zenfolio vs pixieset logos

Zenfolio vs Pixieset

Zenfolio and Pixieset both offer online platforms for photographers at varying career stages. Zenfolio is focused on providing a powerful and comprehensive end-to-end gallery and website solution with tools for full and part-time professional photographers to showcase and sell their work, while Pixieset focuses on providing a simple platform for photographers to show and share their work.

Here’s a comparison of both photography website builders across five aspects:

  1. Client Galleries and Customization Options
  2. Marketing and Client Communication Tools
  3. Integrated Workflows and Efficiency
  4. Pricing and Smart Pricing Solutions
  5. E-commerce and Order Fulfillment Options

The conclusion is based on the detailed comparison of features relevant to photographers building an online portfolio, focusing on client interaction, marketing capabilities, workflow efficiency, pricing assistance, and e-commerce options.

Comparison summary: Zenfolio vs Pixieset

The biggest difference between Zenfolio and Pixieset is in their approach to delivering the client experience. Zenfolio excels with its beautifully designed client galleries and robust features available at all plan levels. This makes it highly efficient for photographers to show, sell, and interact with clients, especially those dealing with action sports or events. The Zenfolio plans offer optimized workflows to help photographers not only succeed in business but also maintain a solid work/life balance.

Pixieset, on the other hand, focuses more on basic interfaces and simplicity in organizing images, which might appeal more to newer photographers. In terms of shareable client galleries and streamlined workflow, Zenfolio offers more powerful and flexible settings and many advanced tools to make running a business more efficient.

What is Pixieset?

pixieset homepage@2x

Pixieset is a cloud-based website builder and gallery solution for photographers to share and deliver photos. Novice and amateur photographers appreciate it for its straightforward entry-level service, which facilitates photo management and client interactions. Founded to help the budding photographer, Pixieset has become a platform for photo storage and basic sharing and is known for its block-based website builder. 

Despite its limited customizability, Pixieset offers a clear-cut approach to building online portfolios. The platform offers simple solutions for organizing gallery images, with basic design options and privacy settings. Its primary focus remains on creating beautiful client galleries, though it lacks the advanced settings and public gallery features found in some competitors, including Zenfolio.

The latest development from Pixieset is a new feature that lets photographers set a download limit for their photo collections. This gives them more control over how clients can access the photos in the galleries.

What is Zenfolio?

zenfolio homepage@2x

Zenfolio is a comprehensive platform tailored for full and part-time professional photographers to exquisitely showcase, market, and sell their work. Celebrating nearly 20 years in business, it has become an essential tool for over 500,000 aggregate photographers worldwide.

Launched to enrich the photographer’s toolkit, Zenfolio has continually evolved to meet the dynamic needs of professional photographers to build and cultivate client relationships. This is exemplified in some of its latest gallery designs offering photographers aesthetically pleasing and highly customizable templates to showcase their work.

Today, Zenfolio stands out with its gorgeous, robust gallery features, offering extensive customization options for every shoot type, from weddings and portraits to action sports and equestrian events. Its strength lies in streamlined workflows, including AI-assisted image culling and shoot type-specific gallery presets. The Zenfolio Smart Pricing tool helps photographers effortlessly set competitive prices utilizing local market data, simplifying one of the most challenging aspects of running a photography business. Zenfolio recently introduced Custom Layout blocks and gallery sharing via QR code highlighting its commitment to continuous innovation and user convenience.

Zenfolio vs Pixieset: Pricing

Zenfolio

Pixieset

Zenfolio offers more features at a lower price compared to Pixieset, providing a better value for photographers at various levels of their career.

Zenfolio:

  • Zenfolio offers a range of features in its three simple pricing tiers.
  • Each tier adds more storage and more website and gallery options.
  • Additional services include an online store, integrated booking, and scheduling.
  • Zenfolio is designed to be a comprehensive end-to-end solution for photographers at all levels.
  • They provide an integrated workflow solution that is efficient and cost-effective.

Pixieset:

  • Pixieset uses a multi-tier pricing model.
  • Each higher tier adds more features and increases storage.
  • The plans are designed for different levels of photographers.
  • There are specific plans for new photographers.
  • There are also plans for established professionals who want to grow their online presence and services.
Zenfolio
Pixieset
(Zenfolio) PortfolioPlus vs (Pixieset) Plus – Website + Client Gallery

$23/month – unlimited pages, 150GB storage, HD video, domain name, and analytics

$20 + $15 = $35/month – unlimited pages, 100GB storage, 1 hour video, domain name, and analytics

(Zenfolio) ProSuite vs (Pixieset) Ultimate – The Suite

$40/month – everything in PortfolioPlus + unlimited storage, 4K video, integrated scheduling, selling and workflow tools

$65/month – unlimited storage, 10 hours video

Zenfolio PortfolioPlus vs Pixieset Plus Comparison

At just $23 per month, Zenfolio’s PortfolioPlus Plan includes 150 GB of photo storage, HD video hosting, a multi-page website, an integrated blog, and so much more. This comprehensive package is ideal for photographers who desire an end-to-end solution perfect for showcasing and selling their work all while providing a streamlined client experience. With the ability to customize fonts and colors, photographers can create a personalized and professional look, distinguishing themselves in a highly competitive market. 

To match the feature set of Zenfolio’s PortfolioPlus, a photographer would need to subscribe to two separate Pixieset plans – a combination of the Plus Client Gallery plan ($20/month) and the Plus Website plan ($15/month), surpassing the moderately priced PortfolioPlus plan by $12. Additionally, while the Pixieset Plus Plan offers only 100 GB of storage space, the PortfolioPlus plan provides 150 GB, offering more storage and features at a lower cost all in one package. Zenfolio’s flexible and user-friendly platform can cater to photographers, from those just starting out to those with a steady stream of monthly bookings.

Zenfolio ProSuite vs Pixieset Ultimate Suite

Both Zenfolio and Pixieset offer a comprehensive package aimed at professional photographers who require a set of tools to manage and grow their businesses. Zenfolio’s ProSuite is priced at $40 per month, while Pixieset’s equivalent, Ultimate Suite, comes in at $65 per month – a noteworthy price gap.

Zenfolio’s ProSuite includes unlimited photo storage and 4K video hosting. With the inclusion of a multi-page website, integrated blog, online store, booking and scheduling, and the ability to use custom watermarks, ProSuite offers a robust platform for photographers to showcase their work, attract clients, and manage their business efficiently – all at an affordable price point. Alternatively, Pixieset’s Ultimate Suite offers unlimited photo storage but imposes a 10-hour limit on video hosting.

Zenfolio vs. Pixieset:

Automated Workflows and Efficiency

In the competitive world of photography business management tools, Zenfolio and Pixieset present distinct offerings tailored to varying needs. 

Among Zenfolio’s greatest strengths are its automated workflows, which are extremely useful for photographers on the go. The platform’s capability to streamline order fulfillment, implement shoot-type efficiencies, and uphold gallery structures can significantly reduce the manual workload for photographers. These automated processes enable photographers to concentrate on their expanding business instead of being burdened with time-consuming image management tasks.


Zenfolio offers photographers the convenience of automatically applying custom price lists and gallery designs depending on the type of event, thus streamlining the post-shoot process. 

Zenfolio also offers its PhotoRefine app, an intuitive AI-based tool for grouping, rating, and image culling, sure to help photographers with high workloads who are looking for a swift solution for efficient gallery delivery.

With its advanced gallery features and organizational tools. Zenfolio is not only cost-effective but is also tailored to accommodate the needs of a growing photography business. Additionally, comprehensive marketing tools, including email templates and flexible coupon options, empower photographers to engage with clients and drive sales without the need for third-party services.

Pixieset does not offer automated workflows, which may limit its appeal to photographers looking for a hands-off approach to gallery management and order fulfillment. That said, Pixieset’s well-designed interface, coupled with its comprehensive e-commerce and studio management features, appeals to both novice photographers and those who prefer a more involved approach.

Although Pixieset offers a variety of features and a larger number of lab partnerships, it may not be as scalable for photographers expanding their operations. The need for manual management of each shoot and limited marketing tools can be a roadblock for growth. Moreover, the lack of automation in Pixieset can be particularly challenging for photographers specializing in high-volume shoots, such as sports and events, where efficiency is crucial.

Zenfolio vs. Pixieset:

Client Galleries and Customization Option

Both Zenfolio and Pixieset offer client gallery and proofing, a critical feature for photography business owners. 

However, Zenfolio provides a more interactive experience for clients, enhancing the photographer-client relationship. Its favoriting, commenting, and automated email features allow clients to engage directly with their images and the photographer, enriching the client’s experience. Zenfolio facilitates photographers in fostering strong client relationships, thereby increasing the likelihood of repeat business and referrals. 

The advanced control over gallery downloads with Zenfolio adds another layer of efficiency and customization. With the ability to set different gallery download settings and control who can download images, photographers can manage different client needs or maintain tighter control over their work. The flexibility and security offered to both the photographer and the client, ensure that the right images are shared with the right people in the right way.

Alternatively, Pixieset focuses on delivering beautiful client galleries. While this is undoubtedly valuable, Pixieset’s feature set is more limited compared to Zenfolio, particularly in the area of client communication and collaboration.  The absence of tools like commenting and automated emails means that Pixieset is less effective in facilitating interactive client relationships. While the platform allows favoriting, this alone does not support the same level of engagement as Zenfolio’s comprehensive suite of features. 

For photographers whose primary need is to share visually appealing galleries with minimal interaction, Pixieset could be a suitable choice. However, for those who value deeper client engagement and control over image distribution, Zenfolio stands out as a more versatile and practical option.

Zenfolio vs. Pixieset:

Marketing and Client Communication Tools

Zenfolio’s native email marketing feature stands out as a significant advantage for photography business owners needing robust communication and marketing tools. With the ability to build custom email templates, Zenfolio users can create professional-looking emails with design elements and variables that automatically insert relevant information into the subject, headline, and body of the email. This saves time and ensures consistency and personalization in client communication.

The scheduling feature also allows photographers to plan their marketing strategy, aligning their email campaigns with gallery promotions or key holidays. This level of automation and control can lead to an increase in sales with minimal effort and gives the photographer the freedom to focus on their work while Zenfolio handles the delivery of promotional content. 


On the flip side, Pixieset lacks built-in email marketing capabilities, requiring users to resort to third-party tools for managing email campaigns. This may result in added expenses and a less seamless experience. While Pixieset is a strong platform for showcasing and delivering images, the lack of integrated marketing tools could be a drawback for photographers who want a more comprehensive solution for managing their business.

Zenfolio vs. Pixieset:

Pricing and Smart Pricing Tool

Zenfolio’s Smart Pricing feature stands out as a significant advantage for photography business owners, particularly those who may be new to the industry or uncertain about how to price their services. A new photographer, for example, may not have a clear understanding of the market rates in their location. Zenfolio’s Smart Pricing can give them insights into what their competitors might be charging and help them set market-based and profitable prices. This is more than just a feature; it’s a form of business intelligence that’s baked into the platform.

While Pixieset offers a suite of features to showcase and deliver work elegantly, it does not provide data-driven pricing recommendations, leaving Pixieset users to conduct their own market research and pricing analysis – a time-consuming endeavor without the benefit of aggregated data.

In the real world, this difference can translate to either the ease of setting up a business with confidence in one’s pricing strategy (Zenfolio) or the need to navigate the complexities of pricing without guidance (Pixieset). Zenfolio’s approach provides a clear benefit by helping photographers remain competitive and profitable, adapting to market changes and lab price increases, which is invaluable for long-term business sustainability.

Zenfolio vs. Pixieset:

E-commerce and Order Fulfillment Options

Zenfolio and Pixieset both offer e-commerce capabilities, which is a fundamental feature for photography business owners looking to monetize their work online. Zenfolio stands out with its extensive range of print products available from professional photo labs worldwide. 

This variety caters especially to high-volume photographers like action sports and event photographers who can offer their clients a wide selection of tangible products, from prints and frames to cards and photo gifts. A photography business owner who has diverse product offerings is likely to appeal to a broader client base, which can potentially increase sales and customer satisfaction.

Zenfolio’s e-commerce platform is also equipped with multiple digital download options and a highly customizable self-fulfilled configuration tool, where photographers can sell more customized or boutique products. By offering both lab-fulfilled and self-fulfilled products, photographers can streamline their selling process effortlessly.

Moreover, Zenfolio’s pricing configuration settings provide the option to review orders before they are sent to the lab, adding a layer of quality control and enhanced customer satisfaction. The quick shop option simplifies the purchasing process for clients, leading to more sales and a better buying experience. The robust promotion and marketing system, including coupons, gallery banners, and automated emails, empowers photographers to engage with clients effectively, encouraging repeat business and maximizing revenue opportunities.

On the other hand, Pixieset offers a more streamlined order fulfillment lab and options, which can be advantageous for photographers who prioritize simplicity and ease of use.

Note: this comparison is based on current available published pricing and information as of June 2024.