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Archive 2016 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts
  
 
nolaguy
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


Hi guys,

I'm pretty sure eventually I'll wind up using Livebooks, Rawfolio or the like but for now I'm keeping it slightly simpler and not getting into a separate hosting service.


I've had a basic presence on Zenfolio but I'm considering moving to Smugmug. Initially the motivation was my familiarity and comfort level with BayPhoto as a vendor but as I've played around with Smugmug more my impression is their sites are more customizable. Not sure if that's accurate or not.

I'm tossing the idea out to the community for any and all thoughts/opinions you all may have - especially from those familiar with both services.


Sidebar info - the ecommerce aspect has never been a factor but I'm considering moving to the following model:

- Post-session face-to-face sales appointment with incentives to place all print, book, album orders at that meeting **

- Ecommerce-enabled client gallery available for three months for any additional purchases the client may opt for;

- Items ordered during the face-to-face would enjoy a 25 or 30% discount off of "list" prices on the Client Gallery.


** As an aside, in past threads we've chatted about Spencer's (now Chris and Adrienne's) Salesographer course and I've mentioned I had a hard time getting my head around the "hard sell" of "this is your only opportunity to purchase prints from your session", etc. What made me comfortable with it was looking at the expenses involved in "sure, come back anytime, purchase whenever you like" -- expenses that have to be passed on the the client. Now it's easier for me to say look, I do it this way for a reason. It's less expensive for you and we'll make better decisions during a proper consultation.


Also, I'll probably set up and link to a wordpress.com blog (never had one before).


I'd very much appreciate any thoughts or guidance you care to offer.


Thanks so much,

Chuck



Oct 23, 2016 at 08:59 PM
Depth of Feel
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


I've been using smugmug for 9 years. They are easy, customer support is great, customization is really good. Price is even better.


Oct 23, 2016 at 10:53 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


I only use Zenfolio for our "proof site".
I have a very simple gallery setup. People can pick favorites for albums, order, download, view.
That is basically all I desire and it works great.



Oct 24, 2016 at 05:12 AM
nolaguy
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


Depth, Doug, thanks very much.

Getting my Brad on, is there no one else?...









Oct 25, 2016 at 12:42 AM
sherijohnson
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


I selected smugmug from the very beginning and it has evolved into even better options in more recent years. They are always improving and looking for ways to make it better. I can't compare my experience since I have not used any others, but let's just say 8 years later I am still happy with them.


Oct 26, 2016 at 11:13 AM
hatch1921
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


Take a look.... might be a good fit?

https://www.photobiz.com/

or

https://www.format.com

Hatch



Oct 26, 2016 at 03:29 PM
mikethevilla
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


To my eyes both Smugmug and Zenfolio look pretty old school. I had Zenfolio for 5 years and thought it was ok, but not super slick.

The newer services like CloudSpot (my preference), Pixiset, Shootproof, and Pass all look way nicer and are usually easier to navigate on the client end.



Oct 27, 2016 at 07:48 AM
eltano
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


Another Smugmug user here, really happy with them.

Regards

Eltano



Oct 27, 2016 at 06:41 PM
Lee Wiren
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


SmugMug here for about 8 years..... tried a home made Wordpress site.... that was way too much work. Lots of neat wrappers out there, I have no desire to change mine. When you find something that just works and is worry free, you don't typically leave it.


Oct 29, 2016 at 01:30 AM
friscoron
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


I have a website where I place one of my viewing galleries (largely just for weddings and dance performances) where clients can purchase prints, but I use rawfolio for my Wordpress website. Things we like about rawfolio, things we don't. Overall, it gives us control over our website so we like it.


Oct 29, 2016 at 02:16 AM
 

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nolaguy
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


Thanks so much guys. I appreciate you all taking the time. I'm still mucking around with it all.


mikethevilla wrote:
To my eyes both Smugmug and Zenfolio look pretty old school. I had Zenfolio for 5 years and thought it was ok, but not super slick.

The newer services like CloudSpot (my preference), Pixiset, Shootproof, and Pass all look way nicer and are usually easier to navigate on the client end.



Mike, first, I completely agree Zenfolio's templates are limited at best and I have sort of the same feeling about Smugmug - but again, they do seem to be more customizable - at least at first blush.

In any case, would you mind elaborating on your "old school" comment? I can guess but I'm not certain I know what you mean.


And whether this is related or not, to everyone - your thoughts on the single page scroll-down-forever format that's become so popular as of late? I have to admit, I just don't get it and can't help but wonder if it's a one hit wonder. How that design makes a site easier to navigate or use, I don't get.

A few hundred years of "above the fold" conventional wisdom and now we scroll until we don't know when to find we don't know what?

What am I missing?



Oct 29, 2016 at 03:40 AM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


I don't like either service. I shoot roughly a third of my images as verticals and websites that shrink a vertical so its height is that of a horizontal image do not show my work well at all.


Oct 30, 2016 at 11:28 PM
ai3x
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


Pixieset for galleries, wordpress for main site.


Oct 31, 2016 at 12:59 AM
nolaguy
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


elkhornsun wrote:
I don't like either service. I shoot roughly a third of my images as verticals and websites that shrink a vertical so its height is that of a horizontal image do not show my work well at all.


I'm trying to imagine what you're describing and what's coming to my mind is that based on a typical landscape orientation browser window (i.e. monitor), vertical images are displayed physically smaller, obviously. If that's the case, are you saying you prefer your vertical shots to not be entirely visible (screens are typically landscape/horizontal) but for the user to see a portion of your full size image, then scroll to see the bottom half?

For some reason that felt difficult to articulate, but hopefully you get my question.

I'm genuinely curious as to your point.


C



Oct 31, 2016 at 11:04 AM
Sharona
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


Hi Chuck - Have you looked into PhotoShelter at all? It's what I use and have been happy with. Customer service (in my experience) has been excellent. Several templates and scrolling options available, but granted they aren't hugely customizable. If you have a tumblr or Wordpress blog, they have an integration tool that makes it look like it's right on your site. I stopped blogging and took mine down, but you might check them out. Good luck!


Nov 01, 2016 at 07:41 PM
tonyhart
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


Another Photoshelter user here too. I'm a big fan, but there are areas I'd like to see improvement as well. Very much worth a look though.

Feel free to PM/email if you have thoughts or questions.



Nov 02, 2016 at 02:35 PM
Sharona
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


Hi Tony - I had a look at your site - very nice work! I was going to PM you, but thought Chuck might like to know as well: Do you mind sharing which template you're using? Very nicely done!


Nov 02, 2016 at 02:58 PM
tonyhart
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


Thanks Sharon. I'm using the Downtown template. Haven't actually updated it in a while...


Nov 02, 2016 at 03:01 PM
Sharona
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


Thanks, Tony! I like the way it scrolls, with just one image showing at a time. They have another template, not sure, maybe Horizon, that scrolls in the same way as yours, but the photos are all connected, and it's not as pleasing, to my eyes, anyway.


Nov 02, 2016 at 03:09 PM
tonyhart
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Website choices - Zen vs Smug - your thoughts


I had to fiddle a bit to get it to do that. I am obsessive about slideshow presentation...


Nov 02, 2016 at 03:13 PM
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