SmugMug vs Zenfolio

SmugMug and Zenfolio are the two top options for setting up Photography sites. If you are a photographer, you’ve probably already ran across SmugMug and Zenfolio when exploring available options for setting up photography websites.

Both options are very similar. Instead of side-by-side comparisons, this post is a summary of what users are saying about the differences between SmugMug and Zenfolio in various photography forums.

The lists below only point out their differences. If an item was mentioned multiple times (3x or more) in the forums, it made it on the list below.



  • has video and geotagging (Zenfolio does not,  Zenfolio has since added video)
  • greater flexibility and control of page layout
  • has many more site customization options



  • easier to configure
  • nicer shopping cart/checkout experience
  • pages look better out of the box
  • lacks video support
  • order prints through mpix (this seemed to be a favorite)

From my research, the quote below summarizes it nicely:

Zenfolio is easy to use, and looks great if you happen to like their particular layouts. There are really only about 9 options that you can choose from. And they are cheaper, and have a slightly better fee structure if you want to sell your photos online.

On the otherhand, SmugMug has a lot more customization options, so if that’s your thing, or you have a more particular look and feel in mind, it is likely to work better there. Plus their support is great and very fast, as others have mentioned. But it takes more work to get it up and running.

by bosphoto at  Outdoor Photographers Forum


For more info:

Zenfolio Forum: Zenfolio or SmugMmug

Outdoor Photographer Forums

DPChallenge Forums

For side-by-side comparison:

Comparing SmugMug vs Zenfolio

 What’s been your experience with SmugMug or Zenfolio?

4 thoughts on “SmugMug vs Zenfolio”

  1. Carma,
    I don’t understand why you acknowledge that Zenfolio has video since at least Fall last year but the body of your report still says it doesn’t have video. I’m exploring both places as backup or secondary and most of us look only at the body of a report and not at comments (even if I did see comments just now because I’m inclined that way).
    Really, please change it. I think it’s unfair to leave it the way it is. Thanks for your report otherwise.

  2. Good point, Andrys. I noted the update in the post. Good luck in your exploring both options. I’d be interested in knowing which direction you go and why.

  3. I have another year on my SmugMug membership, but am considering switching to Zenfolio.  One is that SmugMug requires “Copyright SmugMug” in footer, which is annoying (might be less annoying if they had a different name, of course).  Another big issue is inability to easily move or edit multiple galleries — it’s possible, but takes hours and feels very 1990ish.  I’m assuming Zenfolio has modern tools for the latter.  Anyone made the switch?

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