Views from Phanfare CEO and Co-founder Andrew Erlichson

Link Introducing Phanfare Pro

I am pleased to announce the introduction of Phanfare Pro. Phanfare Pro is targeted at prosumers and professional photographers who want a fully customizable archival photo and video hosting solution. With Phanfare Pro you can:

  • Create your own website of your photos and videos without Phanfare branding at yourname.phanfare.com
  • Create up to 1000 subsites, each one with a URL of yourname.phanfare.com/subsite. This is great for photographers who do work for clients and want to create a site for each client. Each subsite can have any subset of your albums and be optionally password protected.
  • Customize colors to match other websites that you might maintain
  • Customize the header and footer of album pages in one of three ways: with custom HTML; with a custom image; or by including an HTTP pointer to a third party page that contains the markup you want to include.
  • Customize the background image that is tiled across your Phanfare web albums
  • Use your own domain name through a CNAME record.
  • Host up to 20 minute videos

Phanfare Pro also includes all the standard features of Phanfare Premium including

  • Storage of full size originals
  • The peace of mind of knowing that your images are stored in multiple data centers in multiple locations through Amazon S3.
  • Non-destructive image editing. You can always revert to your uploaded original.
  • Full control over whether viewers can download originals, buy prints and see EXIF data.
  • Our intelligent video streaming that measures viewer bandwidth and CPU speed and delivers an appropriately sized video.
  • Integration with Aperture, Lightroom, PIcasa and iPhoto.
  • Integration with facebook and flickr.
  • Integration with the Eye-Fi wireless SD card for photos.
  • Full screen slideshows with music.
  • iPhone integration. Synchronize your photos and videos to your iPhone via Phanfare Photon for the iPhone.
  • Optional password protection on your Phanfare sites
  • Detailed visitor reports with the name and email of each person who clicks through a sharing invitation sent from within the Phanfare system. Perfect to verify that a client viewed the images that you sent.
  • The ability to use filenames as captions on images, useful for proofing.

Pricing

Phanfare Pro is $99.99/year for 20 GB of storage. Additional 20 GB storage blocks are available for $49.99/year.

Upgrades for Existing Customers

Phanfare Lifetime customers are now Phanfare Lifetime Pro customers. We have not offered Lifetime accounts for over a year. This is for legacy Lifetime customers.

Phanfare Premium customers can upgrade to Phanfare Pro and get credit for the remaining time in their Phanfare Premium account. Phanfare Premium customers with unlimited storage (accounts created prior to Aug 1, 2009) will retain their unlimited storage after upgrade.

Our customers have been asking for a Pro offering with more customization for a long time and we are excited that the day has finally come. Phanfare Pro is not “done.” Let us know in the comments what additional features you would like to see.

  • Nicole

    Part of the reason I originally signed up for Phanfare was b/c I felt they displayed the largest and clearest versions of my images then any other photo hosting site out there. However, when viewing images individually (not in a slideshow) I feel my images are crowded by thumbnails to the left of the image (i'd like to be able to customize how many thumbnails are shown to the left of the image at any given time) and by the permanent box to the right of the image with “prints&gifts/download album/download slideshow, etc” . I feel like at some point this box was optional or floating or something. Either way I'd like the ability to de-clutter the viewing page so that my images are larger and really the main focus

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  • Karina

    I too would like to see the “the permanent box to the right of the image with “prints&gifts/download album/download slideshow, etc” made optional so that landscape orientated photos had more room. Another option I would like to be able to choose is where the “title and text” of each photo is located (ie above rather than below each photo) and also the location of comments (I would like to move them over to the right hand side where people can actually see them).

  • Karina

    but PS – loving all the new things !!!!

  • http://deankelshall.phanfare.com/ Dean

    Hi Andrew,

    First I'd like to say that I really appreciate Phanfare and the great things you are doing with it. I also like the idea behind the new Phanfare Pro. One thing I can't find is how I can get a feel for how much customisation is possible to the look and feel? Are we talking full CSS control or control of a subset of items? If you have an example Phanfare Pro site that I can look at I would be most grateful.

    Thanks!

    Dean

  • SueperMom

    I too, would love to see a Phanfare Pro website.
    Thanks,
    Susie

  • Cory

    We aren't offering full CSS control, but there is a lot of customization that can be done. By making your own style you can pick and choose the color of every background, anchor, piece of text, and graphic on your albums. With custom headers/footers can you put your own markup at the top and bottom of your albums.

    We are working on putting together some sample sites. In the mean time the help pages a little more detailed information. http://help.phanfare.com/index.php/PRO

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    I agree that we need to make that right hand box optional. We will get to it. we used to allow you to make it optional. It did make for a better presentation, but nobody we tested in usability studies ever found the various options when they were relegated to rollover of the image.

  • mark4prez

    Okay .. I'm sure I must have missed it… but “when” are we to expect Phanfare Pro to be online and ready for us to test drive? I mean I'm assuming you're not saying “come and get it” unless it's just about done??

    Thanks for a great site. It just keeps getting better and better!

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    I agree that we need to make that right hand box optional. We will get to it. we used to allow you to make it optional. It did make for a better presentation, but nobody we tested in usability studies ever found the various options when they were relegated to rollover of the image.

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    How would you suggest we present those options?

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    It's out there. I meant that we plan to continue release new features
    for it.

  • Karina

    I wish I could remember how Homesteads old Photosite use to have it – from memory in a “settings” area there were just a lot of tick boxes ie comments box – yes/no, comments location – top/bottom/left/right etc.
    I spent a bit of time yesterday customising my colours and loved it – nice and user friendly. Havent played with headers/footers yet.

  • kengolden

    Phanfare Pro is excellent. I have revised my site and will be adding to it. However, now that the Phanfare banner is gone (which I like), there is no obvious way to sign into your account from your own home page. I would recommend some sort of link. I also would like to see some sort of identifier that a person is in a subsite. Finally, I don't see how I can leave my contact info on the site so that if I do have a password, they can see how to contact me.

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    You can create a site description in site properties and include your contact info there. I agree it would be nice if we supported a separate photographer block.

    Having a link to login from the site would be a distraction to viewers, 99% of whom are not you! we took the wordpress approach here.

    Note that if you hit preview when logged in to see yours site, we put a yellow bar at the top that has a link to go back to editing your album. This makes it a bit more convenient to go back and forth.

  • chris

    hmmmm…i understand the changes and new direction, and i can see the need to set storage limits, but when i look at the actual amount of storage offered with the different plans, it falls considerably short of what i was expecting. the cost of storage is one of those things that keeps dramatically decreasing each year. your price per gigabyte seems excessive. you advertise up to 2 gigabyte videos, but that single 2 GB video costs $20 to store annually if a premium user and $10 to store annualy as a pro. you obviously offer much more than just storage, and it's these extras that will attract the pro photographers and serious amateurs, but then your pricing scale is based on storage, which again keeps getting cheaper and cheaper. at the current storage limits, i would have a hard time recommending phanfare to family and friends, which i have always openly and enthusiastically done in the past through all the various changes phanfare has gone through. my gut just doesn't feel right about it. but then i take ALOT of pictures, so maybe my storage demands are in the minority. a sincere thanks for all your continued efforts.

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    We compress videos down to 4 megabits/second and hence even a 10 min video only takes about 300 MB within Phanfare.

    The reality is that online storage is expensive. It is not just the disk. It is also the power, the data center, the real estate it sits on and the service that goes with it. Plus, Amazon keeps 3 copies and their pricing reflects that.

    Charging for additional storage beyond 20 GB just reflects the reality of the cost of the underlying service and ongoing R&D. Truth is, even if you stored 1 GB on Amazon yourself, it would cost you $1.90/year (if you never looked at it even once). On top of that, we have a caching layer, R&D, support, etc.

    Storing all your photos and videos online is amazing. But it ain't cheap. Most people can't afford online storage for a lifetime of photos and videos. And most people just put it out of their head that without online storage, it is likely they will eventually lose their entire collection.

  • Kyle

    I'm very upset that Phanfare decided to make the change to the amount of storage offered with the “Premium” plan with no prior notification. As a new customer, the amount of storage offered was a major consideration when I chose Phanfare and moved ALL of my pictures and videos. Now, I'm being told that I'll have to upgrade after my first year because I'm already at 5 GB of storage. Total bait and switch from my perspective.

    Honestly, I will probably go back to my previous provider after my first year is up. If they can un-cancel my account and I can get a refund from Phanfare, I'll be gone next week.

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    We grandfathered every existing customer and people who were on 14 day free trials of the unlimited storage plan were also grandfathered even if they converted after August 1. Hence, I don’t think this affects you.

  • Kyle

    Well, no one has told me that… All I got was an email telling me I can upgrade to the Pro plan for a pro-rated price. Would I be correct in assuming that I'll go from 'unlimited' storage to 20 GB if I upgrade to the Pro plan?

    I see that I have 'unlimited' storage, but without something in writing either via email or on Phanfare's web site, I have no guarantees that Phanfare will honor the terms I originally signed up for.

  • Cory

    There is a section of this blog post you are replying to that explains this.

    “Phanfare Premium customers can upgrade to Phanfare Pro and get credit for the remaining time in their Phanfare Premium account. Phanfare Premium customers with unlimited storage (accounts created prior to Aug 1, 2009) will retain their unlimited storage after upgrade.”

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    I just looked over the email we sent and you are right, we did not spell out that we are grandfathering existing customers. It is all over the blog and in the forums, but we screwed up that communication.

    In initial drafts of that letter, we explained that new Pro accounts have 20GB and that we were grandfathering existing customers, but then we removed the entire paragraph because we thought it created undue complication when nothing was changing for the recipients.

    Of course, you rightly looked at our marketing pages, saw the limit and thought that upgrading would cancel your unlimited storage.

    Thanks for pointing this out. I am sure there are others who were similarly mislead. We will be sure to communicate the story better when we send our our newsletter to all customers later on this week.

  • http://www.marshvorspan.com/ Austin Green Building

    thanks for offering this, it really helps a lot..

  • Melissa

    i am excited about upgrading to pro. All of the upgrades sound great. one thing that i would love to see (maybe just as an optional upgrade for pro accounts) would be a way for clients to purchase photographs through us (the photographers) with our pricing and our vendors.
    Thanks for listening to feedback. It's what makes phanfare such a great company to work with.

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    Thanks! We are considering offering “shopping cart” features for pros but probably won't get to it for a while because the feedback we get is that there are higher priorities. We plan a survey this month and that will give everyone the opportunity to tell us what they would like.

  • Melissa

    well, i am glad to hear that it is being considered. i'll be sure to partake in the survey…. thanks for your quick reply

  • http://www.melissahassey.com/ Melissa

    another feature that i would love is to see implemented is to be able to view the photographs as a “list”. this would have helped me immensely the other day. unfortunately when sorting by file name, if you have named your files Jones1, 2, 3, etc.. since there is no 0 in front of the 1, etc.. sorting is difficult. once you have over 100 it is even more difficult as you would need the numbers under 100 to have a 0 as well (099, etc..).

    that would be a great feature! thanks!

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    we need to offer more list views and better search. i agree. the pc client has search in it that is pretty good. it is faster than the online search right now (but falls back to it if it can't find a result).

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    we need to offer more list views and better search. i agree. the pc client has search in it that is pretty good. it is faster than the online search right now (but falls back to it if it can't find a result).

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