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Comparing portfolio website products

I’m putting together a list of companies that offer template-driven photographer portfolio website products.

It seems that all of them claim to have great SEO, to offer iPad and iPhone friendly html mirror sites, etc… I would love it if you all could comment on the list and add feedback from a user’s perspective (and also let me know what companies I overlooked).

I’m hoping this will be a useful resource for people navigating the many options out there.

http://jasminedefoore.com/photographer-portfolio-website-products-compared/

thanks!

jasmine

by [a former member] at 2010-07-02 16:04:04 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Jasmine,

you might get more of a response by not forcing people to register an account with your blog. Just a thought…

by Daniel Cuthbert | 02 Jul 2010 16:07 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
thanks for the feedback, i’ve received a fair amount of lame spam in the past, which is why I changed it to register

by [former member] | 02 Jul 2010 16:07 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
hi again daniel, thanks for pointing out the registration thing. I’ve changed it so you have to fill out name and email but not be registered.

by [former member] | 02 Jul 2010 16:07 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
Nitpicking: A Photo Folio requires an additional $17 monthly subscription on top of the initial $1000 fee; Graph Paper Press themes do start at $0 but only go up to $99 if you opt for the discounted one year “membership” which gives access to all themes and, more importantly, online support forums. It can cost more if you pay by quarterly installments. Their themes can integrate with PhotoShelter but don’t have to.

by DPC | 02 Jul 2010 17:07 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Re A Photo Folio . . . if you compare prices among portfolio websites, APF is actually a bargain. While the upfront cost at many other companies may be less, users end up paying $40-50 a month for their sites.

Best bet is to figure out the one, two and five year costs for a site from a particular company.

by PJ Heller | 03 Jul 2010 01:07 | Southern California, United States | | Report spam→
Like a lot of guys here, i’m with Photo Shelter. I took the 29,99/month package, 30 gig storage, enough for me for now as I prefer to use my own storage on Drobo HD. I heard everywhere that PS suppose to be the best at positioning your site (SEO), first page on google. I even took one of their webinars on this topic. But a guy i know, who’s a specialist at positioning website (he earn his life doing this) told me that PS have a lot less control on that then they pretend.

by Yves Choquette | 03 Jul 2010 03:07 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
The problem I have with a lot of the companies on my list is that their sites look very straight out of the box templatey. Unless you hire a designer to hack up the template and tweak the css to give you a more custom look… Who do you think has the best selection of designs that need the least tweaking to look custom?

by [former member] | 03 Jul 2010 19:07 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
I had good luck integrating a couple of choices. I like the Photocrati wordpress templates. I then added my Photoshelter and integrated them with some very simple CSS and HTML coding. I am NOT a software person at all.

Jasmine, were are you getting spam? There are a lot of ways to protect your site passively from the point of view of a vistor. If you have a photo editor or buyer going to your site, the first thing they will do upon having to register or sign in will be moving on to the next site on their list.

by Jason Muelver | 06 Jul 2010 12:07 | Chicago, IL, United States | | Report spam→
Does anyone have a graph paper press or other wordpress theme-based portfolio website (not just your blog) that is highly customized? I’d love to see URLs that show sites that don’t look like templates.

by [former member] | 06 Jul 2010 17:07 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
Have you looked at WIX, PHOTOBIZ.COM or BLU DOMAIN? They are all reasonable and have a good selections of Flash Web Templates

by Sara Hemed | 06 Jul 2010 21:07 | Zanzibar, Tanzania | | Report spam→
Hi Sara,
I have photobiz and blue domain on the list, but hadn’t heard about wix, I’ll check them out.

Is anyone using photobiz, I’d love to hear if you are happy with their SEO. Like everyone, they say they have great SEO through deep-linking, html mirror sites and xml mapping…

the prices are reasonable and they have a lot of designs and it seems easy to customize by using your own background image..

by [former member] | 08 Jul 2010 15:07 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
There are lot of different solutions. Photoshelter and all are good – I understand that you can sell stock through them and offer proofing for clients etc.

I have built my own site using RapidWeaver (it has its own flash slideshow generator) with one of my own custom themes and that also seems to work quite well. See:

http://www.focusphotos.com/features/features.html

As for SEO there are some simple tricks like logging a site map with Google etc. Also making sure that your site is tagged and linked around the web helps a lot. The more links you have to your site, the easier it is for the bots to find it. Meta tags are apparently less useful these days, the bots like content – so a site with just photos on it will not get searched. Make sure you add some text.

Tagging your site through facebook and twitter is a good thing to do as well.

If anyone needs help setting up a site, let me know…!

Andy

by Andy Johnstone | 10 Jul 2010 09:07 | Toulouse, France | | Report spam→
I’m currently using Dripbook.com which I didn’t see listed.

I find it works well and the price is right (I have the old rates before the price increase; $25 instead of $39 per month for premium).

It has most of the essential social plugins and widgets which makes it easy to cross post quickly. SEO and google analytics support built in.

It’s honestly been one of the best sites I’ve had and been fully comfortable with. It’s also a sourcebook which is a nice plus.

My only problems with Dripbook is the Mobil/iPhone/HTML version of the site is not quite upto snuff, It has all of the pertinent info but doesn’t seem to scale well to smaller screens. They are pretty good about updates so I’m sure its coming soon though.

by Jonathan Wilson | 10 Aug 2010 03:08 | Miami, United States | | Report spam→
@ Jasmine, quoting: “Does anyone have a graph paper press or other wordpress theme-based portfolio website (not just your blog) that is highly customized? I’d love to see URLs that show sites that don’t look like templates.”

I run http://www.bitemagazine.net and http://www.diederikmeijer.com, both are Wordpress based, I have customized themes and CSS myself.

by diederik meijer | 13 Aug 2010 22:08 | Amsterdam, Netherlands | | Report spam→
I really enjoy using clickbooq.

What is best is that you do have the ability to drop in lovely graphics if you so choose as a base.

Support is very responsive and quite helpful.

M

by Matthew Arnold | 18 Aug 2010 07:08 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Whatever you do, don’t use flash based sites. As someone who looks at photographer’s websites on a daily basis, the end of flash can’t come too soon. Slow, unwieldy and f*cking annoying is how I would describe these sites.

Tom

by Tom Broadbent | 18 Aug 2010 12:08 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I recently put together my website using Graph Paper Press. They came out with some new themes that leverage Wordpress 3.0. My theme is called Widescreen. I made a few custom changes and I’m still working on it, but the basic structure is in place.

I host my photos on SmugMug Pro. It’s unlimited storage and ecommerce enabled for $150 per year. Instead of embedding flash galleries I made kind of a bold move and embedded single photos that are html based similar to The Boston Globe’s Big Picture gallery.

It’s totally iPad and iPhone viewable. The SEO seems to working great because I come up in the top three with name and I get a constant stream of visitors that find my site with search engines looking for related content I post to my blog. They are finding me. I’m averaging about 200 visitors a day according to my blog stats.

Feedback welcome.

Thomas Boyd
http://thomasboyd.net

by Thomas Boyd | 18 Aug 2010 16:08 | Portland, Ore., United States | | Report spam→
Have a look at indexhibit. It’s not quite a straight-out-of-the-box option although you can use it as such, super stripped down. It’s highly customisable with some basic CSS and HTML. And free, unless you feel like donating €15.

by Amber Maitland | 18 Aug 2010 18:08 | | Report spam→
Hey

For a clean portfolio site you can always get my template.

See http://www.flashphotoportfolio.com/

I use it and a few members here do too. It is just a one time purchase and then you owe it forever.

www.tomvancakenberghe.com is mine for example.

Cheers and plugs
Tom

by Tom Van Cakenberghe | 18 Aug 2010 23:08 (ed. Aug 18 2010) | Kathmandu, Nepal | | Report spam→
I find viewbook.com it to be a simple system that lets your photography stand out. It’s flash based but creates a secondary mobile version that the user is routed to if they try to view your site on a mobile device. Here’s my viewbook site http://chimodu.viewbook.com

by Chi Modu | 31 Aug 2010 16:08 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Hey,

I can recommend www.cargocollective.com. Yes, it´s more made for Designer purposes, but you can edit HTML and CSS for a fee which is about 66 Dollars a year (Then Google Analytics is supported too). The Problem is actually, that captions and informations are not supported within the slideshow module. If you are familiar with coding, there may be better options. The Basic Account is free, and includes 100 MB Webspace and CSS editing…

sincerely,

n.
www.CargoCollective.com/NilsBroeer

by Nils Broeer | 01 Sep 2010 08:09 | Leipzig, Germany, Germany | | Report spam→
Though I’m currently using a website that I built myself using Dreamweaver and SlideshowPro, I thought that the following blog post by David Degner was quite useful. Here’s the link:

http://www.incendiaryimage.com/sketchbook/portfolio-website-software-for-photographers/

Regards,

Thaddeus

by Thaddeus Pope | 01 Sep 2010 12:09 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I know it has been mentioned, but I’m having a blast playing with WIX—start with a blank site and only your imagination limits you—that and the fact that it is Flash-heavy…

Anybody have alter-it-yourself templates and FREE websites that do not use Flash?

by Tamara Gentuso | 01 Sep 2010 13:09 | Nashville, Tennessee, United States | | Report spam→
I use aphotofolio and have nothing but great things to say about it. Rob Haggart is always up on the latest technologies and all of the updates are free.

Cheers,
GuessTheLighting.com

by Ted Sabarese | 01 Sep 2010 15:09 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
I’ve been using squarespace.com

Can be a little glitchy at times, but really not too bad. Customer service is excellent. $20/mo unlimited and they just released some new templates. Been looking around to see what other options would be, but most seem about the same or not as good. I’m happy with it.

by Mitchell Parsons | 20 Jul 2012 23:07 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
Do note that this post originally is over two years old. The marketplace changes quite a bit in two years.

by Neal Jackson | 21 Jul 2012 00:07 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→

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Participants

Daniel Cuthbert, button clicker Daniel Cuthbert
button clicker
(..)
London , United Kingdom ( LHR )
DPC, Photographer DPC
Photographer
Paris , France
PJ Heller, Freelance Photojournalist PJ Heller
Freelance Photojournalist
(Freelance Photojournalist)
Southern California , United States ( SBA )
Yves Choquette, Photojournalist Yves Choquette
Photojournalist
Montreal , Canada
Jason Muelver, Photographer Jason Muelver
Photographer
Chicago , United States ( ORD )
Sara Hemed, freelance photographer Sara Hemed
freelance photographer
(Honolulu, Hawaii)
Zanzibar , Tanzania ( DAR )
Andy Johnstone, Photographer Andy Johnstone
Photographer
(Photographer)
Exeter , United Kingdom
Jonathan Wilson, Photographer Jonathan Wilson
Photographer
Telluride, Colorado , United States
diederik meijer, Photographer diederik meijer
Photographer
(your daily dose of inspiring p)
Amsterdam , Netherlands
Matthew Arnold, Photographer Matthew Arnold
Photographer
(Matthew Arnold Photography)
Tobruk , Libya
Tom Broadbent, Photo Editor Tom Broadbent
Photo Editor
(Photo Editor)
London , United Kingdom
Thomas Boyd, Photojournalist Thomas Boyd
Photojournalist
(Photojournalist)
Portland, Ore. , United States
Amber Maitland, field producer Amber Maitland
field producer
[undisclosed location].
Tom Van Cakenberghe, Tom Van Cakenberghe
Kathmandu , Nepal
Chi Modu, Photographer Chi Modu
Photographer
(Timing is everything)
New York City , United States
Nils Broeer, Photographer / Reporter Nils Broeer
Photographer / Reporter
Berlin , Germany
Thaddeus Pope, Photographer Thaddeus Pope
Photographer
Nagoya , Japan
Tamara Gentuso, freelance photojournalist Tamara Gentuso
freelance photojournalist
Nashville, Tennessee , United States ( BNA )
Ted Sabarese, Photographer Ted Sabarese
Photographer
Nyc , United States
Mitchell Parsons, Freelance Photojournalist Mitchell Parsons
Freelance Photojournalist
Jakarta , Indonesia
Neal Jackson, Neal Jackson
(Flaneur, Savant and Scapegrace)
Washington, Dc , United States ( IAD )


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