Moving to a new CMS
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
For several years, mywilderness.net was set up on the photography content management system of Zenfolio. Following an extensive evaluation, I eventually decided to switch to wix.com. Are you interested to learn why?
When I set up my Zenfolio website a few years ago, I moved there from two photo community websites: 500pix.com and naturescapes.net. Back then, I just wanted to create my own space and add information such as a blog and trip reports, which wasn't easily possible on the platforms that focussed on simply providing people with community exposure for their photographic work.
The Zenfolio CMS worked very well and kept growing in functionality over the years. However, I became increasingly dissatisfied with the design and lay-out options, as well as the general usability. I just wanted to create a more beautiful, modern looking website with simpler structures.
My first impulse was to ask Google for something like «best photography CMS», and the search yielded well-known names such as Photoshelter, SmugMug, Weebly, Format, and yes, Zenfolio. I had used Wix for other stuff, like corporate websites and a blog, and have always liked their modern design language and ease-of-use, but I was missing a proper way to structure and present galleries. Month after month passed and eventually, I wanted to give it another shot. By now, Wix had updated the configuration options and and added a very attractive gallery add-on. This lead me to set up a trial account to test the capabilities and blind spots, and the result was very convincing.
However, Wix is not (yet?) very good at covering the needs of photographers and it shows in a very simple way: the storage capacity for any Wix client account is limited to a tiny 20GB* and files larger than 25MB cannot be uploaded.
*UPDATE Summer 2019: Wix now offers subscriptions with 35GB and 50GB of storage. Also, there is now standard functionality enabling multi-language websites. Sehr gut!
This means that I have to use a 3rd party repository such as DropBox and connect it to my Wix account, or limit the galleries and number of images I display here, and additionally create smaller jpgs for images which come out of my processing workflow at more than 25MB. All of this is cumbersome, to say the least. But because I am really happy with the design and configuration options here, I hope that the Wix team will come to understand this challenge in the next few months, start to offer storage expansion for photographers, and eliminate the 25MB file size limit.
If they do, I will be happy to remain on this platform. If not, I will run out of storage space either after the upcoming India excursion, or then after the big Mongolia trip later this year. The upside is: I can easily move on, as in the process of transferring from Zenfolio to Wix, I created a cool little migration routine. So, @WixTeam, the ball is in your court, if you want to see more photographers move to your CMS ;-)
Patrick Meier, 13.5.18