Friends, photographers, cameramen, have we got news for you.
This morning, we pushed the button on one of the most exciting things we’ve ever built: a whole new SmugMug. We’ve dreamed about bringing you this kind of incredibly beautiful, powerful photo experience from day one and we hope that no matter what you do and who you are, you’ll love it, too.
The Biggest Launch Since 2002
We razed the walls, stripped the wiring and built a better, stronger SmugMug from the ground up. It looks better, works better and (if we did things right) it’s more intuitive and easy to use.
You’ll notice a brand-new look and feel that showcases your photos more beautifully than ever before.
We’ll notice that it’s easier to bring you lots of new features in the coming years.
Best of all, it’s all ready and waiting for you. All you have to do is try it.
Compare with the old SmugMug:
How do I use the new SmugMug? Will I lose all my stuff?
No! Unlike many other services, we’re not forcing you to ditch your existing site. You’ll have your very own secret preview mode that contains all your galleries, so that you can personalize it and get familiar with the new features. While it sounds scary, migration simply copies your website contents into a virtual sandbox that only you can see. When you’re ready, YOU unveil your changes and make it public.
In short, there are now 3 possible states of SmugMug: Non-migrated SmugMug accounts (legacy), accounts in private preview (migrated), and the new SmugMug.
We’ll ask if you’d like us to migrate your photos, memories and videos to the new SmugMug. While you experiment with the new features, your fans and clients will still see your old website, like always.
What content migrates? Your photo and video files as well as all the data associated with each: stuff like captions, keywords, geotagging, etc. If you’re a Portfolio or Business account holder, your pricing, marketing tools and pro sales will work normally during migration as well as when you’re in the new SmugMug. (No profits left behind!)
What won’t migrate? Unfortunately, advanced customizations made in the old system aren’t compatible with the new system. This was a very hard decision because we know many of you put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into customizing your sites. However, it’s so much easier to customize your site and the designs are so much more compelling, we hope you’ll forgive us.
Before I migrate, what can I expect?
Here are a few special things to consider as you’re working in preview mode:
- Migrating and unveiling is a one-way street. Once you unveil your changes you can’t go back to the old SmugMug.
- Changing gallery settings or rearranging photos will take effect on both your new and old site.
- Your visitors won’t see any rearrangements of your folders and galleries while you remain in preview mode.
- If you create new galleries in preview mode, they will be visible on your current SmugMug site in a new category called ‘Smug Preview’.
- When you unveil your new SmugMug site, the organization and customization you’ve created in preview mode will overwrite the old site settings.
Once my photos are migrated, what can I expect?
Once your photos are migrated, you’ll be able to choose from – and edit! – our 20+ beautiful layouts (“Designs”) that look stunning right out of the box. If that’s not enough, edit, create and switch between “Themes” (which are like our old Themes, but way more powerful), and drag in some of the many content blocks that make your site completely unique.
There’s so much to do and we want you to dig in yourself, so instead of overwhelming you with tips, here are our Top 3 Things We Think You Should Know:
1. You’ll always work in private. SmugMug now lets you personalize your site without your fans and clients seeing all those awkward in-between stages. And you can safely save your progress, sleep on it, and pick up right where you left off. You can also build multiple looks (holiday templates, anyone?) and swap between them with one click.
3. You get a hub. As a SmugMugger, you deserve certain privileges, like being able to see all your stuff and keep it organized. You’ve told us this was a major pain point in the old SmugMug, so we sweated bullets in order to get this part right. The brand-new Site Organizer is THE place for you to upload, drag to arrange, create galleries, folders and pages (up to 7 layers deep), bulk tweak and delete, change settings and so much more… from a familiar folder tree that you already know.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be showing you tips, examples and everything you need to get the most out of your new site. So if you’re feeling lost or need a little inspiration for creating a new look for your website, keep your eyes right here on our blog.
Which features are available on Basic accounts?
While customization was a big chunk of the improvements we made, it’s not everything. We’ve redone our homepage and info pages so you can see exactly what features are available at every account level.
Everyone gets the powerful, drag and drop Site Organizer. Everyone can apply an array of beautiful Themes and content blocks to their site, with three important differences:
- Basic users may use and swap between our many Themes, but won’t be able to edit or create them.
- Basic users can customize content and layout for their homepages only.
- Content blocks related to more complex customization and commerce features are not included on Basic accounts.
And great news: We’ve gone ahead and added video uploads to Basic accounts. Enjoy!
When can I start? And what’s next?
The great news: You can start right now.
Again, simply log in and go here: http://www.smugmug.com/migration
We’re not about to drop you into the pool without a little help. We’ve squished our brains together and updated our help pages to include a variety of new articles, as well as some “what’s new” content that compares old features with how things work now.
Important! Our fabulous Support Heroes are always available to lend a hand, but due to the sudden wave of ecstatic SmugMug tinkerers over the next few days (like you!), please check the help pages first and allow the Heroes a little extra time to respond to your tickets.
And as always, we’ll be sharing lots of helpful posts about building a brand-new website, tips for getting it done fast and insight into some of the things we think you’ll love most about the new SmugMug.
Questions? Stuck on a particularly tough nugget? Send us an email, comment, passenger pigeon or smoke signal so that we can best help you get the site of your dreams. We want to hear what you love, what stings, and what you think of our baby.
The Comprehensive List
Here’s the full list of things that we’ve improved or built for you in this release. In addition to the below, we’ve done a ton of work behind-the-scenes making SmugMug work faster, more reliably, and easier for us to deliver brand-new features in the coming months.
Things that we improved:
- Homepage design
- Folder page layout (previously Category/Subcategory pages)
- Gallery layout (all gallery styles)
- Lightbox view
- Video player
- Package image selection
- Gallery Settings
- Sharegroup pages
- Event pages
- Photo and gallery picker
- Complete customization overhaul, including Site Designs
- Site-wide drag and drop Organizer
- Folders can go 5 levels deep, allowing for 7 total layers
- Gallery-level comments now optional
- Thumbs up/down replaced by Like
- Can now create Pages
- New Gallery Styles
- Folder-level security and privacy settings
- Mobile site now mimics regular site, including customization
- New privacy level (owner-only “Private”)
- Expanded search structure