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
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!
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
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:
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)
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
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)
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.
Links to love:
- Collecting copies of photos into multiple galleries
- Creating galleries based on keywords (Smart Galleries)
- Navigate SmugMug with hotkeys
- How (and why) to customize the system pages that come with your account
- How to customize on SmugMug
- Your SmugMug themes
- An Organizer worth migrating for
- SmugMug’s beautiful, modern, right-out-of-the-box designs
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.
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.
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/
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.
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
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.
- The full list of SmugMug’s great features
- SmugMug’s 9 gorgeous display sizes
- Set a full-screen slideshow on your homepage
- Use drag and drop to create webpages
- Get your own domain at SmugMug
- Easy, custom URLs that Google loves
- How to put your brand on your SmugMug website
- 9 examples of beautifully branded websites
- The OCD dream: Folders inside folders inside folders
- The site-wide, drag-and-drop Organizer
- How to get that shoebox of photos online
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
One of the most popular requests we’ve heard from our customers was :
“Why can’t I customize my system pages?”
With the latest updates at SmugMug, Power, Portfolio and Business users can customize certain pages that were untouchable before.
What you can change?
First, be sure that you’ve migrated your site to the new SmugMug (which may take a while because of the number of people who have done this in the last 24 hours), then replace the “XXXXX” in the following links with your SmugMug nickname.
They’re not listed in your Site Organizer since they can’t actually be moved around, but we’ll include them in your owner-only navigation, soon.
What: The error page that shows when people try to visit a page on your site that doesn’t exist.
See it: http://XXXXX.smugmug.com/404
Tip: Your fans may be frustrated trying to find something specific on your site when they get this page. Don’t be afraid to drag and drop in a text box and type up something friendly that invites them to contact you.
What: Timeline view, which lets you (or viewers) search for photos shot within a specific date range.
See it: http://XXXXX.smugmug.com/date
What: Your keyword cloud, which shows you all the keywords you’ve entered into your site, and how many photos are found under each.
See it: http://XXXXX.smugmug.com/keyword
Tip: Keyword clouds are also available as a content block, found under the “Discovery” section of your site customization. It could look great on your Browse page, which is included by default of many of our design layouts.
What: The page your fans and clients see every time you share a gallery protected with a viewing password.
Tip: Drop in a title and/or text box inviting them to email you if they can’t remember the right password.
What: Your public photos and videos that other people have voted “Thumbs up” (now called “Like”) and commented on the most.
See it: http://XXXXX.smugmug.com/popular
What: A clean, simple, but extremely useful search field where anyone can type in a search term. Good for finding photos, galleries and videos.
See it: http://XXXXX.smugmug.com/search
Tip: A search box is also available for dropping into any page on your site as a content block. Find it under the Discovery section in your site customization.
What: A page that lists all the folders (categories) on your site. When you’re logged in, your unlisted and private folders will show up here, too.
See it: http://XXXXX.smugmug.com/browse
Tip: This page comes already linked from our default design layouts, and is a great place to drop in additional content boxes like the keyword cloud, the map, and the timeline search.
What you can’t change
There’s some core content on a few pages that you can’t change, for obvious reasons (like the password fields on the password page). But you’ll know that these can’t be touched when you mouse over them in customization mode and you’ll see a little lock icon in the corner.
How to do it
We’ll admit that this feature hasn’t yet got all the spit-and-polish that we want, but we hope to fix this with along with other stuff that will get ironed out over the coming weeks. Now let’s get started!
1) Type in the URL to visit each page, as per the full list above. Just be sure to use your SmugMug nickname in the domain instead of the “XXXXX.”
2) Click Customize > Customize Site from the top of your page. We’ll open up the new Customization Mode with lots of content to pick and choose from. Click to expand each section and drag and drop the boxes into any area that highlights green on the page.
3) Once the boxes are on your page, mouse over them and click the little wrench icon in the top corner. You can can configure and change virtually any setting to perfect the content, as needed.
4) Save your changes when you’re done. Remember that while you are still in preview mode, you can publish your changes and you’ll be the only one who sees it until you officially, permanently “Unveil” your website.
Link them up
From here, you’ll probably want to add a link to these pages from your website’s menu bar so your visitors can use them (with the exception of the 404 and password pages, which will automatically be displayed to viewers at the proper time).
To do this, simply open your Site Customization mode again and click the wrench icon on your menu content block. Add a new link by hitting the “+” sign and select “Page I Choose.” From there you can browse your site and select any of the system pages you’ve just customized. We’ve pre-loaded a few of the ones listed above for easy access.
Have fun! As always, let us know if you have questions, problems or creative customization ideas that you’re willing to share.
What’s the point of having your own website if you can’t make it yours?
That’s entirely the point, which is why every SmugMug account comes with a whole bunch of ways to switch it up.
We also know that not everyone has all day to find inspiration in the clouds and push around pixels. So, today we’re sharing super-easy ways you can change up the look of your site without having to take a day off from work.
1) ALL: Change the Theme
Themes give you the most bang for your buck. We’ve got over 70 of them and it takes just two clicks to set one in place.
HOW: To set your new site-wide default theme, click the Themes button on your homepage and choose one to preview. When you love it, simply click the button again and choose “Save Theme Choice” to make it stick. More about themes.
2) ALL: Display Your Map
Did you know that your fans can browse your photos by location? We’ll automatically pin your public, geotagged photos onto a map shown right on your homepage.
HOW: Click the Homepage Layout button on your homepage and choose Around the World. The box will appear, and you can move it up or down the page according to taste. More about maps.
3) ALL: Feature a Slideshow (or a Video)
Grab their attention with motion. A buttery-smooth slideshow of your best photos or your masterpiece movie will get them anchored and asking for more.
HOW: Visit your homepage and hit the Homepage Layout button > Slideshow. With a Power, Portfolio or Business account, you can feature a video under the Single Photo or Video option, too. You’ll see an “Adjust: Settings” link in the top corner to specify what you want to show. More about your homepage boxes.
4) POWER, PORTFOLIO, BUSINESS: Add a Header and Navigation Bar
Adding basic branding to your site instantly gives your website a more polished, unified feel. Plus, your fans will always know where they are and where they should go next.
HOW: Open the Easy Customizer and click on the Header section. It’s simple to add a basic text header that links to your homepage, and a navigation bar that features the galleries you want to be seen most. As you tinker, you’ll get a live preview on the left. Click the Publish button to post your changes live.
5) POWER, PORTFOLIO, BUSINESS: Copy-and-Paste Customization
We’ve got tons of resources where you can search for specific customization tricks and exact code needed to make it happen on your website. From hiding stuff to moving stuff around to ginormous edge-to-edge slideshows, you can do it all.
6) ALL: Tidy Up!
Rearrange your virtual living room. Changing your gallery organization and swapping old portfolio photos for fresh ones can breathe new life into a stale site.
HOW: Display Categories on your homepage, unlist old galleries, create archive categories to “hide” stuff so your fans see the best pics first. Read up on our privacy options and review how custom Categories work for you.
There’s a lot you can do, but we’ve summed it all up for you before. Take a ride in the wayback machine and visit our first Smug Tip of the Week, the Customization Edition.
What quick and easy tricks have you done to make you love your website again?