smugmug subscription prices to rise

245

Comments

  • GerryDavidGerryDavid Major grins Registered Users Posts: 439 Major grins
    edited April 30, 2005
    I doubt I would have considered sm @ $40. I wasnt happy with pbase, so I probably would have continued to look for a $25-$30 option.

    Also the 1 week trial AFTER you give the credit card info almost discouraged me from joining. With pbase you dont have to give any information to get the free month trial. *they limit your storage to 10mb instead of 100mb at the time*

    At this point price is very important for me, and for others that just want to show thier pictures to friends and family. There are some free options online, like tinypic.com and what ever the other one is. I think it would be harder to get them to convert at the higher price.

    So what if you have 4 packages instead of 3?

    Basic thats still $29.95, and raised printing prices. With this you could make more than $10 in a year with increased printing prices. perhaps 10 cents more for each size.

    Not so Basic for $39.95, then the other power and pro.

  • CameronCameron Major grins Salt Lake City, UTRegistered Users Posts: 745 Major grins
    edited April 30, 2005
    I agree with much of what has been said thus far. Now that I'm a happy smugmug customer and understand the benefits and value of smugmug, I'm not bothered by the price increase. It is certainly worth it. However, as has been expressed, I may not have signed up originally (or even considered smugmug) at the $40 price-point.

    I think you'd be better served by keeping a low-price account with fewer features. Once customers fall in love with it, they'll pay more for extras, but I fear many would dismiss it without giving it a chance. Now, if you're intending to target the pro/serious hobbiest customers at the expense of photo-sharing families, your pricing isn't an issue. At first glance, the more value-oriented customers likely won't appreciate smugmug's benefits enough to give you their credit card when there are a lot of cheaper options.

    Perhaps keeping a $29.95 account with limited space (1GB?) and/or no API access? I'm not sure that upping the print prices on the cheaper accounts is a good option, since it's likely the value-customers who will share lots of photos for mom & dad to print at the default prices. People like that will likely go where prints are cheap.

    Anway, there is lots of good discussion here, but you've had a successful business model thus far and I trust whatever decisions you make will be well thought out. As with the others, I'm here to stay.
  • Richard SRichard S Big grins Registered Users Posts: 28 Big grins
    edited April 30, 2005
    Bring it on...
    My personal opinion is that basic users would be willing to pay
    50/year, advanced 100, and pro's 200 or perhaps more as long as
    everything works as expected and the powers that be keep listnening to
    user feedback and making things better.

    I've been a smugmug "power user" for a month and I'm very happy. I
    needed a place to stick my photos where I could just email the link to
    people and be done with it. I was tired of having to explain that
    they want you to login and give your email address or other such
    nonsense. I also had my own little HTML galleries but it's too damn
    much work to be your own sysadmin all the time.

    So, smugmug fills an important niche, but it's not 100% there yet.
    The way templates and gallery stats are handled both need to be bumped
    up to the next level of being clean, polished, and complete. The
    "Photo Details" info processing needs to go through at least one more
    evolution. The API mechanism is good, but it's just an API, it's
    what's underneath that matters.

    I say raise prices now rather than doing it piecemeal. That would be
    bad. So much of what smugmug is now is really good, so don't lose
    that. We want smugmug to succeed on all levels including as a
    business (so it stays around, duh).

    That's my $0.02.
  • BenA2BenA2 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 364 Major grins
    edited April 30, 2005
    Keep print prices the same and add new lower-level account
    I'll chime in as a very happy standard customer who won't mind paying the additional $10 for my current service. In fact, I'm now encouraged to upgrade to Power before the increase. But, I am concerned about the price increase affecting new standard subscribers. I think the current price point with the $5 referral is perfect for new users, because of it's competitiveness with Pbase, and also just because $25 just doesn't sound like that much money.

    I have to say, though, what's been even more important to new users I've brought on board than the subscription price is the print price. I've found the $0.29 4×6 print price is the top end of what people are willing to pay. They know they can get $0.18-$0.22 4×6 prints elsewhere, so it takes some salesmanship on my part to convince them smugmug's quality (they don't care about custer service before they subscribe) is worth the extra money. Because of this, I hope smugmug does not take seriously the suggestions in this thread to increase print prices.

    I do like the idea many have proposed to add a new lower-level user to maintain the $30 subscription price. No API, max file size, JPEG only, are all reasonable limits that should reduce cost, be transparent to the lay user, and maintain smugmug's key differentiating feature of unlimited storage. Once these users learn the value of smumug's features and customer service and begin craving a bit more, I think they'll be much more willing to pay the extra $10 to upgrade to what is currently the "standard" level.

    Ben
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,352 Major grins
    edited April 30, 2005
    I think in the long run, all the people that sign up / upgrade now, to beat the deadline, will be offset by how fewer new signer-uppers there are in the long run. I hope this price increase will offset the the fewer signer-uppers... (If smugmug goes under I expect to be sent a DVD with my images on it as a parting gift...)

    I guess I do plan on keeping my smugmug for family / friend purposes, but as far as being a young nature photographer trying to market himself, I'm getting nada and I think sooner or later I'm going to have to bail out of the pro user account. Dang, I'll sure miss the "clean" setting...

    -Matt-
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • DachDach Big grins Registered Users Posts: 16 Big grins
    edited May 2, 2005
    My Fiend Flickr
    I understand the reasons websites need to raise their prices, especially with what I've been having to endure with meetup.com lately. However, I tend to agree that there will be some merit in keeping a "cheap" account option, especially with flickr looming on the horizon. They are going to be getting pretty popular soon, I think, and their price point is $25/yr. They do have some weaknesses, however, which would need to be exploited in smugmug's smarketing. I took a detailed look at it today to see what they offer. Some of it's good, such as unlimited photos galleries, and bandwidth (which I think they can afford since they're part of Yahoo); some very complex ways of linking photos; and similar privacy options to smugmug. On the bad side, their ToS is fairly complicated (no forum avatars?), there's already an epidemic of people stealing images and claiming them as their own (primarily out of ignorance of the aforementioned "very complex ways of linking photos"), and almost no control over the page layout (I know it sounds silly, but one of the reasons I chose smugmug was because I could make the background black. It would have been a harsh transition from my website to a white photo page).
    It's just something to consider as they begin their rollout. There might be a lot of people who are willing to pay the same amount for what they perceive to be a better feature set, but not significantly more. Honestly, the bandwidth was never a big deal for me, because I'm not a pro. I have a lot of friends, and over 2,000 photos on my smugmug site, and I've never used 2GB of bandwidth in a month. So, non-pros likely wouldn't consider that as big a deal as something as simple as a black background. But not at $40.
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Mountain View, CaRegistered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 2,853 moderator
    edited May 2, 2005
    This is a really good discussion and I appreciate very much how thoughtfully you've debated the issue.

    Truth be told, we have cringed at raising the standard price as well. It's interesting to think of placing some restrictions on it because it would be nice to maintain an impulse-buy price point. But it's an account level with low margins for us currently.

    If you put it in perspective, PBase does have a low price point but it keeps them at two people in a garage whose customers complain about lack of communication and down time.

    Looking at the hosting or blogging worlds, we're quite a bit cheaper. Google gives Blogger away for free, but pretty much everyone's complaining about it and TypePad is more like the gold standard at $4.95/month entry level. Nobody uses gigabytes of bandwidth and storage there, either.

    Flickr has potential but their price has been $59 on sale for $42 until recently, and they still limit your uploads per month so disk usage won't run away. Their costs were high enough they had to sell to Yahoo pretty cheap in less than a year. Yahoo doesn't have the best record of keeping apps innovating that they buy, even ones they spend billions for like Broadcast.com or Geocities.

    I don't think we want to restrict the API because the uploaders like SendToSmugmug are really popular with standard users.

    Our basic thought has been the price rise will cut subscriber growth by 20% but double our margins on standard accounts so we can put in ever more robust hardware, features, etc. We can be the TypePad and let the free sites get their millions but keep going bust as they have for a long time (remember Microsoft photo sharing, Adobe, Canon, Photopoint, Zing, Photo Island, etc.?)

    Someone said print prices at 29 cents are at the upper limit. I think that's true. Print prices have continually dropped on the net and I think they'll continue to.

    Anyway, we're absorbing everything you write and it's one reason why we're doing it this way.

    All the best,
    Baldy
  • jfriendjfriend Scripting dude-volunteer Registered Users Posts: 8,097 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    Definitely lots of tradeoffs
    Baldy wrote:
    This is a really good discussion and I appreciate very much how thoughtfully you've debated the issue.
    ...
    Anyway, we're absorbing everything you write and it's one reason why we're doing it this way.

    All the best,
    Baldy
    I'm glad you're listening and thinking about the tradeoffs.

    If you really think you'll only lose 20% of your subscription growth, then it probably makes more sense for your business just to raise prices as you are planning and not add a lower plan that stays at the "impulse" or "starter" level of $29.95.

    My comments were based on an assumption that you'd lose more than 20% of your subscriber growth. The challenge is that people who haven't become customers yet have a hard time telling the difference between smugmug, pbase and some of the other low cost services. They won't really know a quality service when they see it. They will able to discern storage, bandwidth, availability of printing, whether they shows ads or not, some visuals about the layouts available and how the site looks and price. After that, most users won't be educated enough to know how to pick a quality site and what to decide to pay for and what not to. With unlimited storage and printing and an impulse price, smugmug is easy to sell (look at the number of referrals I have and you'll see why I say that).

    If more than 20% of new subscribers go somewhere else (as I suspect will be the case), then I'd wonder if there was some newly defined "starter" account that could still be offered at $29.95. This account would ideally be limited in some fashion that helps control your costs (presumably disk space is the easiest, but you may have other cost drivers that could be considered too). At worst, you'd want to break even on that level of account. At best, you'd make a small margin. In either case, the goal would be to capture the users at first and hopefully upgrade them to standard, power, pro as their needs grow over time and as they become familiar with how smugmug can fill those needs with the higher plans. Once they've signed up somewhere else, the chances of getting them back to smugmug are a lot, lot lower.

    Over time, you could separate the "starter" plan from the "standard plan" with a few other features if you wanted even more of a reason for users to upgrade to the standard plan than what you started with.

    Thanks for listening. I'm impressed that you are testing this out in public to get feedback. IMO, that's a great use of a forum like this.

    --John
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  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,538 moderator
    edited May 3, 2005
    Baldy, Onethumb, et. al,

    Maybe it's because I am too familiar with what it cost to provide just
    the storage infrastructure (at the redundancy level you do) and because
    I am selfish and want SM to survive. But I think your price increase is
    more in line with the service you offer.

    Ian
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • gusgus Major grins Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    ian408 wrote:
    Baldy, Onethumb, et. al,

    Maybe it's because I am too familiar with what it cost to provide just
    the storage infrastructure (at the redundancy level you do) and because
    I am selfish and want SM to survive. But I think your price increase is
    more in line with the service you offer.

    Ian
    Yep...where else can you talk with the owners & get personal feedback & emails to the extent that SM offers ?

    Not many places will offer a grandfather like they have (that did take me a long time to work out what it ment)
  • ginger_55ginger_55 Crazy Creek Babe Registered Users Posts: 8,416 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    Maybe one user isn't that important, but I am understanding very little of what I am reading. With a pro account, I should be able to understand things like API.
    I even have trouble figuring out what unlimited storage means. I think I have that one figured out, but everything else is pretty much a dark hole for me..................as in BLACK. I did understand black background, that was very important to me, also.

    And somehow at that time, a year ago last month, I had the money to pay for a pro acct, I had just bought a Rebel, and I had visions of sales that have not happened to any large degree. A lot of it being my own fault.

    What I do understand, and this is what I heard: $10, ......oh, I will be paying $10 more a year, damn, but I can probably manage $10 on top of the $99 I am paying now.

    Then I heard $149.00 a year, and my heart dropped and I was starting to feel panic. Then I read, no, some people are being grandfathered, if they join now. But I joined a year ago, so does that mean me? Other people seem to have asked that question and it has been answered.

    Also, this 1/3 price hike does not seem significant to a whole lot of people who are paying more for cable and all. Now I am feeling insignificant, because $49 extra a year, coming out of my food, gas, etc, 100.00 a week, seems very significant, to me.

    And referrals, I don't have any. I would love to, I know people who make more money than I do, pay more for other things, I even know people who go out to dinner some times. Usually the Outback and other steak places, or that is what I am hearing. And that is my family. My friends go to much better places: often.

    But they do not pay anything for storage. They don't need to, or want to. And if they were to do that, everyone who says 39.00 sounds like 40.00 and a lot more money than the 29.00, that sounds like 25.00, is right. Essentially, I would be trying to refer people at a 15.00 price raise, as that is what it would sound like.

    But that doesn't matter, as I am the only person I know who pays for storage, or is going to, for that matter. The people I know pay a fortune for stuff for their dogs. So trying to refer them to smugmug would be like trying to sell you on spending most of your time training your dogs to run an agility course: and that costs a lot of money, but it is worth it. And they know why. As you all know why this is worth it.

    It sounds to me, this is how I would be thinking if I were starting with my Rebel this year, I would be thinking that this is the country club of "storage", which is a word I wouldn't know yet, and I would go where the middle class goes...............where ever that is. But if one place were 25.00, another was 29.00, I would choose them first, because I didn't know anything then, and I still don't know anything much about why this is so great other than the cool black color. Oh, I also did look forward to designing my own front page. That was big in my dreams. My son did it for me something like 9 months later, I don't know why he thought I wanted a christmas theme in January, but I have it, with no idea of how to change it.

    I would not think I would be your typical pro customer even now at the current prices. And I am pretty old at 65, so maybe forever will be accurate on the prices and the grandfathering for me. But I worry that I won't be able to continue anything when my husband retires in 4 or 5 years, or the company folds, whichever is first. !50.00, which is what 149.00 sounds like, well, it would have to go. And there would be no 29.00 acct for me to downgrade to.

    It is a scary world out there for some people.

    And none of this is an exageration, I just don't know how typical it is. I think now that the middle class is disappearing and there will be just the ones who have accts and the ones who don't: anywhere. As I said, no one else I know is putting as much into photography as I am. And I don't think anyone else knows how truly much I am really spending on it. Nor do I think most people who don't have a problem juggling can realize what a struggle that can be, and how easily it can collapse.

    And all for the words $10.00, only $10.00 a year is not what it is. It is a 1/3 increase.

    For those of us who are struggling, I have a suggestion that could benefit both of us, if the book keeping does not make it cost more for you all than it would bring in.

    Why don't you let some of us pay for 6 months at a time, instead of the whole yearly sum at once. Well, not "us", I mean "them". Because you could charge them $40.00, instead of the $30.00 you are now charging and let them pay 20.00, or so, twice a year. Or let them pay 30.00 once a year.

    I can tell you I would have bought into paying $60.00 twice a year, rather than the whole 100.00 at once.

    But please, I do need the grandfather business, but it is an idea........

    That and cutting some of those services that people are telling you some people, especially the $30.00 accts, do not understand. Believe me, they don't. They might like the color.........
    Or they might even want more, like their own design on front, so they might get the pro acct, like I did, but they don't have 150.00.

    (honestly, you all could make money by selling a dictionary of terms)

    i also have a Webshots acct, I got it because it was free, but then I needed more "storage", so I paid for that. Now I don't know how to get rid of it, because I don't have those pictures anywhere else, I don't think. So I paid something like the 25.00 again this year to keep my photos for another year. And 25.00 was something I managed to come up with, though I did wait until like 2 months after it was due. I was going to let them junk the photos, but I finally did come up with it. After all, that is a small amt of money to keep those photos safe. But 40.00? Maybe I could dig up the CDs I probably put the photos on.

    Everyone else I know with an acct has a free one.

    ginger:cry
    After all is said and done, it is the sweet tea.
  • gusgus Major grins Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    Ginger you are never alone with not understang stuff like API & such. I am so retarded with computer jargon that i would be much more comfortable painting hunting scenes on cave walls by fire light.

    I am probably going to upgrade to a pro account before the month is up. Not because i think im going to sell anything but because its my only hobby & i love photography & would like to see my site as best as it can be. Dont worry i have never any referals either.

    Maybe one of the tech types in here could explain in the hall of wisdom what it takes to do a pro account..ie just to find out if its above a 'non tech' user. I see ones like lynn that look great but i have no idea how to set them up with your own photos in the banner etc.

    Gus
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,538 moderator
    edited May 3, 2005
    Not to burst anyone's bubble but unlimited storage is not free. Nor is the
    bandwidth to serve those images.

    Either you pay for it or it is paid for via advertising or some other revenue
    stream. I certainly don't want to have banner ads or other adverts plastered
    over my stuff nor do I want the folks I share images with to wait while some
    advert displays itself for the requeset 10 seconds before you get to view
    the images.

    Pick your poison. Free == ads and other gimicks to get you to click
    through (plus limited storage). $39-149 gets you unlimited storage plus
    (at the Pro end) a check when you sell stuff is a bargin. Try hosting
    that yourself.

    Ginger, I understand the difference even a few bucks can make in people's
    lives. An increase of $10/year doesn't seem like much to me but it is to
    someone else. However, these are decisions we, as individuals, make. If
    you're using your Pro Account to sell images, then it's a business expense.
    If you're not selling many prints, perhaps you don't need a Pro Account?

    Ian
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • gusgus Major grins Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    As my father always said..."you wanna dance ?.. then pay the band"
  • ginger_55ginger_55 Crazy Creek Babe Registered Users Posts: 8,416 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    Well, I have a little money, now. Maybe I should just start sending it so that when it comes time to renew, I won't worry about it all year.

    I feel like humungus, it is my only hobby. It is the only thing I do. I have been sitting here all day, mostly stuff for the church............and that is not paid stuff, it is my contribution. When I finally sent the stuff to the church a bit ago, I included the link so that they could pass the info onto some parishioners whose photos I took.

    I don't need photography, really, I just like it.

    And I try to afford it, and this is scaring me, OK. Now this place shutting down would scare me, too. I just told it like it is. For others............. not just me.

    They don't want to dance, or they dance at other places with the rednecks and stuff. And post their stuff where they can. I have had three free accts.
    I think I still have one at Shutterfly. I know I do. And it is not a bad looking place. But because I don't sell alot does not mean that I don't want a pro acct. I know it is doing something for me. I did sell 50.00 last yr, made that much, I mean. Helped pay this yr.

    I just like Smugmug and not for the reasons you do, but I want it just as much, maybe I don't need it as much, but I want it as much. And the way it is, it is the way I told it. As a pure amateur, I do not want to pay 40.00 for the lowest acct. It is kind of like all or nothing right now.

    And I kind am looking at a place for pros, am I not. If memory serves me, we are not talking about "us" here, we are talking about "them". And whether "they" will pay 39.00, because $200.00 would not be a problem for us with a pro acct.

    Sorry, I am getting a bit reactive.

    (Do I have to know what bandwidth is, too? For this acct.)

    ginger
    After all is said and done, it is the sweet tea.
  • winnjewettwinnjewett Major grins Registered Users Posts: 329 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    I think a lot of us have lost sight of what photography used to cost. Do you remember way back in the ... 90's when it used to cost $4 to shoot 36 pictures, and another $4 to develop them?

    smugmug's pro account will cost new members the equivelant of 18 rolls ... per year. That's just 1.5 rolls per month; 14 pictures per week.

    I find it reassuring to think back a few years and remember how much I used to spend. I'm not saying that digital is free, but it sure is a whole lot cheaper.

    -Winn
  • ginger_55ginger_55 Crazy Creek Babe Registered Users Posts: 8,416 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    winnjewett wrote:
    I think a lot of us have lost sight of what photography used to cost. Do you remember way back in the ... 90's when it used to cost $4 to shoot 36 pictures, and another $4 to develop them?

    smugmug's pro account will cost new members the equivelant of 18 rolls ... per year. That's just 1.5 rolls per month; 14 pictures per week.

    I find it reassuring to think back a few years and remember how much I used to spend. I'm not saying that digital is free, but it sure is a whole lot cheaper.

    -Winn

    This has nothing to do with anything. But I paid nothing for film, or normal developing, throughout the entire 90s. I got it free, by the brick, and I had it developed for free, also. I just wanted to point out that we all have different stories. As I said, nothing to do with anything, and if it is only newcomers, then this has nothing to do with me. I guess.

    g
    After all is said and done, it is the sweet tea.
  • winnjewettwinnjewett Major grins Registered Users Posts: 329 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    ginger_55 wrote:
    This has nothing to do with anything.
    Ginger,
    Respectfully I disagree that my statements have "nothing to do with anything." We are discussing the cost of photography. My point was that before digital, part of that cost was the cost of film. Today, part of that cost is the cost of hosting.
    ginger_55 wrote:
    But I paid nothing for film, or normal developing, throughout the entire 90s. I got it free, by the brick, and I had it developed for free, also. I just wanted to point out that we all have different stories.
    It is nice that you were able to get your film and developing for free. Most people don't.
    ginger_55 wrote:
    As I said, nothing to do with anything, and if it is only newcomers, then this has nothing to do with me. I guess.
    The rate increase does not apply to you since every current user will be grandfathered, at least for a while.

    -winn
  • ginger_55ginger_55 Crazy Creek Babe Registered Users Posts: 8,416 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    winnjewett wrote:
    Ginger,
    Respectfully I disagree that my statements have "nothing to do with anything."
    -winn
    I did not mean your statements
    Sorry about the misunderstanding.

    I was just referring to my response which, as you pointed out, was an unusual situation so it would not have had anything to do with the point you were trying to make.



    g
    After all is said and done, it is the sweet tea.
  • BBJBBJ Big grins Registered Users Posts: 22 Big grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    Hi All, Ok well this was my first photo hosting site and have been happy with it. I went straight onto the pro account as liked the features, but as i live in Australia and i think it cost me around the $125 mark when i joined a few months ago i could justify this cost although i dont upload large files i always downsize my pictures as i dont use the print service from SM. There is quiet a few of us from Australia on SM and while i have been happy it will now cost me something like $192. Maybe i too should start looking for another host, i can understand and dont mind a $10 rise, but when talking a $50 rise is a bit steep and might put a lot of people off.

    John
    BBJ
    :cry
  • CameronCameron Major grins Salt Lake City, UTRegistered Users Posts: 745 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    BBJ wrote:
    Hi All, Ok well this was my first photo hosting site and have been happy with it. I went straight onto the pro account as liked the features, but as i live in Australia and i think it cost me around the $125 mark when i joined a few months ago i could justify this cost although i dont upload large files i always downsize my pictures as i dont use the print service from SM. There is quiet a few of us from Australia on SM and while i have been happy it will now cost me something like $192. Maybe i too should start looking for another host, i can understand and dont mind a $10 rise, but when talking a $50 rise is a bit steep and might put a lot of people off.

    John
    BBJ
    :cry
    If you're not using the print service at all, you're really not gaining much by having the pro account and you could downgrade to the Power account and save $50 (or $90 with the new prices). It would be better than leaving because you couldn't afford the pro account. ne_nau.gif
  • BBJBBJ Big grins Registered Users Posts: 22 Big grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    Ok well with the lower account does it give control to protect your images like watermarking like the pro account?
  • Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in Residence Registered Users Posts: 3,165 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    Some perspective?
    I host my own site. I pay about a hundred dollars a month for a DSL line, static IP address, and permission to run servers.

    I pay for the electricity to have it running 24/7.

    I do all my own web design and engineering, if it's not working right, I have to figure out why and then devise a way to get it working. If I want new features, I have build them. I have a few features planned that I am just waiting for time and creativity to join forces before I can design and implement.

    I pay for upgrading the equipment, repairs, and software upgrades.

    Print fullfilment for me is all manual. I get the order, I have to find and prep the image, send it off to the printer, QC it when it gets back, and then ship to the customer. That takes time and money too.

    You smugmugers have it easy, irregardless of what the other hosting sites are doing or charging. Keeping a site like smugmug running is a freaking amount of work and expense. And the crew is obviously customer centric and doing what they need to to keep the site and service at high levels. That is worth something in my book and in my experience.
    Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
    "Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
  • ginger_55ginger_55 Crazy Creek Babe Registered Users Posts: 8,416 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    I just woke up an hour ago.

    I want to ask one thing, I am thinking about, because it mother's day sunday, and I have two daughters, who are mothers........

    Are the people who get accts now, or have accts, going to be grandfathered in?

    The reason I ask is because I was thinking, not for sure, but thinking about giving the lowest, cheapest acct, as a Mother's Day present to each daughter/mother...............but only if it is grandfathered in.

    Otherwise, well, I guess I would just wait for them to get their own accts, somewhere. And that may not happen. The actual only way they are going to have accts, that I know of, is if it is given to them, and they find, tru use, that it is of benefit.

    I do like smugmug best, and I would like them to try this before anything else.
    However, I do not want to "spoil" them with a smugmug acct that they are then going to want, but have to pay more for.

    I don't know if that makes any sense, but I do like to give presents that are of benefit that people would not get themselves. (Drives them nuts) This would be one. It would be a big gift for me to give on Mother's Day, as I don't usually give anything.

    That is the only thing I do want to know. I know this is not a support area, really, for smugmug, but I don't know if you all have this knowledge about the grandfathering set over on smugmug.

    ginger (I will try not to post here, on this thread, all day re any more personal concerns) Thank You.
    After all is said and done, it is the sweet tea.
  • Steve CaviglianoSteve Cavigliano SmugFlash Super Moderators Posts: 3,599 moderator
    edited May 3, 2005
    ginger_55 wrote:
    I just woke up an hour ago.

    I want to ask one thing, I am thinking about, because it mother's day sunday, and I have two daughters, who are mothers........

    Are the people who get accts now, or have accts, going to be grandfathered in?

    The reason I ask is because I was thinking, not for sure, but thinking about giving the lowest, cheapest acct, as a Mother's Day present to each daughter/mother...............but only if it is grandfathered in.

    Otherwise, well, I guess I would just wait for them to get their own accts, somewhere. And that may not happen. The actual only way they are going to have accts, that I know of, is if it is given to them, and they find, tru use, that it is of benefit.

    I do like smugmug best, and I would like them to try this before anything else.
    However, I do not want to "spoil" them with a smugmug acct that they are then going to want, but have to pay more for.

    I don't know if that makes any sense, but I do like to give presents that are of benefit that people would not get themselves. (Drives them nuts) This would be one. It would be a big gift for me to give on Mother's Day, as I don't usually give anything.

    That is the only thing I do want to know. I know this is not a support area, really, for smugmug, but I don't know if you all have this knowledge about the grandfathering set over on smugmug.

    ginger (I will try not to post here, on this thread, all day re any more personal concerns) Thank You.
    Ginger,
    The way I read it, if you sign up for a new account, or renew your existing account (due or not), within the next 30 days or so, you'll get today's prices for at least the next 12 month period (these additional months can be added on to your existing account's remaining months).

    If that's true, you can give gifts at the old price (within the next 30 days) and/or pay for another 12 months on your Pro acct for $99. As much as they'd like to keep older users grandfathered, I wouldn't bet on anything beyond one year's worth ne_nau.gif

    A few posts back I read where you wrote "I don't NEED photography". I beg to differ. It may be a PITA and frustrating at times, but I can feel your excitement when reading some of your posts. Sounds to me like this is one of the things in your life you really enjoy. Do what you need to do to keep this enjoyment in your life. Is it a want or a need? Semantics aside, you really do NEED this hobby :D

    Steve
    SmugMug Support Hero
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CARegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 19,160 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    I host my own site. I pay about a hundred dollars a month for a DSL line, static IP address, and permission to run servers.

    I pay for the electricity to have it running 24/7.

    I do all my own web design and engineering, if it's not working right, I have to figure out why and then devise a way to get it working. If I want new features, I have build them. I have a few features planned that I am just waiting for time and creativity to join forces before I can design and implement.

    I pay for upgrading the equipment, repairs, and software upgrades.

    Print fullfilment for me is all manual. I get the order, I have to find and prep the image, send it off to the printer, QC it when it gets back, and then ship to the customer. That takes time and money too.

    Why?
    Moderator Emeritus
    Dgrin FAQ | Me | Workshops
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CARegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 19,160 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    BTW, Shay:

    I took a look at your site. Very nice, well done.
    Moderator Emeritus
    Dgrin FAQ | Me | Workshops
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Mountain View, CaRegistered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 2,853 moderator
    edited May 3, 2005
    This is probably unmentionable but if you don't ask you don't know...

    We get a lot of JPEG 12 images, which means they basically have no compression. If we stored them as JPEG 10, they'd be 1/3rd the size. Research shows that no one, not even with a fine eye, a lupe, and images with hard lines, can tell the difference between a print made from 10 or 12.

    Trouble is, we then couldn't claim we store the unaltered original. And Photoshop books and forums tend to focus on no loss in compression so we'd be battling years of accumulated perception. And hence the reason we've never mentioned it.

    It's just one factor in costs so we probably couldn't reflect it in pricing, but with 21,000,000 images online it's a big factor in costs and speed in processing images.
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CARegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 19,160 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    Baldy wrote:
    This is probably unmentionable but if you don't ask you don't know...

    We get a lot of JPEG 12 images, which means they basically have no compression. If we stored them as JPEG 10, they'd be 1/3rd the size. Research shows that no one, not even with a fine eye, a lupe, and images with hard lines, can tell the difference between a print made from 10 or 12.

    Trouble is, we then couldn't claim we store the unaltered original. And Photoshop books and forums tend to focus on no loss in compression so we'd be battling years of accumulated perception. And hence the reason we've never mentioned it.

    It's just one factor in costs so we probably couldn't reflect it in pricing, but with 21,000,000 images online it's a big factor in costs and speed in processing images.

    I'm glad you mentioned it here. I saw an earlier mention you made of this, and changed my jpeg settings accordingly.
    Moderator Emeritus
    Dgrin FAQ | Me | Workshops
  • winnjewettwinnjewett Major grins Registered Users Posts: 329 Major grins
    edited May 3, 2005
    Baldy wrote:
    We get a lot of JPEG 12 images, which means they basically have no compression. If we stored them as JPEG 10, they'd be 1/3rd the size. Research shows that no one, not even with a fine eye, a lupe, and images with hard lines, can tell the difference between a print made from 10 or 12.
    What is the corrolation between the 1 to 12 scale and the 100% scale? Is it linear? Or is it something else?

    -Winn
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