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Insights & Thoughts

SmugMug Unveils New Design To Attract Beginners And Pros Alike

By Matthew Saville on July 30th 2013

This morning Smugmug unveiled their new website, which is a complete top-to-bottom redesign of their entire interface.  You can watch a replay of the live stream by clicking the image below.  (Or, to view another live broadcast that will be a review / demonstration of Smugmug‘s new features, click HERE to visit Trey Ratcliff’s separate broadcast which will go live at 7 PM pacific time.)

new-smugmug

This massive update has been long-awaited, and comes hot on the heels of a significant face-lift from Flickr and other sites that sport the next generation “look” – full-screen, mobile-friendly, and image-centric.  Clean layouts with a collage-style theme, basically.

In many ways, this pushes Smugmug back to the forefront of the photo hosting business. Of course the industry is incredibly vast, and whether or not Smugmug is right for you depends on your needs and goals as a photographer.  Many people are comparing Smugmug to Flickr right now, mostly just because Flickr recently released a similar next-gen interface and a free 1TB account.  However Flickr barely begins to scratch the surface of professional options and therefore isn’t really the best comparison, especially for profit-generating tools such as print sales and the like.  Not to mention, Flickr has taken a Facebook-style approach to personalization, themes, and professional branding:  There is none!

Smugmug does have some pretty steep competition, especially for pro photographers, from hosts like Pictage and Zenfolio.  However the features and pricing from each seem to put them all in slightly different markets, each with advantages or features that the others don’t offer.

If you’re more interested to explore the new features, and get info so you can compare photo hosts, visit smugmug.com or hop on over to their press release blog post HERE, or feel free to leave your comments here!

Example Designs

Smugmug has allowed a handful of very talented photographers to play around with the new design for a while, and the results are truly gorgeous!

Stuck In Customs (Trey Ratcliff)

The two best things about Smugmug? Beauty and Flexibility. It’s like dating a hot yoga instructor.

stuckincustoms-smugmug

Andy Williams (Moon River Photography)

andy-williams-smugmug

Benjamin Von Wong is also testing out the new Smugmug – Read Benjamin’s blog opinion on the new Smugmug HERE.

von-wong-smugmug-1

 Here’s a brief introduction to the new Smugmug interface by Benjamin Von Wong:

More Discussion

In a previous article we already discussed the history of Smugmug as a hosting company, their competition, and the recent “rocky road” to this present update.  (Read that article HERE.)

Suffice it to say, the new Smugmug is an incredible leap forward, and solid proof that they can set and achieve very high goals when it comes to pleasing their customers. Considering that they are one of the oldest companies in the photo hosting business, it is safe to assume that they will continue to set lofty goals, and to reach them.

As a full-time wedding photographer, I am also hoping that we will soon see a few changes to the back-end infrastructure, especially for some of the top-tier pro features such as event marketing and keyword-based sorting for high-volume galleries such as weddings.

Take care, and happy clicking!
=Matthew Saville=

Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

Follow his personal wilderness adventures: Astro-Landscapes.com

See some of his latest wedding photography featured on: LinandJirsa.com

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Konstantin

    Hey, Matthew, I have a few questions to better understand the conclusion.
    What’s wrong with event marketing on Smug? You can create an album, and give people a link they can find their photos and order them? What more do you need?
    Also I think “smart filters” may be the answer to the second request in your conclusion.

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