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
Stories are breaking on sites like Fstoppers and Brandsmash about private Boudoir photos that appeared on a creepy voyeur forum. It’s hard to imagine a more humiliating nightmare for a photographer or their clients.
Photos came from several sites, including SmugMug, and we paid extreme attention over the last two days to how it happened. We tried to take some comfort in observing that in every instance, it came down to passwords that were guessable in just a few tries.
The question for us was what could we do that we weren’t already? Over the past year, we’ve done considerable work around this problem, but yesterday we decided to expose some of the alerts our systems generate to our customers.
When our systems see several password attempts on a gallery or folder, they now send an email to the owner of the SmugMug site. It identifies the gallery, gives the first few digits of each password attempt with asterisks for the rest (bou***), and adds info like time of day and geographic location the request may be coming from.
Today our Support Heroes are receiving thank-yous from people whose family members couldn’t get in because they left the caps lock key on or forgot some aspect of the password “it’s a cap O (oh), not a 0 (zero)”.
And we read two help tickets from photographers who discovered that their boudoir galleries had password guessers. Fortunately, they had long passwords that were too hard to guess, but they are still making changes like removing the word Boudoir from the title, and making the gallery Unlisted so only people who obtain the link can know of its existence.
One of the security upgrades that came with New SmugMug is we don’t store passwords in a form that could leak in any way, including a systems breach, a bug, or a disgruntled employee. We use an industrial grade, Cryptographic hash function.
The breaking stories are about Boudoir photos, but we host incredibly sensitive photos (all cloud services do) of unannounced products and even, we remember, photos of an upcoming TIME Person of the Year.
1. Set a good gallery password before uploading photos!
2. Set galleries and folders to Unlisted. Unlisted means means no one can see them unless they have somehow been given a link. They cannot guess the link because it has a random string added to its URL. The combination of strong password + Unlisted is extremely secure.
You can learn more about how to protect your SmugMug galleries here.
We hope this helps, and thanks for being part of the SmugMug family!
Chris & Don MacAskill
You’re a photographer who’s oh-so-ready to make money. We hear ya. But if you’ve gotten every hair in place and you’ve still not seen that “Cha-Ching!” email, here are a few possible reasons why you’ve not been getting bites.
1. No Buy Button
Is it there? This is possibly one of the most dire but easiest flubs to fix. Maybe you disabled this or applied a Quick Setting that hid the Buy button from your galleries, but if you don’t switch it back on you’ll never sell a single print. So be sure to check your galleries and if it’s missing, enable printing in your Gallery Settings. Easy peasy!
2. No Pricing
We hate asking this, but… you DID set up your pro pricing, right? With Pricelists it’s really easy to set a pro markup on just the products you want, then apply that pricing to any or all galleries across your site. But if you forget to do this, you won’t make a dime.
Tip: If you don’t want to think about this ever again, check the “Make this my default pricelist” at the top right and we’ll automagically apply this pricelist to all current and new galleries on your site.
Also, are you charging enough? It may seem counter-intuitive, but we can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your prices high and charging what you’re worth. In short: Don’t be cheap.
3. Nasty RCP Message
We’re all about protecting your photos and making sure that you have peace of mind when putting your best work on the web. But there are ways to use them, and then there are better ways to use them. We’re here to show you the latter.
Like your Right-Click Protection message: It’s there to foil right-clickers looking for an easy download, but most photographers just put a boilerplate copyright message, or a threat. Instead of slapping your customers, try to guide them to your Buy button for a profit-making purchase. You’ll look competent AND helpful all at the same time. Fix it under the “Photos” line in your Easy Customizer.
4. Originals On
So many SmugMug users use their galleries to share photos with friends and family. But as a Pro, being that generous may not be so good for business. Originals (and full-res downloads) are on by default, but it’s a quick fix to change this. Just remember to do it!
Open up your gallery settings and look for the Security & Privacy option. Set the radio button to anything smaller than Originals (like XLarge), and to check, log out and take a breeze through your galleries. You’ll always see a Save Photo option when you’re logged in as the owner, but you shouldn’t see it when you’re viewing your site as a guest.
5. Zero Marketing
Ah, the feeling of sweet success on the morning you unveil your website! But wait… did you share the link?
Like relationships, you’ve got to put a little effort in to get something back. So be sure to enter in your keywords, captions, meta description and meta keywords to be sure you get picked up in search engines. Also share the link to your site with friends, Facebook and anywhere else you go online. After all, you can’t make sales if nobody knows you exist.
6. Password Foibles
Many clients want their event galleries locked down with a viewing password, and, yeah, we understand privacy. But our Support Heroes hear from more people than we’d expect that get hit with this one. We hear from confused clients, curious pros who expected instant sales, but the culprit is usually that the password never got shared! So if you’ve just put the finishing touches on your latest wedding gallery and your inbox is a ghost town, think back to whether or not you’ve completed this vital step.
The lesson? Don’t forget to share your viewing passwords with the people that matter most. Since passwords are cAsE sEnSiTiVe we recommend copying and pasting what you type in your gallery settings right into your emails.
7. You Launched Yesterday
It’s possible to find overnight success on the web, but patience is still a virtue. You can plug in every keyword and meta description properly, shared with your Facebook fans and distributed your business cards to shops across town, but you’ll still have to wait to see the effect. It takes time for Google to do its work, and for tongues to wag.
So instead of stressing out, grab your camera, keep on shooting and work on honing your craft. Your soon-to-be clients will only love you more.
- How to create and apply Quick Settings
- Gallery Settings: Your key to almost everything
- What’s Visitor View and why do I care?
- Stop slapping your customers with a good Right-Click Protection message
- How easy is the Easy Customizer?
- Save Photos for site owners
- The Great Pricing Hoax
- The art of getting a link to share
- Warning! Sharing photos will make you lots of money
- SEO and SmugMug
- A privacy cheat sheet
- Publish to Facebook from your SmugMug galleries
- SEO made easy on SmugMug
If you’re like the rest of us, you’re constantly looking for a way to maximize your time behind the camera and shrink time spent at your desk. While it’s important to keep your photos safe, secure and organized, you don’t have to blow your entire evening doing it.
Here’s few features built in to your account that will help you shave a few valuable seconds off of your photo-flow.
1. Quick Settings (All)
Did you know that once you find that “sweet spot” of Gallery Settings, you can save it as a template? This way you don’t have to click each line to set specs on every. single. gallery. Set it and forget it! You’ll find all the Quick Settings you’ve saved in a handy dropdown bar on the gallery creation page.
How it’s done: Open up any gallery’s settings page and make sure that the settings are to taste. Scroll to the top and click the menu bar under “Quick Settings” header. You can give your current set of settings a descriptive name from this space, apply a Quick Setting, or apply a Quick Setting to multiple galleries at once. To delete a Quick Setting, simply highlight it in the bar and click the “delete template” button that appears.
Things to note: Gallery titles, gallery descriptions, keywords, the category/subcategory, NiceNames, and themes don’t get carried over by Quick Settings. You will need to set these manually for each gallery.
2. Smart Galleries (All)
Smart Galleries automate the photos that are included in your gallery. You create a set of rules to follow and we’ll listen, pulling in the photos that you’ve specified. Pick from a variety of options, like by keyword or date uploaded. The gallery will automatically Collect new photos that you upload to your SmugMug account that follow those same rules.
How it’s done: You’ll find your Smart Gallery settings in your Gallery Settings, under “Make This Gallery Smart.” From there you’ll be able to add rules that fit your requirements, tweakable to taste.
Things to note: Freshly-uploaded photos may take a little time to be included in your galleries, but they’ll get there. Please be patient! If you really can’t wait, open your Smart Gallery rules and hit the “Click to Refresh Preview” button to pull them in. Don’t forget to save your changes.
3. Lightroom plugin (All)
We talk about the SmugMug plugin for Lightroom a lot, but we really do think it’s one of the best inventions since lens caps. It’s free, it’s easy, it automates so much of your digital workflow… pro or not, for everything you shoot. And so many smart photographers are already loving Lightroom to process and organize their photos.
How it’s done: Download the free SmugMug plugin and install it according to instructions. You can edit, organize and even sync your SmugMug galleries right through Lightroom’s modules. When you’re ready, publish your photos and upload to SmugMug with a click. Business SmugMuggers, remember that you can sync, edit and republish your clients’ Event favorites, making sure your wires never get crossed.
4. Easy Customizer (Power, Portfolio, Business)
If our 70+ default themes don’t work for you, our point-and-click Easy Customizer is your new best friend. It’s super-easy to add your own logo and color scheme and have it instantly applied across your entire site. You get a preview of your website at all times in the left pane, so there are no surprises once you hit Publish. Leave your code at the door.
How it’s done: You can access the Easy Customizer right from your homepage Tools button. Click around the many different options on the right, preview what you’ve done and then Publish to show the world! If you add any banner or background images via the Easy Customizer, you’ll find those in an unlisted gallery that we create for you, called “My SmugMug Site Files (Do Not Delete).“
5. Proof Delay (Portfolio, Business)
Busy pro? We know. Proof Delay lets you quickly upload your unedited proof images into your clients’ galleries and get their approval the night of the shoot. This means they can buy prints while they’re still excited, and you save time by editing just the pics they’ve bought. Happy client, happy you. What more can you ask for?
How it’s done: Open your Gallery Settings and scroll down to the “Printing” option. You can enter a number between 1-7 there, which will factor into the potential shipping time quoted to your client. Once your orders are in, you can replace the image in your gallery with an edited version, then release the order to the print lab. Read more here.
Things to note: Proof Delay doesn’t currently apply to digital downloads, so if you plan on selling those be sure that you’ve edited your images before enabling or pricing that option.
6. Assistant Passwords (Portfolio, Business)
Why not have someone else do your uploading and organizing while you’re away? Assistant Passwords are one of the many time-saving features included in pro accounts, designed to let someone else do your busywork for you. Your password and billing information is never revealed, but they can take care of all those little details while you’re out on a shoot.
How it’s done: Set your assistant password from the Privacy tab of your Account Settings. Make sure it’s different from the password that you use to log in. Read all the details about what your assistant can or won’t be able to do.
Things to note: Although there are several security measures in place to ensure your account isn’t compromised, Assistants by definition have the ability to make changes on your site. Be sure that person you let in the door is someone you trust to manage your photos!
We hope that we’ve introduced you to a few way that help you get more things done in your day. Share your thoughts and tell us what’s on your time-saving wishlist!
- How to create, edit and delete Quick Settings
- All about Assistant Passwords
- Smart Galleries and how they auto-populate your stuff
- Collecting photos and virtual copies
- SmugMug’s free Lightroom plugin
- How to use the Lightroom plugin
- SmugMug’s Lightroom webinar
- Intro to the Easy Customizer
- Intro to Advanced Customization
- The Dgrin customization forum
- How (and why) to use Proof Delay
In the eight weeks leading up to the biggest Wedding Photography tradeshow of the year (WPPI!) we’ve been posting up a storm of great posts featuring sage advice, photo tips, and SmugMug tricks all aimed at helping you become a better photographer in the business of love.
We truly hope these articles have been inspiring and educational, whether you’re a seasoned pro ready for the best wedding season of your career, or a beginner looking for ways to meld your love of photography into everyday life.
Here’s the recap, just in case you missed one of these great articles along the way.
Photo by Lee Morris
The Business of Love
- Intimate Portraiture: A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make your boudoir studio truly successful. Guest post by Je Revele Fine Art Photography.
- The Changing Business of Wedding Photography: Film to digital and beyond. Are you keeping up? Guest post by our friend, Lee Morris.
- Are All Weddings Created Equal? How and why traditional engagement photography techniques won’t work for same-sex couples. Podcast with Kathryn Hamm and Thea Dodd.
- Quadruple Your Wedding Reach in Half the Time: Just like it says. Learn about SmugMug, SnapKnot, and the best workflow for same-day edits with Vanessa Joy.
The Love of Photography
- Photowalks with Scott Jarvie: Circle the cameras, round up your friends! How to plan and pull off the photo event of the year.
Your SmugMug Toolkit
- Privacy Cheat Sheet: We’ve got a number of safeguards that can be mixed and matched to create the perfect bouquet of privacy for you, no matter what you shoot.
- Print lab Love: You’ve probably noticed that SmugMug offers not one, not two, but FOUR fabulous print lab options, each offering a full array of great print products. Here they are.
- Events, Favorites and Sharegroups: Save your friends a few brain cells. How to help them easily find the photos they want.
- How to Maximize Your Wedding Workflow, using SmugMug.
No matter what you shoot, we’re pretty sure that all photographers need a little privacy every now and then. So whether you’re looking for a safe photo-home for an exclusive (reclusive) client or just for your mom, look no further than SmugMug. We’ve got a number of safeguards that can be mixed and matched to create the perfect bouquet of privacy.
Your Options, in a Nutshell
1) Unlisted Galleries. Often called “private” galleries by some, these galleries aren’t visible on your website to anyone but logged-in you. The only way fans can see one is if you give them a direct link.
2) Gallery Passwords. Provide a password and nobody can open it until they enter it right. You won’t be asked for it when you’re logged in to your account, because we know it’s you. Unsure? Look for the teeny yellow lock icon next to the gallery’s name.
3) Hello World! and Hello Smuggers! These toggles ensure that your stuff does or does not show up in web searches. “World” = Google, Bing, etc. “Smuggers” = SmugMug search. Set this site-wide from your Account Settings, or on a gallery-by-gallery basis via Gallery Settings.
Then, Take It Further With…
4) Hide Photo. Like unlisted galleries, but for individual photos. You can check the box under any image or video in your gallery to hide it, and only you, the gallery owner, will ever know it’s there.
5) Hide Owner. This gallery setting makes your URL generic. It doesn’t mean that your gallery isn’t visible, but it does remove your customizations and your nickname from the link so that viewers can’t trace it back to you. If you want, you can add a gallery password and/or make your gallery unlisted, too, when you use this feature.
6) Sharegroups. Share multiple unlisted galleries with one link using Sharegroups! These are amazingly useful for guiding friends, clients and family to specific galleries from your latest shoot, without having to worry about them being seen by the public eye. And better yet, they won’t get lost. You can put passwords on the galleries in your Sharegroups, if you wish, but you can also set a master password to let your viewers unlock them all at once.
7) Events. These are Sharegroups on steroids, available only on Business-level SmugMug accounts. You create Events with additional flashy features (slideshows, user registration, etc) and add galleries, give special people (e.g. clients) their own unique viewing link, and the ability to tag their favorite photos. Together, it makes browsing and buying photos a breeze.
8) Site-Wide Passwords. Not for the faint of heart! Lock your whole site from the top down. Anybody visiting links to your galleries will have to enter the correct password before they can see a thing. Even your homepage.
The Privacy Ripple Effect
- Lockdown doesn’t mean your images can’t be shared. Anyone who can view the gallery can still click Share or post a link to Facebook. Please think about whether or not you want your friends’ friends passing your links (and potentially viewing passwords) around. Feeling queasy? You can hide the Share button from your viewers by toggling Easy Sharing to “No” in your Gallery Settings.
- Keywords and searchability take a hit. This is a no-brainer to some, but we still sometimes get asked by photographers why their fans can’t find hidden photos via their site’s search box. In short: Only you as the logged-in site owner can search for (and find) images in unlisted and passworded galleries.
- Photos can’t be collected from unlisted and passworded galleries, unless it’s by you. As the logged-in owner you’ll always be able to collect your own photos, but guests won’t see the orange Collect button if the gallery is protected in any way. If the photo is collected from an unlisted gallery then your visitors won’t see a link back to the original. Photos collected from public, passworded galleries will be visible, but fans will need to enter the viewing password when they follow the link to see more.
- Feature a photo to make your locked gallery’s thumbnail pretty. We won’t display any part of the gallery when your gallery is protected with a password, and this includes thumbnails of the images within. But you can always swap the generic thumbnail for any image in that gallery — just use the gallery Tools button > This Photo > Feature.
- Unlisted and Passworded galleries
- Hello World! and Hello Smuggers!
- Everything about your Account Settings
- All about Gallery Settings
- How to hide individual photos
- Sharing multiple unlisted galleries: Sharegroups!
- Events, Favorites and how they work for Pros
- Site-wide passwords, and making your whole website private
- Keywords and searchability on SmugMug
- Collecting Photos, or putting photos in multiple galleries at once
- How to choose the thumbnail for your gallery
Hectic holiday? It doesn’t have to be if you plan on uploading your photos (and videos) to your SmugMug galleries! You’ve already got your hands tied with hot chocolate, ribbons and last-minute gift planning, so here’s a few tips that will help make the picture sharing part of it refreshingly easy.
1) Show Off: Badges and Slideshows
This handy feature lets you build your own mini slideshow or photo mosaic to any size you wish, and gives you easy copy-and-paste code to embed it. You don’t have to know any nerd magic to get this going, and it automatically refreshes with new photos when you add more stuff to your gallery.
You’ll find this little feature a godsend for blogs, forums and websites. Anywhere that allows you to embed Flash objects. Here’s how to do it.
2) Guest Uploading for Party People
With all those folks at your house snapping away, you need a hub where guests can pool their photos and relive the glory of your massive decorating skills. SmugMug to the rescue!
Create a new gallery for your event and then open up the gallery settings. Set any word you wish into the “Upload key” box, like this:
The next time you fire up the uploader in that gallery, you’ll see a secret link at the bottom that you can copy and share. Your friends can visit that link and we’ll automagically pop up an uploader so they can easily drag and drop in their photos from the night.
Just remember that anyone who gets ahold of the link can upload to that gallery, so be aware when you share. More about guest uploads.
3) Make and Sell Photo Cards
We’ve been talking a lot about our holiday cards this year, but they’re so beautiful we just have to tell you again. And there is truly no better, easier way to take the best photos you’ve taken (or the best photos someone’s taken of you) and pair them up with custom, heartfelt season’s greetings.
Our catalog is bursting with new designs for everyone, whether your style is vintage, contemporary, minimalist or traditional. Or all of the above. Just look for the Buy button > Create a Card option in your favorite gallery and start building your 4×8 or 5×7 masterpiece!
Read all about cards, including how to price and sell them.
4) Custom Categories for Easy Navigation
Did you know that when our pre-loaded list of Categories (and sub-categories) don’t work for you, you can create your own? And that you can edit the URL that shows in the browser bar when you’re viewing your categories?
We make it breathtakingly easy to efficiently organize your site, share the URL verbally, and even get better Google juice. It’s like Christmas came early!
Take a closer look and bone up on the basics of Categories, then take it a step further and learn how to use Categories to your best advantage. This year, you’ll have your “I will be more tidy” New Year’s resolutions totally beat.
5) Picmonkey: Funky Photo Editing
Picmonkey may be our (unintentionally) best-kept secret. But if you haven’t already tried this smart, sassy tool to edit your SmugMug photos, run – don’t walk – to your nearest Tools button and find it now.
It’s built right into every SmugMug gallery and you can do everything from basic exposure correction and redeye fix to adding graphics, words, textures, frames and filters. And more. Tons, tons more.
It’s totally free to use — even their premium features, since they’re still the new kid on the block.
Check it out now and don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your photos. :)
6) Camera Awesome for iPhone and iPad
If you’ve got an iPhone or an iPad, you’ve got the perfect excuse to leave the DSLR in your office. You can shoot up to 9 fps with our free camera app, meaning you never miss a moment. And apply gorgeous effects and filters to make them shine.
Best of all, your shots won’t stay locked on your phone where no one will see them. Share direct to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram and back them up safely to your SmugMug account so you can visit them year after year. Download it free right now.
Bonus! Business features for Pros
Since there’s a lot of pros out there, here are three additional features we snuck in to remind you Business SmugMuggers that there’s a lot more to your website than just photos.
A) Coupons - A no-brainer for getting your customers a little extra nudge this holiday season! With a Business account, you can choose from 5 different types and create as many coupons as you wish.. which means you can tailor your discount codes to every client. Be sure to set an expiry date so they don’t sit on a good deal forever.
B) Events and Favorites - Intimidated? Don’t be. Events let you corral galleries into groups, so your customers can easily view only the photos that matter to them most. Best of all, they can tag and save their Favorite photos to a special gallery only they can see. All which makes browsing and buying a breeze.
C) Order Branding -This feature actually consists of three separate (and awesome) tools: Cart Branding, Stickers and Thank You Prints. All of them ensure that you and your brand stay connected to your customers until the prints are sitting in their hands. And you can easily switch up your Order Branding designs from season to season, so you look super organized… even if you’re not.
GIVEAWAY! What’s Your Lifesaver?
In the spirit of giving, we’re digging through Smuggy’s workshop and rounding up some of our best swag items.
To enter this giveaway, simply comment below and tell us which SmugMug feature you find helps most during your holiday rush.
We’ll pick a random winner and announce it in this space on Friday, December 7th, 2012.
From all of us at SmugMug, we wish you a picture-perfect holiday! And we can’t wait to hear what you can’t live without.
**UPDATE** The Magic SmugMug 8-ball chose Melissa Ponder as our winner. Congrats Melissa and we’ll be contacting you directly. Thanks to everyone and have a great weekend!
- How to properly show off your photos
- Let your friends upload photos to your gallery
- How to make scandalously good holiday cards
- SmugMug’s full catalog of custom photo cards
- How to master Categories and Subcategories
- Free photo editing with Picmonkey
- Free your photos with Camera Awesome
- Make and use custom discount coupons
- Events and Favorites: The easiest path to more sales
- Cart branding, Stickers and Thank You Prints
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?
You want a blog to go with your website. Seems simple, right?
Maybe, but you wouldn’t believe how often our Support Heroes often get questions about how to do this on SmugMug. If this sounds like you (or were just thinking about it), then you’re in luck.
First of all, why WordPress? It’s great for frequent updates and extra SEO, and it’s a great complement to your SmugMug portfolio, proofing and print sales. Here are three different ways you can have both a Smug site and a fabulous WordPress blog… the best of both worlds!
As an extra-special bonus, we’re giving one very lucky photographer a lifetime membership to the ultimate SmugMug-friendly WordPress portfolio site: Photography BlogSites. Read further for info, and scroll to the bottom see how to enter.
1. Joined With a Link.
Our friends over at FastLine Media are pros at creating custom SmugMug sites with beautiful blogs. Owners, brothers and pro photographers Justin and Brandon recommend setting up your SmugMug site like a portfolio, displaying only your best photos to keep your audience captivated. Your Smug site will contain text pages (About Me, Contact, Pricing, etc), a few public portfolio galleries and your unlisted client galleries.
It should also contain a link to your blog. A simple WordPress blog linked from your site is the perfect place to post photos and write some thoughts about a recent event you’ve shot. You get to share more photos publicly than just the one or two images you add to your portfolio, but don’t have to go as far as sharing every photo from your clients’ private galleries. Your blog becomes an extension of your portfolio, and you get to decide how much.
The benefit? Like SmugMug, WordPress has great SEO benefits. If you shoot a wedding at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, you could make the title of your post, “Jack and Jill’s Wedding at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay.” Due to the magic of WordPress, those keywords in your blog title automagically appear in the browser title and meta description. Booya!
As a bonus, see how to make SEO work for you on SmugMug.
And did you know that:
- You can just copy and paste the URL of your photo (or video) from your SmugMug gallery and drop it into your WordPress editor. It’ll automagically embed itself at the perfect size.
- You can encourage more sales using our easy Buy Links. Grab one now from Get a Link, and copy and paste the code into your WordPress editor. When fans click the photos on your blog, we’ll pop up the shopping cart so they can easily buy a print, gift or download. (Just make sure the shopping cart hasn’t been disabled in your gallery settings.)
2. Go DIY.
Did you know that we have a huge list of useful apps that our customers have written for you? Our code-savvy fans have built all kinds of tools to help you post videos, slideshows and galleries to WordPress. And more. Take a look at the full list here on our Hacks and Apps page, and scroll down to “WordPress.”
Disclaimer: We do our best but we can’t guarantee every product or provide support for the third-party apps on that page. Questions? Contact the app’s developer. Most of them are great folks who love to hear from you.
3. Be No-Brainer Beautiful with Photography BlogSites.
We’ve posted about our friends over at Photography BlogSites before, but it’s worth another mention. They are hands-down one of the easiest ways on the web to create and maintain a beautiful WordPress-based portfolio site that comes with a matching blog. They handle the heavy lifting. You enter the content, you write the posts. You can even apply one of their gorgeous themes with a click, customize it to taste and have it port over to your SmugMug site, too.
Here are some beautiful examples. See more here!
Get Set Up for Life With This Giveaway.
Our friends at Photography BlogSites are ready and waiting to give one fortunate pro photographer a lifetime pass for their very own blogsite. (Regularly priced at $399/year)
How to enter:
- Like our Facebook page HERE.
- Like Photography BlogSites’ page HERE.
- Leave a comment below this post telling us which of their four coffee-flavored themes is your favorite.
We’ll pick a random winner and announce it here on Tuesday, July 24th, 2012. Good luck!
*** UPDATE: We have a winner! It’s Brigette from Outer Focus Photos. Congrats, Brigette and we’ll contact you with keys to your brand-new website. Thanks to everyone! ***
And remember that even if you aren’t the winner, you still win: Simply sign up for a membership and authorize the connection to your SmugMug account. Photography BlogSites automatically applies a $50 discount off your first year of beautiful blogging, just for being Smug.
Happy blogging and good luck! Don’t forget that if you’ve got questions about building your own Smug site + blog, our customization heroes are always happy to help.