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6 Smug Features You Didn’t Know You Had

April 21, 2014 1 comment

There’s so much to SmugMug that even those of us who’ve been members for years have trouble summing it all up in a single elevator pitch. So it’s perfectly possible for you to have never known some of the great features that are (even now) lurking in your galleries.

Here are a few of our favorites.

1) Smart Galleries

Your galleries can automatically display photos that you choose.

Lots of SmugMuggers use our Collect Photos feature. But did you know you can set your galleries to automatically collect certain new photos you upload to your site? You do this simply by defining Rules and making your gallery a Smart Gallery. We’ll do the rest.

Smart Galleries are perfect for curating pics for your homepage slideshow, populating individual player galleries from team photos, displaying your newest snaps, and so many more applications we can’t even listen them all. Try it now!

There’s a lot you can do with just your keyboard.

2) Keyboard shortcuts

SmugMug’s easy to browse with one hand. Really! When you’re viewing a gallery you can hit the following keys to open the Lightbox and change the image size that you’re viewing. Here’s the list:

  • Left/Right Arrow = Prev/Next Photo
  • Shift + Left/Right Arrow = Prev/Next Page of Thumbnails
  • A = Bring up Lightbox view, Autosize photo
  • S = Lightbox, Small
  • M = Lightbox, Medium
  • L = Lightbox, Large
  • 1 = Lightbox, XL
  • 2 = Lightbox, XL2
  • 3 = Lightbox, XL3
  • O = Lightbox, Original
  • X = Exit Lightbox

Give it a whirl, and bookmark the help page in case you want to refer to this list later.

3) System Pages

Just 3 examples of totally customizable system pages already included in your SmugMug account.

You may not realize that you’ve got a few very special pages up your SmugMug sleeve that you can access by simply typing in these words to the end of your SmugMug URL:

  • 404
  • Date
  • Keyword
  • Password
  • Popular
  • Search
  • Browse

These don’t appear in your site-wide organizer because they can’t actually be moved around, but you can customize them with text, your logo, and other content blocks when you have a Power-, Portfolio-, or Business-level account. Perfect for adding your warm and sunny personality to every corner of your site.

Check out some previously published tips and ideas for making these system pages your own.

4) Opacity Slider (Power and up)

Find your opacity (alpha) sliders in your Theme’s “Advanced” tab.

You can run with any design right out of the box, but one of the best benefits of SmugMug is the ability to deeply customize your site. And there’s so many options available to you, like the ability to change the color – and opacity – of different sections like your header, sidebars, body, or footer.

Just like how rugs define a space in your room, so do these areas of your page. Setting a section color and changing its opacity (or “alpha”) goes a great way toward making your custom themes stand apart from the crowd.

Don’t be shy: dig into your Themes, click that Advanced tab, and get playing!

5) Filename display

Display your filenames for easy previewing in your sitewide Organizer.

The Organizer may be the best thing we’ve launched since sliced bread, but did you know that you can toggle the display of filenames under your thumbnails? This is a handy trick to see exactly how your images are being sorted. Combined with the browser function Command+F, you can quickly find any file in any gallery.

Find it in your sitewide Organizer, any time you’ve highlighted a gallery and have the photos displayed in the preview pane on the right. The toggle button is the little square with the line under it at top right (shown above).

6) Multiple Designs to Create and Use (Power and up)

This user has created 5 totally different looks for their SmugMug website and can swap them with a click.

You can customize any number of our site designs and swap between them whenever you wish. We’ll save them all in your account and you can access them when logged in, any time you click Customize > Choose a New Site Design. No extra charge!

This is perfect for indecisive photographers who can’t decide if they want a huge background slideshow or an organic collage of their portfolio pics on their homepage. It’s also great for festive folks who shoot calendar-based events and want to serve up a different look every season.

Just remember that when you switch designs, customizations like content blocks won’t transfer between them. However, new pages, galleries, and any other content you add (A.K.A. stuff that’s visible in your sitewide Organizer) will.

Tip: If you do create multiple designs, we recommend that you give each design a unique, descriptive name so you always know what it is. “Copy of Isis” is not very helpful. “4-Column Homepage (White Theme)” is.

We hope you dig deeper into your SmugMug sites and discover something new that makes managing your memories easier and more fun.

Enjoy!

Links to love:

Making Watermarks Easier Than Ever for Pros

April 3, 2014 9 comments

If you haven’t already heard, we recently released some new options to the way you apply watermarks to your images, but we’ve gone ahead and taken it one step further.

In the New SmugMug, you can now create, choose, edit and apply your custom watermarks all from a single location. Gone are the days of choosing your logo image from within a gallery, then tweaking it in your Account Settings.

Your New Home Base for Watermarks

You’ll still open your Account Settings to see your watermarks alongside your other pro branding tools. But now you’ll find a gorgeous, brand-new, edge-to-edge interface with a large sample photo in center, and all your watermarks in a column down the right-hand side:

Click any of your watermark previews to try it on for size. Or click the “+ Create” button at top to select a new graphic (that you’ve already designed and uploaded) for use as a fresh new watermark.

There’s even a handy button at the bottom to change the sample image to something brighter, darker, or vertical. This is a great way to get an idea of how the orientation or brightness of a photo will affect how your watermark looks.

 

And as always, you can hit the universal wrench or trash icons under each of your existing watermarks to edit and delete them, respectively.

Check out our updated help pages to get the complete details about watermarks and how they work. You’ll also notice that we’ve changed the way you edit Printmarks in exactly the same way, since Watermarks and Printmarks are very similar features.

Watermarks, in a nutshell

New to Watermarks? Here are a few important things to know:

  • New custom watermarks default to size Large and up. You can specify a different minimum size in the settings.
  • Watermarks are nondestructive, so your prints won’t include them.
  • Watermarks will need to be re-applied to your photos to display any changes you make.
  • You can have as many different watermarks on your site as you wish.
  • Watermarks are available on Portfolio and Business accounts only.

About SmugMug’s Printmarks

And if you’ve never used our Printmarks feature and are intrigued to try it, here’s a quick rundown of what they are:

  • Printmarks are like watermarks for the physical prints you sell.
  • Although we recommend you use large graphics to ensure your Printmarks print well, they are limited to covering a small fixed percentage of the print area.
  • Printmarks are great for applying your artist signature, a team logo, or a wedding date to your prints.
  • If you change your mind, Printmarks can be removed during Proof Delay.
  • The Printmarks feature is also available on Portfolio and Business accounts only.

So if you were looking for an excuse to freshen up your Watermarks and Printmarks, now’s the time! We hope that these changes make it more enjoyable and easier to manage the nuts and bolts of your photography business.

Let us know what you think! And, as always, stay tuned because there’s always more good stuff coming down the pipes from Smuggy HQ.

Links to great pro business tips we’ve shared:

 

Behind the Build: SmugMug’s Color Picker and Why It Works So Well For You

March 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Have you ever wondered about how a particular feature at SmugMug came to be built? Thousands of happy photo lovers log in and tweak their websites every day, but there’s more to the site than just the buttons you hit. So we’re going to take you behind the scenes and shed a bit of light on how we dreamt up – and sweat over – the details that you’re probably using every day.

Today we’ll take a closer look at the color picker – that little box that pops up when you’re tweaking your Themes, font colors and other hues in your personal palette. Think it’s just a clear-cut click and run? No way!

The Impulse

Ye olde Easy Customizer on legacy SmugMug

Years ago, back when the “easiest” option to personalize your site was the Easy Customizer, our lead engineer had an idea: What if we could shorten the amount of time people spent picking colors that matched? What if we built a system that automatically knew the best complements to the hues you liked?

Best of all, what if we could just make it visual, easy process instead of forcing people to squint at code, risk mistakes and break their websites?

This is how you customized color in legacy SmugMug

We wanted to take the work out of customization and make it fun for you to create something beautiful. So we coded up something bigger, better, and a whole lot smarter.

The Idea

The color picker is more than just a pretty swatch:

Custom themes in the New SmugMug: Just click once

You’ll find it any time you open up and edit a Theme. Take a closer look and notice that when you click on any point in the square, we’ll automatically pick a contrast color, text color and any other subtle elements that show up best based on the color you’ve chosen.

Whether you love dark or light, you don’t have to stress about choosing the best tones that will catch the eye. Text is automatically easily readable, and you probably won’t even notice that we’ve picked almost a dozen other elements as highlights. The amount of contrast needed on these secondary colors should be just perfect to avoid your viewers getting jabbed in the eye by something too dark, too bright, or too loud.

Example of a dark theme and light accent colors

Example of a light theme and dark accent colors

How it Works

When you pick a color on the swatch, we consider that a mid tone and map out similar colors both brighter and darker than that, with just the right amount of contrast between each. We’ll then assign numbers to different parts of your SmugMug site (like your text, the background, your buttons, the border colors around your images, etc) from 1 to 30, and so on.

As a result, your SmugMug site becomes a big paint-by-number, and each spot gets filled in with the colors we’ve calculated. The best part is that in doing this, we’re automatically writing the CSS in the background for it all, so you don’t have to.

If you’re the codey type and want full control, you can always override our choices by clicking on the color choice box and choosing your own. Or by using your own CSS, of course. But it’s definitely not required – just let our systems do the heavy lifting for you!

Unique Challenges to Overcome

While the above theory sounds great on paper, it required quite a bit of tweaking before we shipped it onto your sites. So we spent time adjusting the algorithm to be sure that everything looks good 100% of the time… no matter what color you pick!

Here were the two biggest challenges we encountered:

  • Users choosing medium-tone saturated hues from the color picker resulted in themes that looked garishly bright and super contrasty. Why? Choosing bright colors like kelly green throws off our calculations of complementary colors. We had to temper this and build special algorithms to deal with bright hues like that.
  • The art of calculating complementary shades is not the same when working with dark themes as it is for light themes. As you go from black to light, there’s a point in the middle where the math flips. Case in point: A light border shows up nicely on a dark background, but dark borders look best on light backgrounds. So how do we anticipate where in the spectrum that happens? This took additional tweaking to fix.

See It in Action

So we invite you all to go and play with your Themes, click around and watch what happens when you choose your favorite colors in the picker. Because Power, Portfolio and Business accounts all have the ability to create (and edit) as many themes as you wish, we encourage everyone to get playing and witness all the beautiful, effortless possibilities our color picker creates for you.

 

The Non-Photographer’s Guide to SmugMug

March 12, 2014 Leave a comment

SmugMug was born and bred by photography lovers, but this doesn’t mean that SmugMug can’t be great for everyone. SmugMug is an awesome place for people from all walks of life, and we feel strongly about photography being an essential part of your life — no matter what you do.

So what’s the benefit of a photo website for people who don’t “do” photography? Easy! A beautiful and safe place online to keep everything that’s important to you. Whether you’re a mom, a student, a lawyer, a small business owner or a chef, your photos (and videos) are how you get your message across to other people.

If you or someone you know didn’t think you were pro enough for SmugMug, here’s a list of reasons why we think we’d still be a perfect fit.

Spitfire Coffee in New Orleans, LA

1) You can show off big, beautiful photos.

From XS thumbnails to edge-to-edge huge, SmugMug is based on huge, gorgeous photos that show off every pixel of what you do. Even if you’re not a photographer, big pics have a place: as a background image on your homepage or in a sample gallery that shows off your cooking, your offices, your portfolio of what you do best. No matter what your profession or what you love to do, we’re pretty sure that it’ll look great in pictures.

2) Build completely custom pages for anything you want.

Custom web pages let you create anything you dream up on your new site: price sheets, About Me, directions to your storefront or anything else you want your visitors to know about you. Fun facts? Easy! Lists of your favorite vendors? It’s a snap. Here’s a little tutorial that shows you how to do this via our easy drag-and-drop design, so you can build any page you can imagine.

20×20 Studio‘s beautiful portfolio website

3) Automatically get easy-to-read URLs.

In addition to being able to grab your own custom domain, you can make sure any page on your website has an easy-to-read link. We call them NiceNames:  easy, readable, search-engine-friendly URLs that make it drop dead simple to tell someone where to find your website, even if  you’re not at your computer. Pssst: they look great on business cards!

  • Example: http://www.macaskillphotography.com/Newborn/Diego-4-Months/

Martin Sundstrom Design‘s beautifully branded website

4) Tie together every page with your brand.

Whether you’re the head of an internationally-reknowned restaurant or you just love the colors blue and green, your website should reflect your brand. SmugMug gives you dozens of one-click themes to match virtually any mood, and the ability to create your own if you don’t find what you love in the list. And if you’ve already got a logo designed for you, set it across all of your galleries and pages so your visitors know that you’ve got your act together.

Here’s a page that shows you how to do this, and you can take a look at some beautiful examples of uniquely branded sites right here.

5) Never have to worry again about site stability & bandwidth.

Once you’ve done all the work of building your new website, the last thing you need is for it to max out when too many people visit! Not at SmugMug – we’ve always offered unlimited bandwidth and traffic because we believe that photos are meant to be shared. We’re backed by Amazon and use the most cutting-edge technology to be sure that your pages load blazingly fast, no matter where you or your viewers are. Want proof? Our site status page is always open to you: http://status.smugmug.com

Example of a family genealogy site. Learn how to archive here!

6) Complete flexibility in how to structure your site.

You can create whatever kind of site you want, from simple to complex to deep. SmugMug’s flexible organization lets you nest folders inside folders up to 7 levels deep, meaning you can organize your photos, videos and pages in a million different ways. And you can create as many folders as you wish, with more folders or galleries inside each to make the nested hierarchy of your dreams. Perfect for perfectly organized family history, your children’s lifetime in photos or anything else you do. Best of all, you can easily manage them with a clean, beautiful drag-and-drop site-wide organizer.

So what do you think? If you’ve got a website for a non-photography lifestyle or business, we’d love to see it! And if you’re still not yet sold, check the sites above to get inspiration and see what you can build.

Happy customizing!

Link list:

9 Great SmugMug Sites We Fell in Love With (So Far)

February 14, 2014 9 comments

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’ve curated a list of beautiful, functional SmugMug websites that caught our eye since we introduced the all-new look and feel. If you’ve recently joined SmugMug, perhaps these examples will spark some creativity in your next round of customization? (It sure did for us!)

So without further ado, here are 9 great sites we found and why they made our hearts skip a few beats.


Shooting Stars

Why we love it: Shooting Stars did a great job creating an airy, bright, simple canvas that shows off their photos. Their homepage provides everything you need: a simple slideshow, a clear welcome message, an easy way to contact them, a text navigation bar and three different services where the visitors can click to learn more. It’s navigation heaven! Best of all, they’ve included direct email and phone info in their footer, so it’s accessible from every page you’re viewing.


Sharon Lee Studio

Why we love it: In addition to Sharon Lee’s work being beautiful in and of itself, we love that she used SmugMug to house a business that wasn’t rooted in photography. Both Sharon’s artwork and wallpaper business websites are clean, simple and show off the fine patterns in her work. They also provide you with a personal background and a list of locations where you can see her work for yourself.


Nkosi Hamilton

Why we love it: From the second you land on Nkosi Hamilton’s portfolio site you notice the photography. With the dark sidebar and understated logo, you can easily click your way around but the photos always come first. This is uncomplicated at its finest, demonstrating how a clean and neutral website sets the stage for photos that pop!


Chronicles Photography

Why we love it: While Chronicles Photography’s homepage is simplicity at its best, we were particularly drawn to Dawn’s completely custom “Me & My Style” page. Her use of creative and fun photos paired with vital booking information clearly give her business an edge and a delightfully personal touch. Great job!



Lukasz M. Czajkowski

Why we love it: Lukasz Czajkowski had us at “food.” Really, do you need anything more than delicious, juicy photos covering nearly every inch of your homepage? Maybe not, but Lukasz knew how to get us hooked and his website did this right from the start.


Collecting Visas

Why we love it: When you travel as much as Milan Brown of Collecting Visas, your #1 goal is to leave a tempting photo-trail of the highlights of your trip. That’s why we love this SUPER simple portfolio site, an impressive stream of locations in beautifully balanced layout. It’s pure and uncluttered so the story shines through.


Todd Kawasaki Photography

Why we love it: Hawaiian fine art photographer Todd Kawasaki really knows how to highlight what he does best: that is, show the world how beautiful his photos look in print. We absolutely loved the custom graphics he created just for that homepage slideshow and you feel relaxed and warm looking at the soft background pic. If that wasn’t already enough, we’ve scarcely ever seen another site with a “Products” page as nice as his, which we think is essential for landing the sale.


Lost On Mars Photography

Why we love it: Aside from the intriguing name, we loved how Lost On Mars used a little customization-fu to create floating, rounded thumbnails that make their colorful images look like they’re literally leaping off the screen. It’s photos, photos, photos and a neatly organized way of showing them off.


Gilmore Gang

Why we love it: Photographs and growing families were made to go together, so it was a no-brainer for us to fall in love with the Gilmore Gang family website. What a fantastic example of a family archive, organized by year! We also liked the simple navigation bar that separates out the family’s most popular photos, undoubtedly what grandma and faraway families want to see first.


So what about you? We hope that these inspired you to think about all the different ways you can customize your own SmugMug site.

Our Show Us Your SmugMug contest may be over but our virtual door is always open for anyone who wants to show off and share a link. Tell us in the comments below!

Did Someone Order a Full-Screen Homepage Slideshow?

December 19, 2013 21 comments

Many of you told us that the full-screen homepage slideshow was essential to your website. We’ve got something new we think you’ll love: A full-screen slideshow for your pages and galleries!

How does it work?

We’ve added a brand-new background tab to your site customization, which means you can easily add a single image, a series of single images or a slideshow as the background of your homepage.

Additionally, Power, Portfolio and Business users can add unique backgrounds to other  pages on their site: Folders, Galleries and Pages. This background sits behind the other content blocks that you’ve added on the page, exactly the same way that a color, texture, or graphic added from the Theme tab currently does.

How do I get started?

1) Open up your Customization and look for the new “Background” tab in the Customize panel.

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2) Choose where your new background will show. By default, your ‘background’ will be inherited from your entire site  but you can display something across every page on your entire site, have it live just on your homepage, or make it appear on every single Folder or gallery page.

3) Choose the background type. To add a full-screen slideshow to your homepage, open up the drop down menu to choose the Slideshow option.  Be sure the “Homepage” location is selected, too:

Note: Choosing “None” will evert your background to whatever is set in your Theme.

4) Save your new goodies by Publishing your changes. That’s it!

Can I customize those slideshow options?

Of course! You can set:

  • your images
  • playback speed
  • transition type and speed
  • a splash image to be used to entertain your viewers while the full slideshow loads

What else can I do with the new Background tab?

You’re not just limited to slideshows. Choose the “Photo” option to add an edge-to-edge photo to the background. We recommend setting it so that your visitors see a new image each time they visit your site!

To do this, create a gallery of background images, or select photos from several different galleries on your site. Opting to change the photo “every visit” gives your site a fresh new look each time your fan comes back.

Tip: Be sure that your selection of images play well with your text colors!

Is there anything I should watch out for?

These background images sit behind all of the content blocks on the pages to which that you add them. They will lie under your navigation menus, Galleries Blocks, Text Blocks, and so on. To avoid a completely cluttered experience, we recommend that you remove existing content blocks from your page if the slideshow is the focus of that page.

Is it available on MY SmugMug account?

Yes! Once again, all SmugMug users will be able to add background images or slideshows to their homepage. Power, Portfolio and Business accounts (levels that include additional customization options) will also be able to change the background content on any page on their site.

Where can I learn more about the new Background options?

If you still have questions about this feature, our brand new help page is there to help you. So are our Support Heroes!

So sit back, enjoy the (slide)show, and let us know what you think in the comments below. Don’t forget to share what you’re designing, too, as part of our ongoing Show Us Your SmugMug contest. :)

Release Notes: Scope Your Search, AdSense Content Block, Organizer Filenames

October 24, 2013 10 comments

It’s that time again, happy SmugMuggers! Here’s a quick update on what we’ve updated and fixed over the last few weeks.

Choose Where to Search

This is just what the doctor ordered for all you folks who want to cordon off your viewers’ searches to a specific portion of your site. Now when you click the settings you can choose exactly which folders and galleries get searched using the input in this field.

So, for example, if you took several galleries’ worth of photos on an epic world vacation 2013, fans who are looking for photos of “elephants” in India won’t dig up photos of elephants from your local zoo. Keep in mind that the regular search tips apply, so be sure you’re up to speed.

Tip: This new setting applies to the Search Box content block ONLY, and not to the search box that appears in your site header. That one will continue to search only the page that you’re currently viewing.

NEW AdSense Content Block

We’ve never forced SmugMug customers to display ads on their site, but we do have a fair number of business customers who wanted the ability to display paid ads to their own viewers. Due to popular demand, Power, Portfolio and Business accounts now have the ability to add Google Adsense units to any page on your site using the new AdSense content block.

You can add up to three of these blocks to any page, but please refer to your AdSense Terms of Service for specific information about what you should and shouldn’t do. Enjoy!

Filenames in Organizer

You gave us a lot of feedback about those thumbnails you’re seeing in your site-wide Organizer, and how you wanted to be able to see the filenames for each and every one. It was one of those “Why didn’t we think of that?” moments, so now we’ve added in a toggle for your organizing pleasure.

Find it in the upper right corner of the browsing pane of your Organizer.

Two Slideshow Improvements

Thanks to your feedback on our forums, we’ve added a randomization option to your Slideshow content block, found under the “Display” tab of the block settings. So now you don’t have to decide which photo gets seen first.

We also brought back edge-to-edge, full screen slideshow displays. This applies to the big slideshow that appears after you hit the “full screen” button in any gallery style as well as the Slideshow content block. Note that this applies only if you have Originals enabled in the photos’ gallery settings and if your Original photo resolution is large enough to stretch across the screen. We also won’t stretch (AKA distort) images to fit screens, so you may still see some letterboxing if your image isn’t the perfect shape.

Miscellany

Last but never least, here are our top picks from the mix of other fixes:

  • Added back “Sharpening” settings for Power User accounts.
  • Properly updated the preview URL when you click Hide Owner.
  • Fixed stuttering video playback in some public galleries.
  • Photos in passworded galleries with external linking “Off” will display properly when collected and used as featured photos.
  • Gallery privacy levels (unlisted, private, passworded) are shown in all gallery picker windows.

Till next time. Keep the feedback coming!

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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