After the last outage on 19th March I have now finally decided to jump ship and go to SmugMug.
Here is the email I have sent to Zenfolio as I would be interested to know others thoughts on the points I have made before I leave for good.
Please take the time to read this thoroughly.
My account expires on 4th April and I am asking you to ensure that it does not auto renew as I wish to cancel my account.
The reasons are all in the emails below but I will happily summarise them in the hope that you might take something onboard for your remaining customers
Outages - Too many outages. As I have said many times before, a company of your size should have failover servers and outages should not always be noticed by us except in extreme circumstances. Outages too long - When there is an outage that cannot be avoided it is too long. Some of the outages have gone on intermittently for days and the last one on 19th March went on for a day. This was the one that made me finally decide to leave Zenfolio. For the same reason as point one, if there is a large outage then the failover servers (which you don’t appear to have) should come into effect while you work on the problem. This doesn’t happen. Lack of notification - When there is an outage the first people to know should be your paying customers (Me) so that we can let our paying customers know that we are aware and that it is being worked on. I have subscribed to notifications and have not once been contacted when there is an outage. As owners of the website we might not go onto our website as much as our customers so it looks bad if we don’t know of an outage until an irate customer contacts us. It would not be difficult to bulk send an email out. Lack of transparency - As mentioned in the previous point there have been occasions when the status page does not show an outage when there clearly has been one or the status page does not indicate how big the issue is. I have seen status updates that say slow loading when in fact the site has been down! Poor SEO - I have complained about SEO on multiple occasions but it gets suggested that I need to ensure I have the correct meta tags etc in place yet a few people have pointed out on the forums that Google changed the way their bots searched and Zenfolio did not change their coding to reflect this.
I have stuck with Zenfolio through a lot of outages but this last one (March 19th), although it was the first outage in a while, was the last straw.
When it was working I really liked Zenfolio but the lack of failover server support etc isn’t acceptable these days. Most sites have a 99.9% up rate but Zenfolio falls considerable below this.
I hope you take my comments onboard as, although it is too late for me, it may help you retain some customers. I know a lot of photography colleagues of mine are also having thoughts about leaving you.
Please reply to confirm to me that my auto renew gets cancelled before April 4th