So you’re lastly prepared to make your on-line images portfolio. You have most likely been carrying out comparison looking on line to locate out the greatest way to go about it.

There are plenty of platforms to decide on from — from internet sites like 500px to Photoshelter to Squarespace and additional. If you are reading through this, you may have narrowed your look for down to two of the market leaders in specialized web site platforms for photographers — Zenfolio vs Smugmug.

Both of those SmugMug and Zenfolio are best-tier possibilities if you are completely ready to get begun setting up your pictures portfolio and providing online. There is a rationale they’re so commonly adopted.

SmugMug’s key benefits are its adaptability, customization capabilities, customer aid and design.

Zenfolio’s most significant wins are it is advertising abilities, affordability relative to your desires, and some could even say it’s simplicity.

The problem is that there is so significantly details and so several opinions out there. It’s complicated. Have confidence in me, I know. I experienced to do a great deal of digging to place this piece alongside one another.

So how do you know which one particular to select?

I’m heading to go over 3 factors to enable you make the finest decision for your portfolio:

  1. What are the essential factors of a excellent on the web photography portfolio?
  2. What ought to you look at when picking a web-site to host your portfolio?
  3. How do SmugMug vs Zenfolio evaluate and contrast contemplating these variables?

By the close of this post, I want you to truly feel additional assured that you have manufactured the suitable preference by the time you are ready to enter your credit score card info and start setting up your portfolio.

Sound awesome?

Alright, let us begin.

What are the important parts of the very best on the web pictures portfolio?

It really should be special to you

Does your portfolio precisely reflect your model as a photographer?

When developing a selection of your operate on line, you want it to be ready to stand out. Curating a assortment that properly represents your unique fashion and technique can enable you match shoppers and prospects searching for that fashion.

The workforce at Shaw Academy states, “A images portfolio shouldn’t just display that you know publicity and white harmony. Your portfolio must also express your model, and what kind of operate you do.”

It should really display off your greatest do the job

Does your portfolio screen your operate in the most effective feasible light?

When another person visits your internet site, they’re hopefully contemplating getting your function, employing you for a gig, or searching to husband or wife up. You want your portfolio to be a selection of the best you’ve got — not necessarily anything you have obtained.

That indicates your portfolio is a very carefully curated assortment of the pictures you have taken.

It should really be to uncomplicated to uncover you on the internet

Generating a web site that would make it easy to discover your get the job done on line is the full issue of Website positioning for photographers.

In an short article for Digital Pictures University, Julian Dormon claimed it ideal: “How will anyone seek the services of you, if they can not come across you in a lookup?”

Specified platforms make that less complicated to do than many others. But more on that later on.

It ought to be simple for people to use your web site.

What is it like for site visitors to see, navigate, invest in or call you on your web site?

Rule amount a person with marketing is to maintain the audience central to what you are seeking to do.

Even while it is your portfolio, you’re inherently coming up with it for an individual else. The practical experience browsing your internet site ought to be as seamless as attainable.

What must you take into account when deciding upon a platform for your portfolio web page?

Now that we have acquired a normal strategy of what goes into a good portfolio, let’s wander via what to consider when deciding upon a platform to establish it.

I’ve broken the conclusion-making method down into five vital features to consider, which helps make it less complicated to slim down what you are thinking about when analyzing a system for your internet site needs.

We’ll address what goes into those elements then review and distinction these attributes in relation to Zenfolio vs SmugMug.

Promoting and Branding

This is a big offer. As I chat about listed here, the hardest section of images is not using the photos.

Does the platform display screen your pics in a way that makes you glance excellent? Is your manufacturer perfectly-represented? Is the web site cell-responsive so that your portfolio appears great wherever most of the world wide web targeted visitors will come from? Does it present efficient running a blog resources that enable you industry your services?

Accessibility to instruments that aid in this arena of working your images business enterprise can make a major distinction.

User Knowledge

When speaking about person practical experience (UX), I’m talking two-fold you really should body weight the user experience you have in creating the website and the expertise some others have with it just after you establish it.

For you, is the platform easy and quick to use?

You want to glimpse at a platform has loads of template possibilities, clean design performance, and can promptly and effortlessly allow you add and handle your shots.

Never neglect about flexibility, either. Can you create the web-site the way you want it to be or are you locked into a limited number of designs? Don’t forget, the web-site should search and experience like your portfolio — not just any portfolio.

Lastly, for the individuals traveling to your internet site, can they rapidly and effortlessly view your photographs in the way you intended? Is the mobile encounter sleek and regular? Is it quick for visitors to do what they arrived to your web-site to do?

Whether it is viewing your operate, finding in contact, or getting right they need to have a seamless expertise on the web and on their telephones.


Cost is a well known characteristic as very well.

Everyone has a different funds and certain requirements for their portfolio web site. To get the very best bang for your buck, you’ve received to be apparent about exclusively what you require and decide on the solution that most effective matches your needs. Look at which platform gives you the most overall flexibility and room to develop at a selling price that suits inside your spending budget.

E-Commerce Applications

One particular of the most effective capabilities of specialized portfolio websites like SmugMug and Zenfolio is the potential to offer prints, items, and other companies directly to consumers.

This is an particularly appealing element for photographers who want to market their work on line.

You really should consider how straightforward the acquiring system is for someone working with your web site. That’s it! How quick is it to rate and market your operate?

Client Support

When designing a web page for the initially time, you may possibly get frustrated or operate into problems trying to edit or adjust your site the way you’d like it.

This really boils down to two vital queries. How conveniently can you get assist if you will need it? Is there more than enough info out there for you to do it on your have?

If you’re a additional knowledgeable and savvy tech person, this could not be a significant offer for you. But if which is not your cup-of-tea, you might want to make positive whichever site you pick out has quality provider.

Alright, let’s dive into the comparison.

Evaluating Zenfolio and Smugmug: An Straightforward Comparison

Advertising and Branding

When it comes to placing jointly a portfolio that represents you and your manufacturer nicely, let us initial consider the picture high-quality.

For every strategy, SmugMug offers endless photograph and video clip uploads, max photograph file dimensions up to 150 MB, and max movie file dimension up to 3GB. Video high quality caps at 1080p.

In distinction, Zenfolio also provides unlimited storage room, but the most picture file measurements cap at 64 MB for their Sophisticated plan — which is their most highly-priced. Their max video file measurement is two GB (or 20 minutes).

Each are enough for the majority of people starting up their pictures web-sites and the photo high-quality is relatively even on monitors of 1080p or reduced.

Special consideration must be taken if you are a photographer that relies on your good quality exhibiting by way of at a great deal greater scales.

Regarding scale, landscape photographer Spencer Cox contends that “Realistically, it is tough to promote a two-foot wide print to a person who thinks my pictures are blurry on their laptop’s a single-foot vast display.”

One more component which is critical to contemplate is running a blog help. Producing a blog site is one of the most helpful ways to create targeted traffic via large-high-quality written content on your web site that will get shared and ranks on look for engines.

One of the most important disadvantages to SmugMug is the deficiency of an simple-to-use blogging process inside of the system. The stress of building standalone web pages for every single posting you write-up to your internet site isn’t ideal.

Zenfolio, on the other hand, has a serviceable running a blog aspect that includes key phrases (tags) and other categorization solutions.

The good news is, each integrate with WordPress if you want to build a blog with far more sturdy Search engine optimisation instruments and capabilities.

It’s also value noting that Zenfolio gives added promoting equipment that make it effortless to capture visitor electronic mail addresses, and plan email strategies and keep in contact with sales opportunities. They also offer a listing in their Photographer Central directory with their Pro system.

User Encounter

You are in all probability utilizing a portfolio internet site like because you may perhaps not have the specialized chops to code and style a customized web page on your own.

So when deciding on a portfolio, look at how it will make your everyday living less complicated. Recall, simplicity, flexibility, and ease-of-use are vital right here.

SmugMug has twenty five pre-built templates designed to showcase your operate in the best way possible. It works by using a drag-and-fall editor that presents you the adaptability to style a portfolio that matches your style.

You can also obtain the HTML and CSS on any website page of your web site (if you really feel so inclined) offering you absolutely free reign to personalize to your tech-savvy heart’s articles.

This is an region wherever Zenfolio definitely lags guiding as it has just 12 pre-designed templates producing the knowledge a lot more restrictive. Having said that, the templates obtainable appear to be great quality, but the volume indicates you may have a tougher time matching your type. Whilst some take pleasure in the simplicity of the knowledge as picking templates can be overpowering.

In addition, the only position you can edit the CSS or HTML is in minimal approaches by means of the running a blog things on the web page.

Both equally websites promise swift upload speeds and sturdy picture management and corporation capabilities.

At last, there’s the make any difference of the expertise for the user.

Each SmugMug and Zenfolio have cell-responsive web page models that current your web page sufficiently on mobile units. Nonetheless, neither platform lets you modify the glimpse and come to feel of the cell web page specifically. So that’s out of your hands.

Overall, they the two present your pictures in a way that is enjoyable for guests to your web-site.


Expense is an interesting variable. It boils down to irrespective of whether or not the system does what you want it to do at a charge that functions for you.

The most efficient way to evaluate the two platforms is to think that you want to provide your pics on the internet and commence from there.

SmugMug has four designs. Basic, Electric power, Portfolio, and Business. (Click in this article to verify them out)

The cheapest system if you want to promote your images employing their e-commerce applications is the Portfolio program. The fees occur out to:

$14/mo $168/yr (once-a-year billing)
$24/mo $288/yr (month-to-month billing)

Zenfolio has three designs. Starter, Professional, and Superior. (Click on right here to check out them out)

The most inexpensive prepare that enables obtain to their e-commerce instruments is the Professional approach. The expenses come out to:

$twenty/mo $240/yr (once-a-year billing)
$28/mo $336/yr (every month billing)

Zenfolio is the cheaper option at the second, but both of those corporations have improved rates or altered their payment framework devoid of substantially detect in the previous.

E-Commerce Equipment

If your primary goal is to offer your work on the net, it is really worth searching how effortless and worthwhile it is to promote from possibly system.

Both of those give the capacity to fulfill orders from a array of top quality printing labs. There are no shortages of options in this article.

I examined out the checkout process for buying prints from showcased web sites on both of those platforms, far too.

For SmugMug, the purchasing and payment approach was very simple, quickly and seamless. The only disadvantage was that SmugMug’s branding is integrated in the browsing cart. You can consist of your very own in the Enterprise program, but for the Portfolio plan, that’s not an alternative.

Zenfolio’s checkout process was a very little clunkier and tougher to navigate. It wasn’t difficult, but it was not suitable. Zenfolio’s checkout maintains the glimpse and truly feel of your web site. It integrates your branding with your buying cart even at the Pro level. In the scenario of the web site I analyzed, the branding didn’t make up for the experience.

At last, about the advertising of prints, SmugMug’s Portfolio plan is far more reasonably priced. But they also cost 15% for each sell though Zenfolio only expenses seven% with their Professional approach.

If you are scheduling to sell a good deal of prints and items on-line, SmugMug’s fifteen% service fees could outweigh their more cost-effective annual price at some level. But that depends on your unique business enterprise.

Client Service

SmugMug has gotten rave critiques for its 24/seven “real human support”. In PetaPixel’s overview of Portfolio Web sites, they credited the service with “lighting rapid shopper support”. That exception is available for all four provider options, way too. They are equally ranked underneath:

Zenfolio delivers 24/7 guidance, but it is only through electronic mail. If you’d like a live chat or cell phone support, you are going to will need to pay out for their state-of-the-art services strategy.

Fortunately, each platforms have properly organized on the net support facilities and supply loads of video clip tutorials if you take place to be a do-it-you variety of person.

Zenfolio’s YouTube site is noticeably more active with weekly video clip tutorials, and a weekly dwell stream introducing and conveying new attributes.


Both equally SmugMug and Zenfolio are leading-tier solutions if you’re ready to get started out developing your photography portfolio and advertising on-line. There is a motive they’re so greatly adopted.

SmugMug’s key positive aspects are its versatility, customization capabilities, purchaser aid and layout.

Zenfolio’s greatest wins are it is internet marketing capabilities, affordability relative to your requires, and some could possibly even say it is simplicity.

The base line is that you’ve acquired to pick the system that works ideal with your finances, suits with your fashion and is effective greatest for your company.

The good news is, both have free of charge 14-working day trials that enable you get a experience for each and every ahead of you dedicate.

Attempt SmugMug Absolutely free for fourteen Times | Check out Zenfolio Cost-free for 14 Days

This article was composed on February twelve, 2018 and most lately current on Might ten, 2019.

The submit Zenfolio vs Smugmug: Deciding upon the Best Pictures Portfolio appeared first on The Picture MBA – Search engine optimization and Business for Photographers.