Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....

Started Apr 24, 2015 | Questions
ArtAlt
ArtAlt Senior Member • Posts: 2,038
Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....

I want to choose a web host for posting and sharing photographs, that facilitates sharing with public and friends and family but ALSO facilitates sharing with paying clients.   Charging for prints or images via the site may come much later, if at all, but certainly not near term.

I've read many reviews and don't see a clear answer among Zenfolio, Smugmug or Photoshelter.  Also the reviews are not all current, which makes it further complicated.

Have any of you experienced one or more of these sites?  What's are your observations?  What's your recommendation?

I do notice that Photoshelter charges a lot more than the others and is the only one without unlimited storage of jpeg ....

Am open to other suggestions as well.

(I am posting to this group because there is no obvious other place to post this AND full frame Nikon users are operating at extremely high and/or professional levels).

Thank you.

Art

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ianbramham
ianbramham Veteran Member • Posts: 4,353
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....

ArtAlt wrote:

I want to choose a web host for posting and sharing photographs, that facilitates sharing with public and friends and family but ALSO facilitates sharing with paying clients. Charging for prints or images via the site may come much later, if at all, but certainly not near term.

I've read many reviews and don't see a clear answer among Zenfolio, Smugmug or Photoshelter. Also the reviews are not all current, which makes it further complicated.

Have any of you experienced one or more of these sites? What's are your observations? What's your recommendation?

I do notice that Photoshelter charges a lot more than the others and is the only one without unlimited storage of jpeg ....

Am open to other suggestions as well.

(I am posting to this group because there is no obvious other place to post this AND full frame Nikon users are operating at extremely high and/or professional levels).

Thank you.

Art

Hi Art, I'm not familiar with the way that Zenfolio, Smugmug and Photoshelter operate from the point of view of a user however I can recommend Clikpic which is the hosting system I use for my own website (see link under my signature). I've been with them for about 7 years now and they've kept on bringing out new features.

Ian
Fine Art Photography Website: http://ianbramham.com/

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chuxter Forum Pro • Posts: 21,714
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....
1

I have no experience with Photoshelter, but am quite familiar with the other two. If that is the extent of your list, go w/ Zenfolio.

Several years ago, I was looking into these kinda businesses and didn't like the results I was getting. I downloaded their trials and spend a month on each of them. Zenfolio had better CS. But ultimately, neither of them would do what I wanted. They have limitations designed to keep extremely large users from "hogging" their resources. I wasn't a large user, but those restrictions limited what I could do.

I searched and finally found jAlbum. I downloaded the trial and was immediately FREE! I loved it! They are a small Swedish company. The employees are uber-competent. They have worldwide customers and versions in dozens of languages [I didn't need that, but English was good].

I suggest you download the trial and start w/ the Turtle "skin". It's really more than a "skin", but that is what they call it. It may be a tad "geeky", but if you don't understand something, get on the forum and ask for help. I found it quite quick and straight.

BTW, you buy a lifetime license for little $.

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lickity split
lickity split Veteran Member • Posts: 5,745
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....
1

I like Flickr, 1TB of free storage and you can upload full resolution files.

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Cathy1973 Contributing Member • Posts: 671
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....
1

I use Zenfolio.   I went to the Premium level for unlimited storage and to be able to set price lists, etc.    You can always start with the unlimited version if you don't mind the zenfolio branding and then upgrade whenever you're at a point where you want to create price lists.

Feel free to check out my website if you'd like.  It was pretty easy to do.   I can send links to galleries to my clients and set the access per folder - so I can create passwords or leave it wide open for downloading.  It lets me watermark on the site rather than actually applying watermarks to the actual photos.  All sorts of good stuff.  If you have any specific questions - feel free to ask.

I know some use SmugMug instead - and they seem to love it.  I'm too far invested in Zenfolio to switch now.    I think they do pretty much the same stuff.

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Nikman20 Regular Member • Posts: 166
PhotoDeck is fantastic
2

Give Photodeck a trial.

I have been with Zenfolio and Photoshelter and Photodeck is the clear winner.  My clients love the way the images are presented in the wall layout.

brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 8,639
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....
2

I went with SmugMug. I'm a volunteer charity event photographer. It's more convenient for me to have a site where the people at the event can download their picture(s). I'm strictly non-profit, so my pictures are free.I have my site set up in folders, then sub-folders, then galleries. An example is American Cancer Society Relay for Life, then 2014 Relay for Life, then 2014 Gloucester Township Relay for Life. Having a site where people can get their pictures is eaiser than getting emails from people asking for their photos.

SmugMug works in conjunction with Go Daddy so you can have your own custom domain pointing to your SmugMug site. Lot eaiser and more professional to say go to www.brianric.com rather than brianric.smugmug.com

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bohdanz Regular Member • Posts: 303
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....
1

I left Zenfolio (which started raising its prices annually) and went to Smugmug. Very happy with how my images are presented. Also like the ability to customize some of the look of my galleries. They've got really good customer service too.

sd40 Senior Member • Posts: 1,554
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....
1

About five years ago I briefly tried both Zenfolio and SmugMug, and chose SmugMug.  I have been happy with my choice.

Tops in importance: That there have been no panic moments wondering whether all my images have gone away.  SmugMug has been fairly easy to use, including when I overhauled my site last year.  They have lifted size restrictions on uploaded files, either altogether or to where I don't bump into them.  Emailed questions are answered promptly.  I love the slideshow and so do my visitors.

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ArtAlt
OP ArtAlt Senior Member • Posts: 2,038
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....

bohdanz wrote:

I left Zenfolio (which started raising its prices annually) and went to Smugmug. Very happy with how my images are presented. Also like the ability to customize some of the look of my galleries. They've got really good customer service too.

Can you say more about how Zenfolio and Smugmug differ?  Do they differ only in their pricing?  How they display photographs?  Functionality?

Thanks,

Art

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ArtAlt
OP ArtAlt Senior Member • Posts: 2,038
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....

sd40 wrote:

About five years ago I briefly tried both Zenfolio and SmugMug, and chose SmugMug. I have been happy with my choice.

Tops in importance: That there have been no panic moments wondering whether all my images have gone away. SmugMug has been fairly easy to use, including when I overhauled my site last year. They have lifted size restrictions on uploaded files, either altogether or to where I don't bump into them. Emailed questions are answered promptly. I love the slideshow and so do my visitors.

Can you recall any details about why you preferred SmugMug over Zenfolio?

Thanks

Art

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bohdanz Regular Member • Posts: 303
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....
1

Art,
I recall first the price increase. It's become a service for professionals.
I know I much prefer the layout and theme choices at Smugmug and have found customer service terrific.

ArtAlt
OP ArtAlt Senior Member • Posts: 2,038
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....

bohdanz wrote:

Art,
I recall first the price increase. It's become a service for professionals.
I know I much prefer the layout and theme choices at Smugmug and have found customer service terrific.

Well layout and customer service are very important.

Thanks!

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jerryr125
jerryr125 Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....
1

Hi - I have been using SmugMug now for nine years. Very easy to use. Also you have several features that they other platforms do not offer including customization. I use Bay Photo to print my images and I like the fact I can use bay photo via SmugMug (as well as WHCC). The ability to set pricing or have your clients download images is a nice feature.

I actually have a blog article about SmugMug - features, examples, success stories, etc...

Click Hereto read.... Questions ? let me know jerry

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- jerryr (Michigan - Part-Time Photographer and Web Designer) My Blog

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sd40 Senior Member • Posts: 1,554
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....

ArtAlt wrote:

sd40 wrote:

About five years ago I briefly tried both Zenfolio and SmugMug, and chose SmugMug. I have been happy with my choice.

Tops in importance: That there have been no panic moments wondering whether all my images have gone away. SmugMug has been fairly easy to use, including when I overhauled my site last year. They have lifted size restrictions on uploaded files, either altogether or to where I don't bump into them. Emailed questions are answered promptly. I love the slideshow and so do my visitors.

Can you recall any details about why you preferred SmugMug over Zenfolio?

Thanks

Art

If I recall correctly, at the time there was more flexibility to how I could design my site.  Not sure anymore, but SmugMug may have been the only one with a slideshow.  I do not represent that any of this is still true.

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RichLI Regular Member • Posts: 260
Smugmug question
2

I had built a trial period smugmug site - I liked it but with one caveat that stopped me from subscribing.

I've created some blurb photo books and smugmug didn't allow pdf inclusion on site.

Now I see that blurb can create a link for pasting into a website - do you folks know if that would work with smugmug; without any complex customization.

Today I have no commerce goals - just enjoy this hobby.

Wish there was a forum dedicated to hosting types of topics....

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Rich
craft>learning>equipment

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ArtAlt
OP ArtAlt Senior Member • Posts: 2,038
Re: Smugmug question

Do all the candidates allow people to vote and make comments on photographs -- if I turn on that feature for a gallery? My friend, a Smugmug user, tells me that Smugmug permits that.

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chipmaster
chipmaster Veteran Member • Posts: 3,045
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....
1

Just an amateur hobbiest who liked to share stuff online, was with Smugmug for a few years till they did their bit price hike, moved to Zenfolio.  IMHO found zenfolio to be much more intuitive even with the recent changes and the premium option still a great value.  Allows multiple features with gallerys, downloads, privacy, payment options, or free downloads.

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"Today's Pictures Are Tomorrow's Memories"

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Camerabird New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Zenfolio vs Smugmug vs Photoshelter vs .....
1

I used www.Pixelrights.com they are the best priced, the easiest to design yourself and have this amazing image protection (it's the most secure image format in the world), so your work is protected online (no one can drag and drop, copy and paste) and wherever you share your image when it's clicked it always comes back to you and your site, so you don't lose the IP and the sale.

Also if you don't have time then they can build it for you at no extra cost. So if you're conscious of costs have a look, they are doing a free trial and also a 50% off until end of July if that helps anyone.

Also if you are looking at revenue generation (to offset the cost of your website) they have an online global directory where you can register your business and be found by agencies. Pretty cool. And they do lots of marketing support to help you (help get you speaking opportunities, guest blogs, etc).  What I'm trying to say is for the money you get a lot back and more photographers are moving over to them now so there is even more development to support us.

Hope that helps!

de2000 Senior Member • Posts: 1,035
I've used both.
2

I started with Smugmug years ago. I liked it, but when I wanted something more professional looking (and also wanted to pay for unlimited storage), I went to Zenfolio. Since then, I've participated in their user forum and gotten features that I specifically requested. In addition, they have kept up with upgrades and added a lot more features since.

I use my own domain with their service. It stores video, raw, and any image files. Does watermarking, price lists, client log in, coupons, etc. I am not a web designer, so I rely on their templates. So far, they have more than enough for my choices.

. I am not advertising for them, but I do like their services. I've had them for many years now.

You can check out my site hosted by them in the domain below.

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www.radiantvisual.com

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