Tuesday, January 5, 2010

LightboxPhoto Review

Company name: LightboxPhoto

Website: www.lightboxphoto.com

LithboxPhoto delivers desktop based software for photographers and artists to display and sell their works online. You can use it as a stand-alone product to build your stock photo gallery, or integrate it into your existing website. In general, LightboxPhoto provides a solid ecommerce website kit, this is definitely an option if you want to create a stock photo store or personal print selling website.

The company provides static image gallery building software divided into three basic packages: Standard, Professional and Enterprise. You can use each of them under two types of license agreement: the Branded License requires the "Powered by Lightbox Photo™ Gallery Software" text and link to remain visible and active at the bottom of the gallery; the Unbranded License enables you to remove visual references to the LightBox Photo, but you must leave metadata and/or copyright information in the code intact. The ability to reject free advertising for the provider will cost you no less than $100. My compliments, a great link building system, don’t you think?

The number of features included in the LightBox Photo software is quite impressive. It includes advanced price management, built-in shopping cart, license agreement checkboxes, image slideshow feature, auto watermark, tax and shipping controls, send “lightbox” feature, expiring download links, customizable gallery templates, etc. All this sounds like a good base for effective online shop management. However, there are some obvious shortcomings in this solution we just can’t ignore. First, there is a serious gap in the number of features included into the Standard version of the product and the other two, advanced packages. I mean that paying $400 for the Standard package I would expect more features to be implemented there, such as SEO optimization, request quote feature and what’s most important, CMS module to edit static content pages. Within the Standard software version you can customize your photo gallery via HTML and CSS only and this significantly reduces the accessibility of the product.

People leave lots of positive feedback you can find on Testimonials page. We’ve checked a few websites built with the LightBox Photo software. The websites look nice in general, just like a regular stock photo website or simple personal photo store may look. As to “SEO friendly URLs” feature we’ve read about on the provider’s official website, a couple of website we tested (www.lanting.com and http://www.jmg-stock-photo-video.com/) have dynamic URL structure which automatically disclaims the SEO-friendliness.

You won’t find much diversity in photo gallery designs offered by the LightBox Photo. As we already mentioned, you need to have some skills in coding to edit the template. You can enquire further customization though. To get an idea about the changes you can apply to the gallery, browse the live demo and example sites in the Customize section. If you want to preview the admin interface before buying the software, you should contact their sales. By the way, we recommend you to do that because no money back guarantee or refund is provided.
Among the advantages the company delivers are free software installation, free support and free updates for 12 months. No doubt, this is a rich solution for your website management experience, but you have to be a rich person to afford it. Just look at the prices: $400 for Standard package under Branded License and $500 for the one under Unbranded License; Professional package costs $600 and $700 respectively; be so kind to shell out $1000 for the branded Enterprise package and $1100 for the unbranded one.

Recap: LightBox Photo is a great solution if you are going to create an advanced stock photography gallery and are ready to put some budget and effort into it. I would say it’s too sophisticated for some less serious, personal photographer needs.

1 comment:

  1. What alternative to Lightboxphoto would you recommend?