What hosting site is best for client viewing, prints albums etc?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by affinitytrinity, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. affinitytrinity

    affinitytrinity TPF Noob!

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    I recently launched my website and I'm trying to decide what hosting site to use. I've noticed a lot of people use Zenfolio. What are other options? Sometimes there are good reasons everyone uses the same thing, but also I like to do my own research before just "following the crowd". Please help! :meh:
     
  2. affinitytrinity

    affinitytrinity TPF Noob!

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    really? no one knows?
     
  3. shutterm

    shutterm TPF Noob!

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    I am using Zenfolio and I like it. It's a little cheaper than Smugmug, and it offers coupon codes (which Smugmug didn't at the time I made the decision). They also do things like watermarking, password protected galleries, etc. They are coming out with "packages" very soon. I don't think the galleries are all that great looking, but so far it's done the trick. Print turnaround is great, and I've been happy with the quality so far. They just upgraded their pricing and coupon features but I haven't fully learned all the new details yet.

    One complaint - they don't offer "photo books" as a product. I don't know that Smugmug or any others do either, but I would consider switching for that product as well.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    If you're not selling images in person, you're likely leaving substantial money on the table.

    In person proofing has been shown to increase sales up to 4x. Even more if you have samples available to show your clients.

    That could be the difference between a $250 order and a $1000 order, or between a $500 order and a $2000 order.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What I use for on-line proofing and print sales is an application called Photocart. Rather than paying a commission or fee to a website, Photocart is a one time purchase and it resides right on your own website. It's very customizable and has a ton of features.

    One issue is whether or not you want to (have time to) do the printing/shipping yourself. Some sites will take care of all that for you, but you have to trust them because you may not see the prints before they are shipped to the client, not to mention they take a good cut of the profit. With my setup, the orders come to my inbox and I have to send the orders to the lab and then send/deliver the prints myself. I don't give up any commission and don't pay any monthly/yearly fees though.

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    That being said, I agree with Keith. While on-line sales are certainly convenient, face to face sales (especially when you project large images and set up a sales friendly atmosphere) can make you A LOT more money.
     
  6. photosbybritni

    photosbybritni TPF Noob!

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