Introduction: Photoshelter – Your Online Photography Site Builder
In this Photoshelter review, I outline the specifics of this photography site builder, including Photoshelter pricing, features, and Photoshelter alternatives.
Professional photography has been a lucrative line of business since the 1800s. Since then, the practice was considered an art form. One would think that, with the inclusion of digital cameras in standard mobile devices, everyone would be their own photographer. Thankfully, this is not the case. Professional photographers with their own specific niches and genres of expertise continue to be in demand in the 21st century. However, these days, rather than put an ad out, you can put your slate online to draw clients.
Fortunately, there are photography-centric site builders like Photo Shelter to help make things easier. But just how much easier does this builder make things for photographers? Better yet, how good a platform is it for creating highly appealing photo sites? And how does it measure up as a digital asset archive?
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Ease of Use:
At present, Photo Shelter prides itself on being the site builder of choice for over 80,000 professional photographers worldwide. These pros are maximising the use of over 100 distinct tools to manage their online studios/shops.
This doesn’t come as a surprise given how easy Photo Shelter is to use, unlike Photoshelter alternatives. Indeed, you will have everything you need to run an online photography studio right at your fingertips. You have access to cloud storage, image uploading, gallery and lightbox organisation both for your professional archives. In addition, you get client proofing, even print sales and licensing done from a single platform. You don’t need to download anything more.
The programme is actually segmented into four sections: the website builder, the eCommerce dashboard, an image archive, and analytics. It is all easy to navigate, and even first-time users will have little to no problem learning how to use the different sections.
However, we do take issue with how clunky the user interface (UI) is for a site builder. Your design options are severely limited – unlike, say, Photoshelter alternatives like Squarespace which is considered in the top tier of digital asset archives – and you need to dig through the function bar to get into the builder interface. If you own a large volume of digital assets, there's also Photoshelter for Brands or Photoshelter Libris (former name) for company-size accounts.
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Features and Flexibility:
Themes and Templates:
For this Photoshelter review, you don't get much wiggle room when getting started with a ready-made Photo Shelter template. Even in the programme's premium editions, there are only nine ready templates that are pretty much WYSIWYG. In other words, you can’t edit them, and you can neither add nor remove elements to suit your style.
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In this Photoshelter review, some customisation options are built right into the Photo Shelter UI, particularly where creating your public portfolio is concerned. You can fiddle with the settings to show off just several samples of your best works and enable anyone interested to get in touch with you through a contact form. But for truly interested (or preferred) clients, you have the option of creating “hidden” or password-protected galleries where you can display a more diverse array of photos that can best show off your capabilities.
3rd Party Integrations:
The platform compatible with many of the third-party tools favoured by most professional photographers, and you can interface almost seamlessly with some of them. With regard to online or network integrations, you can use it to interface with the following:
Social Media Platforms
- Google Analytics
There is no need for a separate host as virtually all sites built are hosted on the platform’s own servers.
If you're interested in subscribing to this platform, check out Photoshelter pricing below.
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SEO and Mobility:
In this Photoshelter review, what’s nice about Photo Shelter is how it takes much of the tedium out of making your site SEO-ready. The software generates image-level sitemaps almost automatically. In addition, it also generates ALT and TITLE tagging as well. Keywords, titles, and codes are all easily indexed, and sitemaps are automatically submitted to Google for search inclusion.
The layouts for PhotoShelter sites are all optimised for both desktop and mobile, so your online portfolio will look its best regardless of what browser or device people will be viewing it from. You can also work on your portfolios and galleries on the fly as Photo Shelter is available for Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile.
In this Photoshelter review, this is what makes Photo Shelter a great choice for both photographers who are just making a foray into the digital market and those who have had an online presence for a while: you can actually sell prints or offer services through a web store you can build on the platform.
Everything you need is actually at your fingertips: the ability to interface with eCommerce platforms like Printique, EZPrints, and – for those in the UK – Loxley Colour; built-in stock pricing calculator, multiple languages and currency support, as well as integration with popular payment platforms like PayPal and Stripe.
Support and Resources:
Along with a regularly updated blog that shares fresh ideas and practical solutions for professional and amateur photographers, Photo Shelter’s online resource page features an annual photography guide and practical guides to different aspects of photography and eCommerce.
Photo Shelter rates are surprisingly reasonable compared to more pricey Photoshelter alternatives. It costs $10.00 monthly for the Basic Plan, $25.00 monthly for the Standard Plan, and $45.00 monthly for the Pro Plan. The Basic Photoshelter pricing offers just 4Gb of cloud storage, Standard offers 100Gb, and Pro offers an unlimited amount – which is one key reason why it’s the plan that is also the most popular.
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Free trial/refund policy/money-back guarantee:
The platform offers a free 30-day trial period, after which you’ll have to cancel or upgrade to any of the three paid plans. Unfortunately, there is no money-back guarantee. Moreover, you don't get a refund if you cancel your subscription.
Conclusion and Recommendation:
What is it best for?
Photographers who want to establish a strong online presence or create an online hub where clients can view their portfolios, order prints, or make inquiries about services.
What is it not best for?
Photoshelter vs Squarespace. If you’re looking for more flexibility in terms of design, Squarespace would be one of the best Photoshelter alternatives.
Photoshelter vs Smugmug. Smugmug is a fully customisable platform that has more attractive pre-made layouts. You have the ability to modify your site using CSS.
Photoshelter vs Zenfolio. Zenfolio lets you upload HD videos while Photoshelter does not have this capability.
If you’re a professional photographer who wants to maximise an online presence to reach out to a wider clientele, PhotoShelter would be your best bet. Not only does it provide an extensive amount of storage for your files, but it also gives you the tools to create a working web store as well as a detailed portfolio.
How much does a Basic subscription to Photo Shelter cost?
The most basic paid plan for Photo Shelter will set you back $10.00 monthly and comes with 4Gb of cloud storage.
Are eCommerce tools part of the UI?
Yes, you can use the platform to create your own web store or use it to interface with several popular eCommerce sites. Currency, language, taxation, and shipping support are all built-in.
Can I use Photo Shelter for free?
A 30-day free trial is offered, but you will either need to cancel at the end or upgrade to a paid plan. Also, get more savings in paid plans with a Photoshelter promo code.
That's all for now:
Thank you for reading our Photoshelter review! Don’t forget to keep an eye out for our ever-growing blog of review and comparison articles of eCommerce platforms, SEO software, screen capture tools, webinar and conferencing software, education platforms, website builders, and more such as;
Not only the best tea/coffee maker on the team Sophie keeps the many marketing projects flowing ensuring completion on time. Skilled across multiple marketing skill areas Sophie is our all rounder and a great asset to the team. Sophie is a website building trainer and tech writer who takes pride in helping small businesses and startups build their websites and launch their eCommerce platforms. Sophie is also the practical joker of the team and always wears a smile on her face. In her spare time she likes to spend her time with family. She loves going on holidays and spending time with friends.