Anyone here built a site with Show-It Sites? Was it worth the $39/month?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by steve_c.|5, May 13, 2009.

  1. I've been looking at some websites done with Show-It Sites, and it looks like a good tool. Has anyone here built a photography site with it (primarily for weddings)? Has the switch to this service resulted in additional sales or inquiries for you? Is it worth the $39 a month?
    Now, before I get deluged with admonishments about "a fancy website won't set the world on fire for you" I'm well-grounded in the principles of good marketing. I'm just looking for a better way to update my site and perhaps present a more professional and pleasing image, which hopefully clients will respond to.
     
  2. always thought showit sites were for slideshows.
     
  3. I just looked at them Steve, I have no previous information about them. I couldn't find any information about how many photos one can upload to the site with a quick look. It has a nice clean look and a creative feel ... I looked at a couple of the videos about how to build the sites.
    The pages looked interesting but I can now get unlimited uploads, pages and galleries and a real nice way to proof all my weddings for less than $21 per month with ifp3.com with their top level website package. That's a significant savings over a long period and I can put All my work up for customers to view and buy prints with just a click or two.
    So, one element to consider is whether you expect to merely generate business contacts with the site as opposed to using it as a way to proof weddings to clients and sell prints and so on.
    Those are quick thoughts only.
     
  4. Show-It does have a slideshow product, but have since come out with a website design solution.
    Thanks, William. I'm using Zenfolio now (having ditched Pictage) for online fulfillment and image hosting, and don't link it directly to my website.
    One attraction to the Show-It Sites is when you create a site with it, it scales to whatever browser / screen resolution someone has, lets you do large animated images/graphics, and has a drag/drop interface which is widely customizable yourself (instead of relying on cookie-cutter templates everybody and his pet fish has, form implementation, and more. Also the ability to tweak meta tags for SEO. I dunno, I was hoping someone here had actually built a photography site with it to give me some feedback on the value. Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?
     
  5. Photobiz.com
    $15 a month.
     
  6. Steve - I think those site rock and if I were are modern bride that's how I would want my photographers website to look. I played with the site builder tool during the beta stage and IMO is the best way to design a website for those of use who speak photography, not html. We painfully decided that it was just not in our budget to use them but based on how our business is growing, 2010 might be the year we get our Show-It on!
    As far as marketing goes, anyway to stand out from the crowd is better than being amongst the flock but I don't have any hardcore numbers for you. What I do see is a lot of the top money making photographers using it so maybe a few emails to them might give you the specifics your asking.
     
  7. I use showit sites, and for me, while my site so far is...kinda ugly, it's made creating a flash-based site so easy. I have a lot more work to do, but I am confident about being able to make a pretty slick site fairly quickly now.
    For me, yes, it is worth the money.
     
  8. Many thanks for the responses and ideas so far!
     
  9. Completely worth the monthly fee.
    If you have a template site then you are basically stuck when it comes time to update it. With Showit Sites, you are free to take down your entire site, and build a completely new one every few years or so. To answer some questions, Showit Sites allows unlimited photos, unlmited pages, unlimited videos, and all the new updates and new features that come out are completley free!
    I'd love to field more questions if anybody has any.
    Awesome!

    Nick
    - Showit Evangelist
     
  10. It's pure gouging for people who don't know about web hosting. If you're willing to put a lot of work into it (or higher a pro for a lot less than $39/month times a few years), there's a lot of excellent free software you can set up to build a far better site. Dreamhost for example is $8/month for pretty much unlimited everything and they're one of the best hosts out there. If you're okay limited to a few tens of thousands of thounds of images you can find plenty of quality hosts in the $3/month range. That makes $39/month seem crazy expensive just to use their software over anything else that's out there.
    I'm not talking about a template site. I'm talking a high-end but free content management program like Drupal, PHP-Nuke or one of dozens of others. Plus a few hours of somebody's time to give you a professional custom look and feel. (Building your own thing with a site like showit would be the equivalent of hiring uncle Bob to photograph your wedding instead of hiring a pro. Let someone who knows what they're doing do it) -- especially when you're talking about a cheesy service that's so much more expensive after a few years than a professionally made site would be.
    Plus, if you do use it, you're tied to them. If you want to stop paying their fees, you're back to square one building a new site. That's another reason I'd never trust a proprietary company like this.
     
  11. I'm the husband of a wedding and portrait photographer. I'm a self taught, freelance website designer. My wife's former site wasn't up to par with her competition and didn't highlight her ability. We wanted something with a lot more punch but I've never been able to figure out flash.
    We are now HAPPILY paying the monthly fee for the ShowItSites. I've just about finished the site and we couldn't imagine having one so nice that we can control so easily. My wife used to hate that she couldn't add things herself to the site and when I get busy at my real job - it just doesn't happen. Now she can.
    I'm a huge fan of David Jay and how he works. I checked out most of the vendors mentioned above plus bludomain and was absolutely most comfortable with this. It is absolutely worth looking into.
     

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