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Photographer
Ezhini
Posts: 1,590
Wichita, Kansas, US


Has any of you migrated from SmugMug to Zenfolio?
Please share your experience pros /cons ...

I am considering to move from SmugMug to Zenfolio. Any and all input from those with any experience with Zen folio would be of great help to me.

Some areas in which I would like to hear your experiences:

1. price
2. print quality
3. response time/shipping on orders
4. tech support when something does not work as it should
5. customer care/service in general
6. products available
7. if migrated from Smugmug to Zen folio, how did that go?

Thanks in advance.
Oct 04 12 10:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,571
Portland, Oregon, US


Ezhini wrote:
Has any of you migrated from SmugMug to Zenfolio?
Please share your experience pros /cons ...

I am considering to move from SmugMug to Zenfolio. Any and all input from those with any experience with Zen folio would be of great help to me.

Some areas in which I would like to hear your experiences:

1. price
2. print quality
3. response time/shipping on orders
4. tech support when something does not work as it should
5. customer care/service in general
6. products available
7. if migrated from Smugmug to Zen folio, how did that go?

Thanks in advance.

I've bee with Zenfolio over 2 years.

1) Price - I've been pretty happy with.  I'm using the Premium level that I believe is $120/year.

In addition to price, I consider the discount rate/fees a part of price, and I've found that more and more customers want digital files.  Zenfolio is head and shoulders above SmugMug, both in options for digital delivery AND discount rate that is SIGNIFICANTLY less than Smug.

2) Print quality is very good, I have not had a single complaint from a customer regarding quality.

3) Quick response, and orders ship promptly.  I don't think I've ever had an order take more than a (business) day before it mails, and customers receive them quickly, even with first class USPS.

4) Tech support is pretty quick and responsive.
5) Customer care/service - quick, responsive.  Many suggestions I've made have been implemented.  No complaints.
6) No problems with products available. With self-fulfillment option, ANYTHING I want to offer is possible, but pretty much anything I need is already available through them.
7) I did not migrate, I tried both places and went with Zen because I preferred it.

My referral code for Zenfolio is Z4N-DTA-G4N - if you use it they will give you 10% off your first year at whatever level you select.  (They also give me a credit for the full amount of the discount they give you, so we both win!!)

Oct 04 12 10:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tricolorkittie
Posts: 113
Jacksonville, Florida, US


Ezhini wrote:
Has any of you migrated from SmugMug to Zenfolio?
Please share your experience pros /cons ...

I am considering to move from SmugMug to Zenfolio. Any and all input from those with any experience with Zen folio would be of great help to me.

Some areas in which I would like to hear your experiences:

1. price
2. print quality
3. response time/shipping on orders
4. tech support when something does not work as it should
5. customer care/service in general
6. products available
7. if migrated from Smugmug to Zen folio, how did that go?

Thanks in advance.

I'm also very interested in the answers to this as I hated smugmug but have heard good things about Zenfolio.

Oct 04 12 10:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DCS Photography
Posts: 799
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


DougBPhoto wrote:

I've bee with Zenfolio over 2 years.

1) Price - I've been pretty happy with.  I'm using the Premium level that I believe is $120/year.

In addition to price, I consider the discount rate/fees a part of price, and I've found that more and more customers want digital files.  Zenfolio is head and shoulders above SmugMug, both in options for digital delivery AND discount rate that is SIGNIFICANTLY less than Smug.

2) Print quality is very good, I have not had a single complaint from a customer regarding quality.

3) Quick response, and orders ship promptly.  I don't think I've ever had an order take more than a (business) day before it mails, and customers receive them quickly, even with first class USPS.

4) Tech support is pretty quick and responsive.
5) Customer care/service - quick, responsive.  Many suggestions I've made have been implemented.  No complaints.
6) No problems with products available. With self-fulfillment option, ANYTHING I want to offer is possible, but pretty much anything I need is already available through them.
7) I did not migrate, I tried both places and went with Zen because I preferred it.

pretty much my experience in a nutshell

Oct 04 12 10:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ezhini
Posts: 1,590
Wichita, Kansas, US


DougBPhoto wrote:
I've bee with Zenfolio over 2 years.

...
In addition to price, I consider the discount rate/fees a part of price, and I've found that more and more customers want digital files.  Zenfolio is head and shoulders above SmugMug, both in options for digital delivery AND discount rate that is SIGNIFICANTLY less than Smug.
...

Doug,

Thanks for the quick and relevant reply.

When you say "discount rate/fees" are you referring to a way in which you can give your customwers discounts?

SmugMug has a functionality in which you can set up coupons for any % rebate, from your standard prices, that you choose for your customers, and you can set up these rebate coupons separately for each gallery of images that you have.

Is this what you are talking about?

If I decide to go with Zenfolio, I surely will put your number on there: Your First Responder Savings.  smile

Oct 04 12 10:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,571
Portland, Oregon, US


Ezhini wrote:
Doug,

Thanks for the quick and relevant reply.

When you say "discount rate/fees" are you referring to a way in whch you can give your customwers discounts?

SmugMug has a fuinctionality in which you can set up coupons for any % rebate, from your standard prices, that you choose for your customers. and you can set these up separately for each gallery of images that you have.

Is this what you are talking about?

If I decide to go with Zenfolio, I surely will out your number on there: Your First Responder Savings.  smile

No, "discount rate/fees" meaning that sites like SmugMug and Zenfolio charge you processing fees on your orders in addition to the cost of whatever product your customer purchases.  These fees are part of how they make their money and also cover the credit card transaction fees.

Last I checked, Smugmug takes 15% on all orders...  Zenfolio takes 8% of digital orders fulfilled on site (12% on prints/others).

What you're talking about sounds like "coupons", and yes, Zenfolio has that feature with many options of how to implement them.

When I made my choice, I tried both and found Zenfolio far more intuitive for me and much easier to use.

Oct 04 12 10:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ezhini
Posts: 1,590
Wichita, Kansas, US


DougBPhoto wrote:

No, "discount rate/fees" meaning that sites like SmugMug and Zenfolio charge you processing fees on your orders in addition to the cost of whatever product your customer purchases.  These fees are part of how they make their money and also cover the credit card transaction fees.

Last I checked, Smugmug takes 15% on all orders...  Zenfolio takes 8% of digital orders fulfilled on site (12% on prints/others).

What you're talking about sounds like "coupons", and yes, Zenfolio has that feature with many options of how to implement them.

When I made my choice, I tried both and found Zenfolio far more intuitive for me and much easier to use.

Got it. Thanks for the explanation.

Oct 04 12 10:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sichenze Photography
Posts: 269
Front Royal, Virginia, US


Thanks, I have been thinking the same thing....I have been on Smug a while now and they have promised a lot but have not always come thru.
Oct 04 12 10:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,571
Portland, Oregon, US


Zenfolio is not perfect, for example, I think it is idiotic that they expect us to pay more money to provide additional order-handling options such as canceling a customer's order, in other words, we do their customer service/client support work for them and have to pay for the privilege.

That said, if I have a problem, I just email them and make them do it, and they do it pretty promptly, so for me it is more a matter of principle than an actual problem.

I have not tried any of their Lightroom plug-in's, but I have used a 3rd party app called "Photo Guru" which allows me to select a master folder with nested folders and it uploads the whole thing and duplicates the structure on the site, which is wonderfully convenient.
Oct 04 12 02:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
CBAPhoto
Posts: 247
Sparks, Nevada, US


While I'm sure it can be said that no service is perfect for everyone, I've been with Zen for several years and can claim 99% satisfaction with them. I've never heard anything from any of my print clients as far as complaints, and frankly, THAT'S the biggest concern I have after the photos have been uploaded. As long as the clients are happy, I'm happy. smile
Oct 04 12 02:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chris Chua
Posts: 135
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


I tested smugmugs site, it was ok, fairly simple to use. I then tested Zenfolio and found it more user friendly to my needs, which is the direction I went. Customer support has always been helpful and super fast in their response. Never once exceeding 24 hours to get back to me. No complaints so far.
Oct 04 12 03:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jhono Bashian
Posts: 2,428
Cleveland, Ohio, US


Chris Chua wrote:
I tested smugmugs site, it was ok, fairly simple to use. I then tested Zenfolio and found it more user friendly to my needs, which is the direction I went. Customer support has always been helpful and super fast in their response. Never once exceeding 24 hours to get back to me. No complaints so far.

good to know, I'm very interested in Zenfolio too

Oct 04 12 03:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bob Helm Photography
Posts: 18,104
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US


Been with Zenfolio for three years and it gets better every year with options for packages, discounts and coupons for customers and quick service. Most importantly MY customers have no complaints.
Oct 04 12 04:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Troy Tribble
Posts: 247
Greenville, South Carolina, US


Ezhini wrote:
Has any of you migrated from SmugMug to Zenfolio?
Please share your experience pros /cons ...

I am considering to move from SmugMug to Zenfolio. Any and all input from those with any experience with Zen folio would be of great help to me.

Some areas in which I would like to hear your experiences:

1. price
2. print quality
3. response time/shipping on orders
4. tech support when something does not work as it should
5. customer care/service in general
6. products available
7. if migrated from Smugmug to Zen folio, how did that go?

Thanks in advance.

Here is my Referral Code: HQF-U9P-C7Z if you decide to go with Zenfolio. smile

Oct 04 12 04:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
StephenJC
Posts: 77
Pawling, New York, US


I just wrote a really long post and something happen to it. I'm not doing that again. But quickly, this is want I really like about Zenfolio.
1) No Branding on your webpage. Client's think it's your own site, and don't see Zenfolio until they place an order.
2) Blind shipping. Client's don't know who your processor is so they can't price shop.
3)Mpix and Mpix Pro. They use Mpix with is a division of Millers which has an awesome reputation
4) Custom price lists and coupons
5) Client can adjust cropping at check out.
6) You can can opt to approve orders manually so non-computer savvy clients who don't crop their photos, don't end up with photos with tops of heads missing.
7) customer service has been great. (from my experience)

Any other questions, please email me.
Oct 04 12 04:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cassill Photography
Posts: 3
Kent, Ohio, US


Just signed up with SmugMug Pro for a year, got 50% off, so, the risk is less, at $150 for the first year.   We'll see if we stay with them a year from now?!?!?!?!  :-)
Mar 31 13 12:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Will Snizek Photography
Posts: 1,387
Beckley, West Virginia, US


SmugMug has issues with quality prints.  I do know that from experience.
Mar 31 13 12:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,549
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


I'm really glad I found this thread.

I've been with Smugmug for several years now and just got the notice that to renew my account next month is $250 which is very unappealing considering little, if anything, has really been done to their site since I've started with them.

I am looking into Zenfolio but was wondering:

1. What is the difference between their two packages and do you consider the upgrade to their larger account worth it?

2. Are you able to customize the galleries? On Smugmug, I can insert the client header or logo on their gallery to brand their photos which is a big selling bonus for me when talking to a potential client. Can you do this with Zenfolio?
Apr 24 13 01:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ACPhotography
Posts: 8,606
Plainview, New York, US


I was with Zenfolio for a while and then went to Smugmug and I'm in the process of considering the switch, I just signed up for a free 2 week trial.

Doug and I were talking about this yesterday.... I rely very heavily on the Lightroom plug-in for SM... Yes Zen has one but it's a 3rd party and it's not really the greatest.

I like having the ability with SM to assign the password to the gallery as I'm uploading straight from LR, the Zen plug-in doesn't let you do this...

If I stay with SM I'm going to their 150 a year plan, I'll have to live with a single price list. My account is up for renewal on 5/1 so I need to decide soon...
Apr 24 13 01:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chicchowmein
Posts: 14,348
Palm Beach, Florida, US


I would like to hear if anyone has successfully migrated their galleries from Smugmug to Zenfolio.

I have been with Smugmug for several years and have never been happy with the customer service.

The only thing is I can see migrating to be a huge nightmare
Apr 24 13 01:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Will Snizek Photography
Posts: 1,387
Beckley, West Virginia, US


I cancelled my SmugMug account and might look for a similar site myself.  SmugMug was great until I ordered some prints from them and discovered how low quality their printing is.
Apr 24 13 01:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,571
Portland, Oregon, US


Shot By Adam wrote:
I'm really glad I found this thread.

I've been with Smugmug for several years now and just got the notice that to renew my account next month is $250 which is very unappealing considering little, if anything, has really been done to their site since I've started with them.

I am looking into Zenfolio but was wondering:

1. What is the difference between their two packages and do you consider the upgrade to their larger account worth it?

2. Are you able to customize the galleries? On Smugmug, I can insert the client header or logo on their gallery to brand their photos which is a big selling bonus for me when talking to a potential client. Can you do this with Zenfolio?

Adam:

1) I'm on the lower account, because the primary features in the upgraded account are primarily account tools that allow me to do things rather than requiring their support staff to do them, so IMHO, I should not pay extra to reduce their labor costs.  No way.

When I joined Zen, there was only one pro level, and I made a bunch of suggestions for enhancements, and when they launched them they did so with the more expensive upgrade... needless to say that did not please me.

2) I've never tried that, so I cannot say.  It probably can be done, not sure about the complexity.  If it is complex, someone should give them the suggestion, as I can think of one easy way for them to make that happen... SUPER easy, but does that exist yet, I don't know.

Apr 24 13 07:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,571
Portland, Oregon, US


Will Snizek wrote:
I cancelled my SmugMug account and might look for a similar site myself.  SmugMug was great until I ordered some prints from them and discovered how low quality their printing is.

In 3 years, I've never had a customer complain about the quality of the printing.

@ACPhotography  - talk to the developer of the plug-in, they are often very responsive.

@Chicchowmein  - I don't know of any easy way...

although, ACPhotography , does the SmugMug LR plug-in allow you to duplicate your SmugMug structure back onto your HD?   In which case, might it be possible to use the SM LR Plugin to download and keep your gallery structure, etc, and then use a Zen PlugIn to upload keeping structure in place.. might cut down on labor a LOT.

Apr 24 13 07:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Charlie-CNP
Posts: 2,584
New York, New York, US


Ezhini wrote:
1. price
2. print quality
3. response time/shipping on orders
4. tech support when something does not work as it should
5. customer care/service in general
6. products available
7. if migrated from Smugmug to Zen folio, how did that go?

Thanks in advance.

I use Zenfolio and it has made my life a lot easier and been great for me.

to answer your questions:

1. price

I also use the premium service, and I think it is a great value for what it offers.

2. print quality

spot on and never missed a beat especially since they partnered with mpix who I was using for things I had to send out before anyhow for non-commercial prints.

3. response time/shipping on orders

again, spot on. turn around is very quick within 3-5 business days from my experience.

4. tech support when something does not work as it should

never have I not received a reply within more than a day. They are quick and very helpful.

5. customer care/service in general

see number 4

6. products available

After they partnered with Mpix, the sky is the limit. The only thing that they don't have that I wish that they had is the ability to print on more experimental papers, but for what its worth I can do that on my own for fine art prints.

7. if migrated from Smugmug to Zen folio, how did that go?

I started with Zenfolio from the get go. Smugmug never looked or felt right to me honestly.  good luck in your transition!

Apr 24 13 07:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sensual Magic
Posts: 1,607
Upland, California, US


I have Zen, mainly for hosting. I was attracted to the name itself at first. 'Smugmug' does not sound attractive to me. I haven't sold any prints yet, so I can't comment on that, except that I see that the client cropping and configuration of prints is very good. Everything else about Zenfolio is supurb for my purposes. It is very well thought out. Must be a bunch of photographers in the design team, and it shows. I consider $120/year CHEAP for what you get.

http://cthompson.zenfolio.com/glamour
Apr 25 13 09:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,571
Portland, Oregon, US


Sensual Magic  wrote:
I have Zen, mainly for hosting. I was attracted to the name itself at first. 'Smugmug' does not sound attractive to me. I haven't sold any prints yet, so I can't comment on that, except that I see that the client cropping and configuration of prints is very good. Everything else about Zenfolio is supurb for my purposes. It is very well thought out. Must be a bunch of photographers in the design team, and it shows. I consider $120/year CHEAP for what you get.

http://cthompson.zenfolio.com/glamour

I have also found that they are pretty responsive in their support and even responding to requests for features.

One of the primary differences I have heard of is that Smugmug is okay with you trying to use their services as part of an online backup option, while Zenfolio is less fond of that premise.

I've been pretty happy with Zen, although I do wish they had a few more features for client proofing (such as ability to zoom on an image).

Apr 25 13 10:25 am  Link  Quote 
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