Home > Galleries, SmugMug > Smug Tip of the Week: Get Organized With Categories

Smug Tip of the Week: Get Organized With Categories

Categories for Unlimited Organization

  • Do you have a lot of galleries?
  • Are your viewers are having a hard time finding the galleries they want to see?
  • Do you want to create “sub-galleries?”

We have a solution for you: Custom categories and subcategories! They will allow your viewers to find their galleries quickly and easily… and it’s already built in to your SmugMug account.

Three Customizable Layers

Your site is organized in a simple nested system, like this:

CATEGORY –> SUBCATEGORY –> GALLERY –> IMAGE

Your images get put into Galleries, and Galleries are placed into Categories. If you want, you can also add an optional layer between Categories and Galleries, called Subcategories. They allow you to subdivide a category (like “Weddings” or “Sports”) into smaller groups (Like “2011” or “Spring Season”), so your viewers can easily find the pictures they’re looking for.

But remember that Subcategories don’t exist until you create them. We’ll get to that next.

Make Your Own Categories

You’re not limited to the default Categories that you see in that list. Feel free to create your own Categories and Subcategories at any time! Go to your Control Panel, and look under the Customize tab, then click on the Category or Subcategory link, whichever you’re looking to create.

Or if you prefer to do it on the fly you can also create them when you make new galleries.

Remember that empty Categories and Subcategories (ones that don’t have any galleries assigned to them) don’t appear on your site, to help to keep things tidy. Imagine if you had 50 empty Categories on your homepage!

You can have some galleries in Subcategories, and some directly in a Category. They’ll sort themselves in the appropriate boxes on your site like this:

Look here to see all the details about using Categories and Subcategories.

Moving Galleries from one Category to Another

You can move existing galleries to different categories or subcategories from your Gallery Settings. Categories are under Essentials, and Subcategories are found under Extras.

You can move several galleries at one time, using the Multiple Galleries tab at the top of the page. Just be careful: Selecting All will move all of your galleries to the one Category and Subcategory that you choose. There’s no “undo” button, so just be sure that this is what you want to do!

Arranging Your Categories On Your Site

Did you know that you can change your homepage to display categories instead of all of your individual galleries? It’s just a simple mouse click in the upper right corner of the display box.

Note that you can also switch between auto-sorting your Categories or arranging them manually. In the upper left corner of your display box, you can change from “most recent” to “position”. That will allow you to arrange your galleries in any order you wish. Under the “position” link are several simple sort options, as well as some quick moves. You can organize your category, subcategory and gallery display pages in this way.

Enjoy organizing and don’t be shy about sending us an email if you need help!

  1. April 7, 2011 at 3:32 am

    I love what one can do with the Categories – Sub Categories – Galleries. I still wish there was one more layer (and if I got that, then I’m sure eventually want another!).
    I am displaying way too many Categories on my home page (www.CreatorsPalette.com) because of the need for organizing – the Horticultural section is the worst offender.

    I am tempted to turn off the Categories section on the home page except I would not be able to easily get into a newly created category until I add something to my drop down menus.

    I would like a “Section” level which lets me split my site into “mini businesses”. For example main page would have 1) Weddings/Family Portraits?Maternity 2)Senior Portraits 3) Nature or the Great Outdoors 4) Horticultural 5) Personal.

    Each of these would then have a page similar to the existing home page with the Categories shown, key words for that section. Each “business” section could be found directly with printed and QR Code links on business cards or other printed matter. Thus I could have a Wedding business card, Senior Portrait post cards, Horticultural card, etc.

    Right now alternatives I can think of are more complicated to my daily work flow or much more expensive such as: multiple SmugMug sites; a front end website pointing to specific Categories on my SmugMug site; turn off the Categories on the home page and create a much more robust menu system.

    I am open to suggestions.

  2. April 7, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I agree with Ron L.
    I too have needed a 3rd level of categories. An example would be:
    > Top Level Sports category
    > Then different sports categories (football, softball, baseball etc.)
    > Then another category of Teams or Years
    > Then those specific galleries.
    This would be awesome!
    Thanks,
    d

  3. April 7, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I agree with the two previous posters. A “Section” level would be nice.

  4. jillsfototoluv
    April 7, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Actually, adding one more category would be a perfect addition, especially when dealing with large multi-day events. Any more than that isn’t customer friendly.

  5. April 8, 2011 at 12:09 am

    I have also found the need for more than two layers in my SmugMug “tree”. I got around the inherent limitations of SmugMug by jury-rigging the Sub-category names using the same technique I had to use in Microsoft Outlook’s Categories. Instead of limiting the Sub-category names to one or a few words, separate the levels using an obvious punctuation mark and develop the outline functionality by repeating the initial part of the Sub-category name for each of the levels following the punctuation mark. When doing searches, just remember to enclose the string in quote marks or the search may stop at the first punctuation mark. See example below:
    *Health
    *Health > Wellness — Peachland Wellness Centre
    *Health > Wellness — Physical Fitness
    *Health > Wellness — Physical Fitness — VolksSport

  6. Claus
    April 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    It would be nice if we could disable/hide the suggested categories in the drop down box. I only want to see my categories and not have to search through the undesired cruft.

  7. April 12, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Hey guys, thanks for the awesome feedback – I’ve made sure our product team has seen this.

  8. April 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Just adding another happy customer that wishes for an additional level. 2 Levels is really difficult to work with.

  9. June 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    +1 on the additional level.

  10. June 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I would also like to see more control like Flickr has. If you look at that model Collections can contain collections or sets. Sets can contain photos. You can also assign photos to different groupings so one photo can be in multiple sets.

    With your model I can’t do:

    weddings/2009/someones-wedding/ceremony
    weddings/2009/someones-wedding/reception
    weddings/2009/someones-wedding/photobooth
    weddings/2009/someones-wedding/sneakpeak

    OR: (have photos from above sets in differently organized sets as in below)

    clients/some-family/2009/sally-3-months
    clients/some-family/2009/sally-6-months
    clients/some-family/2010/sally-9-months
    clients/some-family/2010/family-portrait
    clients/some-family/2011/joes-wedding/gettingready
    clients/some-family/2011/joes-wedding/ceremony
    clients/some-family/2011/joes-wedding/reception
    clients/some-family/2011/joes-wedding/photobooth

    Unless you address these issues like Flickr has users will never truly be able to organize their photos.

    So basically, upload and group by a specific upload tag.

    Then organizing a photo navigation structure to fit our needs which is any structure we deem necessary.
    (Easy for clients to find and browse their photos)
    (Easy for random people browsing to browse by category)

    You guys are very close to getting this right.

    John

    • June 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks for the additional (and exquisitely detailed) feedback, John! The additional level(s) has been a top request and we appreciate it.

  11. August 2, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I would like the option of placing the subcategories in the same box next the the galleries, instead of being segregated in a separate box above the galleries in that category.

  12. August 22, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I am also in favor of another level of organization!!!

  13. August 24, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Two thoughts.

    1. I’d love the ability to move galleries and subcats around in an AJAXy, batch way. Selecting multiple galleries via drop drop at top of Settings works, but drag and drop would make our lives peachy.

    2. Changing cat and subcat for a gallery changes the gallery’s url and thus ruins the old url that might have been given to a client years ago. I suspect that the gallery number is unchanged (yes?) so the ideally one could give them a direct link at the get go, and not worry about the location of the gallery. Anyway, my point is that there are consequences to organizing and reorganizing and I have a sense that some warnings on the Settings page might be warranted, though I’m not sure what those warnings or FYIs should exactly be.

  14. Bob
    December 6, 2011 at 11:04 am

    It would also be nice to show the categories as a tree on a left nav (like the old windows explorer). Since it looks like a lot of people out there are using categories with many sub levels, this will soon get too bulky to show all on the home page at once.

  15. January 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    +1 On additional level and tree.

    I shoot lots of football, and one team in particular and their galleries are grouped in with others and using sharegroups is great but not once on the site.

  16. Von
    June 13, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I have to agree, we really need to take these suggestions seriously, speediness of implementation is a major factor when you want to compete with other sites and keep your members happy that, I want to know that I made the right choice bys signing up and am not limited in any way!

    plus, the sooner we add more categories (at least one) the less new members have to re-organize their work again…..

  17. August 20, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Wondering if the additional level has been sorted out yet? I am trying to organize my Family photos and am having a heck of a time!!! Also find the naming of categories ect a little confusing. Oh well, LOVE everything else about it :)

    • August 20, 2012 at 9:22 am

      Hi, you’re always welcome to shoot our Support Heroes a message if you need some help or advice about organizing your site. We’re always happy to hear what you want to do and make some suggestions! http://help.smugmug.com/

  18. November 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Any chance we’re going to get that additional subcategory level? I would REALLY appreciate it, as it would enable me to subcategorize much more efficiently. It would be my number one request.

    • November 20, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Hi Carolyn, you’re definitely not alone and we’d love to bring lots and lots of levels of categories to be sure that you have everything you need to stay organized. Thanks for your feedback and we’re working on some exciting new stuff in the next year. Just watch this space!

  19. November 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

    That’s great to know! I’m looking forward to it. I take so many photos, that the current level of categories just doesn’t work that well. I’ve stopped posting to a large degree because I have to create too many sub-categories, and my Galleries have to be too large.

  20. February 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Waiting patiently on the additional level! Thanks for listening to us and coming thru. Can’t wait for the changes this year.

  21. Bret Astrike
    February 11, 2013 at 11:01 am

    I’m please with what I’m reading that a solution may be on the way. I too have the same needs for another layer.

  22. February 27, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Is there an update as to when there will be the addition of another layer to categorize photos? I’m up there with all of the others in saying it would be extremely beneficial. When will this new feature be available?

    • February 27, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Hi Noelle, we really aren’t permitted to give any insight as to what we’re working on and when we’re hoping to release them. But we do understand the top need for more layers of organization. Thank you for taking the time to weigh in and share your feedback!

      • February 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm

        Thank you. Just curious. In order to do what I need to with my website, the extra layer is CRUCIAL. I’m trying to select a photo sharing site as soon as possible, and I’d love to use SmugMug over Flickr, but Flickr has the extra options for organizing photos and sharing them on slideshows.

        Is there anyway to choose what photos go into an embedded slideshow? That could solve some problems. The issue I have is I only want certain photos from a gallery of photos, and without a subgallery (for a lack of a better word), the slideshow for that gallery grabs ALL of the photos.

    • February 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      Noelle, thanks for fleshing your situation out a bit. Here’s what you can do:

      1. Collect just the photos you want for the slideshow into a new, unlisted (private) gallery.
      2. Grab slideshow code for that second gallery and embed it into whatever website you want.

      This way you can keep the original gallery, but virtual copies of the photos you want for your slideshow will live in a second gallery that only you can see.

      Here’s info about Collecting Photos if you’ve never used this feature before: http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/93310

      I do hope this helps but feel free to ping us again if you still are stuck or if you have questions.

  23. Jonathan Liz-Fonts
    March 14, 2013 at 11:04 am

    John Bauer :
    I would also like to see more control like Flickr has. If you look at that model Collections can contain collections or sets. Sets can contain photos. You can also assign photos to different groupings so one photo can be in multiple sets.
    With your model I can’t do:
    weddings/2009/someones-wedding/ceremony
    weddings/2009/someones-wedding/reception
    weddings/2009/someones-wedding/photobooth
    weddings/2009/someones-wedding/sneakpeak
    OR: (have photos from above sets in differently organized sets as in below)
    clients/some-family/2009/sally-3-months
    clients/some-family/2009/sally-6-months
    clients/some-family/2010/sally-9-months
    clients/some-family/2010/family-portrait
    clients/some-family/2011/joes-wedding/gettingready
    clients/some-family/2011/joes-wedding/ceremony
    clients/some-family/2011/joes-wedding/reception
    clients/some-family/2011/joes-wedding/photobooth
    Unless you address these issues like Flickr has users will never truly be able to organize their photos.
    So basically, upload and group by a specific upload tag.
    Then organizing a photo navigation structure to fit our needs which is any structure we deem necessary.
    (Easy for clients to find and browse their photos)
    (Easy for random people browsing to browse by category)
    You guys are very close to getting this right.
    John

    +1 This. I don’t care for the Tree Like structure. I need a way to have multiple groups (multiple artists).

  24. March 16, 2013 at 2:17 am

    I agree with John Bauer. I find I’ve stopped uploading or using SmugMug because I now have such a massive collection of images that I would be unable to categorize efficiently, without having HUGE categories and cumbersome galleries which are difficult to search. People lose patience going through very large galleries, so I really feel the need to have more layers for easier breakouts of specific groups of images. I love SmugMug and the helpful team, but it’s really not working for me now. I haven’t had time to search for another site, but it makes little sense for me to be paying for a professional website that I cannot shape as needed. There have been hints that things would change, so I’ve been waiting to hear that, but I am definitely losing money as a result of my frustration with the system. I can see from numerous responses that I am not alone. . . Can you let us know whether or not this will be resolved in the foreseeable future, so we can plan accordingly?
    Thank you!
    Carolyn

  25. Ron Osborn
    March 25, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Just adding support for the above great comments.
    Agree strongly that flickr like structure where photo can be in multiple entities is important. Also many levels is critical in helping folks find things. Why limit the number of layers in the structure? I can think of more layers for the example below such as multiple days….
    An example of this structure: Event; EventYear; EventDate or Even Sublocation (or both); even participant.
    (i.e. – ExampleRace,
    ExampleRace2009 (could contain all or not)
    Race Start
    Middle of Race
    End of Race
    Participant 1 (photos from all 3 locations above)
    Participant 2
    Participant n
    ………………
    or as others identified if you do events, weddings, portraits, … you can add that as a top layer to avoid as they said having multiple smugmug accounts.

  26. March 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    The report has proven useful to myself. It’s quite useful and you’re naturally quite educated in this area. You get opened my personal eyes to be able to various views on this kind of subject using intriguing and sound content material.

  27. Rick Johnson
    March 31, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I just joined and am overall happy with the site. However, I ran into the need for one more subcategory as well. For example:
    Category: Basketball
    Subcategory: 2012-2013
    *Section*: Varsity
    Gallery: gamename

  28. don klein
    April 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    As I add photos from more trips I am finding the need for another level – or twoooooo

    Thanks

    • April 4, 2013 at 9:26 am

      SMUGMUG TEAM: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE listen to your customers!!! We REALLY need more levels of subcategories!!!

  29. May 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    I’m assuming that as soon as you good SmugMug folks come up with enhancements to the Levels problem, that you’ll be sending out a notice. Soon I hope.

    Cheers and Good Luck,

    Andy

  30. Tim
    May 26, 2013 at 5:02 am

    I will be recommending my customers stop using SmugMug. This is ridiculous. Completely unusable.

  31. June 4, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Thank you SmugMug for allowing us to comment on the site so freely (and thank you so many times in the past for all the help that is so quickly given). I will upload my 4000th image this summer while waiting for another 1000 to be digitized by ScanCafe. The majority of these images are from a lifetime of travel photography. As a result my Travel category displays an un-wieldly and off-puttingly long page of Sub-categories and Galleries.

    I will eagerly await the addition of just one more level of organization.

  32. agmcon
    June 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    What’s with the coffee and acne news? Am I missing something?

  33. June 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    This is kind of sad. I have been waiting to see some progress here…and the lack of additional support screams poor customer service. I have used SmugMug for a while now, but I think I will be researching some other options as I look to rebuild my website.

  34. June 25, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    how do I move my Bio section from the homepage onto a separate page? I had no problems setting up the categories and galleries

  35. galwaytt
    July 11, 2013 at 2:00 am

    so, after 2 years since the first post on here, what exactly have Smugmug been doing with all the ‘wonderful’ feedback ? On Nov 20 Schmoo says there’s ‘exciting’ new stuff in the ‘next year’ – well guess what, we’re 3/4 way through that now and I don’t see it………

  36. August 23, 2013 at 7:03 am

    I want to thank Smugmug for answering this need with the New Smugmug design! As with all change, we will work through the learning curve and start up glitches.

  37. September 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.

    When I loiok at your blog in Chrome, it looks fine but whn opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to gie you a quick heads up!

    Other then that, great blog!

  38. February 24, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Hi there to every one, since I am truly eager of reading this
    blog’s post to be updated daily. It carries nice information.

  1. July 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm
  2. September 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,972 other followers

%d bloggers like this: