SmugMug launches totally redesigned website


Photo sharing site SmugMug has rolled out a totally redesigned website, which was ‘rebuilt from the ground up’. The look-and-feel of the site is radically different, and somewhat resembles the recently redesigned Flickr.  Some of the new features on Smugmug include a large selection of default templates for the consumer, plus the ability for pros to create their own custom designs. Finally, the design is now ‘responsive’, which means that it will display properly on all devices, from smartphone to computer. 

SmugMug charges between $40 and $300 per year for their service. If you want to customize the design – or sell your photos – you’ll need to pony up $150 yearly.

Press Release:

SmugMug Redesigns from the Ground Up

Photo-sharing Gets a Fresh, Modern Look and Feel

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 30, 2013 – SmugMug, the largest independent photo-sharing site in the world, unveiled a completely new version of its service today. Rather than upgrading the current site, co-founders Chris and Don MacAskill asked the SmugMug team to reinvent the entire experience.

“We saw this as an opportunity to combine what we’ve learned through our eleven years, and make SmugMug into what we always imagined it could be,” said Brian Strong, Lead Engineer at SmugMug.

What the company envisioned was a site with a fresh, modern look and feel. A site that offers gorgeous designs – right out of the box – with an easy way for all users to create their own unique style.

“We’ve built a product that’s not only the most stunning service you’ve ever seen, but offers unlimited personalization that the web has never seen,” said Don MacAskill, CEO and Chief Geek of SmugMug. “Alone among all the major photo-sharing services, we understand that photo-sharing doesn’t just begin and end with beautiful. It begins with stunning and ends with personal.”

The new SmugMug now offers:

1) Gorgeous Sites. Photo-sharing services have traditionally given users a standard template, so that everyone looked the same. The new SmugMug offers dozens of beautiful designs, with each one completely customizable.

2) Completely Customizable. SmugMug’s innovative Customizer makes web design unbelievably easy. Visual and interactive, it empowers anyone to quickly personalize their site.

3) Beautiful Everywhere. Every SmugMug site includes responsive design, so it adapts to any viewing screen – from smartphones to large monitors.

4) Easy Photo Management. The all new site Organizer makes it easy to manage thousands of files by dragging images into galleries, galleries into folders, and folders into folders, up to five levels deep.

See the new SmugMug in action!

  • See The New SmugMug launch video here:
  • See The Inspiration Behind The New SmugMug video here:
  • Check out the blog post announcement here:

Then, visit for a free 14-day trial. Membership starts at $5/month.

Additional Images:

One of the default consumer templates
A default Pro template
A custom Pro design




Very nice. If it wasn’t called SmugMug, I’d use it.


Having just tried to configure my account with the new look, I must say that I’m not enjoying the experience. It does not help that the samples of all their new “themes” use a variety of different (and beautiful) pictures, drawing my attention to the images rather than the layout. Had they used generic placeholder images for each sample, I could better see how they would look.

Just trying each theme is no good either since it displays the images I’ve most recently uploaded (even though those galleries are hidden). How does this improve my experience? I work with galleries, not individual images!

I can’t help thinking this is all for show and not for productivity.


very very nice I like it


everything is starting to look like 500px. I have 500px and flickr so I won’t jump on smugmug. But if I didn’t have any commitment to those other 2 then this is an good option. Selling high volume photo is were smugmug has been though. Iti sthat flickr forum is more interesting too, just way more people and physical people I know on there.


“This usually just takes a minute or two, but it could take longer. This page will automatically refresh when we’re finished, but feel free to browse to other web pages and come back later. We’ll also notify you via email when we’re done.”

Longer is right….3.5 hrs and counting. Also, as Flickr now has no limits, I can’t see many reasons to pay 40$/year for few more features. Looks nice, but not 40$ nicer to me.

John McCormack

The Slideshow module in the new version doesn’t show captions for my images and copying the Slideshow link for emailing to others results in a display of the OLD slideshow module – which does display captions. Hopefully, this is just a bug for now. I sent an email to the Help desk about this. And, yes, I have published my site officially.


The new SmugMug is awesome and it’s finally up to level of the best portfolio sites. I can’t wait to update my site. I’m sure with everyone rushing out to make the changes it’s probably putting a tremendous pressure on their servers.

Nathaniel George Weir

Words cannot describe how excited this smug mug update makes me feel 😀 hahahh!!!! For once I will be proud and excited about my business account website and there are so many templates that I wish I could change it every day haha! Anyways wish I could talk more about the website, got to get back to designing the website again 🙂


You may want to edit that link if it goes to that “business” account. Otherwise that could be considered spam.


In my experience the redesign is a disaster, because it breaks the continuity with the old site and there is no obvious way to keep the structure. if you have large heavily structured site, you need to essentially rebuild from the ground up. For a pro-oriented site this is rather amateurish. The customization instructions also are not very clear.


How much experience have you had with it? I did not see a link to your site in your profile.

Kinematic Digit

I almost left Smug Mug and they seemed to have addressed my number one concern (they also gave me a wicked discount for my pro account).

Yes price is up there, but if you need to make micro client sites, this is about the best game out there. Now it’s even easier.

I hope the ecomm side of it has been improved as well. Much better than 500px in that regards, but a little confusing from the client side of things.


Anyone using Pbase that has switched to Smugmug? I have been with Pbase for years and their templets are sad and limited, perhaps it’s time for a change.


I was with Pbase for a couple of years and changed to Smugmug about four years ago, mainly because I didn’t like Pbase’s GUI at the time. I was now tempted to move to 500px but this new Smugmug will definitely avoid me to do that!


Pbase is a good site, or better said, was a good site. It is fast to use, but, it is showing clearly that those who run it have no more interest, except making money. No good predefined templates, no updates of the camera database, except sometimes for Nikon Gear. I loved to find a camerabrand and type, look at full sized shots to get an idea of the quality, but all that is over, since many years, Pbase does nuts on their platform to keep it up to date.

So, I seriously seek for another platform, and my main concern is speed, I live in the jungle, and here, Internet is similar to what it was when we connected by phone, 25 years ago. One of the reasons why i asked DPR why we have to click 3 to 4 times and change the page to see finally what we look for. Not all of us use Gigabit dsl connections. I can get a coffee between every page I open. Flickr is the most horrible, i wait sometimes more than 15 minutes to see one picture.

Michael Foran

Thank God. Their site was the WORST. I haven’t tried the new site but anything has to be better.


For a 27 minute launch Press Release video.. see here:


Any opinions on how it compares to Zenfolio?

Bill Bentley

Zenfolio has more themes but they all pretty much look alike to me. Smugmug has a very nice array of themes. I think if you are going to be paying a significant amount of money for hosting at one of these sites it comes down to who has the best print sales solution from front to back. Smugmug seems to have done quite well in that regard over the years.


I like zenfolio more because it is simple and very good for amateurs and professionals. they made good changes in the past and I hope they stay because I like the good possibilities to include my photos from zenfolio in other websites because you can work with watermark in a very intelligent way and the shop is fine too.

John De Bord Photography

Been with zenfolio for years and love it & they haven’t screwed their customers like smugmug has either with price increases.


Obvious question: how does it compare to

Bill Bentley

From the looks of it Smugmug have 24 portfolio templates. 500px just has 7. They have been very slow in bringing new ones out. I bought a 500px membership when they had their New Year 50% off promo. It’s been okay, but I won’t be renewing. I’ve actually started using my Flikr account again after about a 5 year hiatus.


Kinda depends on what you want. 500px is probably stronger for portfolios and “community” (people leaving token “Great Shot!” comments just so they can leave a spammy link to their pics).

But Smugmug has a much deeper feature set that isn’t obvious from the surface view. If you are selling or doing jobs/events for clients, 500px isn’t even in the same league.


They’re currently in maintenance mode at the moment. Some bugs to work out I guess.


OK it’s back up now 😉 Still tweaking my site. Lots of nice features and easier to customize.


The image hosting sites all seem to be determined to stuff things up. Flickr is a disaster now, for instance.

Bill Bentley

Funny, I never liked Flickr until they just completed their recent overhaul. Now I’m back on there. The pictures are displayed much better now imo. Overall it’s quite similar to 500px imo. I’m sure that was who they were trying to copy.


A bit pricey for my taste: PORTFOLIO – $150/yr


15TB free storage space+weird interface vs cool looks+paid service.


I’m enjoying the update, even for my $40 basic account. Looks much better than it did before. However, though more attractive, the interface is a little laggy and not entirely intuitive (though that hasn’t changed).


I like it! Sure beats writing custom HTML code to set up custom banners and stuff. Well done!


Sites on pBase always look better to me. They have a real photo interface that it seems users can customize well?


No, PBase is in the dark ages of the Web. Smugmug customization controls have always been far ahead of PBase. More options. With the redesign, Smugmug is now up to current HTML5 Web standards. PBase is still stuck in the 2000s.


> Smugmug is now up to current HTML5 Web standards

Right. When it loads, it looks like crap (areas and text overlapping each other), and still no way to bookmark a specific image. No, thanks. I will take pbase in a heartbeat.


Looks similar to Flickr.


Looks really nice. Dare I say it’s what Flickr should have been.


Looks like a nice update making it easier to build and maintain a site. This said, I think $300 a year plus 15% or thereabouts commission paid back each sale to SmugMug is a bit excessive. Of course, if you’re generating a lot of business $300 is nothing in the grand scheme of things. I wasn’t selling $300 a year in prints so it was a no brainer for me, I nixed my site.


Personal custom site is $60/yr, Pro Site is $150/yr and Corporate Site is $300/yr and a Basic Site is only $40/yr.

The $60/yr site is great and the $150/yr site gives you pretty well everything you would need with the exception of allowing custom marketing tools, client login access to the whole site and a couple other minor items.


Only issues with that thing is that there are free services.. maybe not always better, but when its free..

Peter A. Stavrakoglou

I really like the changes they’ve made. Now, if I could only access my SmugMug homepage then I could check out the customization features. Maybe their servers are overwhelmed at the moment.

Mark B.

The full Business option used to be $150 up until last fall. They doubled the price and renamed it; then added the $150 Portfilio.


Can’t even use Enable right-click protection on your images in Basic subscription? So any photos I post can be stolen? No thanks!


I have had smugmug for about 8 years , I had a look at new but it was all a bit frustrating trying to sort it out so my just stay with the old as i like it and it works .

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