I’ve seen tons of commentary over the last couple weeks as I’ve been in the process of deciding which photo hosting site to choose — Zenfolio, or SmugMug. As many of my regular readers know, I decided to go with Zenfolio. However, it was rather enlightening to see what some folks are interested in with regards to their individual decisions.
Please note — I’m not trying to knock anyone with this discussion, but frankly, I really don’t feel that cost should be the number one factor in deciding your hosting options. While I don’t deny it’s important, I feel that since the purpose of these sites is to showcase your photography and allow people to purchase your prints, how well the photo hosting site performs these tasks should be paramount.
Well, it’s official. I just signed up for a Zenfolio Premium account. After playing around for a couple weeks with a Zenfolio trial and comparing it with SmugMug, I decided to pull the trigger and try something new.
I can’t say I’ve had any problems with SmugMug. Their service was wonderful and their support top notch. However, at the end of the day, I’m looking for simple and effective and for my needs, Zenfolio is just a better match.
So, I’m going to spend some time exploring the site. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get up and running soon. As of now, I have a minimal selection of photos. I’ll be sure to add more soon!
For anyone else whose interested in trying Zenfolio, feel free to spread the wealth and use my referral code: DAW-JPA-61M. It will save you $5!
During my researching of Zenfolio, I’ve come across a few really neat features. Compared to SmugMug, the one feature I find the most satisfying is the ability in Zenfolio to define as many levels of directories. This is quite a refreshing departure from SmugMug’s strict four layer hierarchy (Category –> Subcategory –> Gallery –> Images). Simply put, the Zenfolio organization blows away the SmugMug organization for my needs as it mimics my folder hierarchy in Adobe Lightroom.
How does this work?
Essentially, Zenfolio allows the user to structure their photos using a file system like hierarchy — much like your local computer. I keep all my photos organized in Adobe Lightroom in a [Year] –> [Month] –> [Day and Description] organization.
After receiving many questions regarding Zenfolio vs. SmugMug over the past year, I’ve come to realize that many updates have been made to both services. Therefore, I decided that I should really re-evaluate the services provided by both before paying up for another year of hosting.
About a week ago, I signed up for a 14-day trial over at Zenfolio. Let me say, I’m impressed. While the look and feel is totally opposite that of SmugMug, it’s quite intuitive and so far, I’m really enjoying playing around.
I’m planning on a full evaluation once I spend a bit more time with it, but for now, I wanted to give a bit of a sneak preview!
After some recent troubles with SmugMug over the past week, it appears the SmugMug team has decided to just schedule two downtime windows to get things sorted out.
They published this article detailing the recent problems and their proposed solution.
What does this mean to me?
They claim that there will be two windows. One tomorrow (August 11, 2009) and one Thursday (August 13, 2009). They don’t list exact times of these outages so I really don’t know what to expect.
However, they do claim that there will be a new feature coming soon — as early as this week. This is good timing for me as I am planning on trying out Zenfolio again. But more on that later!