Welcome to the New SmugMug – A True Game Changer

SmugMug Logo (Dark)As photographers, we are constantly looking for new ways to improve how our images are viewed on the internet. While many photographers have begun to choose to use Facebook, Google+ or 500px as their photo hosting site of choice, nothing beats having your own website. Unlike Facebook, a website is the one piece of the Internet that is truly yours. You control how it looks, how it functions and what features you want. This being said, creating your own photography site, let alone a truly custom and unique website, has always been an incredibly difficult task.

As many of you know, I have been an avid SmugMug user since August of 2011, utilizing their services to host both my Portfolio and Online Store sections of my website in the past. Previously, I had to hire a custom web designer to help me create the look and feel of my website, but those days are gone.

With that, I am happy to introduce the NEW SmugMug. A completely redesigned system, built from the ground up, that truly tries to rethink website creation for photographers, putting the power back in your hands!


I am now in the process of moving my entire website over to SmugMug’s new redesigned system.You can follow along with me over the next few weeks as I continue to fine tune on the new Colby Brown Photography website based purely off of the new SmugMug system (aside from my wordpress blog).

If you are interested in giving SmugMug a try after reading this blog post, you can use the discount code “colbybrown” to get an extra 20% discount.

SmugMug Website Design Themes

While the new SmugMug gives you an amazingly easy way to fully customize a website, you also have 23 themes to choose from as your base template for your website. Each design was created by the SmugMug team to showcase every pixel of your photograph. They’re not your standard template though. Rather, a design is a starting off point for you to personalize the look and feel of your SmugMug site.


SmugMug Themes for Websites
New SmugMug Themes/Templates to help you build your own website

Ultimately you have the way to truly brand your site the way you want it. You have control over an endless assortment of colors and accent colors, over 600 fonts and the ability to creatively build each page of your website. The possibilities are endless.

Colby Brown Site Branding

Gallery Styles

A great addition to the new SmugMug are two Pinterest-style Gallery styles called “Collage Landscape” and “Collage Portrait.” Besides making browsing totally addictive, this extra option gives me an extra lever of control in crafting a unique photo experience.

colby brown collage landscapes
New Gallery Styles

The New Lightbox

While the old SmugMug lightbox displayed images well, it wasn’t as functional as it could of been. The new Lightbox not only showcases a beautiful large version of the selected image, but it also gives the viewer the ability to purchase a print by adding it to the shopping cart right there in the same window.

The new image Lightbox that displays a single photo
The new image Lightbox that displays a single photo

Website Organizer

If you used SmugMug in the past, you would know that keeping your website and your images hosted on SM’s servers organized was a challenge. Not because the system didn’t have the funcationality, it was that the UI left much to be desired. With the new Organizer, everything is different. You can now quickly and seamlessly move, delete, copy and edit your photos, folders and pages in a single simple to use way. If I was to pick a favorite aspect of the new SmugMug, it would the new Organizer!

Colby Brown SmugMug Organizer

Web Page Creation

This is where the magic really happens with the new SmugMug redesign.

With the old SmugMug, you had to create the pages of your website by using HTML and custom CSS in an empty “Gallery”. It was crude but effective way to build a good looking website, but it still required that you knew web design and HTML coding. With the new SmugMug, you don’t need to write a single line of code. This is truly revolutionary!

To create my “Private Workshop” page below, I went through the following steps…

private workshop
Colby Brown Photography Private Workshop Page
  1. In the organizer, I created a top level folder called “Pages”. This folder contains all the folders, galleries, and pages that I use throughout my SmugMug site.
  2. I than created a sub-folder called “Private Workshops” under the “Pages” top level folder.
  3. In that folder I created a “Private Workshops Gallery” and a “Private Workshops” Page (The Gallery will host any images I put into the page).
  4. Once the page is created in the organizer, I simply clicked on the link in the organizer to get to the page, where I edited the page.
Colby Brown Page Creation 2
Step Three – Create a “Private Workshop” page
Colby Brown Page Creation 3
Step Two – Create a Folder

To edit the webpage, I went through the following four step process.

  1. Step one – I dragged and dropped the “Single Photo” Content Block to add the photo from the  “Private Workshops Gallery”.
  2. Step two – I dragged and dropped a “Text” Content Block to the right of the photo.
  3. Step Three – I entered the text.
  4. Step Four – I edited the link in your Nav Bar to direct to the New Page “Private Workshops”.
colby brown single photo private workshops
Step One – Add the main photo
Colby Brown Page Creation 5
Step Two – Add text to the page
Colby Brown Page Creation on SmugMug
Step Four – Nav Bar

Wrap Up

There is a lot to love when it comes to the new SmugMug. Not only do you have the ability to create a custom photography website, you no longer need to pay a web designer thousands of dollars to come up with something unique. The new tools and features are incredibly powerful and easy to use. On top of all this, the cost of using SM is staying the same. No new price increases for the four available account levels.

– Basic: $5/month or $40/year
– Power: $8/month or $60/year
– Portfolio: $20/month or $150/year
– Business: $35/month or $300.year

If you are interested in giving SmugMug a try,

you can use the code “colbybrown” to get 20% off any of the above user accounts.

To learn more about these new features and find out what this means for current and future SmugMug users, head on over to the SmugMug Blog and or check out the new “Get Started” video by SmugMug to help you get your feet wet with the new system tools and features. Until then, you can head to http://colbybrown.smugmug.com to follow along with me as I continue to fine tune my new SmugMug powered website built over the next few weeks.


About the Author

Upcoming Photo Workshop Adventures...

Discover Cuba

February 4th – 11th, 2024
With this adventure, our focus will be on capturing the beauty of the Cuban people, culture, and architecture throughout the Island of Cuba. From the classic cars and ocean side highways in Havana to the cobblestone streets of Trinidad and everything in between. With so much uncertainty in the US/Cuban relationship, NOW is the time to go!

Patagonia Photography Workshop Adventure

March 27th – April 5th, 2024
April 8th – 17th, 2024

Patagonia is one of the most wild, beautiful & dramatic mountain ranges on the planet. We split our time between the incredible Torres del Paine National Park in Southern Chile and Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, home to both Cerro Torre and Mt. Fitz Roy.

Wildlife Photography Workshop in Brazil Jaguars of the Pantanal

August 30th – Sept. 6th, 2023
The Pantanal region of Brazil is known as the land of the Jaguar. Nowhere else on Earth is there a higher concentration of these elusive big cats than this remote region of Southern Brazil, close to the Southern Amazon Basin. In addition to Jaguars, you will see Caimen, Capybara and a wide assortment of birds.

Leknes Northern Lights Lofoten Islands Norway Photo Workshop

Norway Photo Workshop – Lofoten Islands

February 24th – March 2nd, 2024
Join us this February as we explore this impressive series of Islands located above the Arctic Circle. While we will work hard to get you in the right spot for both sunrise and sunset, with over half the day steeped in darkness, we will make sure to chase any and all Aurora activity that presents itself throughout our time in the Lofoten Islands.

Leave a comment

Don't Miss out!

Join 34k other photographers who have signed up for my monthly Newsletter full of gear reviews, workshops announcements, giveaways & MORE!

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.