Considering a change from SmugMug to PhotoDeck

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creativedogmedia
creativedogmedia Regular Member • Posts: 152
Considering a change from SmugMug to PhotoDeck

DISCLAIMER - I gain nothing from this post except the input I get from this group. I started my business back in 2014. One of the things I quickly realized was that I needed a way to fulfill print orders AND photo licenses. I used Squarespace in the first year and loved their overall capabilities. I was using a separate fulfillment site (via Fine Art America) and ultimately want pleased with the UI of FAA and the fact that it wasn't all under one site. I went through trials of most of the larger sites such as Zenfolio and SmugMug and ultimately landed on SmugMug.

Fast forward a year or so and my renewal for SM was coming up and I felt like I wanted a refresh. My site gets a decent amount of new visitors per day (higher when I am running Facebook/IG ads) but my conversion rate is too low. I attribute that to a few things…Higher priced prints to offset the 15% that SM takes (even from digital downloads) and the somewhat outdated feel of SM. Fast forward to a week ago where I decided to peel back things with PhotoDeck. One of my favorite photographers suggested them and after checking out his site, I dove in. I have emailed back and forth with PD since my trial started and have uncovered A LOT of things that may be helpful.

Here are a few:

SmugMug vs. PhotoDeck:

- SmugMug is already set up and in place for me.

- With SM you can crop photos in shopping cart - opens up more options for print sizes. PD only displays image sizes available. This is a negative to me. Say I have a 10x30 image in my portfolio and someone wants an 8x10 of it. Can’t do that with PD. Also, I crop a fair amount in Lightroom and rarely is it a standard size.

- I can remove branding from both sites with Pro plans. **Can remove branding from shopping cart/emails for another $72/year with PD. SM still has that ugly green format (no matter which plan you are on).

- Metal prints are not available through PD via WHCC. They are gorgeous through SmugMug/Bay Photo.

- The buy button in SmugMug is blatantly (sometimes ugly) obvious. It’s not prevalent in the PD setup (in any of the gallery settings I have seen).

- SM takes 15% of profit. PD takes 0%.

- PD mobile is cleaner than SM.

- PD FEELS cleaner/fresher. SM still feels outdated. - Licensing options are better and more thorough in PD. SM is relatively basic.

- Lightroom plug-ins exist for both sites.

- No live support for PD. Live chat available for SM.

I’d love some feedback from folks here, either on the two options I’ve covered or input on another option. Thanks!

 creativedogmedia's gear list:creativedogmedia's gear list
Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
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