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Archive for August, 2010

New Pro Feature: Printmarks

August 27, 2010 79 comments

Printmarks for Pros

Introducing a new way to dress up your orders: Printmarks! As the name implies, they’re watermarks for your prints. Use them to add your signature, a team name, the event date, or even your logo to any photo that your clients buy from you.

Printmarks photo logo

Set them up just like watermarks: Design the image of your choice (preferably on a transparent background) and upload it to a gallery. Use the gallery button Tools > Make Into Printmark option and adjust it to taste.

Once that’s done, open up your Gallery Settings and choose “Yes” for Printmarks, under the Printing option. Any physical items ordered from this gallery will get that design applied. Your customers will see a detailed preview in the shopping cart, so they know what to expect.

Shopping Cart Preview

Two important things of note:

1. Printmarks don’t apply to digital downloads, but they will appear on all print and merchandise goods. (Thatsa lotta stuff)

2. We suggest that your make your printmark image at least 1500 pixels on the longest side. This is to be sure it prints smoothly on items of all sizes.

Right now, your Printmarks will be printed unobtrusively on your print in the region that you specify. We’ll be working on making this cool new feature even better in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more options.

Get the full details about this feature on our new help page. Play around with it and let us know what you think.

Bonus refinements:

  • We’ve polished up our blogs page, adding our newest addition for foodies and hungries alike. Feast your eyes on this and see what’s cooking at SmugMug Central.
  • Our Simple uploader is now much more forgiving if you’re uploading photos on a less-than-perfect connection. Instead of hanging, it will pick up where it left off… even if you’re logging in from your laptop on Mt. Everest. (We know some photos can’t wait.)

Cheers!

The SmugMug Family

New SmugMug Homepage, Quick Share on Twitter and Facebook, Marketing tips

August 19, 2010 47 comments

SmugMug’s New Homepage

Our brand-spanking new homepage blew the hinges off every door at HQ… and hopefully yours, too. Now you’ll look even more savvy when you tell your friends about us.

(Don’t be afraid to slip a mention of  your referral code when you do, so you both can $ave a few bucks.)

Quick Share on Facebook and Twitter

We gave fair warning last time that we were going to give our avid photographers a real chance at fame. Here it is:

Quick Share your photos

Your photos now come fully equipped with a no-brainer way for people to tout your gorgeous photos to friends, followers and family… making them your fans, too.

Find a Tweet and Facebook Like button in your SmugMug and Journal-style galleries. You’ll also see it at the top of the Lightbox view when any photo is viewed by itself. Give your buddies a hint and pass them a link to our new Visitor Help page. If you’ve got questions about how this works, we have help for you, too.

When people hit those buttons, we’ll post a link to the photo to their Twitter or Facebook streams. Sit back and watch your popularity grow.

SmugMug Control Panel Settings

To opt out, just disable the Quick Share feature in your Control Panel’s Settings tab. Also, the buttons will by default follow your normal privacy settings: visible when the share button is enabled, which you can set with any gallery’s Easy Sharing option in Gallery Settings. They won’t appear in password-protected galleries or on photos that you’ve hidden.

Boost Your Sales

Social marketing is essential for ambitious Pros, especially when web presence is a powerful tool for finding and keeping clients. We put our best marketing tips all in one place, so look here, follow along and start raking it in.

Changes to the SmugMug Footer

We made an important change to the way Power and Pro Smuggers customize their footers. Our full-sized footer slimmed down so visitors (and you) can more easily find the important links at the bottom of your pages. Those of you who’ve chosen the “Mini Footer” option in Easy and Advanced Customization may have noticed that it’s even more compact and sexy. Caliente!

Pros can’t completely remove the footer from their sites, but if you’ve done this already don’t worry about bringing them back.

We made this change to help you and your business: Visitors with questions can come straight to us for help. Our world-famous Support Heroes work ’round-the-clock (and ’round-the-globe) to answer inquiries, so you can stay busy shooting your gigs. We hate keeping people waiting so trust us to always point them in the right direction, ASAP.

Bulk Gallery Settings: Measure Twice, Cut Once.

Gallery Settings

A few Smuggers have written to us in a panic, having inadvertently applied sweeping changes to all of their galleries using the bulk Gallery Settings tool. Now you’ll see super-noticeable popup message every time you attempt to make a change across your whole site. As an extra safeguard, hitting Enter/Return at that window will cancel out instead of applying your changes.

We know a lot of you work on auto-pilot and it’s our mission to prevent major organizational disasters in your neck of the woods.

Enjoy the new features. We sure love bringing them to you!

The SmugMug Family

SmugMug camera strap fail

August 9, 2010 50 comments

We thought we were doing an awesome thing by giving away 20,000 stretchy comfy grippy camera straps.  Until recently, all we heard was how cool the straps are.

But we’ve heard a few disturbing reports of the clips failing on some straps, so we thought we’d better put out an alert.  Problem is, we’ve given these away at places like SmugMug user group meetings, so we don’t have a way to contact everyone who received them.  Please pass this along to anyone you know with our straps.

We have 15,000 new straps coming this week and we asked the manufacturer to put much bigger clips on the new ones (click to see bigger):

New clips for SmugMug camera straps

Disclaimer: the fact that we’re hanging a 20 pound weight from the straps does not mean we recommend it! Don’t try it at home.

We’re happy to replace your strap with the new ones coming this week even if you’ve had no clip fail.  No worries, they’re free, just like the originals.  But we have to ask for patience because we have a backlog of orders.

The reports we’ve heard of failed clips appear to have come from the kinds of big cameras Batman would use:

Batman's camera

We know of a few people who heard of the clip fail but love their straps so much they threw away the clip and sewed the strap.

Clip slip & fail

Camera strap configurationWe researched failures on the net and it was a little bit scary to read clip fail reports about straps of just about all makes.  Someone sent in a diagram of the way they have secured their straps for years no matter the manufacturer or size of camera.  Here’s what they said:

“The idea of the double lock is that it prevents the slippage by binding the nylon against itself and also captures the tail end of the strap inside the slider.  This makes slippage virtually impossible.  The other advantage is if the clip should fail, the slider with all of this extra material can and usually does bind and catch the item before it falls.”

But big cameras require big straps

I know, the straps say Pro on them…  But honestly we can’t be sure even the new straps will be bullet proof on big camera/lens/flash combos.  We’ve not been able to do the thousands of hours of testing under all conditions that would make us be sure they’ll never fail under a big load.

How to get new ones

SmugMug subscribers can get new straps at http://www.smugmug.com/free-stuff.mg.

Love the straps but don’t subscribe to SmugMug?  If you have one of the old straps, send email with your name and address to help at smugmug dot com.  We’ll get one to you if you act fast before this goes viral and we go through all 15,000.

But we can’t tell you how sorry and embarrassed we are that a clip apocalypse happened to some people whose beloved cameras hit the ground.

All the best,

The SmugMug Family

Categories: Chris MacAskill, SmugMug

Facebook like button & pro sales reports

August 6, 2010 24 comments

For next week: more Facebook integration

Here’s a preview of what will go live next Thursday evening (Aug 13th):

Twitter and Facebook share

When someone likes your photos in SmugMug or Journal styles, or in Lightbox, it goes in their Facebook feeds for their friends to see.  Pros tell us  it’s a major component of their marketing, and most others tell us it’s huge for sharing. Much like SEO, the more your site is mentioned across the web, the more traffic you’ll have coming back to you. Google (plus potential clients & fans) love that.

To opt out globally, just disable the Quick Share feature that will appear in your Control Panel’s Settings tab.  Otherwise, by default, it will follow your normal privacy settings: visible when the share button is enabled, which you can set with any gallery’s Easy Sharing option in Gallery Settings. It won’t appear in password-protected galleries or on photos that you’ve hidden.

Better .csv sales reports for pros

Check out your sales history page and bask in the splendor of not 1 but 4 downloadable spreadsheets! Now you can see filtered versus full history and detailed versus order details.

And now we include various features like coupons, taxes, branding, and packages.  The big objective is to provide fully filterable data that you can inspect and query and mash around to your heart’s content. No duplications, no hand editing…

Just add columns and define formulas, or use built in features of your spreadsheet. Want more gory details?

Selling bulk digital downloads

If you’ve priced digital downloads at a gallery or portfolio level, a new option appears when logged-out users click the buy button:  Buy all digital downloads.  It’s an easy way for customers to select a digital version of every photo in the gallery with a click.

Enhancements and a bug fix

As a result of user testing, the Simple Uploader got some UI love that included automatically starting uploads–saving a click–and better feedback on the progress of uploads.

The free trial signup page was simplified and prettified, making you look even more savvy when you recommend SmugMug to a friend.

And finally, we fixed a bug where the date selector for statistics closes without letting you pick an end date.

Did you see that we’re giving away a free 20×30 MetalPrint from Bay Photo on Facebook?

All the best,

The SmugMug Family

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