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Archive for August, 2013

Release Notes for August, Part Deux

August 29, 2013 55 comments

We’ve been fixing a lot of stuff lately so we thought it’d be a good time to update you all on a few more things we’ve shipped this month. Without further ado:

Embed Videos from Vimeo

You asked, we delivered! You can now embed your Vimeo videos into your pages, in addition to SmugMug and YouTube videos. You’ll find that content block under the “Video” section of your customization menu.

Use Wufoo

Want more than just our basic contact form? No problem – the folks at Wufoo specialize in embeddable forms in all shapes, colors and sizes! If you’ve already got a Wufoo account, simply grab the shortlink they give you and look under the “Social” section of your customization menu. You’ll find the new Wufoo Form content block ready and waiting for you to paste it in.

Keep Better Tabs on Us

What’s more important than the status of SmugMug.com? Probably not a whole lot, so we’ve made it better than ever before. Check it out now and get familiar with it, so if you think you’re seeing something strange, you can peek in and see how we’re doing.

Tip: Want to know even faster? Hit the Subscribe button at the top and we’ll send you an email whenever things get exciting.

Miscellaneous improvements

  • Statcounter and Google Analytics work properly on migrated and unveiled SmugMug sites.
  • Added the ability to discard your changes while in customization mode.
  • Animated gifs display motion at all SmugMug sizes, not just Originals.
  • Fixed UTF-8 fonts to display correctly.
  • Added navigation arrows to SmugMug gallery style
  • Option to hide the Slideshow button in Gallery Settings.
  • Added option to add separators between your menu bar links.
  • Cleaned up the lightbox so the same arrows and options show up no matter where you’re using the lightbox.
  • Favicons should stick. For really-real this time.
  • We smacked Smart Galleries so that they fetch new photos faster.

Enjoy!

3 Flavors of Privacy: Are You Using the Right One?

August 23, 2013 33 comments

Did you know that the new SmugMug offers you a brand-new level of privacy for your galleries? That’s a total of three different flavors of security, so that your photos and stories can be shared, stashed or locked away however you wish.

So, what are your options?

1) Public

This is just what it sounds like. Your gallery is visible by everyone, including site engines like Google and all the people who browse SmugMug. You can, of course, share these galleries by sending links to people directly. Galleries set to Public will also be listed any time someone browses your website.

Tip: If you want your public galleries to be found faster, be sure to enter a gallery description, meta keywords and be sure that your Web Searchable and SmugMug Searchable settings aren’t set to “No.”

2) Unlisted

This setting hides your gallery from anyone browsing your site. YOU will be able to see it when you’re logged in as the site owner, and you’ll see an “Unlisted” badge over the thumbnail for these galleries. The best part is that you can share these galleries with friends and family, because anyone with the direct link can browse the photos within.

Tip: When you share the link, be sure to copy all of the letters in the URL that your browser (or Get a Link) gives you. They may look like a random jumble (Example: n-fSzMC), but they’re literally the key to ensuring that your viewers are legit. Links to Unlisted galleries won’t work without them.

3) Private

This new option means that only you, the account owner, will be able to see the gallery and the images inside of it. Even if you share a link with someone, they’ll get a “Page Not Found” error. It goes without saying that galleries set to Private won’t be found by search engines, nor will they appear in SmugMug’s site-wide search (unless you’re the one doing the search.) Finally, when looking at your gallery, you won’t see the “key” in the URL, but rest assured that we’ll still keep your goodies safe and sound.

Tip: Private galleries are great for you, but less great for friends or clients – don’t choose this option if you want someone else to enjoy your photos! Additionally, don’t post photos from Private galleries into forums and blogs, because they won’t work.

What About Privacy Settings on Folders?

Good news! Folders get the same privacy options that galleries do. By default, new galleries that you create will inherit the parent folder’s  privacy settings… but you can, of course, change this on specific galleries if you wish.

Tip: Change the privacy setting on a Folder to change the privacy setting on all of the galleries within. Great for hiding (or revealing) entire categories on your site.

Bonus Tip: Privacy at the Photo Level

Want more specific control over what gets seen and what doesn’t? Try the Hide Photos option to keep just one or two photos secret from everyone but yourself, even in a Public or an Unlisted gallery. This option is perfect for the indecisive perfectionist who wants to display only the best shot from a series, or for people looking to hide certain images after guests have already viewed the gallery.

To find it, open up your photo’s lightbox, then click on the wrench icon in the corner. You’ll find the “Hide” open under the Organize menu. Or if you’re working in the Site-Wide Organizer, highlight a photo thumbnail and click on the wrench to access your Image Tools.

Remember that hidden photos can’t be shared on blogs, forums or anywhere else (including your banner or logo on your homepage), but we’ll display a little eye glyph over your hidden photos so that you’ll know.

Enjoy sharing (or not sharing) your photos! Questions? We’re always glad to help.

Link roundup:

New Online Events: Nature Photography and Making the Leap to Pro

August 22, 2013 3 comments

Making the Leap from Mom to Pro

As the new school year creeps closer, it’s time for many of us to transition back from full-time parent to  full-time pro.

This month’s SmugMug podcast features Clickin Moms’ teacher and mom extraordinaire, Alicia Gould, of Alicia Gould Photography. Like many professional photographers, she started out by taking photos of her family, then watched her hobby blossom into a successful pro business. We sat down and asked her about all the fun and hard work that many women experience when making the leap, and what issues you might face when you start your own new business.

You’ll hear answers to questions like:

  • Do you need previous experience or an artistic background?
  • How and why you should balance your time with your family?
  • How do you judge success as a momtographer?
  • What’s the most important decision you can make when starting your business?
  • What are some unexpected mistakes you may end up making?
  • What kind of equipment is in a successful family photographer’s kit?

Photo by Alicia Gould Photography

Download the podcast right here and have a listen while you put the finishing touches on your latest summer photos. We think you’ll be inspired to take your shooting to a whole new level!

Composing Images in a Natural World

SmugMug Webinar's guest nature photographer, Steve Gettle If you prefer photographing trees to toddlers, join our upcoming webinar, featuring world-reknown nature photographer Steve Gettle.

We’ll focus on the many elements that make up the composition of a beautiful nature image, using hundreds of examples and practical, real world situations. You’ll learn the “rules” of composition as well as when and why to break them. You’ll find out how to see the picture, and how to work a subject to maximize the potential of every situation.

In addition, we will cover how to control such things as lighting, backgrounds, depth of field and perspective to enhance your composition.

Composing Images in a Natural World
Thursday, August 29th, 2013
8:00 PM ET, 7:00 CT, 6:00 MT, 5:00 PT and 1:00 AM BST
Register HERE

Photo by Steve Gettle 

***UPDATE!*** You can watch the recorded webinar on our YouTube channel.

We hope that everyone out there has been having a great summer full of wonderful experiences… and the pictures to prove them!

Release Notes, fixes and more

August 8, 2013 148 comments

A huge, heartfelt thank you to all of you passionate readers out there who’ve shared your thoughts about the new SmugMug. Whether you’re Tweeting, Facebooking, Dgrinning, emailing or posting comments in our blog, we really do read every single response (even if we can’t always reply personally to every one). Change inspires great feeling in all of us, and it’s been a wild ride seeing just how the new features and tools have affected so many of you.

Since launch day we’ve been hard at work helping you get settled, cataloging your feedback, tweaking and polishing and making things that much better for you to use. So here’s the first batch of updates that gives you a closer look at some of the things we’ve shipped in the last week.

Gallery Comments are back!

When we launched, your gallery comments didn’t migrate with your photos, but we didn’t just chuck them into the trash. Now when you drop in a comments content block, click the wrench in the corner, choose a source and pull in all your previous comments from, say, your legacy guestbook gallery:

Show Off to embed slideshows

You’ve asked for an easy way to embed your photos into external sites, so we brought the Show Off feature into the new SmugMug. When you’re logged in as owner, you’ll see the “Show Off” option in the lightbox view, from the social menu. You can customize a beautiful slideshow of virtually any size to embed in webpages:

Show Off and post an embedded slideshow

Events & Favorites

We’ve gotten a lot of feedback about this feature in the last week, so thank you to everyone who helped us track down and iron out the bumps. We have:

  • … fixed issues your clients sometimes had saving and removing Favorites.
  • … made it so that Event slideshows play perfectly again.
  • … fixed an obscure bug so that all top-level folders display reliably in the Events gallery picker.

Video improvements

  • Slicker, smoother video playback.
  • “Auto” streams a juicy 640×480 and up.

Misc improvements

  • Are you in the EU? You’ll feel at home with our new, rule-abiding cookie consent bar.
  • Presented a cleaner, new crop page on preview mode and unveiled sites.
  • Upped the maximum number of Multiple Photos to 48.

Misc bug fixes

  • Site Meta Title and Description SEO tools use YOUR text (not ours, unless you leave these blank).
  • Tidied up the logged-out view of comments box.
  • Passwords stick to your galleries, even if you move them into Public folders.
  • Fixed navigation into Categories on legacy Sharegroups.
  • You can set pricing on galleries before you’ve even filled them with photos.
  • Gallery descriptions are visible to anyone with permissions to view your gallery.
  • You can sort your Collected images in the Organizer.

Enjoy! As always, please don’t be shy about sharing what you love, what you don’t, and what you think doesn’t look quite right.

More soon,

The SmugMug Family

Get the Legacy Look on Your New SmugMug Site

August 7, 2013 70 comments

In the week since the new SmugMug was born, we’ve been blown away by some of the gorgeous websites that we’ve seen from you!

But we’ve been also hearing from folks who miss the old legacy look, and want a newer version of it instead of a completely different website. No problemo, amigo! Here’s how to do it in just a few steps.

1. Use the SmugMug design

Let’s say, for example, you miss our basic legacy SmugMug layout and our basic Theme:

After you’ve migrated your photos, you’ll see all available designs for your account level. If you’re already using something else, simply click Customize > Choose a New Site Design from the top of your page.

Choose the first design, called “SmugMug.”

2. Post your profile

Click the wrench on the top box to open up your profile settings. Fill that in with a little blurb about yourself and what you do. If you wish, invite people to leave a comment or to email you!

Tip: If you’ve already filled in your Profile, you can toggle it to automatically display the content you have there.

3. Display your galleries

If you want your homepage to display your top-level Folders and galleries, you can leave the default boxes alone. Otherwise, click the wrench in the corner to edit what shows up. From the Basic tab, choose specific folders and galleries via the “Select From” dropdown in the settings box.

For the legacy look, you’ll want to change the thumbnail Photo Size to “Small,” and keep the 1:1 ratio.

Then click the Display tab. Tweak the spacing between your tiles, and change the Info Style to “Under.”

To get the classic single column look, click the Layout tab of your customization menu, and change “Stretchy” to “Fixed.” You can specify the width here, but the default is 960 pixels.

From there, you’re all set! You’ve got the classic profile + gallery content all ready and waiting for your fans to see.

Go further

Of course, you can always tweak the settings more on any of the content on the page, or add more boxes to your heart’s content. That’s the beauty of the new SmugMug!

Links to stuff you’ll love:

Smug Tip: The No-Hack Custom Page Tutorial

August 5, 2013 42 comments

If you’ve been with SmugMug for a while, you’ve probably earned a badge trying to create non-gallery pages using Advanced Customization. Anyone with a website needs to create pages that don’t necessarily have lots of photos on them: About Me, your mission statement, your pricing, etc.

Before, you had to copy and paste complicated code to hide parts of your gallery page, then hand-type in HTML to get what you wanted.

With the new SmugMug it’s as easy as drag, drop and go. Here’s how to do it in 3 simple steps.

PS. Creating Pages is a customization feature available on Power, Portfolio and Business accounts. If you’re a Basic user, you can customize your homepage using any of the Themes and content blocks we provide, but you may not find all the options listed below.

Step 1: Create your new page

First, create the page you want. If you want to create an About Me page, for example, start by hitting the Organize > Create > Page button in your header.

Give it a name, keywords, settings, whatever you wish. Hit the Done button in the top left of your window to save.

Tip: Your new page will appear at the bottom of your folder tree list when you open up your site Organizer. You can drag it into any other place (like into a Folder) if you want it elsewhere.

Step 2: Customize it

Find the page that you just made. You can do this by typing in the URL for it, or you can click the link from the preview window in your site Organizer.

Once you’re at your new page, open up customization from the header: Customize > Customize Site. To confirm that you’ll be applying changes to just the one page (and not your whole site), look for the following folder list at the top right:

Personalize the page however you wish. You can change the Theme if you want a different color scheme on this page versus any other part of your site.

Don’t forget to browse through the many different content boxes from the “Content” tab and drag the ones you like into the middle, the side, the bottom, wherever you want onto your page.

Tip: A light green box will appear in any spot that can accept a block. If you miss, we’ll show you a dotted outline mapping out where valid areas lie on the page. Experiment and have fun!

Step 3: Link it

Remember that you get an instant, live preview of everything you’re doing, but to clear the windows away just click the Preview button, and “Done” when you’re finished.

Copy the URL for the gallery from the top of your browser page, and click to highlight the top-level, “Entire Site,” option from the top right.

If the site design you’ve chosen comes with a menu bar, click the little wrench to open the edit box.

Tip: If your design doesn’t include a menu bar, Power, Portfolio and Business users can add one by dragging and dropping in the “Menu” content block from the Content > Navigation section.

Click the little + sign to add a link to the menu.

Fill in the copy you want, and past in the URL for the new page you just created. Click Done.

That’s it! Your new page is happy, gorgeous and accessible to all.

Give it a try and let us know what you think. And we want to see what kinds of amazing pages you’re designing, so don’t be afraid to show us what you’re building.

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