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Archive for July, 2010

Search Engine Food – Sitemaps!

July 29, 2010 39 comments

Claim Your Fame: Sitemaps

You’ve been asking, and now here’s another great feature to add to your SEO toolbox! We’ve rolled out Sitemaps for everyone. These files are field guides for search engines crawling SmugMug, and we now feed lots of up-to-date useful information about your pages to help you get listed.

They’re simple; you don’t need to do a thing. If you’re looking for fame we bet you already have Hello World! set to Yes, which is the only requirement.

Important: The best Sitemap in the world won’t help if you don’t have great backlinks.  Keep tagging, linking and posting your photos to the world – on your blog, message forums, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Above all, don’t forget to use all of the great SEO tips we give you so you can get the best possible results.

Enjoy the limelight,

The SmugMug Family

Storm Chasing

July 23, 2010 15 comments

Summer is upon us. Each year the heat conjures fantastic and frightening storms in the midwest.

Landscape photographer James Langford is no stranger to weather:

See more of James’s stunning storm clouds here.

Categories: Art, Galleries, Travel

Bulk Digital Downloads, Full Screen Slideshow and Packages Improvements, bug fixes

July 22, 2010 34 comments

Download Your Orders in Bulk

Great news for Pros who love selling digital downloads and their fans who love to buy them: Orders containing four or more digital photos are now retrievable in a single zip file. Get the goods in one fell swoop.

Once your order is complete,  hit the Download All Digital Files button on the confirmation screen and we’ll start creating your zip file. Check your email; we’ll send a link to it as soon as it’s ready.

Questions on how to buy downloads? Look right here.

Improvements

A few weeks ago we started working on making iPads and iPhones display your beautiful slideshows in the mobile Safari browser. Add the full-screen slideshow to that list! Try it by hitting the “Slideshow” button at the top of your galleries and be blown away by edge-to-edge photos right in your hands. There’s still more to come, soon.

We’ve added in password prompts to all passworded galleries in Packages.  Pros can rest assured knowing that buyers browsing protected galleries must be authorized to view them before completing their selections.

We snuck in a few bug fixes:

  • You can refresh and re-play videos in the lightbox as many times as you wish, without hiccups or blips.
  • A few orders placed for certain items with shipping coupons weren’t discounting the right amount, but this has been adjusted and fixed.
  • Prolific writers can keep captioning: Special characters won’t prevent photos from loading in Journal viewing style.

Digitally yours,

The SmugMug Family

Sales Tax Payout, Comment, Video and bug fixes

July 8, 2010 1 comment

Pro Sales Tax Payout

Those of you who have been taking advantage of our handy sales tax tool will be happy to know that you can expect regular payouts of the taxes you’ve collected. We’ll start despositing them on a monthly or a quarterly basis, depending on the amount you’ve accrued:

  • Monthly: If your tax amount withheld is over $25 we’ll deposit it on the first business day after the 7th of the month.
  • Quarterly: (Jan, Apr, July, Oct) If your tax amount withheld is over $5, we’ll deposit it the first business day after the 7th of the month.

If you have any questions at all about tax collection and if you need to be charging sales tax, please check with your local tax authority.

A few comment-related fixes

  • The unhide comments link was hiding when you refreshed the gallery page. We fixed that.
  • If you’ve chosen to display just your nickname on your site, your comment notification emails will reflect this – and not reveal your full name.
  • Any time you enter your email address while posting a comment, it’ll appear in the “Reply-to” field so the gallery owner can reply to you. Previously, this option was only open to commenters that weren’t logged in to their own SmugMug account.

Video-related improvements

  • You can upload video files up to 1 GB in size! They still must be under 10 minutes in length, but you can cram a lotta action and detail in 600 sweet seconds. Give this a try and let us know if you hit any bumps in the road. We’re listening.
  • When you upload a video file, we’ll display the “Processing” thumbnail immediately so you’ll know right away if it arrived safely.
  • Folks on 3G phones on iOS 3.1.3 should be able to watch videos once again.
  • Videos shot in portrait orientation on the iPhone 4 no longer get stretched out of shape.
  • We had a blip accepting some Animoto movie files, but they should all upload seamlessly like before.

Bug Fixes

  • Customers with custom domains were having issues with videos, slideshows and the card creator not working in certain browsers if the source gallery was passworded and external links turned off. If this sounds familiar, try it now. It works.
  • Windows visitors trying to watch videos using Chrome shouldn’t be prompted to update Flash when they’ve already done so.
  • If you upload multiple files, they shouldn’t get shuffled and will retain the order in which you queued them in the uploader.

Have a great weekend!

The SmugMug Family

Ready. Aim. Shoot.

July 8, 2010 2 comments

Raise the bar, push your boundaries, kick it up a notch.

Whatever you call it, photographers over in our forums know it as the Dgrin Sharp Shooters challenge. Participants come from any location, any profession and any background, so there’s always something for everyone:

A new theme is announced every two weeks, sending photographers scattering to take a fresh capture and make a masterpiece. The top five winners in each round qualify to win big prizes in the quarterly Mega Challenge.

Wanna play? Join up on Dgrin and read through the official challenge rules.

Or just sit back and watch the incredible entries filter into the galleries. Wherever you are, be inspired to stretch your own creative muscles!

HD Video for Power Users, SmugShot updates, bug fixes

July 1, 2010 23 comments

HD Video for Power Users

Power Smuggers can now upload HD movie clips to their galleries, just like Pros. That’s 10 whole minutes of gorgeous, jaw-dropping, television-quality video, although we’ll also make a variety of smaller display sizes to fit every screen. All the info is here.

Get shooting and start sharing!

SmugShot 2.0

Our SmugShot app for the iPhone got a sweet update. It now offers iOS4 support and a cleaner interface. When you fire it up, you can shoot photos as well as video clips and choose photos or video files from your iPhone  library.

Note: Previously-recorded videos uploaded from your library will be subject to the iPhone’s native compression. This means they may not look as nice as the HD videos shot through the SmugShot app.  Read more about this on our CEO’s blog.

Click Edit and you’ll see a beefed-up geotagging feature. If the photo doesn’t already have geographic information you can click to use your current location.

Get snapping! Download the app or get the update from the App Store.

News flash

We’re always putting out lots of great stuff and it made us sad that so many of our customers didn’t know about them. Now, we’ll keep you up to speed on the most noteworthy features when you visit your site. No worries: Just like our former homepage SmugNews box, your guests will never see it.

More MOO

A fortnight later, we’re still ecstatic about our MOO.com partnership. Thanks to all of you who’ve tried it and helped us work out the initial bumps. MOO has extended the expiry date of those promotional discounts so if you haven’t already ordered some fabulous business cards, you’ve got till July 31st. To refresh your memory:

  • Standard and Power Smuggers can get 10% off any order from their site. Order as much as you like, as often as you like.
  • Pros get a pack of 50 business cards or a pack of 100 MiniCards on the house. All you pay is shipping. (One per customer)

Improvements:

  • iPhone and iPad visitors can view your buttery-smooth slideshows. This includes your homepage slideshow box, event slideshows, or gallery’s slideshow viewing style. This does not include any slideshows placed using copied/pasted embed code. Accoutrements like captions and the thumbnail bar don’t yet show, but we’re still hammering at this. Stay tuned!
  • iPhone videographers: Movie clips shot in portrait orientation will appear right-side up in your galleries.
  • Due to popular request, we now support MTS video files, so go ahead and drop those in your friendly uploader. While we’re at it, if your camera shoots videos at 1440 x 1080 size we’ll take those, too.
  • Some Quicktime movies confused our file length detectors, causing erroneous upload errors. Now they’ll be OK.

… and other fixes:

  • We were hearing about a few galleries that were playing hide-and-seek on some of your Categories pages. You were able to bring them back by arranging your galleries, but we’ve fixed it so they’ll appear without further trouble.
  • Similarly, updating more than one gallery simultaneously sometimes hid one of them. We fixed this, too.
  • Customers filling Packages should see thumbnails when the gallery is set to any viewing style, even our older ones like All Thumbs, Traditional and Filmstrip.
  • Photos collected from passworded galleries should appear consistently to logged-out visitors.
  • Our Events feature had a little blip in the email department. We’ve taken note and now your email templates work so you can use them again and again.
  • The Stats > Popularity tab got a fix: Filenames show up under each thumbnail, and the links to view specific dates should display the ranges you expect.

Wishing a safe July 4th to our US-based Smuggers, and a great weekend to all!

The SmugMug Family

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