Release Notes: Customize the Buy Button, Stronger Search Box, and more

We’ve just introduced a few more really great improvements we think you’ll love. More control over your gallery’s Buy buttons, the ability to easily archive and browse your mobile memories, and a super sweet search update for event shooters.

1) Customize Your Buy Button

One of your favorite topics of feedback is about the button that your fans click to make a purchase. To help draw more eyeballs to it, we changed the button text to read “Buy Photos” instead of just “Buy.”

Additionally, you can tweak the skin, style, and size of the button.

To do this, go to any gallery on your site, click Customize > Customize Site, click the Gallery Styles settings, then look for the Buy Button options. You can specify your button’s settings in the Thumbnail, Collage Landscape, and Collage Portrait styles.

2) Easy Mobile Uploads

We recently made it easier to upload your mobile photos to your SmugMug galleries, but we took this one step further by cleaning up the uploader when you’re on your phone. Now you’ll see an easy-to-spot upload button when you’re logged in to your account. Tap that and we’ll let you select as many photos as you wish from your image library.

3) Get Map Happy

We’ve upped the number of available pins on your map from 200 to 1000. Get snapping! You can read more about SmugMug maps and they work right here.

4) Stronger Search Options

We’ve added more functionality to your Search content block so that you can choose to direct your fans’ searches  to your keywords page, not your search page. This helps them stay focused on what they were looking for. You can also optionally inject your own search term to be added to anything your fans enter in the box, like the race name.

For example: If you force “tough mudder” as a search term, their search for a bib number “100” will search for “100 + tough mudder,” and not pull up other photos around your site with just the keyword “100.”

Take a look at these recent additions by opening up your Search content block settings and viewing the Basic and Advanced tabs. And as always, here’s how search works on SmugMug, and you can get more detailed help about keywords from our help pages.


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SmugMug brings you beautiful, personalized online galleries. We love photography and believe that taking pictures makes life better. We're here to help make it fun, enjoyable, and easy for all.

74 thoughts on “Release Notes: Customize the Buy Button, Stronger Search Box, and more”

  1. Thats no doubt great news but hows the work coming along reinstating the caption facility?

  2. Customizing my “buy” button really doesn’t allow me to nix any of my other services like Pixieset or Sticky Albums. Seriously, this is “it” on my improvements?😦 Oh how I wish for a single service to be more. I was so excited to see news from Smug – a little disappointed, to be honest.

    1. Hi Dana and thanks so much for taking the time to let us know how this worked for your workflow… or didn’t, in this case. Would you be willing to shoot our Support Heroes a message with more detail, so our Product team can have it on file? Specifically, what’s your workflow and what functionality do we not provide that others can? We’d love to hear it:

    1. Hi Tom, the Buy button settings weren’t added to the Journal style because Journal already displays a buy option underneath each photo, whereas the styles we did add it to didn’t. Hope that makes sense!

      1. Kinda Sorta. I would like to be able to alter the button. Your response tells me not all gallery styles have buy buttons built into them. That bit of information is enlightening! Thank you.

  3. I’m quite happy with the updates! I love my map page, but hated the limitations on it since I could only showcase 200 pics on it. Now I need to go through and tag more so they pop in there! Not

  4. Didnt mean to hit post yet from above! Not to drag the party down, but how about some more awesome news with some more themes….or new gallery styles?? That would be AWESOME!

    1. Hi Jeff, glad that the map update works for you.🙂 We’d love to bring more themes and designs and it’s good to know they’d be appreciated. Thanks for the feedback!

    1. Specifically, when I navigate to all galleries there is nothing. All my galleries only show up when I am clicked on the All Folders tab…

  5. I get about 65,000 views a month without one “purchase” of photos. I am going to try altering this “buy photos” function. I hope it helps? I will admit that I have not taken any smugmug training classes yet.

    1. Hi Michael, first of all congrats on all the views! It can be difficult to turn those into print sales, but while dressing up or making the Buy Photos button more obvious can help, it’s not the only factor in the game. Just be sure that you’ve promoting yourself and making sure people know that you have photos for sale. You’ll also want to log out and browse your site, making sure that your pricing is the way you want it, and that the photos you want to be seen do get seen. What’s the experience like for them? Is it easy, friendly, and clear?

      We have a few articles on our education site that can help, and we’ll always be writing more blog posts about this topic, too. Here’s one to get you started:

      Feel free to contact our Support Heroes if you’d like us totake a closer look at your galleries and make suggestions. Nearly all of us are photographers, too, so we understand.🙂

  6. Too be honest, I have not paid close attention and was just hoping to sell enough to pay my annual fee which I have for the most part. I want more now!

    I tried your new Blog on the “Buy” button alteration:
    – Here is what you show:
    /Users/mpwoodsd/Desktop/Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 1.04.10 PM.png

    Here is what shows up when I try to customize my gallery button:
    /Users/mpwoodsd/Desktop/Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 1.03.22 PM.png

    I know that outside viewers do not know how to buy. I know that new viewers don’t get navigating through layers and layers of galleries.

    I would very much like one of your technicians to take an outside look at my site and I will gladly welcome any of their recommendations.

    I will try your link. How do I request a Support Hero review?



  7. Sorry, above comment is not showing the screen captures I tried to insert to show the difference about how your “Buy” button alterations show up in your blog and how they actually show up in my site. Don’t know how to insert images here.

    1. Hi, Mike! Just go here and you can fill out the form. You may want to copy and paste what you wrote here so that one of our Support Heroes can locate your account and take a look at your galleries and what you’ve done so far. You can even attach your screen grab to show us what you’re seeing:

      Just FYI, we generally ask for specific requests like this to go through our help system because you’ll end up sharing info about your account that you probably don’t want displayed on a public blog.

      We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

    1. Hi Pablo, we added the additional Buy Photos button settings to the “grid” style gallery styles that didn’t have an easy way to buy over each photo. The Journal and SmugMug styles already have the option to add the photo you’re viewed to the cart. We hope this makes sense!

  8. Guys I’ve asked for years for Search by EXIF: camera, lens, ISO, etc… I have tens of thousand of photographs on my smugmug and very often I need to find examples by a camera, lens, etc… Why cannot such search be allowed?

  9. Thank you for the update on the buy button. But I have more problems with customers having troubles ordering once they hit the ” Buy ” button. To be honest the whole ordering page is really confusing for my customers like the 3 tabs at the top that they never see to get to the digital copies or merchandise. The other huge issue I have is shopping carts emptying when they go to check out. I understand this is a limitation with the users web browser but telling a customer they are the issue when ordring is never good. If they are committing to buy, why not make then sign up for an account first when they hit the buy button so they won’t lose everything in their cart when they go to check out if their cookies are off or their . They have to enter that info in anyway. I hate loosing sales and its money lost on my end and SmugMugs as well.

    1. Hi Greg and thanks so very much for taking the time to tell us about this. We know it’s frustrating to hear that clients don’t buy because of this or that reason, especially if it’s a cookies issues. We hate to hear that, but we do have a few things on our radar that should help educate customers about buying and to also make the process a bit easier (we hope!)

      We want you and your clients to be thrilled with not just the prints but also the process of getting them, so thanks for telling us about this and being honest with us.

  10. thanks smug but i feel improvements elsewhere and within the BUY area would be more beneficial… like why can’t we order/offer prints on textured papers??? Or improve coupons?

      1. It appears as though I have no way to vote any more Smug. I would def love to offer my 2 cents but no quite sure how the rules roll on the voting. Also, it seems my votes don’t ever really count for much. In the 6 yrs we’ve been on smug I don’t honestly know that anything we’ve voted for has made land.


        we recently had a client online trying to place an order respond with…

        “By the way your website needs work especially in selecting the print. Every time you touch the picture it adds a charge but not the quantity. You also don’t have a method to remove one of the charges. I do believe this site is causing a negative impact to your bottom line due the issues with online ordering. I have no doubt people gives up and probably concerned about whether their personal info is secure with the number of issues there are with this site. Just FYI. ”

        Somewhat of an embarrassment. I have trouble in there myself and can only imagine how a client feels… until now. And still, why can’t we apply print textures like we order direct? Makes NO SENSE to have product online for ordering when it AIN’T THE SAME as what we offer offline!!!! COME ON!!!

  11. Please could you reinstate the facility to add captions on the Organise/edit page so the whole session can be titled on one page rather than having to click forward to each individual clip as this takes a ridiculous amount of time. Many thanks.

  12. I follow the process as described, but the only thing I can change is whether to have breadcumbs activated or not. This could possibly be the most frustrating site to customise in the history of merchant sites.

  13. I have not been active in my account for months and months, maybe even over a year, due to how convoluted and confusing it is. Ok, so now we can load from mobile, never knew you even had an app.

    1. Hi Karen,

      Oh no! I looked at your site and got distracted by all the cute dog photos, being a dog lover…

      In July of last year we introduced an all-new version of SmugMug that’s much prettier, easier to customize, and the convoluted organization hacks of the past are gone. We have an all-new, drag & drop organizer that most of our customers think is a vast improvement over the old way.

      If you log into your site, you’ll get to preview how it will look, pick designs, etc. It’s a fairly painless transition and just about all our customers who made the switch are very glad they did. Let us know if you need any help, and how it goes.


  14. Mobile uploading isn’t appearing as an option for me. Hmmm, what am I missing? I see the SmugMug logo at the top left that links to, and an icon at the top right that drops down to Homepage, Account Settings, Profile and Log Out. Where’s the upload option? Thanks!

    1. I can’t find the new upload button either. Maybe the iPhone version hasn’t yet been updated with it? Or does is this only available with a Pro account? I’m using “SmugMug” (by SmugMug Inc) version 2.0.2 on my iphone, and unless I’m missing something iTunes says 2.0.2 is the latest and was released Feb 17, 2014.

      1. I believe the Android version of the SmugMug app accommodates uploads. I understand this blog post to mean that we can access our SmugMug site via the browser, and upload from there. Less than ideal, but I’d take it. I can’t find it though.

      2. Hi John,

        Sorry for the confusion. The feature we just added is for when you browse to one of your SmugMug pages using a web browser on your iPad, like Safari or Chrome. Uploading isn’t yet available on the mobile app for IOS that you get from the iTunes store, I’m sorry to say, although we’re getting close with that.

        Thanks for being a customer all these years! I hope we’re treating you well aside from no uploading yet on the iPhone app.

        All the best,

    2. Hi George,

      I think the answer to the mystery is the upload button only appears when you’re on one of your own SmugMug pages. In my case, if I go to, I don’t get an upload button, but if I go to, I do. Sorry for the confusion. It makes me wonder if we should show it on all SmugMug pages when you’re logged in.

      If the button still doesn’t appear when you go to your own SmugMug pages, let us know. That would be a bug we’d have to track down.


        1. Hi Brian
          Be sure that you’re looking at your site using a browser on the phone (Safari, Chrome, etc.) and looking from within a gallery. That’s where you’ll find the upload button. Don’t hesitate to contact our heroes for further help.

      1. Thanks for the response Chris. I was logged in but couldn’t find it. Then I smacked my forehead and got into a gallery, and lo and behold it appeared as a little cloud icon with an arrow in it, just like the post said it would.

        You probably want to make sure the instructions include the forehead smacking.🙂

        Anyway, don’t mind my ignorance, as it’s all there as promised.

        Thanks again!


        1. Hi George,

          Yikes, if you’re smacking your forehead you should smack mine because confusing you with the user interface would be our fault. I should be clear that on very small screens, like iPhone and Android, the button only shows up when you are on a gallery (Chris smacks his forehead).

          Thanks and sorry for the confusion.

          1. Hi need to smack thy head but any news on the re instatement of the block captions we used to have..I wont use the new one..its rubbish.

  15. Really need a Pinterest button. Would create traffic back to my site and possible sales.
    Please do not overlook this possibility.
    Even my Fine Art America sit has this.

    1. I think the option is already there should you choose to give away nearly all your image rights to pintheft
      I would like to see the ability to add in an html no pin option again

  16. Automation!
    Could you please please add Tasker/Secure_Settings/Utter! support. These are compatible Android apps that lets you automate this very easily such as do backups to cloud storage, shoot photos with voice commands, etc. It’s easy and would open up a lot of options!!

  17. Is there a detailed step-by-step description of how to upload photos from my iPad to Smugmug? I’m leaving on a trip Sat., and am only taking my iPad as camera. Need to make
    sure I don’t run out of memory, so I want to put them on Smugmug til I get home.
    Thanks very much.

    1. Hi Louise,

      I hope you have a fabulous trip! I think the easiest way is to use Camera Awesome, our free iPad app available in the appstore, that lets you automatically back up all your photos to SmugMug. Or you can just choose the keepers and upload them if your connection is slow. It also lets you post to social networks like facebook.

      But if you want to just use a web browser like Safari which comes installed on your iPad, you can type in the URL of your SmugMug site, make sure you’re logged in, and then tap on a gallery that you’d like to upload to. You’ll see an upload button to tap. Then it will let you select photos from your camera roll to upload.

      If you get a chance, it’d be wonderful if you could preview new SmugMug, because it works so well on iPads. If you need any help with that, we’d be happy to help you. It has such better organizing tools, it looks pretty on every device, automatically adapts to iPhones, iPads, etc.

      All the best,

      1. Hi Chris,
        Its good to see you taking the time to reply to comments directly
        After a year of playing around i have finally figured out the actual power of the customisation facilities in the new smug.
        Am not sure why it took me a year to get to grips but i reckon i finally have
        the collage Landscape is glorious especially once yo up the size of the images (y)
        one thing i really really miss is the no pin code drop in
        i used to just add the meta to stop pinning (call me crazy but i can’t abide it)
        Could you please let us add this back in
        images being pinned and effectively granting pinterest a license without us knowing is a serious problem.
        At least if you have the no pin code it does help cut it down.

        1. Hi John,

          Holy cow, your photos of Glasgow are truly stunning, especially of GOMA. And you’ve done a great job of the layout. I just spent 10 great minutes cruising your site.

          I’ve seen a few requests about pinning in the comments here and unfortunately, I don’t know much about what we’re doing there so I’ll have to ask around tomorrow and get back to you. It’s a travel day because we’re having an offsite this weekend but I’ll see what I can do.


  18. How do you change the button text? There doesn’t appear to be an option but in the post it says you changed the text to “Buy Photos” instead of just “Buy”. I would like to change our text to read “Print It”.

    1. Hi Lori
      Sorry for any confusion – ‘we’ changed the text from Buy to Buy Photos refers to changing the text on the Buy button for all users. SmugMug made that change. The text itself is not customizable by you at this time. Hope that helps.

    2. Hi Lori,

      I’m really sorry to disappoint you, but the text isn’t customizable. There’s actually method behind the madness, and that is that we test what the button says over tens of thousands of orders to see what people notice, what confuses them, what induces them to buy, etc.

      One thing we’ve found is to a surprising extent, orders come from across many SmugMug accounts, and the buyer becomes confused when the button says one thing on one user’s site and another on someone else’s. And it’s surprising how people respond to the words. For example, Print it means printing on the Laserjet hooked to their computer to many people, because the wording is similar to what applications like Microsoft Word use.

      I hope this helps and wish I had a better answer for you.

      All the best,

  19. I have an I Phone 5 and cannot upload images from my phone to my smugmug galleries. There isn’t any display on my phone like the one in your blog. I can use safari or goggle. Same results. I can only view what I have loaded on my home computer.

    1. Hi Dan,

      I think the answer to the mystery is new SmugMug adapts to each device, such as a phone, so that its display works well with that device. The previous version of SmugMug was designed before smartphones were introduced, so its ability to adapt is limited. I really apologize for having to say this, but your site is still on the older version of SmugMug so the upload button doesn’t appear. I’m sorry for the confusion.

      But you can quickly preview what new SmugMug is like on your site when you go there and log in. Hopefully we’ve made it easy to switch and if not we can help. It looks so much prettier, it adapts to every screen size, and the organizer is amazing. And then you’ll get the upload goodness.

      I hope this helps.

      All the best,

      1. I don’t think the new site looks better. I have been unhappy with it since I was forced to convert after the preview turned out to not be a preview but a FORCED transition to the new style of site.

        My clients are now lost in the ordering flow… I hear every event I attend, “I tried to order a picture, but I could not figure out the website.” This is lost money. I may as well upload to Flickr and have my clients do what they do now, order by texting me a picture or the picture.

        I am very dissatisfied with the service and seriously considering terminating it at the end of my current contract.

        1. Hi Rob,

          Hmmm, I’m really sorry to hear this. There are so many questions I’d love to know that I hope you don’t mind if I call you.

          The ordering flow hasn’t changed with new SmugMug, but I wonder how many of your customers are trying to buy on their phones versus on a computer, for example. And I’d love to know what they’re buying. We’re deep in the throes of working on the checkout flow and wanting to know about every use case we can.


  20. Tried to follow the customize buy button instructions but don’t find that as an option. Using the Isis theme. If this option is limited to certain themes/designs, shouldn’t that have been clarified up front?

    1. Hi Beth,

      Ouch, I’m sorry about the confusion. Our blog has a too-subtle and easy-to-miss line: “You can specify your button’s settings in the Thumbnail, Collage Landscape, and Collage Portrait styles.”

      So it’s not about the theme but about the gallery style. Looking at your site, you seem to use SmugMug style for most (all?) of your galleries. The reason for launching this effort to customize the buy button was because in the other styles, buyers were sometimes not seeing it, but we didn’t perceive that we had this problem in SmugMug style.

      I hope this helps.


  21. When are we going to be able to fix the godawful flow after people figure out where the buy button is?

    I have been complaining about this for months. It is not intuitive. There are TOO MANY steps and screens with obscure confirmation buttons. My clients at this point rarely use smugmug to buy from me. I find myself having to print and deliver in person which defeats the entire reason I have a smugmug account to begin with.

    This is a nice small improvement. But without major changes to the actual product selection interface and ordering process this is lipstick on a pig.

    1. Ouch, Rob, I’m really sorry to hear the shopping cart flow is confusing your customers. That’s terrible for you and for us too.

      This is something we’re very focused on with one of our best teams because it’s so critical, and we’d love to know more details about where in the process customers are getting confused. We’ve spent a lot of time user testing various flows and competing shopping carts, and it’s very disturbing to see how polarized the reactions are to different flows. It would be great if we could identify a few of your buyers who got confused and get them in a user test.


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