Monday, December 21, 2009

PhotoShelter Review

Company name: PhotoShelter


PhotoShelter is a nice photography website software allowing you to build a website in about 5 mins. They have 9 basic designs/layouts to choose from, also there are options to order a fully custom website design or integrate the galleries with your existing website. All PhotoShelter websites are fully e-commerce enabled (lots of pricing profiles, product types etc) and SEO friendly. They can also offer you a choice of three print labs that can automatically fulfill any print and product orders - you set the prices, they print and ship.

There's no limit to the number of galleries you can display on a website - and you control layout style, image size, navigation items, on-page text, watermarks, and more. PhotoShelter has a nice "post to facebook" tool lets you easily export a gallery to Facebook, or post a link on Facebook walls and fan pages. You can also add a "share this" tool to your website, enabling visitors to post links to your images across their favorite social networks.

PhotoShelter websites are not built with Flash which is perfect for a corporate website but seems to be a bit boring for a website of an artist. At some point PhotoShelter websites are more of a solid selling tool for photographer (to sell the artwork online) rather than a place introducing their work to public.

PhotoShelter offers 4 plans to choose from that differ in functionality and features included. Starter plan set-up is free and the pro plan (most advanced one) is $549/year. You host and register the domain name with PhotoShelter by default.

I think that PhotoShelter is a great website tool with great customer support but the designs are a bit standard. With PhotoShelter websites you will have great photo galleries functionality but you won’t stand out from the crowd. The ecommerce features are really cool but if you are not planning to sell your works online yet (and of you don’t have thousands of photos to sell) you can search for a cheaper solution. You can consider flash photography websites by other companies, order an XML based template or a nicely designed flash website with the admin area like ReadyPhotoSite or Bludomain.

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