SmugMug, Zenfolio, or other?

HammieHammie Posts: 258Member
edited March 2015 in General Discussions
I'm considering putting together a website to showcase some of my work. I already own two domain names where I will use one or the other for the site.mthis will be a site with select pictures, not a photo "dumping" site like Flickr.

I've been looking over options and it seems like SmugMug and Zenfolio are the most popular.

I'm not sure if I will put a storefront immediately or not, but I think thatI I would do one in the future.



  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    since you own a domain how about adding a webstore theme pack via wordpress?

    I have one that I'm slowly building to sell prints. Those other sites I beleive is a good source for traffic and ease of checkout but they cut into your sales.
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 398Member
    Depending on your needs, Squarespace could be good too. I've read a lot of good stuff about SmugMug and almost pulled the trigger.
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    How about 500pix. Anybody have any comments on that?
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    edited March 2015
    I was on 500px at one point, but, IMO it was about a popularity contest, in that if one went all over and faved others images then one accumulated more accolades for themselves.

    As I shoot snapshots, really do not have to worry about what others think about my work, 500px did not really meet my needs.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    I mean for hosting websites. They can do that.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,361Member
    I use Zenfolio for my wedding business ..The text editor is not the best but managable and its only other problem is that there is no double entry for e mail addresses in the contact us area..we find 20% of potential customers put in there e mail wrong !!! I currently have 45000 pics from the last 100 weddings on there accessible by anyone who goes to the site .If you want to PM me Hammie I will send you the address.( publishing web addresses on here causes all sorts of Google problems)
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
  • pigeyejacksnpigeyejacksn Posts: 36Member
    For my business, I started off with a wordpress site, then SmugMug and finally moved to Zenfolio. I loved SmugMug, but when they upped their prices I couldn't justify it. My business is small and I need to see bang for my buck. Zenfolio does everything I need...but they just upped their prices. I like the fact that orders can be made directly from the site and I can be cut out of all the photo processing. That was the irritant of WordPress (amongst others). I received the most search hits on Google with SmugMug, but most of my business is word of mouth anyhow. I needed an option to set multiple price lists and lock down access for clients for their images. Zenfolio was best for me in that regard. As for autoupload from Lightroom, both would do well.

    Let me know if you have questions.


    D750 w/MB-D16 Grip, D300, Nikon 16-35 f4 VR, Nikon 24-70 f2.8, Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR, TC-17E II, Nikon 50mm f1.8, Nikon 10.5 DX, Tamron 90mm Macro f2.8, Lens Baby Composer, SB-700, Singh-Ray Galen Rowell ND Filter.
  • HammieHammie Posts: 258Member
    Thanks, everyone.

    Still pondering which way to go.
  • TomBTomB Posts: 44Member
  • pigeyejacksnpigeyejacksn Posts: 36Member
    TomB, does squarespace have the ability to sell directly from the site, including multiple price lists and password protected sections? How about print ordering? I have never dug into them, but the sites look great.
    D750 w/MB-D16 Grip, D300, Nikon 16-35 f4 VR, Nikon 24-70 f2.8, Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR, TC-17E II, Nikon 50mm f1.8, Nikon 10.5 DX, Tamron 90mm Macro f2.8, Lens Baby Composer, SB-700, Singh-Ray Galen Rowell ND Filter.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    This came elsewhere and somebody suggested shootproof.
    My photolab does smugsmug and ill have to call but according to the site we keep 83% of the markup.

    My costs on website would be pro wordpress theme theme (one time)+hosting+domain name+cc fee with square or paypal+SSL certificate.

    I would have to do all the work Keeping up site. Recieving and submitting orders, sending reciepts and invoices. Customer service post order.

    Smugsmug does all of that for 17% of the order.

    I haven't finished setting up but if I get busier than what I envision I Might do that for clients and keep my non client print sales on webstore or try to sell at the flea market to try it out and promotion.

    Zenfio looks like a good option especially with app gallery to client similar to shootproof.
  • safyresafyre Posts: 113Member
    edited March 2015
    Squarespace, hands down, no contest.

    I've used a ton of different sites, zenfolio, smugmug, wordpress, flickr, tumblr, 500px, wix, 4ormat, carbonmade, you name it.

    Squarespace is the easiest to set up and maintain out of all of them. Very intuitive and easy to use interface. I was able to set up my complete my site in hours. Great contemporary and modern templates that allow for lots of customization and you can inject HTML and CSS into the coding. They have the developer platform if you want complete control over your site. Awesome 24 Hour customer service support. I once sent a ticket to them at 3am in the morning and they got back to me within 30 minutes, how many companies do you know that do that? You can also run e-commerce on your site, blogs, and password protected galleries. They optimize the SEO for you and it has been doing wonders for my online presence. Seriously happy that I joined them. I am a web designer as a day job and have always scoffed at the notion of the WYSIWYG web builders, but am glad to say that Squarespace gets my seal of approval.
    Post edited by safyre on
  • pigeyejacksnpigeyejacksn Posts: 36Member
    Thanks safyre. I may look at squarespace this year. It is a great layout. My renewal for Zenfolio is up in December and not happy with their rising prices. How did the costs compare?

    D750 w/MB-D16 Grip, D300, Nikon 16-35 f4 VR, Nikon 24-70 f2.8, Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR, TC-17E II, Nikon 50mm f1.8, Nikon 10.5 DX, Tamron 90mm Macro f2.8, Lens Baby Composer, SB-700, Singh-Ray Galen Rowell ND Filter.
  • swartzfegerswartzfeger Posts: 1Member
    Thanks safyre. I may look at squarespace this year. It is a great layout. My renewal for Zenfolio is up in December and not happy with their rising prices. How did the costs compare?

    Just checked it out -- $8/$16/$24 month. I could probably do it cheaper and screw around with blue/dreamhost and install/screw around some more with wordpress... but it wouldn't look as good as Squarespace. It really does look nice.

    Momentum is a pretty nice looking photography oriented template (there are others, too, but it's hard to glean what's what until you click through and browse them)
  • HipShotHipShot Posts: 528Member
    edited April 2015
    Zenfolio handles order-receiving and order-fulfillment, doesn't it? Does Squarespace do that? I'm interested in having the lowest number of moving parts between a potential buyer placing an order and receiving that order. Is Zenfolio worth the higher price in that regard?

    I have zero experience in selling photo prints online. Any tips appreciated.
    Post edited by HipShot on
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    So the day came when using free themes hurt me. According to the email i received there alot of backdoor scripts on my wordpress site. They gave me an option to remove all of them or restart the site from scratch.
    My website is shutdown. Thanks to these old themes and in the past I had to remove files because the unlimited hosting was actually maxed at 20gigs.
    Since I'm busier now and have less time Im thinking of going with zenfolio but their 12% and 6% fees seem high to process an order.
  • kenadamskenadams Posts: 222Member
    The Fro keeps rolling the squarespace drum all the time, but can anyone explain to me: they provide not only hosting but their own custom content managment system like Koken or Wordpress, is that correct? Or are they built on top of another technology?
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    I emailed squarespace and the plan i wanted to go with you can only sell 20 items otherwise you need the next plan up.
    Zenfolio self fulfilment is 6% to make an order +2- 3% of my cc fee.

    Seems kinda high to make a sale.
    At least with my wordpress theme and self maintaned ny cost would be only the cc processing fee so no need to raise prices too much.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    Looks like wordpress 4.1.2 was just released. I was possibly affected with the critical security issues and my host shut my site down. Well if I can upgrade it and delete the old unused themes I should be up and running soon.
    I did find another site that seems to be maintained by a team vs an individual its called photocrati anybody have experience with this theme?

  • HammieHammie Posts: 258Member
    I think I have decided on Zenfolio. I will be going with the $60/yr option as I am not sure that I will use the added stuff from the $140/yr plan.

    For what I need, they seem to be the best bang for my buck. If I sell stuff, great! If not, oh well.
  • HipShotHipShot Posts: 528Member
    I got an email from Zenfolio today. 40% off some stuff. If it's 40% off a new portfolio account, I'll sign up for a year. Waiting to hear back from them.
  • HammieHammie Posts: 258Member
    I worked on setting up my zenfolio account last night. Still have a few pages to complete, but at least it is started. :) if anyone wants to check it out.

    Can you share the 40% code? I am still in my free trial stage, but that sounds even better if I can save a few bucks on it now.
  • HipShotHipShot Posts: 528Member
    I missed out on the 40% off because I didn't find out it applied to Zenfolio accounts until today, May 2, when I read their email reply. The discount code expired at midnight. Rats!
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    A local photographer had an additional 10% code for a total of 50% off for new accounts but i passed on it.

    I ended up deleting everything from my website and used the photocrati theme and installed some security plugins.
    I have redone my site and I think it looks way better.
    Selling the photos will only be a paypal fee. Their support told me that the theme will get the ecommerce gallery upgraded with more option in a few months.

    If you want to host your site and dont mind spending a few hours setting up wordpress is not that hard.
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