This is a guest post by Iurie Vlasov, a Marketing professional at Vitriol Consult LLC specializing in SEO and Innovative web-marketing.
On August 23, the world of photographers was touched by a piece of news that created quite some buzz – a totally new and innovative proofing system was to be released in October – ProofPress. You may be wondering what is the point of another photo cart when there is a myriad of different other products for online proofing available out there. Read on and you will understand!
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” ~ Steve Jobs
The creators of ProofPress, two young dashing individuals from Florida with an extensive experience in web-development and who specialized for years in e-commerce systems have come with an idea to create something different for the photographer. There is nothing new when it comes to photo proofing systems, and most of them already out there are very similar in functionality, but different in quality and price. ProofPress on the other hand was created with the end user in mind. But there are two end-users to a photo cart system you will say. Indeed, there is the photographer on one end who has the task of managing the system and the customer on the other end. Many photographers today are just too busy to deal with all the “advanced” functionality their current photo proofing cart provides, and may give up on using one for the sake of saving time and use the old-school “on-the-phone” method to get their print orders from clients. So much for saving time.
Now back to those two guys in Florida. What they did is to have an idea that was revolutionary. Being developers and not photographers they got in touch with a few portrait and wedding photographers and spent time talking and understanding what their needs were and what is that they miss most in their current systems. After many hours and tens of pages of sketches and charts and mockups etc. they finally decided to give the modern photographer a system that would work directly out of their WordPress blogs. Not bad, because 85% of the photographers out there use WordPress for their photo blogs, because it's reliable, because it's easy to use, because it's safe, because it's constantly developing and updating, and yes because – Google loves WordPress.
Well, here we go, why not have a proofing system that will work as a plugin from your WordPress administration back end. No need to remember different passwords for different admin accounts, no need to have a multitude of admin urls to remember, but instead just one plain WordPress backend. And that is what ProofPress does, installs as a plugin in your WordPress and opens a whole new system in there. The guys jokingly call it, “a system inside a system.” But be aware that you need to have a self hosted blog on an actual domain that belongs to you and NOT one of those “johndoe.wordpress.com” blogs.
That is all good you will say, but what makes it so special? My answer is simple here, it will indeed offer what most of the systems out there do right now but will also be packed with other features:
a) Full front end customization, you as a photographer will be able to customize your proofing site by editing a multitude of options, like changing your logo, background, fonts, colors you name it… and the system will also be compatible with custom created templates. Now you will be able to apply your branding and design and have a unique photo cart.
b) Per client management. No more gallery grids. Each of your customers will be provided with his own client site where he will see only his galleries and information that you provide, including a text page which you can edit the way you want by adding a model release form, or maybe some what-to-wear information
c) A revolutionized way of managing collections (packages). ProofPress will offer the most flexible way of creating a collection. Managing print credit, discounts etc has never been easier and you know what, you can even let your clients create their own custom collections.
d) You will also be able to manage your financials and send invoices directly from your administration panel which gives you some basic accounting features and you will always know the state of your expenses and profits. A great feature for beginners who don't really need a bookkeeping system like Freshbooks etc.
These are some of the many features that ProofPress will offer. Stay tuned for the official press release the guys will publish in the beginning of October. Meanwhile you can contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and sign-up for a 30% discount at ProofPress.
The Front End:
The Back End:
Win on 10/10/10! ProofPress is generously offering ONE free license to a Tiffinbox subscriber. Here is how you may be able to win this WordPress plugin: First, Tweet the following: “I just learned about a very cool WordPress plugin called @ProofPress on @PicSeshu's Tiffinbox. #ProofPress Please RT!” Second, comment below and tell me WHY you deserve to win. Don't forget to mention your Twitter handle so that I can make sure you have done both. I need to see a minimum of 50 real, honest, entries before I can give this away on October 10, 2010. So whatchawaitinfor?