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Old May-20-2009, 12:14 AM
#1
jinspin is offline jinspin OP
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Zenfolio vs Smugmug- which is better?
I have been longtime smuggy but a colleague introduced me to zenfolio and wow.
i did a quick review and it has some great features for a professional photography biz like

promotional coupons!
snazzy web 2.0 interface including slideshow
12% commission after tax/shipping is subtracted vs smug's 15% of base
only $100 for year for premium plan

it will be a pain to move all my pics to zen so can people tell me why I should stay with smug or go to zen? I am tempted and this is a hard decision. I thought smug was best but now not so sure esp for maturing photog biz.

the new recent features smug hasn't been that helpful to me as i don't use bay photo as it costs more for prints and I don't use easy customizer except for removing the footer since I already customized my smug already. I still don't like that smug logo is shown on the shoppiing cart.
Old May-20-2009, 04:08 AM
#2
Andy is offline Andy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinspin
I don't use easy customizer except for removing the footer since I already customized my smug already. I still don't like that smug logo is shown on the shoppiing cart.
What customizing do you have available on that other site (any other site?) that's as extensive as here?

We'll be removing the SmugMug logo from the shopping cart (and replacing it with your own) as part of a future release, it's on this short list of things to do and it's been requested by lots of folks.
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Old May-20-2009, 05:38 AM
#3
MWWeston is offline MWWeston
Mark Weston
I went from basic Smug to Pro Zen to Pro Smug
and I recently tried a trial account of Zen again to check out their new features. All of this was a pain, but I did learn that I like somethings better in each, but I like SmugMug better.

For me the advantage of Zenfolio is the lower cost (pro account and 12% v 15%), coupons and the file organization (folders v Smug categories). One feature that I did like was the ability to give a folder/gallery a unique URL name v a generic gallery######.

However, I think my photos really do look better at SmugMug. I truly appreciate the ability to customize most aspects of SmugMug including the ability to match my blog so that it looks like it is part of the site. I also like the gallery format options better at SmugMug. The stretchy mode fills the screen better than any option I tried on other sites.

So for me, I would like to see a lower fee, lower %fee on sales, coupons and a simple folder system to organize galleries, the other aspects of SmugMug will keep me here and SmugMug seems like they are really working hard to keep their offering the best in the industry. I bet we will see more features that will improve the Pro accounts in the future months.

I continue to look at other services, but for me SmugMug still wins and they keep making improvements to make certain they remain the best. Plus the service here is amazing.

www.markwestonphotography.com
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Old May-20-2009, 06:26 AM
#4
Malte is offline Malte
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy

...that other site...
They're called Zenfolio. Say it with me brother, -Zenfolio. Woosah.

Seriously though, what will keep the zenfolios at bay won't be not saying their name, it'll be features like EZC. What a thing of beauty. It'll be general usability, which still needs a fair bit of work. It'll be video, and keeping it a top notch implementation. It'll be your industry leading customer support.

Malte
Old May-20-2009, 06:55 AM
#5
mbellot is offline mbellot
Major grins
Quote:
Originally Posted by MWWeston
For me the advantage of Zenfolio is the lower cost (pro account and 12% v 15%), coupons and the file organization (folders v Smug categories). One feature that I did like was the ability to give a folder/gallery a unique URL name v a generic gallery######.
You can do that (custom URL) on SM as well, its just not "sticky" (its a redirector type thing), they are called "vanity URLs" and I use them quite a bit.

A little java script is all it takes.


Andy: Any chance the cart will be trackable by Google Analytics (for goal purposes)? Or is it just going to be visual changes?
Old May-20-2009, 07:23 AM
#6
jinspin is offline jinspin OP
Major grins
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy
What customizing do you have available on that other site (any other site?) that's as extensive as here?

We'll be removing the SmugMug logo from the shopping cart (and replacing it with your own) as part of a future release, it's on this short list of things to do and it's been requested by lots of folks.
Thank you Andy and rest for input. I def like customization and great customer support on here. I looked at a few zen sites and they all look same and a bland/plain for my taste and not as nice as smug. I will also send my colleague this info as this will help her decide too.
That is great about removing logo from the cart. Anxiously waiting for the insane smugpro features (coupons and packages!) that will help my biz :)
Old May-20-2009, 08:10 AM
#7
Chris O is offline Chris O
BIGGEST GRIN OF THEM ALL
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I've tried Zenfolio three times now, and never got to liking it. The community and support behind SmugMug is worth the price alone.
Old May-20-2009, 04:06 PM
#8
flyingpoint is offline flyingpoint
Major grins
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Smugmug vs Zenfolio
I'll second (or fourth) the customer service comment. It's really the differentiator.

And the fact that I'm coming up on my 1,000th print sold without a single --- not one --- complaint regarding print quality is another HUGE factor. And that was before BayPhoto...
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Old May-22-2009, 06:47 AM
#9
Clootie is offline Clootie
Beginner grinner
I'm a current Zenfolio user and checking out Smugmug with a view of moving over because of a number of reasons. Have posted in another thread most of the next part, but...

What I like about Zenfolio is:

1. The admin interface
2. Soon to have UK/European Print Lab.
3. Soon to have custom features (Themes & CSS)

What I dislike about Zenfolio:

1. Lack of UK/European lab, although it is said to be coming (1-2 months) its been a longtime waiting!
2. Lack of customization and no time frame of when it will arrive or for that matter what features.


What I like (so far) about Smugmug:

1. Very active forum and staff with lots of members helping each other (much more than ZF)
2. Ability to fully customize the site.
3. Much more features available to members.

What I dislike about Smugmug

1. Admin system could be much better, although its okay.
2. Lack of UK/European Print Lab (Big issue)


Out of all my main issue is lack of UK/European print lab at Smugmug, and for that matter nothing even on the forecast of features to come.

Still playing with Smugmug for another 6 days after that I guess will need to decide whether or not to wait for ZF UK Print Lab & Customization features and see how good they are or move to Smugmug and lose UK Print Lab but gain customization.....

I think both are providing a great service and if I has to say one thing to both that would be... Think about clients outside over the pond...
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Old May-23-2009, 11:03 PM
#10
timeflight is offline timeflight
Big grins
No one service is perfect, I could use a mixture of the two. After using both, these are my observations:

Support - SmugMug win, no contest
Community - SmugMug win, it can be a bit quiet on the Zenfolio forums
Name - SmugMug fail (Zenfolio sounds professional - SmugMug sounds... smug!)
Branding - SmugMug fail, far too many little smug smilie faces - including those pins on maps - it looks awful and very web 1.0
Payouts - SmugMug fail - we need PayPal which Zenfolio has always had
Admin - SmugMug fail - Zenfolio a lot simpler
Display - SmugMug win for large thumbnails and full browser width galleries (apart from users landing page)
Themes - SmugMug fail - Zenfolio has fewer but more elegant themes. SmugMug need to lose some of their cheesy themes
Customization - SmugMug win for allowing you to do anything - I'm not sure if hat's good or not though!
International shipping - SmugMug win until Zenfolio UK printing comes online soon
Video - SmugMug win, no video on Zenfolio
Geotaging - SmugMug win for trying, even though it's a messy implementation
Pricing - SmugMug fail, Zenfolio 33% cheaper annually and lower per order fees
Custom permalinks - SmugMug fail - Zenfolio allow this for example: http://user.zenfolio.com/portraits/alice - Google loves it!

As I said, a mixture of both would be perfect. I'll add more if I think of any!
Old May-26-2009, 06:10 AM
#11
jinspin is offline jinspin OP
Major grins
Quote:
Originally Posted by timeflight
No one service is perfect, I could use a mixture of the two. After using both, these are my observations:

Support - SmugMug win, no contest
Community - SmugMug win, it can be a bit quiet on the Zenfolio forums
Name - SmugMug fail (Zenfolio sounds professional - SmugMug sounds... smug!)
Branding - SmugMug fail, far too many little smug smilie faces - including those pins on maps - it looks awful and very web 1.0
Payouts - SmugMug fail - we need PayPal which Zenfolio has always had
Admin - SmugMug fail - Zenfolio a lot simpler
Display - SmugMug win for large thumbnails and full browser width galleries (apart from users landing page)
Themes - SmugMug fail - Zenfolio has fewer but more elegant themes. SmugMug need to lose some of their cheesy themes
Customization - SmugMug win for allowing you to do anything - I'm not sure if hat's good or not though!
International shipping - SmugMug win until Zenfolio UK printing comes online soon
Video - SmugMug win, no video on Zenfolio
Geotaging - SmugMug win for trying, even though it's a messy implementation
Pricing - SmugMug fail, Zenfolio 33% cheaper annually and lower per order fees
Custom permalinks - SmugMug fail - Zenfolio allow this for example: http://user.zenfolio.com/portraits/alice - Google loves it!

As I said, a mixture of both would be perfect. I'll add more if I think of any!
This is great comparison review. right to the points.
Old May-30-2009, 04:05 PM
#12
Scott Buel is offline Scott Buel
never trust a hal 9000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinspin
This is great comparison review. right to the points.
One more point that I would consider switching for is that they offer framing. There is no ordering and then once your print arrives having to physically go somewhere else to have it framed or have to order the framing supplies seperately to do it yourself. I have had a lot of people say they wanted to order, but it was going to be too much of a hassle not being able to have their print arrive framed and ready to hang.
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Old Jun-01-2009, 07:49 AM
#13
3n-out is offline 3n-out
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Plus ZF does not have Andy! :) That alone is worth every penny let me tell ya!
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Old Jun-01-2009, 08:44 AM
#14
Andy is offline Andy
Bicameral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3n-out
Plus ZF does not have Andy! :) That alone is worth every penny let me tell ya!
Aw shucks! I'm going to take this as a complement for our whole team of Support Heroes. I'm the lucky guy that gets to lead them. Thank you so much for making our day.
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Old Jun-03-2009, 07:47 PM
#15
atb is offline atb
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I am currently looking at Zenfolio for another site - one that is much more sales oriented. I live in Canada and don't want my customers to pay in USD or have to pay shipping from the US. Zenfolio give you the ability to "self process" the orders. That way I can charge CDN and process at a local lab as the majority of my business in local.

Does a SM pro account allow me to do this?

Thanks
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Old Jun-03-2009, 08:36 PM
#16
termina3 is offline termina3
Major grins
Quote:
Originally Posted by atb
Does a SM pro account allow me to do this?
Kind of. (FYI, what you're looking to do is "self fulfill" orders.) If you set up a google shopping cart (search for that phrase… there are scores of threads), then absolutely. But the built-in SM shopping cart will not let you self-fulfill.
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Old Jun-04-2009, 06:55 PM
#17
atb is offline atb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termina3
Kind of. (FYI, what you're looking to do is "self fulfill" orders.) If you set up a google shopping cart (search for that phrase… there are scores of threads), then absolutely. But the built-in SM shopping cart will not let you self-fulfill.
Thanks! I'll check that out. Andrew
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Old Jul-31-2009, 10:41 PM
#18
muk is offline muk
Beginner grinner
Products
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy
What customizing do you have available on that other site (any other site?) that's as extensive as here?

We'll be removing the SmugMug logo from the shopping cart (and replacing it with your own) as part of a future release, it's on this short list of things to do and it's been requested by lots of folks.


I've been researching the sites and I like that you can order t-shirts in black on Zenfolio and also get halter shirts for the ladies! When will Smugmug get different colors? Or will they?
Old Aug-01-2009, 04:33 AM
#19
Andy is offline Andy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muk
I've been researching the sites and I like that you can order t-shirts in black on Zenfolio and also get halter shirts for the ladies! When will Smugmug get different colors? Or will they?
I'll discuss it with our lab, thanks.
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Old Aug-01-2009, 05:48 PM
#20
nipprdog is offline nipprdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muk
I've been researching the sites and I like that you can order t-shirts in black on Zenfolio and also get halter shirts for the ladies! When will Smugmug get different colors? Or will they?
I'ved sold almost five thousand prints in 2 1/2 years on SM.

I'ved sold three T-shirts.

Do the math.
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