Features (4 out of 5)
Viewbook is a paid photo album and portfolio website that is ideal for digital photographers who only want to display their work online. While two of the membership plans have some excellent features for creating an online portfolio, the basic plan is not really worth the $48 per year investment. Another drawback is while there is a way for photographers to allow their viewers to download images, those wanting to make money online with their pictures will not be able to do so with Viewbook’s structure as of August 2009.
Pricing (4 out of 5)
The Viewbook basic plan, which requires an upfront investment of $48 per year, is probably not worthwhile to most professional photographers because there are very few features included in the package. However, the standard and pro plans, available for $9 and $19 a month (discounts apply for longer terms) are likely worthwhile investments. The pro plan is a bit pricey, but might be a good investment for someone really looking to showcase their work. That Viewbook plan allows extensive statistic tracking, hiding of the Viewbook engine for viewers, and uploading of as many as 5,000 images.
Free Trial (5 out of 5)
Viewbook does offer 30 day free trials of all three of their plans. They also do not require a credit card, which can be a rarity when getting trial memberships. This is a good feature because it enables potential customers to really see if Viewbook can meet their online portfolio needs. They can also decide how much money to invest in a plan.
Support and Documentation (5 out of 5)
Viewbook technical support appears solid. There is an extensive FAQ that answers user questions about video capabilities, basic uploading, account upgrading, and account deletion. E-mail addresses of technical support personnel are also published with pictures of the employees. This adds a personal touch to what can sometimes feel like an impersonal realm.
Uploading (5 out of 5)
Uploading photos to Viewbook is easy to do and requires basic computer knowledge. For those wanting more advanced features, Viewbook offers upload plugins for the programs Adobe Lightroom and PictureSync. Basic user accounts can have up to 1,000 uploads, while standard accounts get 2,500 uploads.
User Forums (4 out of 5)
Viewbook offers a number of user forums for both trial and paid users. Some of them are not very active, but others such as “Feature Suggestions and Ideas” and “Photography Discussion” do have some regular posts. Those wishing to do extensive social and business networking might be disappointed in the Viewbook user forums, but the message boards do help meet some basic online conversation needs.