Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Shozam Review

Company name: Shozam


Shozam offers a few website software products geared at photographers of all professional levels. They have solution for home, work and business. I liked the basic idea of dividing their software package in several categories. If you want to create a simple digital photo album, you can do it without paying for the functions you won’t use. If you take your photography hobby more seriously, you can upgrade to more advanced account and add video, music and slideshows to your album. Shozam has a solution for those who want to sell their photos online as well.

While the idea of this project is nice, the implementing is less enthusiastic. Again, design is a very frustrating aspect here. They have small thumbnails of design themes, but you have to download the trial for a thorough check. If you want to get an idea about the design solution Shozam delivers right here and right now, you can browse their testimonials and go through their customer’s website links. You will see the plain layouts, weak typography and awkward flash effects, that the company considers being “cool”.

Among the features of Business and Business+ packages we found “Search Engine Optimization” statement. As always, we conducted a quick test of one of the websites built with Shozam Since the core website of the example website is static, its pages are in index. The flash part of the site, photo galleries for instance, is not indexed. Besides, messy URL is what strikes the eyes immediately. It seems guys from Shozam think HTML structure is everything a website needs for SEO.

Let’s look at the prices. The basic software package called Shozam Lite Edition costs $25. By means of it you can create an elementary online photo album without any additional options. If you want to add some music, videos and captions to your album, you are offered to pay $50 for the Express Edition. Customizable photographer website costs $100 here. Shozam Business Edition which comes with E-commerce feature is available for $250; BusinessPlus Edition, which enables to create unlimited galleries for your customers, costs $500. We’ve browsed a lot of various web photo CMS solutions and this one is far from being good. The functionality is nothing but ordinary here and the designs are terrible. So why should I pay $25 for the template I can download for free somewhere else? And I’m sure there are many providers offering websites with integrated E-commerce system and ability to create unlimited galleries and sub-sites charging less than $500.

Among the advantages we’ve found in this product is that it’s not a hosted solution and no subscription fees are charged, there are only one-time payments.

Shozam is desktop software, so it provides some benefits in the upload speed, but it’s definitely not enough. Be sure to download the trial version of this product before buying it.

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