Earlier this week, news was breaking about the discovery of the OpenSSL heartbeat bug (nicknamed “Heartbleed”), and people everywhere have been concerned about the security of their online passwords and other sensitive data.
Our SSL provider, Akamai, made the appropriate patches before the issue was publicly disclosed, because the OpenSSL team gave them advanced notice. To the best of our knowledge we, along with Yahoo, Facebook, Google, etc., could have been compromised without us knowing, although it appears very unlikely.
However, out of an abundance of caution, many of us here at SmugMug HQ have already changed our passwords on critical sites like our email providers, and we recommend that you do this, too.
You can change your SmugMug account login password by visiting your Account Settings, under Me > Account.
Here are a few tips for creating good, beefy passwords:
- Don’t duplicate passwords across different sites. Once someone figures out one password, they instantly have access to any other site that uses the same password.
- Don’t create passwords that contain personal information like names, addresses, or your birthday. This makes them easier to guess and more susceptible to social-hacking attempts.
- Change passwords every 4 to 6 months. We all hate doing this, but it’s a great preventative measure.
- Don’t click suspicious links. Not sure the e-mail you received is from your web service? Don’t click! Instead, go directly to the website by typing the main URL into your browser.
- Password length is stronger than password complexity. Stringing together several random words is safer (and simpler for you) than a short password with lots of arcane symbols.
As we blogged several months ago, we’ve recently implemented notification emails that go to you (the account owner) any time someone enters an incorrect gallery password multiple times. We’ll continue improving on and delivering new ways to help keep your photos and personal details out of the wrong hands.
Devoted to keeping your memories safe,
- The SmugMug Family
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:
- Encylopedia of the (SmugMug) Watermark
- How to Avoid Crippling Photo Theft
- 8 Smug Tools That Earn Your More Money
- 5 Simple Steps to Build Your Brand
SmugMug Pros in the UK and beyond, we’ve just added three new gorgeous products to your Loxley catalog! We’re so excited to finally deliver some of the newer creations from one of the most highly regarded print labs in the world, and a new way to sell them to your clients.
1) Acrylic Gallery
The Acrylic Galleries feature your print mounted behind crystal clear acrylic for a razor sharp, stunning effect.
2) Single and Dual Colour Desk Frames
Perfectly portable for your home or office, this modern alternative to the traditional desk frame gives you a dark or light option to complement any decor. Additionally, your image stays durable with a protective satin heat seal.
3) Print Wraps
Loxley Colour’s Print Wraps stand proud of the wall with a uniquely padded, tactile surface that is so much more interesting than the standard print and frame. It’s lightweight and laminated for durability so you can invite your clients to touch and feel the difference.
NEW! Price and Sell Packages Through Loxley Colour
Lots of SmugMug Pros wanted to sell Packages through Loxley Colour, and now you can. Packages let you set a single price on a collection of different print products, making it easier for clients to check out. Take a look at the complete Packages help page for more info, to see the customers’ experience, and to get started.
NEW! Invoices for VAT Registered Pros
We’ve made a few changes to the way you’ll deal with VAT if you’re a VAT registered pro. We’ll begin sending you and your clients invoices, so keep an eye out for those and be sure that your account information is present and correct. We’ve sent emails about this to all pros in the EU with more details, so please refer to that if you have specific questions about collecting VAT on your SmugMug pro sales.
Will these new print products take extra time to manufacture/process?
Acrylic Prints, Print Wraps and Desk Frames take an additional 3-4 business days for manufacture and processing, so please be sure to build in enough leeway if you or your clients need their prints by a specific date. Also, don’t forget to consider shipping times, too.
How do I set my pricing again? And what are the details on getting paid the money I earn?
Remember: With a Portfolio or a Business account, you can easily set a markup over our base print prices and keep 85% of the sale. We provide step-by-step instructions on how to manage your Pricelists, as well as everything you need to do to get your profits paid to you.
I’m in the USA. Can’t you add more products from your other labs?
We’d love to! We’re always looking to update the catalog of products we offer from our labs and we’ll update this space whenever we do. Stay tuned!
Any tips for me as a pro who wants to offer these new products?
If you’re new to selling or just need some fresh ideas, here are a few of our suggestions for adding these new prints to your lineup:
- Desk frames. You may be low on wall space, but we’re pretty sure you’ve got a desk. Because of their compact size, Desk Frames are a perfect way to brighten up even the tightest corners of any room.
- Print Wraps. These are so unique, it’s a no-brainer opportunity to offer your customers a fun, new way to display their memories. Despite their light weight, Print Wraps are ready-to-hang without a frame so we recommend that you keep your final (pro) price consistent with other finished prints of this size.
- Acrylic Gallery These gorgeous prints turn your photos into something truly show-worthy! They’re perfect for getting a completely upscale look for your walls. Again, if you already sell finished and framed prints to your clients, we recommend you price your Acrylic Gallery prints consistently with those.
We hope you love the new offerings through Loxley and will share your experiences with us, too. As always, talk to our Support Heroes if you ever have any questions about buying, selling or anything you can do on SmugMug.
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.
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. :)