Thursday, December 24, 2009

MPO Photography Webmasters Review

Company name: MPO Photography Webmasters


Examination of the MPO Photography Webmasters’ product brought a doubtful feel to me. It is unclear whether this is a photography CMS-based website provider with extremely expensive hosting plans, or a hosting provider delivering editable photo websites as an extra offer. Let me explain what I mean.

MPO Photography Webmasters offers free photography website templates. Their websites are not completely Flash based, each template contains Flash home page, the rest of the pages are static. Well, frankly speaking, their websites are not completely free. Yes, you don’t have to pay for the template if you choose an “as is” design option. This means, you can manage the content, but not the design elements. You can customize the navigation buttons at no charge though. If you want to apply some deeper changes to your website, you can order this option for $99. To switch among the templates you should pay the “redesign fee” which is $99 as well. Not very user-friendly, right?

Free set-up, along with free design, can work for you in case you don’t have high requirements to your website. Fortunately, the variety of design themes created by the MPO is big enough – there are 12 design categories available. All designs seem outdated and cluttered to us, still tastes differ (let’s not forget about the customization option) and maybe you might find the design that would appeal to you a great deal here.

If you are encouraged with opportunity to get a simple yet nice photo website with flash home page for free, we’re afraid there is something in this offer that will disappoint you, that’s hosting fee. It’s not enough that there is no option to host your website on your own server, available plans are also priced into the stratosphere. Just imagine, the Standard hosting plan (with a disk space for up to 2000 images) costs $29.95 per month. This is the minimal plan, they also have a Colossus Plan which presupposes up to 20K images disk space and costs $99.95/Mo. Maybe this would sound reasonable for stock photo website owners, but we are not sure whether this can work for an individual portfolio.

MPO Photography Webmasters is another photo website software provider that claims their sites are user friendly and will be indexed by all search engines in 3 weeks. Once again, the results of our brief SEO-friendliness test are frustrating. Wrong URL structure, important info embedded in Flash instead of HTML code, incorrect website structures – all this is too far away from being SEO-friendly.

Another depressing moment is the absence of trial period. What you can do is to browse designs, choose the one you like and order the service. This is a strange situation today as the “try before buy” principle is essential in terms of modern tough competition.

Maybe “unmatched support” so much highlighted on the MPO Photography Webmasters official website will shed light on all these unclear and unjustified questions. We didn’t find any testimonials or discussions related to the quality of the customer support, and that would be much to the point.

Except the diverse templates gallery and a number of neat features (if it counts at all – there is no preview of the admin interface) we don’t see any benefits the MPO Photography Webmasters photo site solution can bring to the average users. You can see the big words and descriptions, but we can’t really feel the product before ordering it. In conclusion, we would like to admit that if you want to avoid risks and everlasting conversations with tech support, you’d better look for some more reliable photo website software provider.

You will find links to reviews of other photography websites available on the market on the right. Good luck with your new website!

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