SmugMug: A potent offering for viewing and selling your photos online

smugmugPeriodically, I’ll get a question like, “What’s the best solution for selling my photos?” Actually, this was one of my first big assignments at my day gig.

After doing some research on paid and free offerings, I settled on SmugMug, and I fully endorse these folks for hosting and photo reprint fulfillment.

Among the many features they offer, here’s just a sampling:

  • Great looking online photo galleries for your pics.
  • Photo privacy which includes password protection.
  • Unlimited storage. Yes…unlimited.
  • Sell your photos for profit (Pro Subscribers only).
  • Extensive selection of reprint sizes and gifts. Want that great picture on a mug? They can do that.
  • Video (Power and Pro Subscribers only). Maybe not as useful as YouTube or Vimeo, but a nice touch.
  • Album and gallery themes.
  • Slideshows.
  • A robust forum community and attentive support.

I could go on, but you get the idea. What’s the catch? While they do offer a 14-day trial offer, their only offerings are paid annual subscriptions. The Standard subscription is $39.95, Power is  $59.95, and the Pro is $149.95. Frankly, these are reasonable prices, especially if you have gigabytes of hi-res photos. And if you think photo sales are likely, the Pro subscription should be a no-brainer.

Regarding online photo sales, it doesn’t get any better than this. Your site visitors get an incredibly simple purchase and checkout process, cropping options (other services drop the ball here), and a huge selection of reprint sizes. They also offer great photo types; lustre, glossy, matte, and metallic. In our 2 years with SmugMug, we’ve never had a complaint with quality either.

Another nice touch is the site customization options. They offer an ‘Easy Customizer’ tool to change the look of your site, but if you have just a bare minimum of HTML and CSS skills, you can heavily modify almost all aspects of the site.

Every so often I have a question on something, and my emails to help@smugmug.com are quickly answered. They also run a community forum where you can find great ideas on how to use your site.

I’d be remiss for not extolling the beauty of your photos on the site. They look simply incredible. Your visitors also have the ability to share your photos via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

If you are a pro photographer, you’ll appreciate the ability to ‘password protect’ certain galleries and albums. Another nice touch is the ability to ‘right-click‘ protect your photos. This prevents people from just downloading what they see on their screen.

SmugMug is a powerful online solution for hosting and selling your photos, and has too many features to list here. If you’re in the process of deciding on a solution, try out their 14-day trial. You won’t regret it.

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Author:Craig Berry

Craig Berry is a Catholic web developer and musician.
Connect with him online.
  • http://www.jonathanfsullivan.com/ Jonathan F. Sullivan

    Back when I was a fledgling webmaster Sitepoint was an invaluable resource for practical, how-to advice. Glad to see they are still going strong!