SmugMug is a photography hosting and sharing platform that comes with a great ensemble of features, which position it as one of the best-known online galleries to display your photos. SmugMug features drag-and-drop photo organizer, customizable photo galleries, full screen slideshows and even allows you to set up a shop.
Our SmugMug review will familiarize you with SmugMug’s range of tools and features, pinpointing the pros and cons of hosting your online gallery with this service.
SmugMug is a family-owned business run by individuals passionate about photography and technology. SmugMug was launched in 2002 and within 3 years since their launch the company had grown into a 50,000-customer company. Today, they host billions of photos and cater to the photography storing, sharing and displaying needs of millions of customers.
Whether you’re just a photography enthusiast or a professional photographer, SmugMug has plans for every use case and puts no limit on photo uploads.
Features of SmugMug
SmugMug’s features accounts for every category of user including those who want to build a portfolio and start selling online. To have an overview of what you can achieve with SmugMug, here are its best features and tools:
- Fully customizable website responsive across platforms: though a drag-and-drop photo organizer, you can build beautiful galleries to showcase your work. You can personalize your photo site’s look down to the very font you use;
- Branding: put your logo or brand name on your site, use your own domain name, and build your own brand;
- Templates: select from 21+ pre-made templates or create custom templates;
- Control your site’s visibility & copyright: SmugMug allows you to make your photos public or private, protect them with a password, a watermark or custom right-click messages. The copyright to your photos is always yours;
- Online photo editor: the photo editor allows you to rotate photos, adjust thumbnails, access color effects, add captions, keywords and titles to photos;
- SEO tools & analytics: you can increase your site’s visibility with SmugMug’s SEO tools, but you can also opt out from being listed in any search engines to avoid any unwanted traffic;
- Community features: share your photos with customers, friends or family via Facebook, Google+, Twitter or email;
- eCommerce capabilities: start selling digital copies, prints and gifts with a fully hosted shopping cart and checkout, and keep 85% of the profits. Make use of customizable price lists, choose your photography lab (Bay Photo, WHCC, Loxley Colour, EZ Prints), turn your photos into personalized printed creations (wall arts, paper prints, keepsakes, photo books, etc.), and accept global currencies;
- Lightroom plugin: this allows you to automatically sync SmugMug, while keeping metadata and structure intact;
- Unlimited cloud storage & unlimited traffic: upload an unlimited number of photos and videos, all easily accessible anywhere, anytime at full resolution. SmugMug uses Amazon Web Services to back up your images;
- CSS & HTML implementation to format your site;
- Free mobile apps: SmugMug has a mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Apple TV;
- No ads or spam: SmugMug does not feature ads or spam on your site;
- File limitations: photo size is 150 MB, max. video file size is 3 GB, max. video length is 20 mins.
SmugMug offers plenty of branding options down to details such as branded thank you cards or custom logo stickers on shipped orders. Customizability in how you showcase your photos is another strong suit of SmugMug.
SmugMug Plans & Prices
Although SmugMug does not feature a free version, it has a 14-day free trial version, and no credit card is required. Apart from the free trial, there are 4 plans as follows:
- Basic: costs $3.99/mo billed annually or $5.99 billed each month;
- Power: costs $5.99/mo billed annually or $99 monthly;
- Portfolio: costs $12.50/mo billed annually or $20 monthly;
- Business: costs $25/mo billed annually or $35 monthly.
All plans come with unlimited photo and video upload (barring the file size limitations discussed at the features of SmugMug), unlimited traffic and some eCommerce features. If you’re just looking for a place to store your photos and have some limited selling functionality (to allow friends and family to order gifts and prints directly from your site), the Basic and Power plans are configured to meet these demands. Those who want to build a photo site with an eCommerce component, need client tools and site-wide pricing should opt for the Portfolio or the Business plan, which comes with extra features such as the possibility to create custom pricelists and coupons, brand shipped client orders, offer gift-wrapping, group galleries under events, etc.
SmugMug Customer Support
SmugMug’s website features a support center with articles and tutorials on getting started, personalizing your site, managing content, account management, selling prints, etc. Further support is available via email and ticketing system. Phone support and live chat are currently not available as support options.
Pros and Cons of Using SmugMug
Overall, SmugMug is an impressive service with some great qualities, but are there any downsides to selling your work through SmugMug? Let our pros and cons shed light on this too:
- Wide range of customization options;
- Easy-to-use photo editor;
- Responsive site design;
- Custom domain, possibility to add your own logo;
- Unlimited storage;
- 14-day free trial, no credit card required.
- No white label branding (the footer and header of your site features a SmugMug logo, which can be removed with some tweaking);
- No live support or phone support;
- No built-in blog feature.
SmugMug Review Conclusion
SmugMug can be a secure way to store and showcase your vacation photos and family photos, but it’s also a solid marketplace to sell your work online. It supports both digital downloads and selling prints, and features a well thought out and stylish shopping cart. While SmugMug does not feature any ads on your site, the SmugMug logo appears both in the header and footer of your site, stealing a bit of your thunder. Despite this, SmugMug offers plenty of options to build your brand and drive visitors to your site.