Why I Chose a Website Template Over Custom Design

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I'm Christiana

If you ask those closest to me, they'd tell you I'm also the go-to friend to sit down with over a glass of Sauvignon Blanc to dish all things dreams, business, and design–with a side of encouragement when you need it most.


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I know you’re probably asking yourself why a website designer would choose a website template for their own website.

I debated long and hard about whether I wanted to build the Briarcroft Lane website from scratch or if I wanted to save myself time and money (after all, time is money!) and start with a website template.

Why I Chose a Showit Website Template Instead of Designing My Website From Scratch

As a recovering perfectionist, I just knew that starting from scratch would end up being months of trying to design the perfect website and I honestly would much rather save that valuable time to be able to work with more clients. I spent a good week searching high and low for the right template. I found so many “almost” templates–templates that I loved design wise and were almost it. When I saw Saffron Avenue’s latest website template, the Palma, I knew it was a match made in heaven!

Which Showit Website Template I Chose & Why

Throughout this blog post, I have added images to compare the original template with how I customized it for Briarcroft Lane. On the left will be the original Palma Showit website template and the Briarcroft Lane website will be on the right.

The Palma Showit Website Template is modern, editorial, and sophisticated, which is exactly what I envisioned for the Briarcroft Lane website. I wanted something that felt design-forward and would work well for my online business. I needed a website that could take my visitors through all of my content and offers that support them on their journey of building a strong, strategic brand and online presence. That meant a robust blog, resource library, image-forward portfolio section, and a shop for future growth 😉

Why I Chose Showit Over WordPress and Squarespace

When I chose to specialize in one website builder, there was no question it would be Showit. I started building websites for fun over a decade ago, and professionally almost three years ago. In that time, I have designed websites on Tumblr (dating myself–I know), Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, WordPress, and Showit. When I started designing on Showit, I never looked back. Not only was it incredibly intuitive as a designer–the backend builder reminds me of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, but way less intimidating–it also has virtually no design limitations. It doesn’t require coding knowledge to design in Showit and they make it easy for beginners to get started by offering their free Showit 101 Course you can take in an afternoon.

The drag and drop builder meant I could take Saffron Avenue’s template and completely customize it for my needs and vision. I won’t lie, I didn’t get this website up overnight. I customized this Showit website template like crazy so it was PERFECT for me. But that’s the advantage of having a designer customize your template for you and using a platform like Showit for your website. You know that you are able to get exactly what you personally need from your website while still getting all of the benefits of starting with a template and taking advantage of WordPress blogging.

Not only did I completely change the look of the template with my own color palette, fonts, and branding, I was able to add additional sections I needed, remove the sections I didn’t need, and repurpose sections I knew I wouldn’t use as they were. You can see below how I repurposed the Press page as a section on my homepage to feature blog posts.

Let’s just say I definitely couldn’t have done all of this with my original WordPress & Elementor website.

Starting With Strategy in Mind

You probably know by now that I strongly believe that you cannot have design without strategy– hence the Sunday Style & Strategy Newsletter. I am so grateful to have chosen a template that not only reflected the style I envisioned for Briarcroft Lane BUT was already designed with strategy in mind.

How We Can Work Together

Some of you might be thinking, “That’s great and all but I don’t have the time or patience to DIY”. If that’s you, you’re in luck! I offer template customization with The Online Presence, my expedited semi-custom Showit website experience. In under one week, we can take the website template of your choice and customize it completely to your business. Having a designer customize your template for you truly is the best of both worlds. You get to select the design that you love, and I can customize it specifically to your needs. Whether that means removing sections that don’t apply to you, adding sections you need that might be missing, or repurposing sections elsewhere, the possibilities are endless. Not to mention you’ll get to skip that 6-10 week timeline a custom design project takes. You can inquire here or learn more here.

The Showit Website Templates I Recommend

Like what you saw in this blog post? You can use code ‘briarcroftlane’ to get 10% off anything in the Saffron Ave. Shop! Angela from Saffron has more beautiful Showit Website templates too–I love Jardin and Riviere. When I selected my template, I also snagged the matching social media templates and The Complete Launch Guide.

The only other designer templates I recommend are–you guessed it–Tonic Site Shop. For me, it was neck and neck with the Lillet Blanc Tonic Website Template and the Palma Saffron Avenue Website Template. I ultimately chose the Palma, but I still drool over the Lillet Blanc from Tonic. I would LOVE to customize this one for a future client–it would be ideal for a blogger, content creator, influencer, or online business owner. If that’s you, I’d love if you inquired here 😉 Lillet Blanc is one of MANY stunning templates Tonic offers, I also like the Vesper, Greyhound, Lita Grey, and French 75. You can save 15% off any Tonic purchase with code ‘briarcroftlane15’ at checkout. I’m also obsessed with their social media templates, and honestly, so is everyone else (as they should be).

Do you have a Showit website but still use link.tree or a similar third-party link page letting them take advantage of all of that website traffic instead of sending your visitors to your own URL? I will be launching my free link-in-bio template you can add to your existing Showit website very soon. You can join the wait list here to be the first to know when it’s ready!

If you’re new to Showit, you can get your first month free here!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links but as always all opinions are my own and I only share resources I love and personally recommend.

xo Christiana