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A few weeks ago I launched a brand new website just 5-6 months after the official launch of Ivy + Linen Design Co., which seems quite fast! Even though I launched the initial website not that long ago, I was already discovering ways it was not working for me and knew that if I wanted to incorporate more semi-custom offerings something was going to have to improve.
My original website was on a platform called Showit which I absolutely LOVED! This was a super easy, drag and drop website builder that made customization so simple. Since I loved the platform and then fell in love with a template from With Grace and Gold to set up the site, I decided it was the platform I wanted to use for the launch of Ivy + Linen Design Co. I knew that Shopify had Buy Buttons that you could integrate since Showit doesn't have an e-commerce platform at this time (though there is talk of an integration), so I could sell my products that way. Since I loved Showit I was searching for ways to make it work for me. But I soon discovered why Showit is mainly used for photographers, event planners, and other creatives without many products to sell.
Once I launched the customizable photo Christmas card collection I realized some of the limitations I had created for myself. There wasn't really an easy way to gather information from my customers for their cards and they had to send me a separate email (not super convenient). I wanted a customer experience that was straight forward and efficient, and had to start thinking about how I could make that happen. I also wanted customers to be able to easily find, sort, and search for my products. With all that in mind I was ready to figure out another website platform, and it came down to Shopify vs. Squarespace.
Since I already had my products listed on Shopify, it seemed like an obvious choice, but I went back and forth before coming to a conclusion. Squarespace has an e-commerce platform and I know lots of creatives who use it because of its ease of use and customization. It also had a few features I was interested in that Shopify didn't, so I had to weigh some pros and cons. The main factors of my decision to choose Shopify over Squarespace was that there is a Point of Sale option so I can sell my items at pop-up markets and not have to engage another app for that, and the product and product collection organization abilities are excellent. It was no easy decision, but I am pleased with the outcome!
I love all of the functionality of the new site, and the fact that I was still able to infuse my personality and brand into a clean, modern design. I hope you learned a few things through all of my trial and error thus far, and I'm sure this is just the beginning of my lessons learned. But as someone in my Mastermind group said, "we can always change that!"