As a photographer, I use many tools everyday to help my business run. One of those tools SmugMug, a client proofing site for photographers. I have used SmugMug for over 2 years and so far am happy with the platform as a whole. Here is my small list of pros and cons on using SmugMug.
1) SmugMug is simple to use from the beginning. I signed up and had my first gallery up in 10 minutes. I like their hierarchy of file handling. I can quickly access any image that is on my website. Very Organized and easy to use. Client galleries are simple to use. Unlimited Photo uploads I can add photos directly from Lightroom.
2) Selling is easy and the labs that they use are phenomenal. There are several print options available and it is up to you to create your collections. I have ordered several prints and canvases and have been extremely happy with the product. They came in no more than a week and lustre finish makes my images pop. As a portrait photographer, great prints are of the utmost importance.
3) SmugMug’s themes are clean and responsive. Despite my lack of design know-how, I am able to improve my website without the need of a designer. This has been huge for me as my website isn’t exactly the way I want it yet.
1) The customizable website, for me, has been a headache. It is a little too cookie-cutter for me. See Number 3 above and my lack of design. I also hired someone with a lack of design experience but that’s another blog. 🙂 The shopping cart is still the old black SmugMug interface making it look old and outdated. I wish I could change this part as well.
2) SmugMug has a special feature that allows clients to choose their favorite images from their personal gallery. When they choose their favorites, those images are collected and sent back to my Lightroom. I have set up several galleries to try this feature out and have had no luck. The SmugMug Hero’s have gone above and beyond to help me but this feature still doesn’t work for me. If any of you have experience with this, please fill me in. I have done everything I have been told to get this to work but with no luck. Once this gets fixed for me, I can give a 5-star review.
3) Recently I have noticed that my SEO is lacking severely on my actual website. I keep getting punished by Google for having repetitive keywords. Keywords and SEO are very hard to maintain in SmugMug. I haven’t been able to get the URLs right on my images. The SmugMug site states that they have a robust SEO section but I have not seen that work for me. I have tweaked my metas and keywords with no luck. This may be user error so I won’t completely hold this against SmugMug. SmugMug heroes, if you are reading this, I need help with this part. I am very frustrated with this.
SmugMug isn’t perfect but it suits my business needs. More than likely I will stay with SmugMugs proofing but I must design my page on my WordPress.