Customize SmugMug

Some of you have come here from my “How to Make an Online Photo Album” article, where I recommend SmugMug as a great place to host your photo portfolio. Rather than choose the basic themes from SmugMug (which are quite good and flexible), I wanted something extra special and really customize my SmugMug page.

Click here to try SmugMug FREE for 14 days and SAVE 20% on a new account!

Reasons to further customize your SmugMug site:

  • You have a unique logo or brand and you want it presented in an unexpected way.
  • You want your portfolio and website to look totally unique and stand out.
  • You have an idea for something, and the default themes just are not cutting it.
  • Or, when it comes to your online business, you are simply willing to invest in something that keeps your brand and web presence wonderfully unique.

Here is a screenshot of my portfolio on SmugMug. Pretty sweet, eh?

SmugMug Coupon

If you haven’t signed up for SmugMug yet and are interested in getting started today then you can save 20% off all new SmugMug Accounts. I have the SmugMug Business plan (click here to save $60!).

How to customize SmugMug

I recorded a video below that shows more about customization in general and my specific customization.

Simple customization

The beautiful templates that are available (even at launch!) are super impressive. The idea that you can just click and pick a theme is very powerful. And then, once you realize you can easily swap between themes, it all gets a little bit too intoxicating!

They even named a theme after my friend Thomas Hawk, who is also an avid user of the site. That theme plays well to photographers like Thomas who take a ton of photos and want to be able to share them easily and beautifully. Other themes will work better for portrait or wedding photographers. And landscape photographers, like me, have a whole host of themes to choose from.

If you are generally afraid of getting into the details and changing your customization, then this one-click scenario is the way to go. Oh, and once you choose a theme, you’ll probably want to pay attention to #3 below!

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.

HDR Photo

Click here to try SmugMug FREE for 14 days and SAVE 20% on a new account!

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  • Trey,

    Thanks for the inclusion of my Nature and Landscape photography SmugMug site! I had no idea it was up here until a friend sent me a note. Ditto to all comments about creating an online gallery and using SmugMug. They have totally made it simple to give a full-service presentation so I can worry about shooting and uploading pictures rather than coding and flash stuff. I have too many friends who have unfortunately spent thousands of dollars on SLOW and painful to use websites. I started out trying to customize on my own as well and then got on the web and found Jerry and Alicia. He put a nice SmugMug customization together for me and all my graphics were doing by Alicia at Moments Photography. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I also highly recommend any photographer starting out to look at SmugMug rather than either a free service or custom do it yourself solution. Then look at one of the folks mentioned above to create your brand and identify focusing on delivering what is important to you and your customers. You will be much happier in the end and able to focus on your photography instead of frustration. I am off to shoot more nature shots in Yosemite and the Bay area! John

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  • Roc

    Trey, I have a designer customizing my Smugmug web site right now and I have a page that is called Places Worth a Visit. If it is OK I would like to put a link to Your Home Page. I enjy going to your site and others who haven’t heard about just might go over there. Please let me know, Thanks Roc

  • Sure thing! 🙂

  • I was hoping to see some self help tips in this post.

  • Me too Pradeep! I prefer the DIY method. 🙂

  • I cannot say enough good things about Zoho Design and Justin Busa. If you want a pro looking website without the pro prices, then check them out. They’ll take an already stellar photo hosting service (Smugmug) and trick it out anyway you want. I can’t tell you how many people have complimented my site! Honestly, it was one of the best photo business decisions I’ve made.

    Trey, thanks for the shout out. You rock!

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  • I would like a web site , with a home page aqnd links to the various galleries .
    nothing to expensive.
    Thanks Stewart

  • Just one question about organizing your portfolio. I find no categories there, just around 50 pages of images to wait for or look through. Inspiring for the first twenty pages, but after that….? And the next time I return I have to start from scratch again.

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  • Anonymous

    Thanks Trey for your tips and advice. As a newbie to Photography, you certainly provide me with fantastic starting points and ultimately the decision making process easier amongst the varied choices out there.

    Cheers & Thanks

  • Going to sign up for Smugmug to see if I can make a few $.  Thanks for the tips.

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