Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Your Total Website Solution
For conducting business on the web and giving you the ability to “make money while you sleep,” there are a number of excellent options for pros
FolioLink’s service (foliolink.com) has two components, a portfolio site for image display and an archive site with advanced feature sets for e-commerce. The image archive site allows you to create a wide set of photo offerings in multiple sizes, adjust pricing options, create client folders for proofing and add multiple fulfillment options such as cardstock choices.
On the FolioLink Portfolio Site, there are a base set of 25 templates at the Pro Account level, and you can customize the templates extensively. HTML and Flash are both supported, and the portfolio automatically includes an iPhone-optimized site. Both Flash and HTML portfolio designs also are optimized for search engines. You even can edit the XML data used to generate your site; for example, you can change colors and background textures, add a custom form to a section of the site or control what happens when a client clicks on a specific thumbnail image.
On the FolioLink Archive site, uploading files is easy. You can perform mass uploads, automatically adding IPTC data as keywords, and create custom folders for clients to access. If you take advantage of FolioLink’s S3 cloud archiving, you can upload an unlimited number of JPEGs each as large as 60 MB (have you ever even made a 60 MB JPEG?). Photos can be organized into lightboxes for client viewing and approval, and there’s an easy way for clients to post questions for an individual photo.
With FolioLink, customization options for e-commerce means you can configure photo products with different types of licensing, in varying sizes, with thumbnails or without. None of the other web-hosting sites offers quite as many e-commerce customization options. FolioLink also offers a download folder for clients, which you can use for sharing images or other documents without the photo-size limitation.
Pricing is higher than some other options, with the Pro Account costing $695 per year for 5,000 hosted images. (You can purchase additional storage through Amazon’s cloud storage service.) Like liveBooks, FolioLink creates a shadow HTML for any sections of the site that use Flash, such as thumbnails and slideshows, to make sure the site is optimized for web searches and for mobile access. Like SmugMug, you also can upload video files to the site or host them in the Amazon cloud.
Overall, FolioLink offers an extensive array of customization options, and it’s remarkably easy to use; it has good overall features for a pro photography website.
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