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If I have this in the wrong forum please tell me and I'll move it there!

 

I've spent part of lockdown refocussing and redeveloping my own website. It's bene enjoyable and has led me to develop a few for other people and organisations that are not looking for the moon. I got to the part where I want to be able to sell wall art of some of my own images - the question is do I built that in or do I use a third party service I can either forward web users to, or put as an engine behind my own. I note the likes of Zenfolio and Picfair have some offerings in that area, but seem to want the whole thing - and I'm only interested in the printing/product side. I'm open to thoughts and suggestions please, obviously UK based as do not want to kill people  or sales on postage, is there a firm that meets my needs?

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I can’t advise on the best way to produce your web site but as we have been running our own limited edition print website successfully for nearly 20 years there is one thing I would say to focus on - how  people will find your web site. 

 We were lucky enough to have a niche market and could directly target our potential buyers. It was very expensive advertising but it paid off! 

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I use Pixieset....

 

There is a free plan - you can upload 3Gb of photos, and there is a 15% commission on sales - but the free plan is not a time limited trial.....

 

(Bonus of 250Mb storage for signing up through my link 🙂 - https://pixieset.com/ref/MVylLNmbyr )

 

or you can pay to upgrade the limits and have commission free sales - you set the prices for your customer.

 

Printing is handled by Loxley Colour in Glasgow.

 

I've used them for photo prints, wedding albums and canvas prints - so there are a lot of options.

 

I also use their "Free" website - limited to 15 pages, 100 photos - or you can have a paid plan that has unlimited pages/photos

 

www.kempdigital.co.uk

 

Cheers

Jools 

 

 

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On 21/06/2020 at 12:21, Sally said:

I have sold prints through my website hosted on Zenfolio. It seems to work pretty well and there are a number of options. A referral code for you if you wish

https://www.zenfolio.com/?refcode=H5B-YB8-S6X

 

Hi Sally,

Are you happy with them? What's the average earnings per sold print?

 

Also, do you mind sharing a link to your site there?

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2 hours ago, AlexG said:

 

Hi Sally,

Are you happy with them? What's the average earnings per sold print?

 

Also, do you mind sharing a link to your site there?

Hi Alex,

i don’t have my whole website set up for prints, though I could if I wanted to, I have done this when I have taken photos of a particular event, eg a vintage car rally when those participating might want a print. So you can’t really see how this works from my website at the moment.

www.sallyanderson.co.uk

 

You can set up galleries to sell any kind of print eg greeting cards, photo gifts and straight prints. In the U.K. the printing company is One. Vision Imaging. You can set your own prices.

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22 hours ago, Jools Devon said:

I use Pixieset....

 

There is a free plan - you can upload 3Gb of photos, and there is a 15% commission on sales - but the free plan is not a time limited trial.....

 

(Bonus of 250Mb storage for signing up through my link 🙂 - https://pixieset.com/ref/MVylLNmbyr )

 

or you can pay to upgrade the limits and have commission free sales - you set the prices for your customer.

 

Printing is handled by Loxley Colour in Glasgow.

 

I've used them for photo prints, wedding albums and canvas prints - so there are a lot of options.

 

I also use their "Free" website - limited to 15 pages, 100 photos - or you can have a paid plan that has unlimited pages/photos

 

www.kempdigital.co.uk

 

Cheers

Jools 

 

 

 

Jools,

 

Have you sold much through them? How many images do you have with Pixieset?

 

Cheers, John.

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I use Fine Art America to host my 'arty' type images, but for photograph I have my own website hosted by Photodeck.
I moved my website from Zenfolio last year as there are some options which are better on Photodeck, but I haven't been too happy with the SEO, for what I think is a quite expensive site.
The print/product sales and digital licencing options are very good with no commission taken for any sales, but, due to having a 'proper' job I don't spend enough time updating the website unfortunately, and find that it may just have become a vanity project with very few sales.

Edited by mickfly
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37 minutes ago, mickfly said:

I use Fine Art America to host my 'arty' type images, but for photograph I have my own website hosted by Photodeck.
I moved my website from Zenfolio last year as there are some options which are better on Photodeck, but I haven't been too happy with the SEO, for what I think is a quite expensive site.
The print/product sales and digital licencing options are very good with no commission taken for any sales, but, due to having a 'proper' job I don't spend enough time updating the website unfortunately, and find that it may just have become a vanity project with very few sales.

 

 

I can't claim any real knowledge but I understand that Google 'likes' sites that have text and images integrated. I do know that my SEO plummeted when I moved from the Photoshelter Classic template which allows text integration, to the Customised templates which don't. Photoshelter will be altering this soon.

 

Looking at search results for my village I get beaten by several local business with simple, basic websites - my hunch is because Google 'sees' the images as having a context and therefore of more value. 

 

I have used Google Console to look at my web stats and only a small number of my pages get indexed. The majority are down as having been located but have not been indexed. 

 

Getting back to the topic I have all mine available for prints sales but never had any luck. Did have some success with FAA but haven't really pursued it. 

Edited by geogphotos
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On 26/06/2020 at 15:48, Stokie said:

 

Jools,

 

Have you sold much through them? How many images do you have with Pixieset?

 

Cheers, John.

 

Hi John

 

I signed up with Pixieset when I photographed my sisters wedding - I had agreed to photograph the wedding and provide her with an hardcopy album.

I uploaded all the images to Pixieset - She could then "Favourite" the ones she liked - and I used her choices to design the album layout.

She could share the images (low res with watermark) on Facebook and with her friends. 

I then received a number of orders for prints - from people that I would not have known about!

So That worked well.

 

If I'm doing a paid shoot then I create a gallery, and send the client a link, and a PIN - They can then download the high res images, and do what they like.

 

If I'm doing a non-paid shoot, maybe an event - then I try and find any companies involved, and send them the link - If they want the hi-res images, then they have to pay per image.

 

The galleries can be private or public - the public ones appear under "client" on the website.

 

In total I have 1415 uploaded - Its a different mix to my Alamy portfolio. For an event, I may upload a few to Alamy, but the full set to Pixieset. Plus there is a lot of stock images that I upload to Alamy, that don't go on Pixieset.

 

So - The sales are more targeted to specific groups, rather than being bought by general public.

 

Hope that helps

 

Jools

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I've had a small portfolio on Fine Art America for the last few years.  3 sales so far.  I have their premium plan which is $30 USD/yr and allows unlimited images whereas their freebie account will only host 25 images. Premium also provides a personal pixels.com website that can be customized to some degree.

 

FAA has a huge number of member artists and art on it's web site.   Unless you're an FAA sales superstar they essentially do no marketing of your portfolio - it's all up to you to market your own FAA stuff.  

 

FAA member's comments in their forums seem to indicate that external marketing via social media Facebook, Instagram, Twitter provide little if any meaningful results.  I tried marketing my FAA portfolio images on Facebook and Instagram.  I was able to entice some interested visitors from my FAA image/Facebook posts to my FAA image portfolio pages until FB changed something so that no longer works.  IG and Twitter provided no noticeable results.

 

FAA's search engine bubbles their sales superstars to the top of their internal search results for buyers - otherwise there is no ranking etc. similar to Alamy's search that I'm aware of.  Difficult to claw one's way to higher FAA search results without big sales from what I've gathered.  External search engines ie. Google do not look at keywords/tags in FAA's images - it looks at the image Descriptions.   Maybe that's just Google's algorithm.

 

For me it's worth $30/yr for the premium account and it's personal web site - and maybe an occasional print sale will show up.

 

 

 

 

 

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I was about to comment earlier when I go called away... I was going to say I use Fine Art America (Pixels.com) and have been there for a number of years with business starting to pick up.  I just received notice of a small sale there a few days ago and membership is very reasonable. On average I get 5-6 sales a year and do very little self-promotion.  I`m in the process of updating some of my older work there as well as enlarging my portfolio here on Alamy.

https://sharon-talson.pixels.com

Edited by Sharon
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On 27/06/2020 at 19:01, Jools Devon said:

 

Hi John

 

I signed up with Pixieset when I photographed my sisters wedding - I had agreed to photograph the wedding and provide her with an hardcopy album.

I uploaded all the images to Pixieset - She could then "Favourite" the ones she liked - and I used her choices to design the album layout.

She could share the images (low res with watermark) on Facebook and with her friends. 

I then received a number of orders for prints - from people that I would not have known about!

So That worked well.

 

If I'm doing a paid shoot then I create a gallery, and send the client a link, and a PIN - They can then download the high res images, and do what they like.

 

If I'm doing a non-paid shoot, maybe an event - then I try and find any companies involved, and send them the link - If they want the hi-res images, then they have to pay per image.

 

The galleries can be private or public - the public ones appear under "client" on the website.

 

In total I have 1415 uploaded - Its a different mix to my Alamy portfolio. For an event, I may upload a few to Alamy, but the full set to Pixieset. Plus there is a lot of stock images that I upload to Alamy, that don't go on Pixieset.

 

So - The sales are more targeted to specific groups, rather than being bought by general public.

 

Hope that helps

 

Jools

 

Thanks Jools. I don't do events or paid for shoots so I don't think it's for me.

 

John.

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On 27/06/2020 at 20:57, Phil said:

I've had a small portfolio on Fine Art America for the last few years.  3 sales so far.  I have their premium plan which is $30 USD/yr and allows unlimited images whereas their freebie account will only host 25 images. Premium also provides a personal pixels.com website that can be customized to some degree.

 

For me it's worth $30/yr for the premium account and it's personal web site - and maybe an occasional print sale will show up.

 

 

Thanks for that useful feedback on FAA Phil. I had a free account a couple of years ago (25 images max) and made one sale.  I opted out when Alamy starting talking about exclusive images, but jumped back in recently when it became clear that didn't apply to POD. I've now had around 300 photos on there since Xmas, but, despite plenty of views, ( maybe largely Bots?) I've yet to make an additional sale. 

 

Rather surprised at what attracts the most visitors, i.e. old B&W scans of steam trains from the UK, while my more arty stuff doesn't do nearly as well.

 

Patience needed perhaps...

Edited by Bryan
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I had images on FAA premium plan a few tears ago, about 100 I think, for around 3 years. No sales so packed it in saving the yearly fee.

 

Allan

 

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I also tried FAA, for about a year with a free account with the 25 free images. Then I decided to upgrade and had close to 100 images. Soon after I upgraded I noticed an uptick in views and activity, however after three quarters of a year there were no sales. I gave up and closed the account last month.

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On 27/06/2020 at 04:41, geogphotos said:

 

 

I can't claim any real knowledge but I understand that Google 'likes' sites that have text and images integrated. I do know that my SEO plummeted when I moved from the Photoshelter Classic template which allows text integration, to the Customised templates which don't. Photoshelter will be altering this soon.

 

 

Uh-oh. I just took the plunge and migrated (finally) to one of the new PS templates. My SEO was holding up surprisingly well with the classic one. As mentioned, I find that gallery descriptions, even short ones, appear to really help with SEO. I'll have to keep an eye on my SEO with the new template.

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8 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

As mentioned, I find that gallery descriptions, even short ones, appear to really help with SEO.

 

This coincides with my understanding of how Google's search engine algo works - it ignores all keywords/tags associated with image - at least on FAA - and only "sees" the image Description/Caption.   Maybe it's been this way all along.   Dunno if this also applies to other search engines like DuckDuckGo, Bing, etc. or if unique to Google.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Uh-oh. I just took the plunge and migrated (finally) to one of the new PS templates. My SEO was holding up surprisingly well with the classic one. As mentioned, I find that gallery descriptions, even short ones, appear to really help with SEO. I'll have to keep an eye on my SEO with the new template.

 

 

Perhaps you shouldn't put too much effort into your website using the existing templates (that you have just switched to) because change is imminent - within the next month or two. And consequently it might be better to see what the changes bring. I'm fairly sure that the expectation is that everybody will need to move over to the new templates after a period of transition.

 

The good news is that, as far as I understand it, it will be possible to add text to any page you like. But the 'Pagebuilider' is going to be completely different so I don't think you will be gaining anything by learning about the current one so soon before it is replaced.

 

Google is going to require the completion of some new IPTC fields to be able to identify which images are available for stock. Photoshelter kindly did this for my 60k images and I understand are offering that service to all subscribers. 

 

Sorry have moved off the question asked by the OP.  I have mine rather half-heartedly priced for Loxley but have never sold any print through Photoshelter.

Edited by geogphotos
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Perhaps you shouldn't put too much effort into your website using the existing templates (that you have just switched to) because change is imminent - within the next month or two. And consequently it might be better to see what the changes bring. I'm fairly sure that the expectation is that everybody will need to move over to the new templates after a period of transition.

 

The good news is that, as far as I understand it, it will be possible to add text to any page you like. But the 'Pagebuilider' is going to be completely different so I don't think you will be gaining anything by learning about the current one so soon before it is replaced.

 

Google is going to require the completion of some new IPTC fields to be able to identify which images are available for stock. Photoshelter kindly did this for my 60k images and I understand are offering that service to all subscribers. 

 

Sorry have moved off the question asked by the OP.  I have mine rather half-heartedly priced for Loxley but have never sold any print through Photoshelter.

 

Thanks for the info, Ian. I actually like the new template (Element) more that I thought I would and am not finding it that tough to figure out. My website needs a total overhaul, and I'll be taking my time anyway. I'll check out some of the discussion at PS, something I haven't done for a long time.

 

Regarding selling prints, I used to make print sales through my PhotoShelter site, but they dried up a few years ago. There are too many POD sites now. That said, I still manage to make print sales on Fine Art America, which I think provides better customer service than PS.

Edited by John Mitchell
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