First was its less-than-robust search mechanism. Search strings entered had to match an image keyword exactly or no results would be returned. Also, strings in an image's description field were not included in such searches. I had a number of clients express frustration with the trouble they'd had finding images and who knows how many potential clients were lost when they couldn't find what they were looking for and moved on. With an online image collection of over 2000 images (and growing) on my site, the need for a robust search mechanism has become more and more critical.
Secondly (and of even more importance) is that I wanted to move to a business model where all my online print orders are self-fulfilled. That is, whenever a customer places an order through the site's cart system and checks out, the order would come directly to me and I'd print and send it out myself. While Smugmug provides an excellent cart system with their service, it's only available if you utilize one of their third party printers and they've shown no sign over the years of offering a self-fulfillment option (despite many requests for it). Sure, I could eliminate the cart system and require orders to be placed via email, but I want a more professional ordering interface (and I'm sure potential customers do too!).
|The New Look!|