Over the last few years, I’ve stored photos with a variety of methods such as Flickr, Dropbox, Google Drive and an external hard drive. I had backed up photos up to about a year old in two places, but my Western Digital hard drive recently crashed, and I lost some photos that were from 2011 and before. Luckily, I had uploaded many of those photos onto Flickr, so I still had access to the high resolution JPGs (but not RAW). I still lost some photos and documents, and am pretty sad about it!
To avoid this problem in the future, I’ve decided to move my image hosting to both an external hard drive, and Zenfolio, an online professional photo hosting service. I started out with the Zenfolio trial period, which gives you the Premium service plan (described here) to experiment with the photo hosting, as well as their basic content management system for providing pages, galleries and blogging capabilities. I like the Premium service offering in Zenfolio because it gives you unlimited space as well as some additional client-friendly services.
After some experimentation, I ultimately decided that I would stick to my current WordPress installation, configure an external homepage with my zenfolio account, and create a CNAME record that allows me to use a custom subdomain for my photos. Here are the benefits of my configuration:
- Unlimited space!
- By not migrating the site to Zenfolio, I won’t lose any valuable search engine ranking and links that my site has built up since I created it.
- By using an external homepage configuration in Zenfolio, the “Home” link on all my viewing galleries always points back to http://stephskardal.com/.
- By creating a CNAME record that points a subdomain to my Zenfolio account (http://photos.stephskardal.com/), the Zenfolio service and branding will not be obvious to any clients.
I also found an awesome Lightroom Zenfolio plugin that gives you the ability to export directly to Zenfolio from Lightroom, which I use 100% of the time!
A snapshot of a Zenfolio gallery.