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Zenfolio vs. Smugmug

Ekaterina S , Apr 08, 2012; 01:14 a.m.

Hello, everyone!
I've tried both for 2 weeks, and, honestly, don't see that big of a difference for a beginner pro, except Smugmug has a better visitor tracking system, which is not all that important after all, though it is a nice feature to have. I was thinking of starting with a basic package for a year, and then upgrade to a pro, when I am more confident in my client base. What are the most obvious pros and cons?
Thank you!


Jeremy Richter , Apr 08, 2012; 01:23 p.m.

I use Zenfolio (here) because I felt that it fit my style better, plus with the premium package, I was able to customize some things and remove the Zenfolio branding like I wanted. Zenfolio continually improves their product, and now has added a blog feature, but I'm too invested in my current blog setup to change over now.

Omari Stephens , Apr 08, 2012; 05:54 p.m.

Another Zenfolio user here. I really like the breadth of customizations that they allow and enable. In my experience (which may be biased), SmugMug sites tend to have a "look" — I'll see them and think "oh, SmugMug." Zenfolio sites tend to be a lot more diverse. For instance, here's an exhibition of mine, my friend's site, and my other friend's site. All three are hosted on Zenfolio, but each one looks pretty distinct (and Jeremy's site looks different still). That isn't to say that they don't have any common design features — they certainly do — but the vast majority of the design is flexible. You have the freedom to create something that's your own, and that's tailored to your specific purpose(s) and target audience(s).
Also, strongly agree with Jeremy about the active development cycle; that was one of the things that drew me to Zenfolio in the first place. They also have a very active forum community, with frequent contributions and responses by Zenfolio employees.

John Hill , Apr 09, 2012; 01:03 a.m.

Smugmug and Zenfolio seem to be the favorites on these forums. I never tried Zenfolio, so I can't give you any feedback on it. When I began my search for a website, the majority of photographers told me Smugmug, so I went with them and I have been very pleased with their service. Have used them since 2007 and sold over a thousand prints/products to clients with no complaints so far! They offer 2 printing companies. One for custom printing and product gifts and another company for even higher quality printing. I have always used their basic printing company (EZ Prints) and clients have been satisfied. For superior printing they offer Bay Photo.

PS...Here is another link comparing websites and Smugmug was very popular- http://photo.net/business-photography-forum/00YgL7

Scott Frindel Cole , Apr 09, 2012; 08:59 p.m.

At Smugmug you can customize your website to your desire

Except that the size of your main page's photo is limited. Very annoying to be limited to small photos.

John Hill , Apr 09, 2012; 09:20 p.m.

Scott Cole,
FYI- You might want to check the website you have listed. I wanted to see if you had a large main page photo and the link does not work- Personal home page: http://scottcolephotography.com
I got this when using Firefox and Safari: Sorry, the website scottcolephotography.com cannot be found

Monika Epsefass , Apr 10, 2012; 02:57 a.m.

except Smugmug has a better visitor tracking system

Zenfolio is linked to Google Analytics, so their tracking system is quite precise as well. I use Zenfolio for the variety of customization they permit (as someone else has mentioned above already)

James Mickley , Apr 07, 2013; 07:59 p.m.

I'd recommend Zenfolio too! I think Zenfolio is great, been using it for years too. I particularly think that it's very visually appealing compared to some competitors like Smugmug, the display is clean and simple, and my clients find it very easy to use.

I find it really easy to work with as well, especially because of the export plugins in Lightroom, Aperture, etc. And just about anything is customizable.

You can get a 10% discount with a coupon code, there are several good ones at zenfoliocoupon.net

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