This week, Flothemes announced that they are leaving WordPress and no longer releasing new updates for Flothemes products. Many people saw this coming when Pixieset acquired Flothemes back in 2021, but it’s disappointing news nonetheless. You may have spent a lot of time and money to publish and maintain your Flothemes site, and this news might have you wondering what exactly you should do next.
In this post, I’ll go over what Flothemes’ announcement means for you and your website, what options you have from here, and what it looks like to switch to Showit, my platform of choice as a web designer for wedding pros. Wondering if this is the right move for you? Read on to find out!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Information regarding Flothemes and Pixieset is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I will update this post as we get updates or new information from either platform.
P.S. I’m currently offering $200 off any of my web design services for Flothemes users who want to move to Showit. If you want to schedule a free consultation to learn more, please fill out my contact form here: Contact Alex Collier Design
P.P.S. Just here for the discount code? No big – here’s your first month of Showit free!
What happens to my Flothemes website if I don’t do anything?
If you do not take any action, you will be able to continue using and updating your site as normal for now. After September 30th 2024, your website will continue running but you will no longer be able to edit Flex Blocks. Flothemes has also announced they are extending your subscription for free for the next year.
The good news is, this gives you some time to figure out your best path forward. This is a major change but it’s important to think about your options and whether you would like to move your site to Pixieset (which acquired Flothemes) or to another platform.
Should I just switch my platform to Pixieset?
It’s no surprise that Flothemes strongly recommends moving your website to Pixieset. They are offering your first year on Pixieset free as well as assistance in migrating your site (you must contact them by Nov 30th, 2023 to take advantage of this). This is, in many ways, the path of least resistance. Earlier this year, Pixieset introduced their Flex Editor. After testing their builder, it does feel pretty similar to Flothemes design-wise.
However, there are a lot of limitations in Pixieset (like setting fonts and header tags) that may limit your creative freedom and ability to optimize for search.
The biggest reason Flothemes users might not want to switch to Pixieset is that it means leaving WordPress behind—a big reason why a lot of users chose Flothemes in the first place.
Enter Showit. Showit offers a customizable drag-and-drop design-forward platform with a blog powered by WordPress. In my opinion, it’s the best option on the market for Flothemes users who value usability, beautiful design, and the ability to continue blogging with WordPress.
Should I switch my website platform to Showit?
As a Showit Design Partner, I’m an expert and dedicated fan of this platform. Showit offers a level of design customization and flexibility that, in my opinion, far surpasses that of Flothemes and Pixieset.
Here are just a few of my favorite things about Showit and why it is my platform of choice for me and my clients:
Design flexibility and creative freedom: There’s a level of customization that’s easier to do with Showit for sites that look more unique and creative. The drag and drop builder means you are able to easily create unique and stunning layouts.
User friendliness: The Showit builder is very user friendly, meaning my clients are able to make updates to their site easily on their own. I’ve found this important for wedding pros/photographers since there is often content you might want to be changing out on a seasonal basis.
Hosting and support: Hosting is included in your Showit subscription. This is great because Showit handles server updates and security for you. Any time a client has experienced an issue with their site (which is rare), the Showit team has been super responsive and quick to get things up and running again. Their customer support is top notch—you actually get to talk to a real person (and they are the nicest people in the biz!)
WordPress integration: The way Showit works, you publish your blog content from WordPress. To me it’s the best of both worlds—the design flexibility of the Showit builder, and the power of WordPress for blogging (especially on the advanced blog tier where you can add custom plugins).
Showit has a demo mode you can check out if you’re interested in seeing how it works firsthand.
Can I recreate my Flothemes website in Showit?
If you’re asking whether it is possible to recreate a design in the Showit platform that maps exactly to your old Flothemes website, then yes. Showit offers amazing design flexibility and as far as I can tell, anything you’ve been able to achieve design-wise in Flothemes, you could do in Showit. In theory, you could rebuild your website exactly as is in Showit.
However, it’s important to consider the legality of copying over a design that was licensed for one platform to another. I reached out to Flothemes to ask whether Flothemes users are legally allowed to copy their exact design over to a new platform and here is what they said:
“It depends on the design. If the design is a demo copy of our themes, ie fonts, colors, layouts, page templates, then that would be a no (https://demo.flothemes.com/). If the design is their custom iteration or personalization based off our themes, then there is no issue with them transferring that design to another platform.”
In other words, Flothemes distinguishes between copying their pre-made, off-the-shelf themes (which is not allowed) and using a design that you have customized or personalized using the platform (which is allowed).
If it’s clear that your site is unique, personalized, and that you’ve put your own creative touch on the design, you should be fine to rebuild it in another platform like Showit. However, if it closely resembles all or part of one of their standard demo themes, there may be restrictions on doing so. If you aren’t sure which describes your site, I recommend reaching out to Flothemes support at in**@fl*******.com.
Of course, if you wish to avoid any ethical or legal issues with copying your design, moving platforms is a great opportunity to start fresh with a new design.
What other design options do I have on Showit?
You may already be familiar with the fact that Showit has plentiful template options available. Many designers, including myself, sell premium template designs that offer the same sleek and beautiful design you got with Flothemes.
One of the biggest questions I hear is how locked into your template you are. The answer is, not at all! Everything within your template, from the sections, to the layouts, to the fonts, can be edited and customized to your hearts content. Think of your template like an awesome starting point that you can take and run with.
Many designers, myself included, also offer template customization services that offer a semi-custom option. This allows you to start from a template and customize it with a designer’s touch and expertise. My template customization service also includes a template from my shop which offers you some savings, rather than needing to purchase a template separately.
Another option is to build a completely custom website. Showit is an easy-to-use platform, but like anything, there is a learning curve. I wouldn’t recommend someone who is not an expert in the platform design a site from scratch. It’s honestly just not a great use of your time. You’re much better off starting with a template or hiring a designer to build you a custom site.
Want to see some examples of templated and custom websites build on Showit? Check out my portfolio, where you can peruse some real-world examples.
What costs are associated with Showit?
In this blog post, I dive into the different tiers Showit offers and how to know which tier you need. However, as a Flothemes user, I assume you will want to migrate your old blog posts to your new site (and for SEO reasons, I strongly recommend doing so). This means you will require Showit’s Tier 3 (Advanced Blog) subscription.
Showit’s Tier 3 (Advanced Blog) subscription also allows for adding custom plugins, giving you even more WordPress capabilities. If you pay annually, this tier is $408 per year (Get your first month free here). This includes both your use of the platform and your hosting on Showit’s servers.
Yes, it is pricy. But there is a reason folks are such devoted fans of the platform. It really is a great product with a great team behind it. Ask most Showit users and they will tell you it is a business expense that is worth every penny.
Another cost to keep in mind is your domain, which you pay for yearly through your domain registrar (through a company like GoDaddy or NameCheap, for example). This is usually a pretty small yearly fee but it’s important to note that Showit does not sell domain names and this is not included in your subscription.
How do I migrate my blog to Showit?
The short answer? You don’t! As a current WordPress user, the Showit team will take care of this for you. This is an amazing service that will save you time and headaches. As noted above, this does require Showit’s Tier 3 (Advanced Blog) subscription.
The longer answer: when you are ready to migrate your blog, you will go into your site settings in Showit to connect your domain and migrate your blog. You will fill out a few questions, including your blog access information, and submit it to the Showit team. The estimated turnaround time for migrating your blog is 2-4 business days, so be sure to plan ahead and give yourself enough time before you plan to launch.
When the Showit team has finished migrating your blog, you will receive an email letting you know and prompting you to log in to your new blog backend. Showit uses the WP Engine migration plugin to move your content, which transfers all of your WordPress files, including your images and blog posts. Your pages and plugins will also technically transfer over, but they likely won’t function as they did on your Flothemes site. You will need to do some cleaning up to delete old pages and plugins and set up redirects.
How do I connect my domain to Showit?
Migrating your blog and connecting your domain go hand in hand. When you submit your blog for migration, you will also submit your domain name and let the Showit team know some information about your current site. When Showit reaches out to let you know your blog migration is complete, they will also let you know what DNS records you need to update through your domain registrar to point your domain to your new Showit site.
Once you have updated your DNS records, reach out in your Showit account and the Showit team will install your site’s SSL certificate. This is important so that visitors to your site don’t get a privacy warning message. After this is complete, you can select your domain in your site settings, click publish, and your new site will be live! Here is an article from Showit that dives into this process in more detail: Launching your Showit site
Is Showit good for SEO?
Many Flothemes users originally opted for WordPress because of the plentiful options to control your SEO. When it comes to your blog, on Showit’s Tier 3, you can add plugins and use WordPress to blog much the same way you did before.
Additionally, in the Showit builder, where your site’s main pages will be built, you can take advantage of SEO tools to properly set header tags, alt text, page titles, and meta-descriptions. It’s also worth noting that you actually need to stack your elements backwards in the Showit builder for search engines to be able to read them properly. This is an easy tweak to make but can take some time.
Moving platforms can always be a little intimidating if SEO is a big consideration for you. The best thing you can do is keep as much similar as you can as far as your page titles and other SEO meta data, and ensuring that any necessary redirects are properly configured. It’s always likely that moving platforms may cause a temporary dip in rankings, but you can learn more about my advice for mitigating or eliminating the effect in this post.
One of the most important SEO considerations to make when moving your site is to ensure that your slugs remain the same, and that you properly set up 301 redirects for any pages that you rename or don’t move over. Showit has a tool to do this under your site settings. You can learn more about setting redirects here.
It’s important to ensure that your site and content are configured properly for search, which is definitely possible with Showit.
Deciding what to do with your website now that Flothemes is closing is a highly personal decision. You may choose to rollover to Pixieset, move to Showit, or choose another platform entirely.
If you’re looking for a Showit designer who knows the platform inside and out and whose expertise spans visual design, UX, and SEO, then I would absolutely love to help you with this transition. If you have any questions about Showit or about this post, please feel free to comment below. Or if you’d like to learn more about working together, please reach out via my contact form! I’m currently offering $200 off any of my web design services for Flothemes users.