If you are a professional or dedicated photographer, you certainly need to have a powerful photography portfolio. There are great hosting solutions that can store your photographs for your website, such as 500px vs SmugMug. So, which one is the best for your photography portfolio? See the comparisons along with the pros and cons of each option below!
In this article, you can learn more about:
– The features and benefits of 500px and SmugMug
– The weaknesses or limitations of 500px and SmugMug
– The pricing of 500px vs SmugMug
– Which photography portfolio solution that is best for you
500px is continuously growing in popularity. It is geared more towards serious photography, as it has expanded from a mere social networking website with photo sharing to a more sophisticated photography portfolio solution with nice buffs. It also offers a paid portfolio website service and an online marketplace called 500px Prime where members can sell photographs.
As a dedicated photography website, 500px’s themes are squarely aimed at photographers who want to show off their works. Although the number of themes is lower than other competitors, the available ones work very well. The themes are mostly designed to show collections of smaller images rather than putting one large photo for the portfolio display.
Unfortunately, the marketplace is not flexible, as it is strictly controlled by 500px. There is no way to include videos. 500px does not have any blog integration, but you can put a link to your blog on the About Me page.
500px has a basic free version that already includes useful features, but there are paid versions that come with advanced features, such as unlimited uploads, gallery slideshows, support priority, integration with Google Analytics, and ad-free experience. If you are interested, there is a bundle that includes the portfolio service along with a subscription to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC.
SmugMug probably does not require an introduction, as most photographers are already familiar with the name. Nevertheless, SmugMug is centered on creating highly-customizable photography portfolio websites and creating an easy way for you to share your works online and reach a broad audience.
SmugMug is full of excellent themes and styles, which all offer much more customizability than what you could imagine. SmugMug does not rely on templates alone. Instead, it has opted for customizable styles that allow you to manipulate every webpage however you want. You can arrange your media and text into boxes, and drag-and-drop them to specific spots to suit your taste and preference.
SmugMug is also very proud about its security. SmugMug claims that your photographs in the service are all safe, as it is powered by Amazon Web Services. There are additional privacy controls that allow you to decide what content to show to the public and what content to hide. There are also tools for making watermarks, right-click protection, and passwords, so that your images are significantly less likely to get stolen.
Still, there are some weaknesses. First, the community is not as large as 500px – one reason is because it does not have a free version. Second, the mobile app is only for snapping photos, and not for accessing your SmugMug account. Third, there is also no blog integration, although you can put a link to your blog on your homepage.
As mentioned above, SmugMug does not have any free version. There is just a 14-day trial if you want to try it before purchasing. There are four subscription categories: Basic, Power, Portfolio, and Business.
The Power subscription costs $5 per month, and is recommended for dedicated photographers who are new on SmugMug. This plan already includes several themes, a customizable homepage with complete customization controls, support for a custom domain, support for HD videos, and right-click protection. Meanwhile, the higher options come with custom watermarks, custom branding, event photo management, and photo-specific pricing.
500px vs SmugMug
|- The marketplace is not flexible||- Has photo-specific pricing|
|- Larger community||- Smaller community|
|- Good security features||- Robust security features|
|- Has a free version||- No free version|
Between the two, 500px is generally more recommended. It has a larger community, so it can bring your works to a larger audience. The features are great, and there are already customization options. It also has a free version, which is already quite powerful.