2019 October 2nd
Zenfolio website builder focuses on providing photographers with all the tools to display and sell their photographs. The website builder aims to offer a platform that is easy to use and has every tool for a successful photography business.
Zenfolio promises that you'll be able able to launch your website in minutes.
So is Zenfolio all your photography business might need? In this Zenfolio review, we've put the website builder to the test.
Let's see how it went!
What Is Zenfolio?
Zenfolio is a website builder designed for photography businesses and launched back in 2004. The website builder features many responsive templates, eCommerce and SEO tools, as well as a user-friendly editor.
Started as a simple website by 4 friends with a passion for photography, Zenfolio has evolved and developed remarkably into a large corporation. Zenfolio claims that these developments and evolution have empowered its customers who are predominantly photographers, to grow their businesses beyond expectations.
How does Zenfolio achieve that?
The company claims to have every tool ready to make any photography site into a success. You will find everything in Zenfolio - from image galleries to showcase the photographs and eCommerce tools to photo session booking fields and marketing campaigns.
The photographers using Zenfolio include even such famous names like David Liam Kyle, Andrew Peacock, and Laura Grier.
And Zenfolio does seem promising, so will it match your needs and budget?
Zenfolio has 3 plans - Starter, Pro, and Advanced, with the pricing starting at $5/month for the Starter plan. The most popular, Pro plan, will cost you $20/month, and the Advanced plan is sold for $30/month.
What's included in the plans?
- Starter Plan for $5/month includes one website which you can build with a drag-and-drop editor, unlimited photos and videos, social media integration, and discounts to list your works on Photographer Central.
- Pro Plan for $20/month will provide you with a built-in shopping cart and payment processing, marketing campaigns, custom watermarks, and even more site customization options.
- Advanced Plan for $30/month covers all eCommerce features, post-shoot green screen, multiple shipping methods, multi-user accounts, and mini-sites for events.
The plans appear great with a lot of features that can give photographers fantastic experience.
However, the price of each of the plan varies according to the billing cycle you wish to subscribe for. You can decide to be billed either monthly or annually. When you choose an annual billing cycle, you can save up to 28% of the price.
In the table below, you can see how much would you pay if you chose either monthly or yearly payment options:
|Payment Period/Plan||Starter Plan||Pro Plan||Advanced Plan|
|1 month (billed annually)||$5||$20||$30|
|12 Months (upfront payment)||$60||$240||$360|
As you can see, the lowly price of $5/month is just for an annual upfront subscription while you'll need to pay $7 each month if you want to be billed monthly.
However, not only the basic website builder features are important. For your site to be accessible online, hosting features are important as well.
So, what exactly do you get with each of the plans?
In the table, we've put every single feature that you'll get with different Zenfolio website builder plans:
|Starter Plan||Pro Plan||Advanced Plan|
|Maximum file size for photos JPEG, TIFF, GIF, PNG||36 MB||64 MB||64 MB|
|Maximum size and duration for videos||2 GB or 20 min.||2 GB or 20 min.||2 GB or 20 min.|
|Maximum size for raw or source files||2 GB||2 GB||2 GB|
|Monthly bandwidth traffic||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Custom logos upload||Not included||Included||Included|
|Webmaster tools from Google, Bing, and Yahoo||Included||Included||Included|
|Customize site header||Not included||Included||Included|
|Remove Zenfolio branding from visitor pages||Not included||Included||Included|
|Money back guarantee||30-day or 14-day no credit free trial||30-day or 14-day no credit free trial||30-day or 14-day no credit free trial|
|Customer support||24/7/365 Email support||24/7 Live Chat, Phone & Email support||24/7 Live Chat, Phone & Email support|
|Email templates and campaigns||Not included||Included||Included|
Unfortunately, Zenfolio does not include domain names, so you'll have to purchase them separately. On the other hand, there are no upselling attempts so you get what you pay for.
Zenfolio does sound like a good website builder for a photography business. It has a bunch of responsive templates, unlimited storage to upload your works, as well as unlimited bandwidth so traffic increase won't hurt your website speed, flexible and clear pricing, and a 14-day free trial.
Let's take a look at the details.
Variety of Templates
Zenfolio has 13 beautiful templates to choose from and it keeps adding more. Existing templates are easy to customize even without any knowledge of HTML, and there's also a custom template option for more personal web design.
The best part is, the templates do look different. So even with not so big selection, you can find something to match your project needs.
Unlimited Photo & Video Uploads
Now, you don't have to choose which of the 3 photos represents your project the best. You can upload them all.
Zenfolio provides you with unlimited storage to upload as many photos or videos as you want.
Keep in mind, there are limits for the size of files themselves. But even with that, you can upload high-quality images that will build your online presence and user engagement.
Zenfolio offers unlimited monthly bandwidth to clients even with the starter plan.
And that, of course, comes with its own advantages. First of all, even with the peaks of traffic, the website will function smoothly.
Secondly, you won't need to upgrade to more expensive plans even when your website starts growing.
14-day Free Trial
You can try all of the Zenfolio features for 14 days without even needing to put in your credit card details.
This way, you can start building the website and see, whether the tools offered are enough. Also, you get the opportunity to test, which plan fits your needs best.
Flexible and Clear Pricing
There are 2 billing options available with Zenfolio - monthly or yearly. Though monthly pricing is a bit higher, you are not forced into long-term commitments.
But the best part is:
There are no upselling attempts - you simply get everything that's mentioned in the plan feature list.
Zenfolio has several drawbacks as well. So in this part of Zenfolio review, we'll take a look at its performance, not-so-good customer support, and restrictions that come with the plans.
Here are the details.
No Specified Uptime Guarantee
Zenfolio talks about its hosting features very little. So you won't find any uptime guarantee, which is a bit disturbing - you want your website to be up at all times.
We've also found several user Zenfolio reviews saying, that micro downtimes are constant - at least a few per month.
This means some issues with Zenfolio server health or poor management. Although no major downtimes were recorded, so you should be fine.
Relatively Slow Server Speed
The server performs great in the US, Europe, Singapore, and Sydney. However, if your audience is located in locations like Banglore or Tokyo - you might feel disappointed - the servers are not well optimized to serve those locations.
Zenfolio promises to be available worldwide, however, the server speed should be improved to actually meet the needs of those worldwide users.
Poor Customer Support
If you pay for the Starter plan, the only 2 options to get help is either email tickets or knowledge base. Fortunately, the knowledge library is extensive.
But if you need technical help fast - email tickets are a bit disappointing.
With other plans, you'll be able to reach out to live chat or phone support. Just be patient - sometimes waiting times are a bit longer than we'd want.
Zenfolio is restricted to one industry - photography. And with such an extensive platform it could easily accommodate other businesses as well.
And even for the photography, you are limited to the tools Zenfolio offers. There are no open-source apps you can install easily.
Zenfolio Review - Conclusion
Zenfolio is a user-friendly website builder that can help you launch a photography website in no time. But as we found out from this Zenfolio review, it is a restricted platform.
The performance of Zenfolio is not excellent. The same is with support. You might also feel, that Zenfolio lacks a bit of flexibility.
Fortunately, there's a 14-day free trial. This way, you can check whether Zenfolio has everything you need. After all, the pricing does look affordable.
Have you tried Zenfolio? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section down below!
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- 14-day Free Trial
- Flexible billing cycles
- No Uptime Guarantee
- Lacking flexibility
- Lacking Customer Support