Best Pro Folio site - smugmug, zenfolio ? What?

Started May 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
Dave Seeley
Contributing MemberPosts: 762
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Re: Please explain Zenfolio's SEO vs. others?
In reply to mischivo, May 14, 2012

Wow.... It was looking like I was going to get very little feedback on this, but lots of activity over the weekend.

First - I suspect that the hook, after your free two weeks, is that after the time you invest, it will be very hard to walk away...

I did go ahead and do the trial versions for zenfolio and smugmug. After looking at zenfolio vs smugmug posts on the web, I decided to go ahead and put some time into the zenfolio site over the weekend, so it is now mostly functional. I have to say that even over the weekend, their customer service answered several questions. I could re-upload and rebuild if I swap hosts...but I am really liking the simple interfaces on big monitor-laptop monitor-iPad-iPhone. There are a few bugs on ios, but really, pretty slick overall. The slideshow function on iPad is a bit buggy. For me - almost all art directors / buyers now use iPads. I think the rotating the iPad can introduce bugginess.

Here's the site I put together...

http://daveseeley.zenfolio.com/

Bear in mind, that my prior site - sill up at http://www.daveseeley.com , uses a front side couple of pages (at $20/mo) that I originally built in Go-Live with small flash animated slideshows. That links to easily updatable Apple MobileMe galleries ($100/yr)... but what precipitated this move, is that Apple pulls the plug at the end of June.... So that has been my standard, which was incredibly frustrating with iOS incompatibility - I resisted taking time out to find an alternative, but I have to say that zenfolios is quite a step up with iOS and actual eCommerce. I already have tons of Google web engine visibility because of years with my own site. Moblieme had no visibility for search engines. Most of my work comes via my agent - via their site here:

http://www.shannonassociates.com/artists.php?artist=davidseeley

I use my site for clients that want more depth, and to learn about me in more detail. That's the primary use. There is limited fan traffic, and some print sales, but not enough to make it a focus - (for example - print sales options in the portfolio would drive clients nuts) It'll be interesting to see if the availability of easy print ordering starts to generate any significant income.

Based on the feedback here, I'll go look hard at some other sites, and perhaps upload to them as well.

I'm not sure why I'd care who else is using which service in terms of status, and not being a pro photographer per se, I'm not influenced by who the big names use. I don't even know the big names typically. Most of my colleagues in pro illustration have their own custom sites... as I have had, because this kind of on-line based site construction didn't exist a couple of years ago. Correct me if I am mistaken, but with branding off, visitors don't even know what service you are using once you point your domain name to your home page.... it's just the mechanics of the site, and the "look". For me, simple is good. Cleanliness. I don't want effects overpowering the work, and I think zenfolios looks pretty good.... As I try to build out the rest of the pages, I may change my mind, but so far, so good.

For folks pitching other services - I'd love to hear what those services can do, that zenfolios can not.... as it is my current benchmark.

Cheers
Dave

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pro photo-illustration
http://www.DaveSeeley.com/

current kit: 5DmkIII, 5DmkII, 17-35/2.8L, 24-105is/4.0L, 28-70/2.8L, 70-200is/2.8L, 100 macro/2.8L, 50/1.2L, 6x550ex Speedlites, Phottix Odin Flash Triggers, wft-E4II

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