Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Rangefinder Forum > RFF Polls

View Poll Results: So... how is Photoshelter's site hosting and customer service?
Rant: I Love Photoshelter 0 0%
Pretty Classy 2 12.50%
Meh 5 31.25%
Uh, I had a horrible time with it. 1 6.25%
I'm really just a troll, so nothing good will come of anything. 8 50.00%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes

Opinions on Photoshelter?
Old 04-26-2012   #1
christian.rudman
digital to analog convert
 
christian.rudman's Avatar
 
christian.rudman is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: ATX
Posts: 100
Opinions on Photoshelter?

My Wordpress-run site that was hosted by a former manager and friend was taken off his server, so now I am in need of a new website and hosting service. I really like what I am seeing of Photoshelter's offered services and have been appreciative of everything I have seen from Allen Murabayashi, the CEO and co-founder, in terms of his views on photography and his expressions on the medium. (see his blog on Rant: I Love Photography)

Seeing people like that in charge of a photo portfolio service makes me seriously inclined to taking the dive on a membership with them, but I was curious about RFFer's experiences with the site and it's services.

I'm assuming in this mass of photographers someone has a photoshelter site, care to share some about your experience?
(a link to your example site would be ace too)
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-27-2012   #2
christian.rudman
digital to analog convert
 
christian.rudman's Avatar
 
christian.rudman is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: ATX
Posts: 100
Really? Out of 300+ viewers nothing?
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-27-2012   #3
Gabriel M.A.
My Red Dot Glows For You
 
Gabriel M.A.'s Avatar
 
Gabriel M.A. is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Paris, Frons
Posts: 9,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by christian.rudman View Post
Really? Out of 300+ viewers nothing?
I clicked on the link, and saw a whole page that really didn't quite match-up with your question, and it was confusing -- I think this is why you're not getting a response as you expected.

The page you linked talks about one thing but not about the website itself as to why this would be a good choice for photographers.

Now, I don't use them, and actually have developed (and hosted) my own solutions. But then I moved and I don't have room for my server, making me look for alternatives.

I have Joe's problem with finding the "perfect bag": I have a problem finding "the perfect hosting solution". The ones that let you do most of what you want (i.e. "experts") are cheaper, but also more time-consuming because, well, you're building your own.

Then there are some that smack to me as being over-hyped highway robbery. To be honest, looking at the prices for PhotoShelter, $30x12 = $360/yr as a reasonable solution is just too high. For me.

Smugmug (see here) is cheaper and has no storage limits. But it's also so flexible that you may have a hard time getting exactly what you want, unless you also go with one of their templates (which is what you have to use at Photoshelter anyway).

It's a bit like buying a car: if you know what you want, and know your budget, you have to do a lot of shopping. One difference (other than cars are not photography sites) is that you don't get to talk your price down.
__________________
Big wig wisdom: "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" --Harry Warner, of Warner Bros., 1927

Fellow RFF member: I respect your bandwidth by not posting images larger than 800px on the longest side, and by removing image in a quote.
Together we can combat bandwidth waste (and image scrolling).



My Flickr | (one of) My Portfolio
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-27-2012   #4
christian.rudman
digital to analog convert
 
christian.rudman's Avatar
 
christian.rudman is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: ATX
Posts: 100
Thanks for the reply!

The link was just an indication of why I feel inclined to help support this man and his business while simultaneously supporting my own though what appears to be a great service.

I'm not linking photoshelter because I am not looking for people who have not used the service to check it out and give me their first impressions. I have already stated my impressions from snooping around a bit.

I am specifically looking for anyone who has used photoshelter to host their own site and have something to say about the service that can't be garnered from the home page.

It's appearing as though not a whole lot of RFFers have used the service, or the ones who have are just not looking at this thread, so I'll just be doing some more research on my own. I was just hoping for some solid opinions...

Thank you for yours Gabriel, I will be looking into smugmug and zenfolio a bit more too.
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-27-2012   #5
Sparrow
Stewart McBride
 
Sparrow's Avatar
 
Sparrow is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Perfidious Albion
Age: 62
Posts: 11,127
I voted, but didn't understand the question really
__________________
Regards Stewart

Stewart McBride



You’re only young once, but one can always be immature.

flickr stuff
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-27-2012   #6
thirtyfivefifty
Noctilust survivor
 
thirtyfivefifty is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: 대한민국
Posts: 255
Meh........
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-27-2012   #7
christian.rudman
digital to analog convert
 
christian.rudman's Avatar
 
christian.rudman is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: ATX
Posts: 100
Man, I must be mincing words in here, I wasn't expecting brain surgery for the answer.

If you have used
photoshelter.com's service, how would you rate your experience?
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-27-2012   #8
dannynono
Survey sez....
 
dannynono's Avatar
 
dannynono is offline
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: metro DC
Age: 48
Posts: 103
I tried the service when it opened a couple years back, and it seemed nice (their upload process and light table, as I recall were positives), but even their lowest tier service was more expensive than SM - which is what I ultimately signed onto.
__________________
- Harland


condensed gallery: smugmug
non-condensed: flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-27-2012   #9
christian.rudman
digital to analog convert
 
christian.rudman's Avatar
 
christian.rudman is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: ATX
Posts: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannynono View Post
I tried the service when it opened a couple years back, and it seemed nice (their upload process and light table, as I recall were positives), but even their lowest tier service was more expensive than SM - which is what I ultimately signed onto.
That is an awesome shot that first popped up on your smugmug of the girl kicking with the band-aid on her knee! Truly wonderful image!

I was definitely noticing the price, as that is a huge consideration. But I was looking at it also that the photoshelter service is not a branded deal, it's all your own stuff and no "hosted by photoshelter" tags or logos floating around on your pages. I'm not even in this for the money, so I would be paying $25 bucks a month to display my images and site for my own enjoyment rather that monetary benefit. All of this does add up to a pretty big deal per year...

I am really loving how I have more people voting in on the troll choice. Oh you RFFers...
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-27-2012   #10
celluloidprop
Registered User
 
celluloidprop is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 882
A domain name is $10/year, you can find hosting suitable for photography for ~$10/month, Wordpress installations are one-click (alternately, Indexhibit or other gallery options are available for your own hosting). If you can find and modify a photo theme you like, you should be able to get by for a third of the Photoshelter price with much more space for uploading.

If you don't mind the cost for ease of use (perfectly understandable), then Photoshelter looks like an excellent option to me. Smugmug doesn't seem to be its equal for a professional looking portfolio site, IMO.
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-27-2012   #11
KevinS
Registered User
 
KevinS is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rocky Coast of Maine
Posts: 37
Hi,

I've been a PS user for several years and I'm quite happy with them. It is a bit expensive, but I am semi-pro and use my site to show and deliver images to paying customers. PhotoShelter is in the process of mopping up after a rework of the "back end" functions of the site that caused problems for some users and much grumbling. I was not affected much, but that may be due to a low level of activity from customers right now. I get a smattering of print sales and some stock sales from the site.

To answer your questions- For hosting my site they are good for my needs. The set up was easy, even for someone who has trouble with email sometimes. The templates look ok to me, and I chose one that does what I need it to do. I tried a "customized" site for a while by modifying a template, but returned to a "Theme" (template) for a good reason I've since forgotten. Some users do integrate with their Wordpress sites, but that is something I know nothing about. Some of those users did experience some issues with the new back end changes. Customer service is good IMO. They have been stretched to the limit with the recent change, but I can still say that they are responsive.

They used to offer a free site with a small amount of storage. I think that gives you access to the user forum as well as a way to try things out. I started with that, then got a Standard account. Over the years they have increased storage twice with no price increase. I am now at 100GB for $329/yr, enough for 10,000 of my images (not there yet).

Last edited by KevinS : 04-27-2012 at 18:24. Reason: Add more info
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-30-2012   #12
christian.rudman
digital to analog convert
 
christian.rudman's Avatar
 
christian.rudman is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: ATX
Posts: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by celluloidprop View Post
A domain name is $10/year, you can find hosting suitable for photography for ~$10/month, Wordpress installations are one-click (alternately, Indexhibit or other gallery options are available for your own hosting). If you can find and modify a photo theme you like, you should be able to get by for a third of the Photoshelter price with much more space for uploading.

If you don't mind the cost for ease of use (perfectly understandable), then Photoshelter looks like an excellent option to me. Smugmug doesn't seem to be its equal for a professional looking portfolio site, IMO.
Already have the domain name (see first post), have used Wordpress for a while, and realize that there are cheaper alternatives when you DIY. I plan on spending some time getting to know CSS and HTML for modifying and maintaining my site, but I am not knowledgeable to really customize the way I would desire it to be. Additionally, I find some features like a client portal with FTP upload/download highly desirable, the built in selling tools are a plus (although not necessary), but I would like a bit more storage space available. I'll be looking into my options on the DIY front, but this was sounding like a good deal when you paired hosting costs with the features provided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
Hi,

I've been a PS user for several years and I'm quite happy with them. It is a bit expensive, but I am semi-pro and use my site to show and deliver images to paying customers. PhotoShelter is in the process of mopping up after a rework of the "back end" functions of the site that caused problems for some users and much grumbling. I was not affected much, but that may be due to a low level of activity from customers right now. I get a smattering of print sales and some stock sales from the site.

To answer your questions- For hosting my site they are good for my needs. The set up was easy, even for someone who has trouble with email sometimes. The templates look ok to me, and I chose one that does what I need it to do. I tried a "customized" site for a while by modifying a template, but returned to a "Theme" (template) for a good reason I've since forgotten. Some users do integrate with their Wordpress sites, but that is something I know nothing about. Some of those users did experience some issues with the new back end changes. Customer service is good IMO. They have been stretched to the limit with the recent change, but I can still say that they are responsive.

They used to offer a free site with a small amount of storage. I think that gives you access to the user forum as well as a way to try things out. I started with that, then got a Standard account. Over the years they have increased storage twice with no price increase. I am now at 100GB for $329/yr, enough for 10,000 of my images (not there yet).
Thank you for the review! This is exactly what I was hoping for in this post. I was really curious about the backend and the customer support, so it's good to hear that both are addressed. It's also nice to hear there are issues so my ideas about PhotoShelter are not just floating above reality.

I personally would be integrating with a Wordpress site, as I plan on doing a fair bit of blogging, and would also be attempting to do a customized site.

I am curious what a "smattering" amounts to in terms of how often you see sales come through. Additionally, do you have them send the printing out for you or do you handle it yourself?

Thanks again for the reply!
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-30-2012   #13
KevinS
Registered User
 
KevinS is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rocky Coast of Maine
Posts: 37
For years, a number of users asked for "nested galleries" on the public side of their websites like the nested folders on the admin side. It required a structural change, I guess, and that was done. You just happened to ask about PhotoShelter during a time of their biggest change, so they are working on "bugs" and increased custom service for now. I've gotten to like the new system and I think PS will continue to meet my needs.

I'm happy to share with you the level of customer activity I get, but that won't really translate into anything meaningful on another site. I say that since there are differences in the quantity, style, subject matter and quality of the photos between sites, and more importantly, differences in how photographers use their sites. I sent slides to customers for twenty years (including this one) and now direct them to my site. Sadly, there are fewer now as publishers cut back (& some go under). Some friends of mine will buy a print now and then as do visitors to my site. Both print sales and licenses have been finalized outside the PS system, by phone or email after the images were seen on my website. I'd love it if some automatic (credit card) sales happened, but they haven't yet. Other users on PS report CC sales on the forums, but I don't think it is common for stock (as opposed to event photographers). The selling tools were important to me at first, but less so now. It costs nothing extra for me to have them. I probably do 10 - 12 licenses a year and the same number of prints. So far this year I sold three large prints, two of which were ruined by a framer the customer was using, so I sold replacements. This week a local business owner ordered a print of the old family home. I'll ask him how he found the image as I don't yet advertise my site. That will happen after I get a greater number of images on it and perhaps then the economy will be brighter. PS set up a network of printers which I tried, but I recently switched to self-fulfillment and I make prints up to 13 x 19 using Claria inks.
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-01-2012   #14
christian.rudman
digital to analog convert
 
christian.rudman's Avatar
 
christian.rudman is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: ATX
Posts: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
For years, a number of users asked for "nested galleries" on the public side of their websites like the nested folders on the admin side. It required a structural change, I guess, and that was done. You just happened to ask about PhotoShelter during a time of their biggest change, so they are working on "bugs" and increased custom service for now. I've gotten to like the new system and I think PS will continue to meet my needs.
It's good to hear they are developing the site as per user feedback. After looking at several different options in hosting+site management(zenfolio, foliolink, etc)+integrated distribution methods+design options it is really looking like Photoshelter is one of my favorite available services. I will be digging a little more before taking a dive in any direction, but I am having a hard time finding all those options combined for less than the Photoshelter rates. Hell, foliolink is almost the same price without the hosting and integrated services.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
I'm happy to share with you the level of customer activity I get, but that won't really translate into anything meaningful on another site. I say that since there are differences in the quantity, style, subject matter and quality of the photos between sites, and more importantly, differences in how photographers use their sites. I sent slides to customers for twenty years (including this one) and now direct them to my site. Sadly, there are fewer now as publishers cut back (& some go under). Some friends of mine will buy a print now and then as do visitors to my site. Both print sales and licenses have been finalized outside the PS system, by phone or email after the images were seen on my website. I'd love it if some automatic (credit card) sales happened, but they haven't yet. Other users on PS report CC sales on the forums, but I don't think it is common for stock (as opposed to event photographers). The selling tools were important to me at first, but less so now. It costs nothing extra for me to have them. I probably do 10 - 12 licenses a year and the same number of prints. So far this year I sold three large prints, two of which were ruined by a framer the customer was using, so I sold replacements. This week a local business owner ordered a print of the old family home. I'll ask him how he found the image as I don't yet advertise my site. That will happen after I get a greater number of images on it and perhaps then the economy will be brighter. PS set up a network of printers which I tried, but I recently switched to self-fulfillment and I make prints up to 13 x 19 using Claria inks.
I was not looking for my site to be a money maker for me thankfully, I am just looking for a great portfolio site solution and the integrated sales options are a plus. It is good however to see that there are sales that filter through occasionally. I have a local lab that is just fantastic, and I will probably be using them for fulfillment of orders that come through my site.

I'll be letting you know what happens over the next couple weeks and hopefully I will have a link to a new site!

Thanks for the opinions Kevin!
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-01-2012   #15
KevinS
Registered User
 
KevinS is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rocky Coast of Maine
Posts: 37
You're welcome, Christian. I was hoping to hear from other RFF members with PhotoShelter websites about the new system. Maybe I'm the only one!
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-17-2012   #16
jonasv
has no mustache
 
jonasv's Avatar
 
jonasv is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 915
I'm quite happy with Zenfolio so far, although I am only building my site yet. It has less options than PhotoShelter but it looks like it may be more than enough for your needs at a much less expensive price tag.
__________________
www.jonasvincken.com
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 00:04.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.