In this PhotoShelter review, we’ll go over why PhotoShelter is a premium website builder that’s specifically built for photographers like you.
We’ll also discuss how they can help you build an online e-commerce store to market and sell their photographs, and also to manage the entire client interaction and transaction process.
PhotoShelter currently helps more than 80,000 photographers run their business online, so they are definitely not a small business by any means.
They were featured in The New York Times, Digital Photo Pro, Professional Photographer, and a few other popular photography-focused resources.
How did they manage to convince over 80,000 professional photographers like yourself to use them? We’ll get into that in details below.
PhotoShelter Review – Is PhotoShelter for You?
PhotoShelter is not for everyone. If you are taking pictures as a hobby and just want to post it online to share with your friends and family, there are other great website builders that will get the job done (such as Squarespace, Weebly or Wix).
PhotoShelter is built specifically for professional photographers who want to grow their client base, sales, and reach more people and paying customers on the internet.
Their backend engine is built specifically to support you, giving you full control to:
- Sell prints, packages, digital downloads, royalty-free or rights-managed stock photos
- Get paid – integration with payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net and Netbilling
- Upload all your photographs on to their cloud based storage so you can access them anywhere (no upload size limitations)
- Share your photographs with the public, or privately share them with prospective customers
- Automated print and product fulfillment process
- Protect your photographs with watermark
Moreover, you get access to professionally designed templates that are built specifically to showcase your photographs. You also get access to the HTML / CSS codes of the templates so if you want to customize the design, you do so (or hire someone to help).
There are so many more functions that PhotoShelter delivers to you, but the idea is that all their features are specifically targeted at professional photographers, and helping them grow their e-commerce business, or just to reach more people.
PhotoShelter Review – Website Examples
Let’s take a look at a few examples to see what other photographers have been able to do with PhotoShelter:
The websites above are all built on PhotoShelter using their beautiful templates and website building tools.
Even if you don’t need to use their e-commerce tools, just the ability to store and share your photographs in a safe and protected way is worthy to consider trying PhotoShelter to see if they can help you.
PhotoShelter Review – Customer Support
Before we get into pricing, it’s also important to consider what sort of support you can expect from PhotoShelter.
Let’s face it, technology can be tricky at times and if you experience any issues with the website, you want to get help right away.
With PhotoShelter, they provide phone support (from 9am – 6pm EST), email support, webinars, and a Support Knowledge Base to walk you through, step-by-step on how to set things up and troubleshoot if you run into issues.
I would consider this a pretty well rounded support system, which is pretty much what I would expect from a premium photography website builder like PhotoShelter.
PhotoShelter Review – Pricing Plans
PhotoShelter is free for you to try. They have a 14-day risk free trial so you can safely sign up and see if they can really benefit you.
One thing I didn’t quite like about their 14-day trial sign up process, is that they do require you to insert your credit card information so that when the free trial is over, you will start off your monthly subscription right away.
Most website builders nowadays provide free trials without having you provide credit card information. However, this is just a minor nuisance as if you don’t want to continue using them, you can always just cancel.
The good thing about providing information up front is that your usage of PhotoShelter will be seamless and uninterrupted when the free trial period ends.
PhotoShelter comes with 3 plans:
- Basic – $9.99/month
- Standard – $29.99/month
- Pro – $49.99/month
If you sign up for their annual plan, you can save 8% which is about 1 month worth of subscription. So in a way, signing up for a 1 year plan is paying for 11 months, and get the 12th month free.
The key differences between the Basic and the Standard plan, is that you get a lot more design templates, 50GB more storage space, your own custom domain name and also partner perks (getting discounts with other photography related partners) with the Standard plan.
So using the Standard plan (which is also the most popular amongst 80,000 users) is important in creating your own brand and if you have a large database of images.
The key difference between Standard plan and Pro plan, is that you get 1,000GB worth of storage space with the Pro plan. So the Pro plan is for serious, hardcore photographers who have a massive database of images.
On the surface, we’ve heard feedback that the Standard plan (which is the most popular) is a bit pricey. But you should consider all the tools you will be receiving from PhotoShelter. Normally, if you do all those tasks by hand, or try to manage everything using different programs and widgets, it can be very time consuming.
With PhotoShelter, everything you need to manage your business is hosted under one single roof. Everything is integrated in a seamless manner.
This will end up saving you a lot of time so you can focus on other parts of your business (like taking more pictures!!) The key here is to let technology free up your time by having it manage the administrative side of your business, so you can focus on other things that you want.
Besides, there is a 14-day trial period so it doesn’t hurt to give them a shot.
PhotoShelter Review – Conclusion & Recommendation
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