I have a personal website and blog using a hosting platform and WordPress, AND I have had a Zenfolio account for 12 years. I was thinking of either moving the thousands of Zenfolio images to my website, or moving my blog over to Zenfolio, but the Zenfolio blog platform is VERY poor. I want to have everything in one place. I do not currently sell my images but might want to try selling in the future. I looked at SquareSpace, and it looks interesting, but I would like to hear from all the folks here who have more experience in this area. I want to be able to monetize my blog with affiliate programs etc… I am experienced at using Wordpress(within INMotion hosting) to build my websites and blog. If Zenfolio allowed Wordpress that would be great, but they do not seem motivated to improve their blog platform.
I can’t speak much towards WardPress or Zenfolio, but I have had a Squarespace site for over 3 years and have used it for a blog and selling prints (www.kevindjordan.com is the site in case you want to check out the functionality). The blogging platform on Squarespace is certainly functional, but the customization and design seems to be pretty limited as compared to what you could do with WordPress, which I’m also assuming has a ton of possible plug-in options.
In terms of the e-commerce, I’ve been very happy with the functionality. If you would be looking to sell prints and have the processing and delivery be fully automated, Squarespace doesn’t yet have that option, so something like SmugMug, Zenfolio, or Photoshelter would be better. However, since I’m not selling a high volume of prints and want to check each one to confirm quality before it goes to a client, I’ll simply get an order through Squarespace, place the necessary order with my lab to have it delivered to my house, and mark it as fulfilled once I approve it and ship it to the client. I’m guessing this might get cumbersome if your sales volume gets high, but for selling a few prints per month its easy to handle.
I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any questions on Squarespace that I might be able to help with. I actually need to look at updating my site soon since it looks like they’ve added some new features since I last checked.
Sadly there is no good all in one solution. Wordpress is still the best for a blog, especially if you’re looking to monetize it, nothing compares. The only way you will come close to an all in one solution is by using wordpress along with the NextGen gallery, I’ve done tons of research looking for the best solution and this is the closest I have come, but have yet to implement it. The biggest negative I’ve heard about NextGen is that it’s slow and complex, so it’s still not a perfect solution.
Squarespace is great for building a website and blog, but it’s horrendous at image management and selling prints.
Photoshelter and zenfolio are very similar to smugmug with commissions and not so great blogging.
Wide Range Galleries are probably the best for selling prints and I think the blogging options are good as well, Jack would probably implement anything you needed for blogging since it’s all custom. It’s expensive to setup, but it’s worth it if you’re serious about it. It’s the direction I will go someday when I can justify the expense.
@David_Kingham What are the complaints you’ve heard or issues you’ve had with selling prints/image management on Squarespace? Curious if there are any problems I’ve yet to encounter or just ones that I’ve accepted as not being dealbreakers.
Just the fact that you cannot easily sell different aspect ratio prints without creating a product for each print. Other services work much better because you create a price list for a certain aspect ratio and then just attach that price list to an image.
Innnteresting. Squarespace is all I’ve ever used, so I’ve gotten use to just duplicating products of the same aspect ratio and switching information. Just being able to attach a set price list to an image of a certain ratio does sound like a better option though.