I did a previous review of PhotoShelter back in Jan ’09, but on re-reading it, I discovered that I pretty much missed out one large area of discussion. That is, Community…
Before we get to that though, since I wrote the original post, there have been a bunch of further improvements to PhotoShelter, and a load more features added, such as:
1. The SEO-Grader. This is a pretty cool tool – it’s the equivalent of having someone sit down with you and discuss what you’re missing on your site. Have you missed writing descriptions for your gallery, have you put in SEO-friendly meta data in your main page areas, have you written captions for all your images, have you customised your page titles, have you installed a code for Google Analytics… and so on. Yes, you can click through all the different sections on the ‘customize’ screens, but having the grader tell you what you might be missing is a great feature!
2. More stats available – as well as seeing how many users are viewing which images on your site, you can see who’s adding what images to their cart.
3. More SEO Emphasis, like allowing you to customise page titles and loads of other items, as well as including the gallery name in the URL now, instead of a not-so-friendly unique number.
All in all, a whole load of things. And the original review still stands in terms of how easy everything is to set up / integrate with paypal etc.
So the thing I missed completely was that there’s also the ‘softer’ side to PhotoShelter, i.e. not the website, not the galleries, not the product itself – but the community feeling of PhotoShelter.
There’s a whole load of resources that they’ve created, like their Stimulus plan for encouraging more photography events, or the fact that they give away so much really good information to the photography community for free…
1. Blog posts, like this one on SEO Search Engine Optimization.
3. The Image Buyer Survey, in which they interview industry professionals and then share the results of what they like in a website, or what they hate in a website. Again, all stuff that PhotoShelter have used to improve the design of their own product, but then have also shared with the whole world for free. They also have a video on vimeo called Photography Websites: What Buyers Want 2009 on the same subject.
4. Grover recently did a free Webinar over at the Livebooks Webinar series about Leveraging your photo archive to grow your business.
5. Or live in person, at a free Adorama workshop, called ‘Killer Websites’.
6. PhotoShelter also have their own schedule of webinars, listed at the Free Photography Websites Webinars page.
Point being that they really seem to do a whole load of stuff for the community, and it’s all there for everyone to use!
PhotoShelter Review (Jan 14th, 2009)