Over the years I've kept tinkering with the gallery portion of my Web site, adding features, streamlining maintenance, improving usability. But I kept putting off the most daunting task of incorporating print ordering. I realized after a while that as I listed my requirements and plotted my development path, I was slowly and tediously inventing Zenfolio.
After taking the trial version out for a test spin for a few days, I realized that Zenfolio neatly addressed the main issues I was confronting. I occasionally get queries about prints of images and, although flattering, I find it tedious to deal with billing, printing, and shipping. The same issues apply to photos for friends and family. I enjoy doing it but it is very tedious to deal with soliciting print orders, dealing with different size requests, etc. With Zenfolio, I can forget about all that and let the site handle all the billing and fulfillment chores. Plus I like the classy look of some of the Zenfolio site styles as well as the raft of configurable features.
So, I've taken the plunge and bought myself a Zenfolio subscription and retooled my Web site to incorporate Zenfolio for the gallery portion. (Some use Zenfolio for their entire site.) I have a couple images being published in April that I suspect will garner a few print requests so this will be a good test of how this new approach works.
I realize this all comes off like I've become a Zenfolio salesman but that's not the case—I'm just pleased with how well it addresses some of the issues I was dealing with. There are other services that do similar things like Shutterfly. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, take one of them out for a test spin to see if it meets your needs.
Next up for me, I want to fold the blog into my Web site. I'll be converting over to Wordpress hosted on my site and we'll see how that goes. I may even actually put out some more frequent updates. We'll see.