Full SmugMug Review
Want to read the full SmugMug Review? Or, want to pop over and try it out now? They gave my readers here a very nice discount code of STUCKINCUSTOMS to save you a bunch if you sign up on SmugMug.
The full review has more information on how you can sell prints and do all that kind of stuff, so you can make a little extra money off this fun hobby!
Alert! Live Video review and interview with live questions
Live Video Review Show Tonight at 7 PM PT, 10 PM ET. Watch the full event info here. We’ll have on Thomas Hawk, Karen Hutton, and even some people from SmugMug for live questions and feedback!
2) Complete Customization
The previous SmugMug was very very very very very difficult to tweak out designs. Now, there are smart drag-and-drop controls with individual menus that let you make adjustments.
I was able to go into a complete customization of the default SmugMug template and make my site look exactly like I wanted. Awesome! I never had to look at any code or php or script or any of that nonsense. In fact, I found the whole process to be very fun and interesting. It actually made me think very hard about EXACTLY HOW I wanted people to experience my work on the internet. This is very philosophical in a way, you see. I enjoyed the process, and I loved using the tools to realize that philosophy.
Now, you can take a default template (like in #1 above) and simply add a few new controls or navigation items. So you don’t have to start from scratch. Say you don’t like the way the menus are laid out in one of the basic templates — well that is easy enough to change. And then if you want to change the way the photos are displayed, then you are in luck there too. The controls are very simple and powerful.
How to customize SmugMug Video
I recorded a video below that shows more about customization in general and my specific customization.
3) Photo organization
I might be alone in thinking that it has always been a pain to re-organize photos after you’ve uploaded them to the web, but I don’t think so. I’ve never seen anyone do it right and slick until now. For some reason, the engineers at SmugMug were able to do something that not even Google or Flickr can do.
I have a lot of photos in my two albums, and I find that I’m constantly re-organizing them. The order is really important to me… I’m always getting new favorites in my top 25 or top 100, or I begin to dislike ones I once enjoyed. I’m indecisive like a woman, but that’s okay. Let’s just say I’m in touch with my feminine side.
Anyway, it’s very fun and fast to re-order my albums and move files around folders. It’s logical and snappy. It has also given me a great chance to get in there and clean up all the clutter that happened over the years.
4) Help menus
When I occasionally have a question, I’ve been very impressed at the built-in help. It’s smart in the way it points you to the solution right within the UI. This is hard to explain, but you’ll know it when you see it.
SmugMug also has a bunch of Human Helpers — I think they call them Heroes — that are online waiting to help you out too. That’s nice… I doubt you could ask for human help on Flickr/Yahoo and get any kind of timely response (if at all!).
5) Scalable for every device
Wow this is a big one. People now access the web using a huge variety of devices. It’s depressing, but you’d be shocked at how many people first experience your portfolio on a little phone. I know you don’t want it to be true, but, really, it is! And this percentage will just continue to grow.
We all (me included!) like to think that people experience our portfolio on a nice big monitor with huge resolution. Of course, that is how WE like to look at it, but the number of people that actually experience the portfolio site in this high-res web browser mode is not as high as we hope.
So, it is even more important that the portfolio site is responsive from every device, from dinky iPhones to tablets to huge monitors. The way the site bends around to every kind of device is super-impressive. There is a lot of secret-sauce happening, I can tell. At some point as the width shrinks to a mobile phone, for example, my navigational elements change from a horizontal arrangement to a vertical arrangement. This is cool! I bet there are a few people that might complain about this, but not me. It’s more important that people be able to navigate your site than it to maintain the original orientation and have an unreadable, tiny font.
Other Bits to consider
Well, read my full-on SmugMug Review for even more stuff or to see how to save $$ with a discount code. There are 50 other little tiny things that have also been improved – some of which I use and others that I do not. I could go on and on… like I love how my whole theme looks a certain way but the Buy Print button jumps out. I like how easy it was to make a customized page and put different gallery elements on it. Ack…I could go on and on. I’ll tie this up now with a little bow now by simply recommending that you pop over to SmugMug to and give it a try!