Quick Guide: The Best Website Platform for Authors

Filed in Author Websites — July 8, 2024

So, you want a new author website, but don’t know where to start.

I have a whole series about author websites in progress, but for those of you who just want a quick answer fast: 

Go with Squarespace or Showit

(I don’t like WordPress, and I know some people will DIE on the WordPress hill, but don’t @ me, just go write your own blog post to sell people on it.)

Why I Recommend Squarespace & Showit

Squarespace and Showit are both “no code” platforms, which means everything is drag-and-drop. If you can use a computer mouse, you can build a professional-website. Yes, you.

Which One I Use

I was loyal to Squarespace for over a decade and still recommend it. Most of my past client websites were built on Squarespace. However, I switched to Showit a few years ago, both for my own author site (the one you’re on now!) as well as most of my design offerings for other authors.

That said, Squarespace remains a great platform, and is the better option for certain authors.

Here’s how to decide which is better for you:

You Should Go With Squarespace If…

You need an online shop.

Squarespace has integrated e-commerce, Showit does not. If you plan to sell merch or signed books on your website, Squarespace is the simplest option. With Showit, you’ll need to incorporate a separate shopping platform like Shopify. 

You want to spend as little time building and maintaining your website as possible.

Squarespace has less of a learning curve than Showit, and while it’s more limited in design capabilities, that also means it’s harder to mess up.

You want a blog.

That’s a bit of a hot take, because plenty of Showit loyalists love its blogging capabilities, but I hate blogging with Showit. I’ve gotten the hang of it, and it’s fine, but it’s the only time I miss Squarespace. Though, it should be mentioned that of dozens of author clients, and I think only 2 have even wanted a blog.

You Should Go With Showit If…

You want design flexibility.

Think of Showit like a blank canvas. If you can imagine it, you can make it happen. In Squarespace, it’s less blank page, and more “coloring book.” You’ll need to color in their lines (literally…it’s built on a grid system, and everything “snaps” to those grid lines).

You care about how your site looks on mobile.

Nearly 70% of my author website traffic comes from mobile devices; with many of my author clients, it’s closer to 80%. And that’s not just author sites; that’s the reality of the Internet these days. It’s time we start prioritizing how our website looks on a phone over the familiar desktop version.

Showit lets you design what your site looks like on mobile separate from how it looks on desktop. This means you can prioritize a vertical design for readers viewing your site on their phone, and a horizontal design for readers viewing your site on their computer. Squarespace, by contrast, has made some strides in their mobile editor, but it’s very limited.

You want support.

Showit’s customer service is the best I have ever worked with; not just in website/tech, but ever. If you want to know that real humans, with live chat, and funny gifs are there to help when you get stuck, you want Showit.

There’s plenty more to say, but I promised a quick guide, and that’s as quick as I can make it! Take each for a test drive if you’re not sure; both Squarespace & Showit have free trials.



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