Welcome to our newest series – The TONIC Review! Last year when I first put together the TONIC Catalog, I dreamed of doing a deep-dive into each of the templates and showing how we would customize and stretch the potential of each design and I’m so excited to share this series with you in hopes that it helps you on your journey to building your dream website.
As I write this series, there are 21 designs to choose from and TONIC has cornered the market on Showit templates. The reason I personally love working with TONIC is because their templates are so conducive to customization and can be refreshed in a million different ways.
Why? Because these templates give you an incredible foundation to create a stunning website. But there’s more.
Here are 5 more reasons why I live and die by TONIC:
- With drag-and-drop designs, they’re built to be a starting point, not a final destination.
Each template includes multiple pages full of variety so that you can drag and drop to build a style that works best for you and your brand. You’re not “stuck” with one look but can see each page as a starting point from which to build the site of your dreams.
- Each template includes copy prompts—one area most aspiring entrepreneurs struggle with the most.
I’ve worked with templates full of so much placeholder that it kind of falls apart when you actually try to use it. But through Jen’s love of writing and story-telling, you can actually see how each template would work in the wild, and her brilliant “placeholder” copy can actually serve as a springboard for writing your own.
- TONIC values classic design over trends, meaning your website won’t feel outdated or overdone as soon as you press publish.
Digital trends go out faster than they come in, and building a website doesn’t always happen overnight. When you purchase a trendy look, you run the risk of appearing outdated the minute you go live. But not with TONIC. These templates are fresh but modern, cutting-edge but built with classic design principles in mind. You can trust that they will hold up over time and continue to make your business look good.
- TONIC has a shop full of site add-ons, so you can continue to rely on them as your business, and website, grows.
From sales pages to Instagram links, quiz results and mood board designs, TONIC has tons of “expansion” packs that can further differentiate your site from the rest. And a note – we’ll be recommending add-ons from their shop in our template reviews, suggesting which ones we think would be best for different sites and why.
- The brand itself is a testament to having a great product and an even better mission.
Not only do I love TONIC templates, but I really love Jeff and Jen. They’ve built a powerful business with strong ethics and drive coupled with a mission to eliminate boring websites from the internet. With incredible customer service, informative blog posts, and a super engaging social media presence, this is a brand you want to be a part of, and purchasing their templates means you’re supporting other small business owners (although I’m not sure how long TONIC will be able to be considered “small”)!
So now that you’re just as in love with TONIC as I am, I bet you’re wondering how to begin using one of these templates. I do admit that they are built for Showit specifically: you’re going to have to fall in love with Showit too.
Good news? It’s not that hard – these two companies go together like peanut butter and jam.
For years and years, I was a die-hard Squarespace advocate—mainly because I just hate coding or anything that feels techy and difficult. It may seem surprising since I run a design agency and deal in the world of websites, but I like when I’m able to focus on design and not the backend of making things work. I like the aesthetics, but I want to leave the less sexy parts of website building to someone else.
Which is why I fell in love with Showit.
Showit is built in a way that speaks to my design training. It honestly kind of works like an Adobe program with features that mimic my favorite design tools. While it does have a bit of a learning curve (and for that, I recommend watching a few tutorials), the payoff is a platform that doesn’t stifle your creativity, a blogging integration with WordPress which continues to be first in class for blogging and SEO, and the ability to create a digital homepage that feels completely and perfectly like you.
If you want to take a deep dive into the world of Showit, maybe even learn how to add it to your skillset, I recommend taking Rebel & Rise’s Show-it-All course.
But you don’t need a professional-level of experience to work with your TONIC template, and if you do feel overwhelmed, we have a TONIC Design + Launch Bootcamp to get you set up and ready to hit publish.
Choosing A Website Template
But back to choosing a TONIC template in the first place. While TONIC does a lot of the heavy lifting—I get it. Choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. n fact, it’s the question I get asked the most when someone reaches out to work with our agency.
Using a website template is kinda like renovating a home. Even if the bones are good, sometimes it’s hard to see the potential on the first day. When you’re looking at template options without a clear vision for where you want to be, having 21 styles to choose from can be overwhelming.
Here at the agency, we’ve customized dozens of Showit templates to match our clients’ brands, but it always starts with a consultation to choose the right template in the first place. Which got me thinking…what if we did a deep-dive series into each of the TONIC templates to show you what we love, how we’d customize it for three completely different brands, and the businesses who would benefit best from each one?
What if this series could help TONIC window shoppers find their perfect pairing and get a jump start on putting together their website?
This way, you can read our review on each of the TONIC templates, linked in our TONIC Catalog and make the decision that works best for you and your business. And maybe get a little bit inspired along the way 🙂
But first, you need to have a strategy for your website, so we’ve also created a free download to help you wrap your mind around which pages your website will need, and your overall goal for your new site so that you have the information you need to make the most informed decision about which template is right for you.
[insert website workbook cta graphic]
So here are the ways that we will be analyzing, deconstructing, and customizing each template in this series. Buckle up, we’ve got 21+ templates to review (TONIC will be launching new designs faster than we can analyze them, but we’ll do our best to stay caught up!), pull out your notebook, and let’s dive in.
The TONIC Review
With each TONIC template, we’ll first examine the template to give you an understanding of what you’ll be purchasing. Here’s what we’ll be looking at:
- Overall Style
This part of the review will be focused on the comprehensive style of the template – the use of photos, typography, color, and layout to generate an overall aesthetic. While each template can be customized in a myriad of ways, it’s helpful to get a sense of the “bones” of the design so that you’re not entirely starting from scratch. Let your template work for you.
- Template Highlights
Next, we’ll be going over the highlights of each template, looking at how the different canvases are arranged, the page structure, and the details unique to each one. This part of the review is focused on understanding the versatility of each design.
- Best For
Based on the overall style and the template highlights, we’ll explain which types of online businesses would best benefit from each template’s core features. While any business could arguably make any of the templates work really well for them, we like structure.
- Customizing Opportunities
And finally, we’ll share how we would customize the template based on 3 fictional brands that are wildly different from each other. This part of the review is meant to inspire you to see your own brand in the design, and maybe consider some of the best-suited add-ons for your site.
Designing Your Own Website
Once you’ve selected your TONIC template and secured your 15% off with the code ‘DROPCAPDESIGN’ at checkout—you have two choices:
- DIY Design
You can put together your own TONIC template within Showit. The pros to this path is having a better understanding of the Showit platform, more control over the process, and the proud feeling of having published your own website. The cons are that it’s going to be more time consuming with a bigger learning curve, and you may not have the skillset to do every customization you had in mind.
- Agency Customization
The other option is to work with an agency like ours to customize, test, and publish your new TONIC site for you. From personalized art direction and page layout, to professional-level SEO optimization and site training, this is a wonderful alternative to building a custom website while still receiving a tailored experience and stunning results. To learn more about our TONIC customization services, click here.
I’ve been dreaming of this series since last summer when we first partnered with TONIC, and I’m so excited to finally have some space in my schedule to bring it to life. I hope you enjoy this series as much as I will 🙂
We’ve also created a free workbook to develop your website strategy aimed at helping you wrap your mind around which pages your website will need and your overall goal for your new site. This will ensure that you have all the information you need to make the most informed decision about which template is right for you. So don’t miss out on this incredible complimentary resource as we begin our reviews!