Zenfolio Users

Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
4,853
Location
Columbia, Maryland
Real Name
Walter Rowe
Would it be worth having a "Collective Evaluation" of hosting services? Different people could provide info about the service(s) they use. We could develop common criteria that each participant would contribute for their hosting service
  • link to service fee structure / features page (they change, are often tiered, sometimes have a tier comparison chart)
  • can you customize your site?
  • nested vs flat album structure?
  • passworded galleries?
  • hidden galleries?
  • support video content?
  • add custom pages?
  • does it offer a blog?
  • total space limit?
  • total # of files limit?
  • image file size limit and supported formats?
  • video file size limit and supported formats?
  • supported video file formats?
  • do they offer phone support?
  • metadata management?
  • other services they offer?
    • online printing?
    • other products?
    • customer mgmt?
    • payment collection?
    • advertising mailers?
  • personal experience - positive and negative experiences
I am sure others can think of additional criteria that would be useful. Some of the criteria above are targeted at people running a business vs a personal photo / video / blog site.

Perhaps it be better to collect a list with links so people can do their own evaluations?
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
773
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
Interesting that I have not received my ZF increase notice yet. I am assuming that it was not buried within a message with other information?

--Ken
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
773
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
My Zenfolio account doesn't renew until some time in April, so I am expecting that a week or so before that renewal date I'll be notified of the increase in the amount I've been paying.....
Mine renews in July and I have not yet decided what I want to do, but at least I have some time to migrate if I do wish to change service.

--Ken
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
6,292
Location
Alaska
Real Name
Dan
I've been poking around with the free trial of SmugMug for about a week now. As with most things SM and Zenfolio each have pros/cons vs one another. From what I've seen thus far Zenfolio has a superior sales platform. On the other hand SM has an advanced amateur account level(i.e. Power account) that Zen doesn't offer. Even with my grandfathered account pricing on Zen the difference in cost vs the Power acct on SM nearly pays for an Adobe subscription.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
773
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
My use case for ZF has changed so much since I switched from SM about 10 years ago that it is not a product that I would probably choose today. But, the pain of migration, and not yet having chosen replacement options will be weighed against the price increase and this will probably determine if I renew or not. ZF has definitely pushed their platform more towards sales, but as I am not selling my work, this is of little value to me.

--Ken
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
6,292
Location
Alaska
Real Name
Dan
My use case for ZF has changed so much since I switched from SM about 10 years ago that it is not a product that I would probably choose today. But, the pain of migration, and not yet having chosen replacement options will be weighed against the price increase and this will probably determine if I renew or not. ZF has definitely pushed their platform more towards sales, but as I am not selling my work, this is of little value to me.
I'm pretty much in the same boat. I originally chose Zenfolio for the sales platform. At the time I was shooting events and doing a few shows. They had the most flexible platform including the option of self fulfilled products rather than being forced to use their partner print labs. But I stopped with the events and covid put a stop to all of the shows that I had lined up last year. And we have so many travel plans for post-covid that getting going again will be difficult. So the sales platform is pretty much irrelevant to me at this point.

My account renews mid-February so I did catch it in time to consider my options. I wasn't looking forward to migrating to another platform but it's actually turning out to be less work that I thought. Zenfolio has a download feature that will download entire galleries into a zip file which can then be unzipped and uploaded into a gallery on the new service. Learning the new interface from another provider is the most difficult part of the process.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
773
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
I got my second letter highlighting the the importance of....the new logo. They say it is photography inspired, but the first thoughts I had were aberration and out of focus. I'll dig through the rest of the message later, but I'm not a fan of their marketing campaign so far.

--Ken
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Administrator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
23,272
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
I got my second letter highlighting the the importance of....the new logo. They say it is photography inspired, but the first thoughts I had were aberration and out of focus. I'll dig through the rest of the message later, but I'm not a fan of their marketing campaign so far.

--Ken
One of the reason Justin switched away from Zenfolio is because they are photography based. He was getting no support when videos suddenly "went missing". They weren't even willing to find out why. And the upload times were long.....and then the processing times were long also. SM is quicker at uploading and processing videos and supports photography OR videos really well.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
6,292
Location
Alaska
Real Name
Dan
I got my second letter highlighting the the importance of....the new logo. They say it is photography inspired, but the first thoughts I had were aberration and out of focus...
Yeah I think they need a new PR firm. That was a pretty ridiculous email as is the new logo.

For me I'm 95 percent decided to switch to SmugMug. I'm ten days into their 14 day free trial and pretty well satisfied with what I see. Making the change will finally force me to clean up/update my site which I've needed to do for some time.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
4,853
Location
Columbia, Maryland
Real Name
Walter Rowe
The posted a blog on Jan 10th that discussed their major updates. Sounds like a massive platform transformation that took the quite some time and sounds very impressive from a technology perspective.

https://zenfolio.com/press/an-exciting-announcement-from-zenfolio

And when you compare the features of all their plans I must say they have really upped their game from years ago. And the pricing they advertise seems pretty in line with what I have seen from some well known hosting services, some that provide far less.

https://zenfolio.com/product/features/compare-by-plan

I am not a fan of their 9.9% service fee for order fulfillment services. That seems pretty steep.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
6,292
Location
Alaska
Real Name
Dan
The posted a blog on Jan 10th that discussed their major updates. Sounds like a massive platform transformation that took the quite some time and sounds very impressive from a technology perspective.

And when you compare the features of all their plans I must say they have really upped their game from years ago. And the pricing they advertise seems pretty in line with what I have seen from some well known hosting services, some that provide far less.

I am not a fan of their 9.9% service fee for order fulfillment services. That seems pretty steep.
They are certainly competitive as a sales platform. Both functionally and their subscription fees based on the limited research that I did. However, in addition to the 9.9% service fee the pricing through their partner labs is high compared to working directly with a print lab. Presumably Zenfolio is getting an additional cut of any business they drive to those vendors. There's no wholesale discount from the partner labs if you are selling products. The lab cost is the same as if you have an amateur level account and are using the partner labs for your printing.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
773
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
Yeah I think they need a new PR firm. That was a pretty ridiculous email as is the new logo.

For me I'm 95 percent decided to switch to SmugMug. I'm ten days into their 14 day free trial and pretty well satisfied with what I see. Making the change will finally force me to clean up/update my site which I've needed to do for some time.
The latest statement was like a bad cross between a Dilbert cartoon and buzzword bingo. Had we been playing, I think we all would have won given the amount of jargon used. With this latest move, it seems to me that SM and ZF have started to diverge in their marketing for customers. ZF is heavily leaning towards photographers who want to sell, and SM is somewhat catering to that group, but still trying to hold on to the amateur/photo sharing market as well. I think that ZF is going to be heading deeper into a competitive market given all of the sales platforms out there. And, SM is still facing the likes of IG, Pinterest and Snapchat. Tough times indeed, and I wish them both the best of luck in a constantly evolving market.

--Ken
 

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