Main Photo Site and Galleries

Customizing SmugMug

Check it out: My new-look SmugMug site!

First, a confession: Outside of a few basic html commands, I don't know shit from shinola when it comes to computer coding. The problem, in short, is that I'm just not very smart -- which poses a certain challenge when creating a unique photo website to hawk images and other photo-related merchandise.

On the plus side, I'm not entirely stupid either.

I signed on with SmugMug last year because their photo hosting website does two things that Flickr doesn't allow: you call sell photos and photo-related merchandise for a profit on SmugMug and you can also customize their site. I also have found that some images look better on SmugMug than Flickr.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not Flickr bashing. It's a great site, affordable and it's both fun and easy to share photos with many talented photographers. My partner and I share an account that we use to store pretty much everything. Flickr is also a lot cheaper than SmugMug: $25 a year versus $150 or $300 a year for SmugMug (it's $300 if you want more control over pricing). 

As for SmugMug, I've sold a few images but never got around to really changing the look of my page. With some time over the holidays, I fetched a few beers and plopped myself down in front of the iMac. In only a few hours time, I was able to do a simple redesign of my SmugMug site that, I hope, better highlights my photography.

A few tips that may be helpful to those who also want to tackle SmugMug:

•The easy customizer is, in fact, pretty easy. There's no coding involved. The big thing I did to my page was add a header ("Steve Hymon Photography") and NavBar.

•A photographer named Ryan Oakley has created a series of eight videos that helped guide me through some basic customizations -- I used most of his suggestions, including a nice tip on how to create an "About Me" page within SmugMug's framework (see video #7). You Rule, Ryan!

•There's also a ton of customization tips/help on SmugMug's "Digital Grin" message boards, including this post that explains how to add a bigger, faster slide show to your home page. This involves cutting and pasting some coding into SmugMug's advanced customizer -- but you don't have to understand what you're doing. Just cut-and-paste, baby. 

This thread on Digital Grin explains how to set up a separate galleries page that you can link to from the NavBar. Again, it involves some basic cutting-and-pasting. The goal here is to simplify your home page. In the past, my homepage was cluttered with a slideshow, a bio, featured galleries and a long list of other galleries, as well as a map. I chunked all that stuff in favor of a simple header, NavBar and larger slideshow; the NavBar now guides visitors to the gallery categories on a separate page. 

•I'll save you the trouble of searching for the CSS code to get rid of the "map this" button on your homepage. Cut and paste the following into the CSS box in the advance customizer:

.map_this {display:none}

My new SmugMug page is still very basic. It's possible to do far more than what I've done. Still, I'm as pleased as a pickle in a hot dog factory. My new site is basic but unique and (I hope) shows that I'm serious about my photography. 

Take a look and if you see anything too vomitous, let me know! 

P.S. If you're interested in joining SmugMug, click here. Or enter this coupon code when signing up: 0X3HaXryxrefE


1 comment:

  1. Hey Steve. Thanks for the nice comment about my SmugMug tutorial. Glad it helped you - way back when. :)