October 24, 2008

SmugMug – Your Photos and Videos Look Better Here


The web is becoming more media rich by the day and an example of this is With existing photo management sites like Flickr and Picasa, what does SmugMug have to offer? At first glance, you might think it’s digital quality. The basic feeling of the site is that SmugMug is the HDTVof photo sites. But SmugMug offers that and considerably more.

Other photo sharing sites are more limited than SmugMug in how photos are displayed. You’ll notice that every Flickr page is identical, whereas SmugMug allows the user to customize a page. However, this is slightly complicated currently, as it requires understanding HTML coding, and could be made simpler for novices through a more visual interface.

SmugMug also allows users to display photos as thumbnails, images, slideshow, or a journal, which makes it a prime candidate for photo-blogging. If you’re not using the site to share photos publicly, there are enhanced security settings. Otherwise the site lets viewers download and make high-quality prints.

Practical Uses:

  • Create a professional portfolio for your amateur photography business
  • Make some extra money by easily selling prints via your SmugMug website
  • Share the photos of Greece with your family, friends, and the world
  • Create a more unique photo sharing site by customizing your page design

Insider Tips:

  • Learn something about HTML to manipulate each page. Currently, there’s no template support – you can only change the color of the background. However, you can change the HTML or add JavaScript to a page
  • Become a part of the community. There are lots of different groups: Nature Lovers, Sports Images, etc.
  • The SmugMug site is iPhone compatible, so you can upload iPhone pictures directly

What we liked:

  • It’s very sleek and photos appear of the highest quality
  • User-friendly interface. Best feature: the ability to drag and drop photos into an album, rather than having to slowly upload photos
  • A variety of presentation styles: with text, a slide show, small thumbnails, and others
  • Very good selection of editing tools, so if you are uploading straight from a camera or iPhone, you can do a lot of retouching on the site
  • The ability to have a custom URL (such as
  • It’s a nice, family-run company

What we didn’t like:

  • It’s rather costly: $29.95/year. That’s not a huge sum, but there are alternatives which are free
  • You can only change between a black and white background unless you manipulate the HTMLfor a page
  • You cannot embed photos on another site, which is one of the main selling points of photo sites like Flickr or Photobucket


Company Info:

  • Launched: 2002
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Mountain View, CA
  • Founded by: Chris MacAskill and Don MacAskill
  • Web site:


  • $29.95/year


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