Set Up Guide SmugMug Website

How to get started with a SmugMug photo website

Disclaimer – This review & website contains affiliate links to the products and services SmugMug offer, you won’t pay any more for the products or services they offer but I may get a commission Thank you  

Update July 2021

Follow the full step by step guide. How to build a dog breeder website >>>
This FREE GUIDE shows you easily how to build a website using SmugMug.
From start to finish with video tutorials. Including how to remove the SmugMug branding from the website.
You can create a website for anything using SmugMug. 
It is the easiest website builder for photographers but anyone can use it.    

photo photo website mobile responsive

Before you start it is worth knowing that –

Any of the photos you upload to the galleries within your SmugMug account stay the same size file which you originally load up. For example if you load up a 12MB photo when you want to download it later on you will download exactly what you originally loaded up the 12MB file. SmugMug will not compress your images at all. The maximum size photo you can upload is 200MB 

Step 1 - Start your 14 day free trial

Once you click through to SmugMug and click on get started free or try it now you will be through to the 14 day free trial page. Fill in your name, email address and a password to get started.
No credit card required

Step 2 - Add photos to SmugMug gallery

Next you will be given the choice to add some of your own photos, or you can use some sample photos from SmugMug if you are just wanting to try out SmugMug without uploading your own photo’s.

value photo website

Add photos to your first SmugMug photo gallery

If you are going to add your own photos this is the next step, you will be creating your first gallery of photo’s, click upload photos or video. Upload some of your own photos, the files types you can upload are Jpeg, PNG & GIF

smugmug get started

Rename your photo gallery

You can call the gallery of photo’s or video’s whatever you like to get  started this can be changed later. Click on gallery name (my first gallery) and re name the gallery.  

free website

Have a look what your first gallery looks like, click the big green button.

set up smugmug

Step 3 - SmugMug Gallery Settings

It is important that you understand the photo gallery settings, features and what they do for each time you upload to SmugMug.

Look at the top bar of the website and find upload the big green button. click upload to upload to another gallery. I will explain what the settings mean. 
Once you click upload you are given the choice to upload photos

INTO NEW GALLERY Is what is say’s into a brand new gallery
INTO EXISTING GALLERY This means you can upload into one of your existing galleries, so if you would like to add photos into an existing gallery this is how to do it.
UPLOAD FOLDERS This means you can upload a folder of photos straight from your desktop

set up smugmug

Free SmugMug Apps are available for automatic uploading for mac and windows, Adobe Lightroom, Dropbox and Connect to google photos. Download the SmugMug app for your mobile too.

Create Gallery

There are a lot of settings available when you create a new gallery which is good. If you find you use the same settings every time you can create a gallery preset in the account settings. All the settings available when you create a new gallery are below

set up smugmug

BASICS 
– Title, description and keywords SEO areas for your photo gallery

SECURITY & SHARING  
-Public  Anyone can view the photos
– Unlisted  Only those with the link can view the photo’s, ideal to send images out after a photo shoot. (private online galleries)
– Private No one will see your photos or video’s apart from you.

 PHOTO PROTECTION 
– Maximum Display Size Choose the size you want to display your images at
– Right Click Message Not available with the basic plan
– Apply Watermark Portfolio & Pro plan only, apply your own watermark to the whole gallery easily
– Download Buttons Switch on or off to allow visitors to download images from the gallery

SOCIAL  
– Show Sharing Options on of off. This is fantastic for others to share your work. Also for sharing your SmugMug gallery to Facebook.
– Allow Comments on or off

SHOPPING 
– Visitor shopping cart on or off,  Selling tools only available with Portfolio & Pro plan 

APPEARANCE
– Gallery Style
6 different styles of presenting your galleries 

Step 4 - The SmugMug dashboard

Below is the SmugMug dashboard the photo is from my own SmugMug Pro account which is why you can see Selling tools in the top bar.
The dashboard is where all your photos which are in galleries are, any folders and pages you might make will be found here too. All of these galleries, pages and folders can be found down the left hand side.

The dashboard is like the back of the website only you will see this. It is not the photo website which people will see online. To get to front of the website which is what is seen online you need to click, Photo Site. If you have just started the front of the website will not look very exciting. To get back to the dashboard area you need to click Organize 
Before you try and make a website you need to upload the photos which you will be using on the website.
For your photos to be visible on the front of the website which is seen online, you need the gallery which the photo or photo’s are in which you are going to be using to be set to public which is in the security and sharing section.

Set Up Guide SmugMug website

Step 5 - SmugMug photo website

To get to the front of your website click photo site in the top bar. If you are just starting the background to your website will probably be black in colour and your galleries and any folders will probably be on the page too. Already you will probably thinking this is not what I had in mind. From here everything can be customised, changed, added or removed from the page. To start customising the website click CUSTOMIZE which is in the top right corner.
Once you click on customize, you will then bring up the customize panel which will be on the left or the right of the screen. From the customize panel you can control just about everything on the front page of the website. Any other pages added can be customised in just the same way. 

set up smugmug

(SmugMug website example from the basic plan)

I will just add, I have a basic SmugMug plan and a Pro SmugMug plan (2 separate plans) . When you are using the 14 day free trial you will be using the SmugMug Power plan. You will be able to try out the templates, upload photos into the galleries, buy prints and photographic products. You will not be able to sell your images at your own set price until you have the Portfolio plan / account.

Also the great thing about SmugMug is that, if you start off with a Power plan and upload all your photos and get the photos organised into galleries and folders and make a website. Then decided to upgrade to the Portfolio plan 6 months later to be able to sell images online. By upgrading your plan you are just adding extra powerful features to your original set up basically.

Step 6 - SmugMug Templates

There are over 21 stunning customisable templates available from SmugMug. You can use a template if you have the Power, Portfolio or Pro plan. From the dashboard click photo site then new site template. Choose a template and try it out.
The templates are easy to customise. For example once you choose the SmugMug template Jasper it is just a case of changing the photos to your own. The template Jasper uses SmugMug’s photo carousel from the customiser panel which is set at 66% for the height of the photos, this can be easily changed to suit you needs. 

(Above) SmugMug customisable template Jasper. Simple to use just add your own photos.

How to customise a SmugMug website template

Step 7 - Edit SmugMug Profile

At the top right of your screen on a desktop, you can edit your profile you can add a profile picture, a cover photo, add your social links and the email address needs to correct here for your contact form.
The account settings is where you can manage your subscription, pay for your plan and this is where you can upgrade your plan at any time if you want to. 

set up smugmug

Step 8 - Add a contact form to a SmugMug website

The video shows you how to change the settings for the contact form. The email address can changed and the profile photo. Also how to add the contact details to a website page and into the navigation menu.

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