Photography Websites For Selling and Storing Pics

Which Photo Portfolio Website do You Use AND WHY?

  • Please choose one, and feel free to comment on strengths and weaknesses.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    2
  • Poll closed .

scottkinfw

Wildlife photography is my passion
#1
Hi all.

This has been discussed before, but I'm still not sure. My subscription to Smugmug is about to expire and I haven't been that happy with it. It is clunky and a bit hard to manage. I would like a site to display my pics and perhaps, even to sell a few.

I am looking for a site that is fairly easy to manage, looks good, and has the back end to support selling pics.

Any insights, opinions, comments would be very welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks.

Scott
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D Mark IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,074
277
#2
I am looking at this myself just now - not for selling but building my own website.
From research the other day, Zenfolio is easier to use and takes half the commission on each sale but its blog function is not as friendly as Smugmug.
But Wix seems to be getting all the rave reviews, from useability to low (or is it zero?) commission on sales.
 

slclick

Matched Grip
Dec 17, 2013
2,644
23
#3
After using Smugmug and few others for years I have left the online shopping cart world behind and use a portfolio based web presence for both backup and gallery. If you wish to purchase am image you can do so by contacting me. Then, the transaction has a connection. If I had my druthers, you would still print off an 11 x 14 and put it in your Pina Zangaro.
 
#4
I have been using Smugmug for years and have accumulated hundreds of bird species and thousands of photos at www.photos.duadepaton.com I find it an excellent piece of software for organising large numbers of photos. I do not currently sell photos through the platform but it has the option.

No doubt each option has its strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps start a free trial with Zenfolio and Wix and see how you like it. It is ultimately up to you on what features are important. I am too invested in Smugmug to change and I honestly have no reason to. Good luck.
 
Jul 31, 2014
44
1
#5
I use Smugmug to display images but do not use it any longer to sell prints. For that, buyers can contact me. The reason why I currently don't sell prints via Smugmug or any other websites is because it costs a small fortune to use Google analytics to drive customers to your site and the sales simply did not justify the cost when I briefly sold prints on Smugmug years ago.
 
Likes: slclick

cayenne

EOS 7D Mark II
Mar 28, 2012
1,690
27
#6
I'm toying with the idea of starting a smug mug site to see if I can sell any wall art.

I looked at the pricing, and for a year, I figured I've had single night bar tabs that were close to that, so I figure it is worth the experiment.

I like that they handle the credit card, and a lab does the print, frame, shipping, etc.....seems worth it to me.

But I'm anxious to hear others on this that have experience.

Those that have dropped using smug mug and sell on their own to customers, having them email there, etc.....what makes that mode of selling better than the smug mug one?

What exactly drove you away from smug mug?

I'm anxious to know first hand experience stories....

TIA,

cayenne
 
Jul 31, 2014
44
1
#7
To Cayenne:

I like Smugmug's hosting services and it is very convenient to have them process the credit card payments, print, matte, and frame images, etc., but the cost of using Google analytics to get your website to appear high in internet search results for terms like "nature photos" or "wildlife photos" is significant each month. It can easily run you a couple of hundred dollars per month just to drive eyeballs to your website. Depending on how you price your prints and what your margins are, that might require a lot of sales just to cover the Google analytics cost. I found that the conversion rate, i.e., the number of people who click on your website to view your images vs. the number of people who actually purchase prints, is generally pretty low if you're not a household name like, say, Art Wolfe. Your mileage may vary. Hope this was helpful.
 

cayenne

EOS 7D Mark II
Mar 28, 2012
1,690
27
#8
To Cayenne:

I like Smugmug's hosting services and it is very convenient to have them process the credit card payments, print, matte, and frame images, etc., but the cost of using Google analytics to get your website to appear high in internet search results for terms like "nature photos" or "wildlife photos" is significant each month. It can easily run you a couple of hundred dollars per month just to drive eyeballs to your website. Depending on how you price your prints and what your margins are, that might require a lot of sales just to cover the Google analytics cost. I found that the conversion rate, i.e., the number of people who click on your website to view your images vs. the number of people who actually purchase prints, is generally pretty low if you're not a household name like, say, Art Wolfe. Your mileage may vary. Hope this was helpful.

Hm....interesting. But, what if you're not planning on just using google searches for your business, or at least not making it your main mode of driving traffic to your website?

And I don't know much about this aspect either....Google Analytics...that is where you buy key words for their searches?

Anyway, I was planning to use instagram or other social media to start, and also, just going in person locally to businesses, people, art shows, etc...

I would just be starting and it would not be my primary source of income....but just starting something for some hopeful side money, and working to grow it possibly into something more.

I know google searches are important, but there are other ways to get your non-paid results higher on google searches....key wording on images and content on your site is important, as are links to your site from other sites, and other forms of SEO (search engine optimization). I'm loosely familiar with those and when I get closer to ready to start my smug mug site, I plan to delve into this subject deeper and educate myself more on how to best position my site for web searches, but as much as possible without paying for it....

At least, those are my thoughts at this time.....

Thanks for the reply, definitely food for thought!!

cayenne
 
Jan 3, 2013
84
3
photo.awair.net
#9
If you have the ability to host your own server (or VM) then this might be worth a trial...

I use Koken software to host a couple of my sites. This is (currently) free, but does not seem to be actively developed?

The interface (for admin) is similar to Lightroom, upload seems to be slow, but once it's running I believe it gives a simple-to-use interface for potential customers.

Up and running for free, I added the paid Add-ons for Password Protection, Shopping Cart & Watermarks (total $135), and this has been the only cost for the last 18 months. I'll continue until I can design a custom site that works better. For payment processing I use Stripe, who take a small cut. I only sell a personal-use digital license, so no printing/postage hassle.

Koken (koken.me) was bought out by NetObjects a couple of years ago, which coincides with the apparent lack of development or customer support. There is an independent support site (kokensupport.com) that has a very helpful admin, and most of the fixes needed.