I wanted to share my experience recently embarking into creating my online presence for my new start up photography business in Aberdeen Scotland. I started out using Zenfolio after reading several reviews around the options to photographers, the all in one package of album presentation, website front end and ability to sell products to customers ticked all the boxes for me.
I compared Zenfolio with Smug mug - I found smug mug awful, my opinion, to navigate and create an easy to manage website and portfolio. I opted for Zenfolio and I will admit for the first few months things were good although customer feedback around the navigation of customer albums was an issue.
The ability to easily purchase prints and up sell is key to the success of any photography business and I based on the limited sales and customer feedback I decide to explore alternative options to improve my online presence and customer front end album presentation and management.
I have recently transitioned to two areas to manage this better going forward. I have selected Wix who have truly beautiful and easy to create/maintain website templates which compared with Zenfolio truly are professional looking. With Zenfolio you could tell the front end was put together and limited in the ability to personalise. Wix on the other hand was extremely easy to customise and it has all the "extras" I need to add to the business as I grow such as advanced SEO support, booking online and google analytics which I believe Zenfolio does not support.
The other area I have opted to move to is client gallery management software. I am currently trialling shutter proof which is great. The ability to customise the presentation, add music and set downloads/pricing in a much more user friendly presentable manner is very attractive. I am also exploring Pixieset other than the name it does look extremely professional and from the demo presents galleries beautifully. Shutterproof also provides desktop uploading from lightroom in RAW format which I am about to trial...watch this space for further feedback around this feature.
In splitting my online presence between website builder and gallery management software allows me much more flexibility to add products, market and manage my client presentations with the best available software. Once the Wix website is setup it really only ever needs minor tweaks, updates to blogs and promotional activities/portfolio updating as required. Price difference depends on your how much space you require. Shutterproof charges by total images - I currently use the 1500 per month alongside the Wix premium package it works in less than Zenfolio.
Anyone else followed this approach? Anyone got a preference of client gallery software?