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Archive for May, 2011

Smug Tip of the Week: Get a Custom URL in Three Steps with SmugDomains

May 31, 2011 10 comments

Did you know that SmugMug has long been partners with Go Daddy, one of the best domain registrars in town? Through the years, tons of happy Power and Pro SmugMuggers have easily bought and set up their own URLs through our joint site, Smugmugdomains.com .

We recently gave the site a face lift, so it’s easy to use and easy on the eyes:

If you were on the fence about grabbing your own URL for your site, it’s dead simple to get one now.

Custom URLs in Three Steps

Does it get any easier than this?

1. Search for an available domain.

2. Purchase it from Go Daddy.

3. Plug it in to your SmugMug Control Panel. You’re done!

Already With GoDaddy but New to Smug?

We provide simple instructions on how to manually set up your custom domain.

Just point your CNAME ‘www’ to domains.smugmug.com and your A record ‘@’ to 208.79.45.23  .

Transfer From a Different Registrar

If this sounds great but you already have a domain with another company, you can transfer it to Go Daddy.

Just go here and click on the “login to Go Daddy” link. Look for the “Transfer”  option under the black “Domain Names” drop-down at top left. They’ll walk you through the rest.

Of course if you’re ever stuck, confused or just plain have a question, shoot our Heroes an email. We’ll getcha hooked up in no time.

Show and Sell on Facebook with SmugMug Tab + iPad2 Giveaway

May 30, 2011 379 comments

Hey, Facebookers! Now it’s easier than ever to embed your SmugMug galleries and sell photos to your fans on Facebook.

We first wrote about the SmugMug Tab app in December and how it can help you display all of your public galleries right on your business’ Facebook fan page. But now, Tabfusion.com has added a new “Store” feature that lets you sell your gorgeous prints and gifts there, too.

Simply tell the app which of your galleries contain photos for sale, provide products and pricing for display, then save it. Go to the Layout tab and click to “Include” the Store Option. The Store glyph will then appear on your Fan pages so fans can buy. Your clients will be sent over to SmugMug where they can complete their purchase and check out.

More New Updates on SmugMug Tab:

In addition to the new Store feature, they’ve made a made a nice improvement for better overall use:
  • One-click wonder: When your fans “like” a photo on SmugMug Tab, a thumbnail of the photo is posted to their Facebook wall that automatically links to the corresponding photo on SmugMug. No more intermediate page with cumbersome extra clicks to get to your site.

Thanks again to the folks over at Tabfusion for making it easy to embed your SmugMug site into your business Facebook fan page. If you haven’t already tried them, it’s just $10/year or $20 for a full three years. Check it out, sign in with your Facebook account and ping them if you have any questions. They are happy to help.

Don’t have a Facebook Fan Page for your business yet? You can set one up in just a few clicks here.

GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the kick off of the newly improved SmugMug tab, we’re giving away one free iPad 2 (a $499 value, not including awesomeness points).

To enter, just “Like” SmugMug’s fan page here AND comment below on this blog post with a link to your Facebook Fan Page. You are eligible whether or not you are already a SmugMug Tab user.

Why an iPad? What better way to take your photos everywhere than with full-screen photos, dazzling slideshows and HD video right in your hands.

We’ll randomly pick a winner Monday, June 6 and announce it here on the blog and on Facebook, so be sure to check back to see if you are the lucky winner.

UPDATE! The winner is here! Congratulations to Candy Coughlin of Candy’s Photography. Enjoy your brand-new iPad and keep your eyes peeled for a message from Tabfusion. :)

Smug Tip of the Week: SmugMug’s Customization Options with Eric Trimble

May 25, 2011 24 comments

Our Support Heroes know how the idea of customizing your Power or Pro site can seem daunting at first, but never fear! We’ve provided a lot of resources and tools to help you get a site that you love. Today we’ll hear from Customization Specialist and Support Hero Eric Trimble about the different options you have at your fingers to get the site of your dreams.

So you have your SmugMug site, uploaded your photos, possibly even made a sale or two. Congrats! But now you’re looking to kick it up a notch and want to go from this:

to this:

Nervous? Don’t be. We’ve got lots of great resources you can use to personalize your page and to make your brand stand out.

Get an Easy Banner and Navbar

First things first. A banner and a navigation bar are two really simple things you can add to your header to instantly improve your site. If you have a graphic you like to use, or just want plain text, you can add them using the Easy Customizer. Try the Navbar Builder (found under the “Header” section) to get a simple navbar in minutes.

Simple Cut-and-Paste Tutorials

So what’s next? When you’ve used the Easy Customizer but still want more, some people start to get worried. You’re on the edge of Advanced Customization territory and  now it’s all HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Good news! For most things all you need to do is a simple search through our help pages, then copy and paste of existing code. Some of our top requests include:

1) How to show your galleries to show on a separate page from your homepage. We’ve got an easy tutorial on Dgrin showing how to do just that. Check out the code in yellow on that page and simply copy and paste it into your Advanced Customization as shown.

2) How to get an “About Me” page or a page that shows the services you can provide. What you’re looking for is a simple HTML-only page where you can drop in whatever content you wish; you can add whatever text, links or images that you need. Look here to see step by step instructions on how to do this.

3) How to create your own Contact form. Then for anyone who has ever used our slick, online form to contact the SmugMug Support Heroes, we have that same form built in for our Pro level accounts. We recommend that you use this so that your customers can easily contact you. And it’s so easy to do! Try the code provided here to make the popup contact form appear when you click the link in your navber (or anywhere else on your site).

Get a Knock-Their-Socks-Off Homepage Slideshow

Would you like to have a big, beautiful slideshow of your images that stretches to fill every inch of browser space? We have two ways to do this, created by some of our wonderful volunteers.

Option 1: If you are looking for something to showcase your images, I am a fan of the JFriend HTML 5 slideshow. It’s huge, has great transition effects, and is very simple to implement.

Option 2: But lots of folks swear by the FastLine Media slideshow. It’s just as big, just as beautiful… just a little different.

Either way you choose to go, they’re both great and you can’t go wrong. Neither are Flash-based, so they’re visible even to people who browse your site on iPhones and iPads.

Free Guided Help

SmugMug’s customization lets you have virtually limitless creativity. And much of what you might want to do is already written and waiting for you on our forums at DGrin. Join in, search for a topic and post a new thread if you can’t find the answer!

Not only do we have some very dedicated volunteers, but you can also find our resident customizer (hey, that’s me!) patrolling the forums and helping out ’round the clock.

Customizers For-Hire

But even with all this ready and waiting, maybe you’re not looking to get elbow deep in CSS. We have you covered there as well. We keep a list of third party companies that are our Certified Customizers. You can contact any of the companies here to discuss your ideas and get a quote.

They’re happy to work with you and build the site of your dreams.

Got skills? Come customize for us!

Last but not least, we’re currently seeking out talented web- and graphic designers to be one of our Certified Customizers. If the idea of tweaking sites makes your heart go pitter-patter, come join us in the mission to make every gallery gorgeous. Send us an email with your specs.

Happy customizing,

- Eric

Additional resources:

Win $200 Towards Lens Rental at Borrowlenses

May 24, 2011 22 comments

Hello, happy snappers! Our buddies at Borrowlenses got a mad hankering to share some glass with you so they’ve put together a little giveaway: One lucky winner will win $200 towards any lens rental. To see how, keep reading.

You Want What They Got

If you thought the peeps at BL are hardcore, leather-clad, badass, glass-toting ninjas in their bunker surrounded by every lens your wallet dreams of… well, you’re right. It’s kind of awesome.

Check out their brand-spanking new security system, guaranteed to bring down the meanest, toughest, most savage thief in the industry:

“Mew!”

You can rent this bad boy if you win (sans fur, since they’re pros at cleaning gear), so all you have to do is:

They’ll announce a winner this Friday, May 27th. You may want to start booking some events this weekend.

Sorry, but the kitten’s not included.

PayPal and Currency Options for International Pros

May 23, 2011 19 comments

G’day, international Pros! So many of you have been asking for electronic payments, so have we got a sweet update for you. PayPal to pay you in foreign currencies!

Visit your Control Panel and look under the Pros tab. You should see some shiny new options in the Tax and Payment Info details that make it far, far easier for us to pay you:

Gone are the days of snail mailing paper cheques across the pond (or the border). Just tell us what currency you’d prefer and verify your PayPal address. We’ll get your money sent to you quickly and painlessly at your next payment date. Need a review on how that’s done? Check the facts on reporting here.

We offer six flavors so you can pick your favorite currency:

  • Australian dollar (AUD $)
  • Canadian dollar (CAD $)
  • Euro (EUR €)
  • Mexican peso (MXN $)
  • Pound sterling (GBP £)
  • US dollar (USD $)

New Account Option for US Pros

Annnnnd, while we had our fingers in finance, we added some improvements for domestic Pros, too. Now US shooters can choose to have their profits deposited in Business or Personal bank accounts, for easier accounting on your end:

This is SmugMug thanking all of our hard-working, far-reaching Pros for your extraordinary patience in waiting for this moment. As always, let us know how it works out for you because we love hearing what you think.

Smug Tip of the Week: Troubleshooting Your Connection

May 18, 2011 4 comments

We do everything we can to deliver you blazing speed so you can browse galleries and upload unlimited photos to your site. But we do know that sometimes things happen.

Are you having trouble with uploads, or is your site moving slower than usual? There are many possible causes for these types of issues, but the most common reason is rooted in the connection between your computer and us.

Try This First!

Keep these four tips handy. It’s a good idea to try the following if you notice a sudden change in performance on your site or on the rest of the web:

1. Check to see if you get the same behavior in a different browser than the one you usually use. See our list of supported browsers right here.

2. Clear your cache. Don’t know how to do this in your favorite browser? Just email us!

3. Reboot your computer and unplug your router and cable modem for a few seconds. Then re-plug them in to re-sync your connection.

4. If you’re online using a wireless network, try plugging in instead. This can help get you a “cleaner” connection that isn’t dependent on the airwaves.

Run Some Tests

No go? Next, log in at SmugMug and check your connection at one of these two links:

  • If site navigation seems sluggish, go here.

Be sure to run the correct test for the issues that you’re seeing! If you’re familiar with the data in those results, then great. You can use that data to troubleshoot your home network, or when you talk to your ISP.

But if it’s all Greek to you, no sweat: Just use the Share button shown at the end of the test to grab your results and email that to us.

Include some info about what kinds of problems or error messages you’re seeing, what you’ve tried already, etc. Give us as many details as you can, like:

- What browser are you using? 
- What uploaders have you tried? 
- Is your internet wireless or wired? 
- Have you tried using another supported browser, or uploader
- Have you tried using a different network? We suggest a friend’s house, the library or a local coffee shop with wi-fi.

There’s no such thing as too much info, so don’t be shy. Our marvelous Support Heroes are aways glad to help you (literally!) get back up to speed.

Win a Year of Free Uploading and Sharing from Eye-Fi and SmugMug

May 17, 2011 8 comments

Our friends at Eye-Fi happen to be our neighbors, too, located just down the street from us at SmugMug Central. They’ve always been good to us and as friends do, they’re throwing a virtual party to celebrate the cool stuff that happens when forces unite.

After all, when you pair unlimited uploads, gorgeous galleries and effortless, wireless uploads that’s just about as sweet as it gets for turbo ‘togs like you. See for yourself:

Shoot, Upload and Share for a Year

They’re giving away three great bundles to three lucky people:

  1. One collects a free year of SmugMug Pro and one Eye-Fi Pro X2 wireless memory card.
  2. One enjoys a year of SmugMug Power and one Eye-Fi Mobile X2 memory card.
  3. One scoops up a SmugMug Basic account and one Eye-Fi Connect X2 memory card.

Want more details about these cool tools? Review SmugMug’s account features and check out Eye-Fi’s offerings here.

Eye Fi is such an awesome way to wirelessly upload your photos and videos as soon as you shoot them… which lets you share them faster and stay organized. Never run out of space on your card again!

Enter By May 22nd*

Here’s how to play:

  • Hop over to Facebook and become a fan of both Eye Fi and SmugMug.

Entries are open to legal US residents and your deadline is May 22nd, 2011 at 11:59 PM (PDT). So don’t be late!

NOTE: Earlier, we listed the incorrect date of May 29. The deadline is May 22nd. Sorry for any confusion.

SmugVault Pricing Drops Ridiculously Low

May 16, 2011 15 comments

It’s Christmas in May! You can upload, store and retrieve virtually any file in your SmugVault for a fraction of the old cost.

Oh, yes. The measly $1 monthly service charge remains the same, but now:

  • Storage is only $.14 per month, per GB. (Old cost: $.22)
  • It costs only $.11 to upload each GB into your Vault. (Old cost: $.30)
  • It costs only $.16 to download each GB back to your computer. (Old cost: $.51)

What’s this mean for you? If you uploaded an 8G CF card full of RAWs into your Vault and then retrieved them one month later:

Your old bill would be $9.24 .
Your new bill will be just $4.28 .

Best of all, this isn’t a limited-time promotional offer. Thanks to price drops from Amazon and a shiny new uploading infrastructure at SmugMug, we expect this lowered price to be permanent – until we drop it again.

That’s right.  Over time, we’re going to do our best to keep the pricing as close to Amazon’s S3 pricing as we can.  More technical info about SmugVault is right here.

Why SmugVault is Awesome

The SmugVault gives you safe, reliable, flexible and unlimited storage tacked right on to your existing SmugMug account. You’re already familiar with our interface and galleries so it’s a breeze to use. And remember that your archives are not visible (or downloadable) to anyone except you, the logged-in gallery owner.

The SmugVault can hold virtually any file up to 1GB apiece, and if you upload a TIFF and JPG version of the same image into your account, we’ll archive one and display the other to your visitors. But they’ll be bundled together for easy access in your Vault.

And when we call it a Vault, we mean it.  Thanks to Amazon’s S3 service, which powers the storage part of your SmugVault, anything you archive in your SmugVault has 99.999999999% durability.  In other words, if you store 10,000 files in your SmugVault, on average, we’ll lose just one every 10 million years. More details.

In fact, you can even skip the JPG part and just upload your RAW file. We’ll automatically generate a full-sized JPG that you can share – and sell – on your site.

Listen Up, Pros!

Hot tip: After a shoot, just drag your RAW files into the uploader and call it a day. Your client can browse the gallery and buy the prints she wants. When the order hits Proof Delay, you swap them with edited versions. This way you only have to edit a few required images, not the whole set.

Whatta timesaver! And you’re backed up, to boot.

Grab Your Vault Now

This is a perfect time to give the SmugVault a try. Get one right from your Control Panel, under the Settings tab where it says “SmugVault”.

Your regular galleries are great for our standard JPG, PNG and GIF files but if you’d like a little extra oompf, it’s easier (and cheaper) than ever to get your whole life backed up.

Yanno, just in case.

The Latest Bug Fixes

May 12, 2011 18 comments

A few notable bug fixes just went out:

  • Pros can now disable Printmarks for orders held in Proof Delay. Doing so applies to just that image in that order and won’t affect the gallery settings, or for any other order that includes that photo.
  • Cropping thumbnails will advance you to the next image in the gallery, rather than just staying on the same photo.
  • We fixed a video processing bug so that movies with high detail and motion will remain as crystal-clear as they were before.
  • A few people noticed that Album Download orders placed from galleries made up of Collected photos were acting funny. They will now display the correct pricing in the shopping cart and the zip file should download without a hitch.

Smug Tip of the Week: Use Visitor View to Preview Your Site

May 11, 2011 5 comments

I just set my Pro pricing but the default prices are showing in the shopping cart!

Why are my hidden galleries still showing on my homepage?

We hear both of these regularly on our help desk, but there’s a simple solution to these both: Visitor View!

The very best way is to simply use a second browser (we love Chrome and Firefox), where you aren’t logged in.  But if you don’t want to do this, no problem. Just use the handy Visitor View button that we give you.

See Your Site Like a Customer

When you’re logged in as the site owner, you see tons of features that your fans won’t because you’re the master of them all. You certainly don’t want anyone seeing all your switches and dials, or to be able to make changes to your site.

So use that second browser, hit the Logout link in your header (or footer), or  just hit the Visitor View button at the top of your homepage or category page:

Click it once and you can navigate around your site to make sure every hair is in place for presentation. Some things that you can expect to be not show to your guests are your unlisted (private) galleries and the upload and other buttons at the top of each page. If you have  keyword tags or mapped photos that are located in unlisted or passworded galleries, your visitors won’t see the keywords or pins for those either.

Now You See it… Now You Don’t

Here’s a good example of a site with a little customization on the homepage. This is what you see when you’re logged in as the owner:

… and here’s what the same site looks like when you view it as a visitor. Notice that a lot of the buttons and links are now gone and all you see are clean, beautiful galleries:

Pros: Get a Price Check

A hot tip for the Pros: Use Visitor View to check your custom pricing. You can always hit the Buy button to bring up the shopping cart. We’ll show our default pricing when you’re logged in (with your custom pricing under each line), but doing this in Visitor View will give you the total client experience.

Finally, Power and Pro Smuggers will find the Visitor View button key to customization, too. Be sure that you’re checking it often because your owner-only features can cause things to shift around a bit.

Don’t be afraid to take control of your site and be sure of what you’re showing your adoring fans!

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