cooler does it get!
Look at the below custom site Melissa built that we can duplicate for all of our clients!
We have utilized +sites for the photography side of our business and have created a site for photographers and for our workshops! (This all is included in your monthly Showit subscription). You can click below to visit the actual sites.
Site for photographers:
Site for our IN-CAMERA workshops:
7. Facebook Integration: We love how Showit stays ahead of the curve and is always up on cool and savvy things like being able to embed your site on Facebook! And yes, this includes +sites too! How cool would it be to create a custom site for your clients then embed it on their facebook wall to share with all of their family and friends??? This is awesome for your brides and awesome for marketing YOUR brand!
8. Suh-weet Widgets: Pay Pal buttons, Smug Mug galleries, Full screen option, want to embed your tweets, your blog feed, YouTube, SmugMug, or Vimeo videos, and the list continually grows!
9. Mobile Sites: Yup. Showit automatically generates a mobile version for your site so the viewing experience is the same as what you’d see on your laptop ! Check out our site on your phone – ZachandJody.com.
10. Saves Money: Custom sites can be SUPER expensive. We have had friends who have spent thousands on a website and a year later, they are ready to change things and now have to spend thousands again. We have been using Showit since the beginning of 2008 and have yet to even come close to paying what some of our friends are, AND we have changed and tweaked our site continuously throughout the last 3 years. Using Showit is $39/month. That’s it! No additional fees – nothing. You get it all.
11. (Ok, so we have run over our limit of 10, but there are so many good things about Showit!) You don’t pay until you actually publish your site. Yup! You read that right! Download Showit. Play around with it as much as you want, and you do not pay until you make your site live.
12. Free mini site: For those of you who may be just starting off and want just a little site for now to get your name out there – you can create five pages and publish them online for free! Fellow friend and photographer, Kristine Neeley has one of these sites! Click below to visit her site:
13. Fantastic help: Need help? Have a question? There is a plethora of information on Showit Wiki including tutorial videos. You can submit a ticket and the Showit Studs are AMAZING at helping you! There is also ClubShowit where Showiteers gather to help each other out and share questions and give feedback, AND every Wednesday at 1:00PST there is the Hangout where the man Kevin Sturm goes online live covering Showit topics and answering questions at showitfast.com/live.
14. Community: Showit has a great community. Not only through Club Showit, through their Showit Facebook page, but also EVERY day Showiteers gather for Showit’s live Broadcast every day at noon central on Showit Live. The Showit team puts out AMAZING information, not only regarding Showit topics but regarding your business and the latest things in the industry.
15. Great people behind the company: We personally know DJ and Kevin Sturm and these guys have great hearts and are sincerely there for us. They as well as the rest of the team are great people and it’s exciting to be a part of something where you know the people behind the company truly care about you.
For those interested, here is a screen shot of what it looks like in the backend :)
Whew! Ok, that was a little more than 10 things, but Showit is seriously the bomb and has been HUGE for us in shaping our business.
We have friends and talented Nashville Wedding Videographers, Eugene & Heather of 2Duce2 who have created their site with Showit. Check out their site below and THEN check out the BOMB video they put together about their new site.
Watch the quick video!
Seriously, Showit is AMAZING and has been phenomenal for our business. If you are sick of your site, Showit can change your life!! :) :) Soooo, if you’re curious about Showit, you can visit their main web page as well as visit their Get Started Showit Wiki page.
For those going to WPPI, Showit is going to be having their own events and Q&A’s and times where you can sit down with their techs and either get help for your site, learn about Showit, etc. Follow the link to view Showit’s Vegas Schedule.
Just to let you guys know, Showit does not pay us or compensate us in any way to talk about them :) We truly love Showit and we can’t help but share about the awesomeness of it.
Who else out there uses Showit? What’s your favorite thing about it??