Uploading to SmugMug: What, How Big and How Many?

If you’re new to SmugMug, you may wonder exactly what, how much and how often you can upload to your galleries. And we agree — it’s a good idea to get an idea of what your limits are… particularly when there isn’t one.

The quick version: Upload JPG, PNG, or GIF files up to 50 MB and 100 megapixels apiece, videos up to 3 GB and 20 minutes apiece. Add up to 5,000 photos into each gallery and create as many galleries as you want.

Uploading at SmugMug

You’ve got tons of options for getting your photos from your computer and into your galleries. Our two favorite methods right now are:

1) Our default, browser-based HTML5 uploader. It’s lightweight, accessible from any computer/browser, and lets you drag and drop files from your desktop into the upload box. Voila!

2) Lightroom’s free SmugMug plugin. So many photographers from all walks of life love Lightroom for its ease of use and powerful editing capabilities. Download the free SmugMug plugin if you haven’t already got it, and start making your life that much simpler. Best of all, you’re publishing direct from your digital negatives, which means no extra JPG files to suck up space on your hard drive.

We’ve got lots of other options if those don’t bake your potatoes. From SmuggLr to Star Explorer, our community has created as many methods as possible to upload photos from wherever they are, just the way you like it. Check out your options here on our Apps page, or click the green “Choose a different uploader” from the bottom of the web uploader box.

How Big Can Galleries Go?

You can create as many galleries as you wish on your SmugMug site, and each one can be tweaked to have different SEO, privacy and print settings as you’re aware. You can give them a total makeover by choosing one of four different Viewing Styles, too.

Your galleries stretch with your screen and adjust to fit the largest images the gallery settings allow. They’ll also auto-adjust so that you see fewer gallery pages on big screens and more pages on smaller ones. We’ve capped photo count to 5,000 per gallery because basic tools like sorting and keywording become impossibly difficult when you have that many photos in one place.

The Many File Flavors at Smug

When it comes to photos, we accept JPG, PNG and GIF files up to 50 MB apiece. Which file you use depends on what you’re going to be doing:

JPGs are the format you’ll use the most. The only file type our print labs will print from, and they’re ubiquitous, so it’s easy-peasy for your fans and clients to view them if you’re offering digital downloads.

PNG files are recommended for images that contain transparent areas, like the site branding files that Power, Portfolio and Business users will use. We’re talking header logo images and watermark image files, to start.

GIF files are commonly used for animations. We don’t hear much about them these days, but who doesn’t love watching a good cinemagraph? We’re always thrilled to see what great ones you’re making.

If your tipple is video, you’ve got a lot more options. There’s tons of codecs out there and we support a good number of them. Check out the list here, which may not include everything but does come with bonus conversion info.

Just be sure that your videos are under 20 minutes long and 3 GB apiece.

Vault It! For Everything Else

SmugVault, our archival service provided by Amazon, is for the kitchen sink. PDFs, TIFFs, RAW, CR2, DOC whatever you’ve got and want to keep safe, keep it there. You can upload any file up to a max of 3 GB, and you can view and retrieve them from the familiar SmugMug gallery interface. When possible, we’ll even create a JPG preview so you know exactly which file you’re looking at.

Take a closer look at SmugVault, Amazon and how it works.

Tip: Because all video files are processed slightly on upload to SmugMug, you can choose to Vault your originals. This way, you always have a copy in case your hard drive goes boom.

We hope that everyone has a better idea of what’s possible with their accounts. So go ahead, grab your bag and get out there shooting. We’ll see you on the upload!

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I'm a freelance documentary photographer who loves travel, rangefinders, medium format film photography, and everything in-between.

14 thoughts on “Uploading to SmugMug: What, How Big and How Many?”

  1. my name is cathal croffy PRO of Ballinasloe GAA ,the team that won All Ireland Junior football final in Croke park on the 24th Feb ,is there any way i can obtain the photos that were taken in croke park of the Ballinasloe team ,ar u an Irish firm ,forgive my ignorance as iv only seen this page once thank you

  2. My biggest complaint/issue with uploading is that it never puts the files in the correct order. I rename all my files ‘xxx 001 of xxx’ and it still throws them up in whatever crazy order SM decides. There has to be a way to fix that, no?

    1. Once the gallery is created and the files are uploaded, change the “Look and Feel” category to autosort based on filename. Once you’ve done that, you can save those options as a Gallery template. Then just choose the Gallery template one you upload to a new gallery. You can also within a gallery, choose the tools, multiple galleries, make a change like that and apply it to every gallery in your account. Smugmug has instructions in their tutorials.

  3. Rich Kessler :
    My biggest complaint/issue with uploading is that it never puts the files in the correct order. I rename all my files ‘xxx 001 of xxx’ and it still throws them up in whatever crazy order SM decides. There has to be a way to fix that, no?

    There’s an easy fix to this in you gallery settings –> Order by filename. This should fix it.

  4. I can’t believe your instructions actually say that users can adjust their own personal SEO setting. Everyone knows that Smugmug has no SEO. The only way an image on Smugmug some up in a Google search is if someone types smugmug is the search description. Otherwise, forget it!

    1. Hi Bob, we’re pretty confident about our SEO features, and hope that all of our customers looking to get found on the web take a look at how the many functions work. “SEO” on SM encompasses several features as well as gallery-level and site-level privacy settings, used in concert to ensure that only the stuff you want to get found do get found, and the things you want to stay hidden never get picked up by search engines. A few of them are described here: http://smu.gs/mOFI7P

      Since SEO falls under business marketing, we have another page here describing what you should do to make sure you’re ranked high: http://smu.gs/xBNXWv

      If you’re not getting results in searches then we highly recommend that you write to our Support Heroes with details on what you’ve done so far and we’ll always be happy to take a closer look at your settings and walk you through it.


  5. Hard drives don’t go “boom”, they go *click*click*click*click*.
    And its extremely frustrating when that happens. Good (full and current) backups turn an “Oh f***” moment into an hour or two of inconvienence.

  6. I can sell photographs of the subjects I shoot, however I can’t put their image on merchandise to sell. How do I disable the merchandise section of Smug Mug?

  7. A quick fix for this is just convert them to what you need for printing, automate it, I prefer .tiff files,, so if I uploaded them to your site, you could convert them to what is needed.. would save us a lot of energy and time, plus you get the results you desire,, and we both get high quality photos that our customers will be happy with.. or maybe even allow .tiff files, our local lab here in Cincy desires them this way, so I have two keep 3 copies, the raw, tiff, and jpeg!

  8. It seems that I have a gallery cap of 2000 instead of the 5000 photos I just read about. When I first joined Smugmug I could put up as many as I wanted it seemed but last year the 2000 number came into play. Unless this has changed…. I am trying that right now… how do I get more than the 2000 per upload?

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