PhotoShelter is an application for professional photographers to create websites for storing images for portfolio viewing and/or purchases. Tools include easy to use templates, shopping carts with unlimited pricing profiles, and marketing tools such as SEO tools, integrated social media tools, and embeddable slideshows.Show more screenshots »
PhotoShelter was founded in January of 2005 by Allen Murabayashi for photographers to create a professional website in under five minutes. Average unique visitors to the site number between 300,000- 400,000 per month.
Some other apps, PhotoMerchant for example, offers free trials with no credit card required. It also offers free unlimited storage for ALL plans. This is definitely a plus.
PhotoShelter has some interesting and valuable features, but the storage space limits may be a problem for some photographers.
The "free trial" requires billing information and the onus is on the user to cancel before the trial period ends to avoid being billed. This is off-putting as so many sites offer free trials without collecting credit card numbers.
One note: On each page, the "join now and get a free guide" popup blocked text. This was annoying and intrusive and made it difficult to review the information provided on the pages.
Samples of sites created with the ready-made templates are dynamic and interesting. Each one appears to be very professional and easy to navigate.
PhotoShelter offers SEO tools and monitoring with an "SEO grader" and integration with Google Analytics. It also automatically submits the user's sitemap to Google. Users may integrate sites with Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets to build a following. Photos may be uploaded directly from the user's Photoshelter site to social media sites. Easy sharing options allow site visitors to share media as well for promotion purposes. Slideshows may be embedded for dynamic content viewing.
The integrated shopping cart allows purchases directly through the website. Prints may be fulfilled via AdoramPix, EZPrints, BWC, Spectrum Photographic, or the user may self-fulfill orders. fotoQuote pricing calculator allows the user to support rights management or to control royalty-free pricing structures. Users may create custom photo packages for marketing.
The interface is relatively easy to use. Photographers should evaluate whether the storage space is sufficient for them and whether it is worth the cost.
For support, the application offers free phone and email support, monthly live webinars, video tutorials, and written tutorials.
The biggest downsides are the storage limits as well as the "free" trial requiring credit card information.
First and last name, email address, password, and desired URL (with .photoshelter.com domain) are required. Users must also provide billing information. To avoid billing, the user must cancel membership prior to the end of the 14 day free trial promotion.
There are three plans to choose from in Photoshelter. All plans offer a 14 day free trial and a free guide with 10 branding secrets for photographers. The Basic Plan is offered at a cost of $9.99 per month and includes one instant website template and 10GB of secure storage. The Standard Plan is offered for $29.99 per month and includes 10 instant website templates and 60GB of secure storage, a custom design, and use of the user's own domain name. The Pro Plan costs $49.99 per month and includes 10 instant website templates, 1000GB of secure storage, the ability to create a custom design, and use of the user's own domain name. If paid annually, the user will receive an 8% discount on any plan.
Professional photographers seeking an easy-to-use tool for creating an online portfolio and ecommerce site will find this application interesting. The space limitations, pricing, and necessity of providing credit information for a "free" trial may cue users to check out other options before committing to PhotoShelter.