My SmugMug subscription is about to expire.
I’ve been with them for four years, have over 6,000 images there.
At this moment, I’m not sure if I’m going to renew for another year. After discussing my journey here when they raised prices and all, I’ve had a lot of time to think. The bottom line for me is UI and design. SmugMug has lots of possibilities, but you have to be a rocket surgeon to really get it right. Zenfolio limits the possibilities, but their prepackaged designs and both user and visitor UI experience trump SmugMug. It’s literally like Apple vs. PC user experiences. At this point in my life, I need to spend less time trying to get my site to do what I want, and more time enjoying life and creating images. I don’t sell a lot of photos, but like the capability.
A hosting account that enables selling a photo here and there is a nice feature. I don’t need huge package capabilities, coupons, etc. That basically means what I need is the $150/yr. SmugMug Portfolio solution, or the $120/yr. Zenfolio Premium option. I have a $50 subscription credit I would have to give up at SmugMug if I leave. With or without that credit, I am within $30 a year difference between SmugMug and Zenfolio costs next year and the following years.
After that blog post and the #smugmugged thrashfest that followed, I got a package of SmugMug swag in the mail from them, thanking me for my support. Not sure how I deserved that, other than I didn’t jump ship with the exodus that followed their rate hikes.
But I am not sure I still want to be there. I really like the Zenfolio customer experience more.
Then again, Zenfolio just got purchased by art.com – I’ve been in companies that have been purchased, and been told “Nothing will change, we promise…” Promises like that are how we ended up having to move to Texas from the west coast after a company purchase and restructuring that “won’t affect you.”
My domain is currently pointed at the Zenfolio trial site that it took me about two hours to configure. I’ve had a fair amount of help from their tech support and countless hours of futzing on my SmugMug site. To compare the two, here are the direct links:
My Zenfolio My SmugMug (deactivated, sorry)
We’ll see what happens.
-Edit: 31 Jan 2013-
I went with Zenfolio. We’ll see how it goes.
You can use my referral code 7TS-9PH-A9Z during sign up to save 10% off your own subscription.