Zenfolio Archive "Tool"
For better or for worse, Zenfolio has long benefited from photographers like myself who continue to pay the annual fee despite frustrations, simply because we don't have the bandwidth to move our archives somewhere else. I have over half a million images here, and well over a million on KLC fotos' zenfolio. The latest "archive tool" which means clients may have to wait up to 12 hours before they can view photos in galleries that haven't been updated in 14 months, seems incredibly out of touch with the modern internet user. X (previously known as twitter) is making headlines for throttling page loads by five-seconds. And we are expecting potential clients to return to order images after twelve hours?!?
While this adds another layer to my frustration with zenfolio, after exploring other options, I'm still here. With so many other projects going on, KLCfotos.com rebuild, kreadivs, NILT, (not to mention an upcoming house project and 2 toddlers) I was fooling myself if I thought I had the bandwidth now to do a major personal-site renovation. Though it did encourage some restructuring of this site. (Notice the blog is now the homepage?)
The Silver Lining
Embarrassingly enough, my portfolio was last modified over 14 months (It has no visitors because I just use this link to populate the slideshow and don't otherwise share the page). So I take it, this would mean that my portfolio wouldn't be visible, unless of course I make it one of the 20 galleries where archiving is turned off, which speaking of, I still need to remember to do.
Am I Leaving Zenfolio?
Yes and no. While I still plan to stay with zenfolio for this site which I use more as a blog and portfolio than for delivery or sales, it was the final straw for me to stop using zenfolio as the primary delivery for KLC fotos. I had already stopped using it as an overall website landing page. Roughly 6% of our sales come from events outside that 14-month window. 6% is not significant, but it's also not insignificant. It is worth switching platforms.
KLC fotos is also shifting, as most of our assignments are about client delivery. PhotoShelter is far superior (though I do miss friendly urls) in delivery, if not necessarily display.
The grass isn't always greener. This move is frustrating because we all feel a bit blindsided and perhaps a bit trapped. Ultimately, I don't think the platform you use is going to be the difference maker in your career success. It's the product and the service.
How About You?
Do you use zenfolio? Are you sticking around going down with the ship? Or have you already jumped ship to somewhere else? Where did you land?
Get a real sense of your archive. Get it organized. Get it backed up.
My situation is similar, although my annual sales are pretty small. Nevertheless, I've invested a huge amount of time getting my galleries organized, relying heavily on nested galleries. So the tips that I've seen that involve going in and adding a photo to each gallery are non-starters for me -- I have something like 750 galleries. Photoshelter looks interesting, but there's a big price increase from "standard" to "pro". I need more than 4GB, but nowhere near 100GB.
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