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Author Topic: Which Self - hosted provider is really working?  (Read 9027 times)

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« on: November 09, 2013, 07:44 »
0
In our microstock poll results Self Hosted is in 3rd place. Wow! But which self-hosted provider is really working? I use Symbiostock and Photoshelter.

2 sales for me in Photoshelter/one of them print sale/ and 0 sales in Symbio in October. No technical bugs in Photoshelter and more in Symbiostock with new theme.
10% fee of sale in Photoshelter, 0% fee in Symbio.
10dollars month fee for hosting in both. Great option for RM images in Photoshelter, which missing in Symbio.

Please share yours opinions.


Ron

« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2013, 08:32 »
+2
RM is coming for Symbio
Bugs are being ironed out for Symbio

So I guess, with those two options you dont need more. Anythin you add will only cost you more money but doesnt guarantee a return. I would stick with Symbio for the moment and decide a year from now what other options you have.

« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2013, 10:08 »
+5
I have 3 sites : a Photoshelter (8 months now), Photodeck (2.5 months), Symbio (0.5 months):
In terms of functionality and options: 1. photodeck (best); 2. photoshelter; 3: Symbio
In term of cost; 1. Symbio (least costly); 2. photodeck; 3.photoshelter (most costly due to 9% commission).
In terms of earning photodeck is by far number 1:  in 2.5 month i earn 3 times more than what i earn with photoshelter in 8 months. 100% earning also helps, especially with big sales. Symbio is too early to judge, i have no traffic yet but got sales from another Symbio member so it's all good for now.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2013, 10:10 »
0
Interesting to watch the answers.

I will be doing my first self-hosted eventually and RM is important. I'm working on learning Symbio for the base and a new Domain that matches the content, which will be 100% RM.

That's just me, but that's what I do, so Symbiostock at 0% commission, on the same hosting that I already pay for, is a pretty interesting project.

« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2013, 10:59 »
0
That is great news about photodeck. I'll try to set up my shop over New Year. I signed up with them because they have such easy to use features and elegant designs.

What kind of licensing terms did you add? Did you just copy paste the license from somewhere or are there templates that we can use?

« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2013, 11:46 »
+2
That is great news about photodeck. I'll try to set up my shop over New Year. I signed up with them because they have such easy to use features and elegant designs.

What kind of licensing terms did you add? Did you just copy paste the license from somewhere or are there templates that we can use?

I have a personal use license for students/teacher/educational use and then standard and extended licenses, pretty much similar to those of agencies. i limit the print runs to 100,000 for standard license, though. i looked at various agencies terms and made a kind of combination of what is relevant to mine, added in my specific stuffs and put them in "easy language". You are welcome to have a look at mine and even copy whatever relevant for your images.
I like the fact that in photodeck, the buyer get the license terms in pdf downloaded together with the invoice and the bought images in one zip file.

lisafx

« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2013, 14:58 »
+2
Great idea for a thread.  I will be watching the replies with interest. 

My site is Ktools.  I like the look and functionality, but I don't have time or skills to promote it, and it is hardly bringing in any sales on its own. 

For those that use Photodeck or Photoshelter, do they attract customers without a concerted push from you?

« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2013, 17:40 »
+2
"Self-Hosted" maybe one effective means of keeping the
traditional agencies in line. Why submit to an agency that
continually drops commissions  >:( and you can earn far
more self-hosting your portfolio?  ;D

« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2013, 17:59 »
+2
Thanks Alila! I will definetly have a look at your license. There are also specific things in German business law that I still need to figure out to get the best protection.

I think exploring self hosted is extremly important for all of us. And the more artists do it, the more customers will realise that there is a lot more content out there.

Before the internet the agencies basically controlled access to the customer,especially international customers were hard to reach.

Now with the internet...just a mouseclick away...

« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2013, 21:48 »
+5
My site is Ktools.  I like the look and functionality, but I don't have time or skills to promote it, and it is hardly bringing in any sales on its own. 

For those that use Photodeck or Photoshelter, do they attract customers without a concerted push from you?

Well, some sites have a better SEO than other, so more traffic, but attract customers, i dont think so. For example, my photoshelter site is having most of traffic (well it's also been there for a longer time), but mostly useless traffic that does not translate into sales, not sure why.
I thought the same about promoting, i had no idea what to do. I started by sending email (i sent about 100) to potential customers, with my niche, i thought it would do the trick, i even found those who already used my images from agencies and sent them emails. I can tell you now that is totally useless, not for me anyways,at least i could not see any sale from those at all. Advertising is not a good thing for small sites either, i have not tried but have heard that it's only wasting of money.
Here is what i did that i find the most effective and takes no time at all : i make sure that my user name on agencies is exactly the same as my site name. I have stopped uploading to all agencies, except SS who has about half of my new stuffs, and pond5 where i can set my price. Buyers who like my images will google my site name, about half of my customers came that way.
Also, i put  a link to my site anywhere i could (should be relevant of course), even here, on this forum where you may think there are only sellers and no buyers, but you never know, and a relevant link is always good for SEO.


« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2013, 00:20 »
+1
interesting thread. I am also for last 8 month in photoshelter with just couple of sales but there is no lack of traffic but as the others said above, most of them are useless and hardly any of them probably turning into customer. But again, getting so many traffic is also 1st step before getting sales and yes i used to do blogging etc for 1st 1-2 months and they did attract many people but just visitors i believe no customers. Then i left blogging. No other promotion other than that. I am now not sure whether i should continue with photoshelter or any of other self hosted sites because i have really no time for promotions etc. But i must say that i faced no glitch bug or any other site related problems with photoshelter. Would like to hear more about photodeck.


Ron

« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2013, 11:11 »
0
Hello J-F,

Thanks,

If you are planning on coming to the forum more often than you might want to get in touch with the owner of MSG, Tyler (Leaf) and get a badge on your username so that you are verified as Photodeck spokesperson.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 12:05 by Ron »

« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 11:22 »
+1
Hi there,

I am a founder of PhotoDeck and this thread was brought to our attention by a member. Thank you for your interest in our service!

To answer a question raised above: we don't actively promote our members' websites / content. Being direct and honest is very important to us, so I thought I'd start with that.

We focus on what we do best, which is providing the best possible websites to professional shooters who (we assume) know how to run their business. Web hosting and stock selling require very different skillsets, and I don't know of any company who can honnestly tell they're good at both. That's also why we don't take a commission on sales, that wouldn't be fair in our view.

Asmai has a strategy to get buyers on her site, that's the first important thing. The second is making sure that the buyers that end up on your site are happy with what they see: both content and experience. We can certainly help (a lot) with #2, but not with #1.

I'll check the thread again tomorrow ;)

J-F Maion
Founder, PhotoDeck

I know you guys didn't do vectors when you first launched. Was that still not an option and/or was it in the works? Just curious.

« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2013, 12:01 »
0
its Tyler

Ron

« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2013, 12:04 »
0
its Tyler
  Man, I keep having these typo's. I think I am going dyslexic or something.

« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2013, 12:41 »
+1
interesting thread. I am also for last 8 month in photoshelter with just couple of sales but there is no lack of traffic but as the others said above, most of them are useless and hardly any of them probably turning into customer. But again, getting so many traffic is also 1st step before getting sales and yes i used to do blogging etc for 1st 1-2 months and they did attract many people but just visitors i believe no customers. Then i left blogging. No other promotion other than that. I am now not sure whether i should continue with photoshelter or any of other self hosted sites because i have really no time for promotions etc. But i must say that i faced no glitch bug or any other site related problems with photoshelter. Would like to hear more about photodeck.

I can see what you mean, i cant possibly do something that doesn't bring results right away (i am pretty much impatient). I just started blogging and got some traffic to my site, no sale from that yet, so i thought, i should do something that does not waste my time. I tried to blog about things that people do need to read anyways, and i already cash in from ads on my blog, not much yet, but it keeps me going as i dont feel totally doing things for nothing.

The photodeck interface is definitely more friendly for buyers. Also, it gives you lots more flexibility in licensing types, payment processors, pricing, custom pages, ...One big thing about photodeck is great customer service, fast and personalized. And of course, no commission helps a lot, especially when you start to get lots of sale :)

« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2013, 12:45 »
+1
Hi there,

I am a founder of PhotoDeck and this thread was brought to our attention by a member. Thank you for your interest in our service!

To answer a question raised above: we don't actively promote our members' websites / content. Being direct and honest is very important to us, so I thought I'd start with that.

We focus on what we do best, which is providing the best possible websites to professional shooters who (we assume) know how to run their business. Web hosting and stock selling require very different skillsets, and I don't know of any company who can honnestly tell they're good at both. That's also why we don't take a commission on sales, that wouldn't be fair in our view.

Asmai has a strategy to get buyers on her site, that's the first important thing. The second is making sure that the buyers that end up on your site are happy with what they see: both content and experience. We can certainly help (a lot) with #2, but not with #1.

I'll check the thread again tomorrow ;)

J-F Maion
Founder, PhotoDeck

I know you guys didn't do vectors when you first launched. Was that still not an option and/or was it in the works? Just curious.


+1

Photodeck is very listening ! I am sure if you guys chime in here for vector format, we would have it pretty soon :)

After all that the first site that offers video (and it works great!)
[/quote]

« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2013, 12:55 »
+1
Photoshelter has a (rudimentary) universal search feature.  It would be great if Photodeck offered that as well.  Especially if it could separate photos from the illustrations... something Photoshelter lacks. 

« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2013, 14:55 »
+1
Hello J-F,

Thanks,

If you are planning on coming to the forum more often than you might want to get in touch with the owner of MSG, Tyler (Leaf) and get a badge on your username so that you are verified as Photodeck spokesperson.

He hasn't written to me yet but I thought I'd give him a badge just the same :)

Ron

« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2013, 15:06 »
0
Hello J-F,

Thanks,

If you are planning on coming to the forum more often than you might want to get in touch with the owner of MSG, Tyler (Leaf) and get a badge on your username so that you are verified as Photodeck spokesperson.

He hasn't written to me yet but I thought I'd give him a badge just the same :)
But but but, how do you know he is legit??  ;)

Just kidding.

« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2013, 15:11 »
0
Hello J-F,

Thanks,

If you are planning on coming to the forum more often than you might want to get in touch with the owner of MSG, Tyler (Leaf) and get a badge on your username so that you are verified as Photodeck spokesperson.

He hasn't written to me yet but I thought I'd give him a badge just the same :)
But but but, how do you know he is legit??  ;)

Just kidding.

.. yes I see the 'just kidding' but for those who are still wondering.  I can see his email address.  It's from photodeck and it has to be confirmed to add it.

lisafx

« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2013, 20:35 »
0
Thanks Alila and J-F for taking the time to answer my questions. 

Looks like no site is going to bring in buyers without a concerted marketing effort on my part.  I might as well stick with the Ktools site, as I have already spent a fair amount of money and effort on it. 

   

« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2013, 16:12 »
+1
Photoshelter really annoy me for their spamming/marketing. Two or three years ago I gave them my email address in order to see an article (which was rubbish). Ever since they have bugged me with offers -> seemingly every couple of weeks it is the last chance to sign up for this or that special never again offer. And yet somehow similar offers always come along again.

IMO self hosting best suits organizations with existing traffic - for example a museum or collection which happens to also need to sometimes be able to sell images. But it is not the primary business. Eg if selling images is a need they need to be able to service.


 

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