2018 December 10th at 4:53
During the rise in digital photography, SmugMug gave the people what they wanted - a safe and trusted place where they could store their photographs.
In fact, by the early 2000s, they had built systems to store billions of photographs secure in the cloud so they’d be safe forever.
In my SmugMug review, you'll find out whether they have since built the perfect platform to fulfill all of your website building needs.
First Look - What is SmugMug?
SmugMug is a code-free website builder that claims to let you create a web portfolio every bit as professional as an original code-built site.
Getting started is easy, they offer a 14-day free trial with no credit card required. After signing up, I had the choice of a small number of templates (around 10). Unlike Wix, who offers a whopping 300+ templates, this is fairly disappointing from SmugMug.
Each SmugMug template is perfectly formed, fully customizable and mobile responsive. SmugMug allows you to create and share galleries on the go, with its free mobile portfolio.
This caused me a few problems, just as it likely will for anyone else who prefers a drag-and-drop editor.
On the other hand, the SmugMug organizer does follow a drag-and-drop system. Which allows you to manage your photos, galleries, folders, and settings with ease.
Before reviewing SmugMug, I was familiar with their support features as I had used this product before. And personally, I have not a bad word to say about its support. It's 24/7, and it's heroic - as they say...
Overall, I am impressed with SmugMug's performance. It looks good, has a lot to offer to help you grow your business, and each plan is a fair price. However, the flaws in its editing process are a problem, and there isn't a free plan option either.
SmugMug vs Squarespace
In terms of price, SmugMug offers more flexible packages than Squarespace. In terms of a user-friendly website builder, Squarespace offers a better performance. It was a lot easier to customize your website using Squarespace, and they have a greater number of themes.
At first glance, SmugMug and Squarespace offer similar support, but when testing them personally the response was quicker from Squarespace.
SmugMug offers its clients two subscription options: monthly, and annually. If you want to save money, it's best to choose the annual subscription.
The per month price plans range from $5.99 to $41.99, depending on which package you choose. Paying annually will save you 33%.
|Number of Templates||9||21+||21+||21+|
|HTML and CMS customization||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Support||24/7 Support||24/7 Support||24/7 Support||24/7 Support|
|Watermarks to protect images||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Ads and Spam||No||No||No||No|
Unlike Wix and Weebly, there is no free plan available. For $5.99 though, SmugMug offers a lot for the price. However, if you require your own professional website with a custom domain - I would avoid this package.
For most, the power plan offers the best value for money. You get all of the templates, optional CSS and HTML customization - and use of your own custom domain for $8.99 month-to-month.
If you want the storefront and eCommerce optimized galleries, the portfolio package is for you. Priced at $23.99 month-to-month, it has everything you need to build your portfolio and growth in sales.
I would recommend the portfolio plan to small businesses or businesses only.
The most costly plan, priced at $41.99 per month, even offers the option to gift wrap items to customers who order from your site.
With the pro plan, you can also create custom pricelists and coupons to accommodate clients.
To complete the performance of SmugMug, I ran some tests to check how well It performs in the speed field.
These are rather average results from SmugMug, performing great in the USA but a little bit lacking in other regions all around the globe. At least the response times are consistent and the speed in Japan is similar to Europe or Australia.
SmugMug Review - Final Thoughts
SmugMug is a good choice of website builder for users who are just starting out or looking to grow their business. On the other hand, in comparison to Wix and Squarespace - SmugMug falls short.
At times, SmugMug performs very well. They offer lower priced packages with a good amount of features. However, to get the best out of SmugMug, you will need a little patience, and a little bit more cash.
If you do try SmugMug, please feel free to leave your own SmugMug reviews and experiences below.
- Fair-priced plans
- 24/7 support
- Optional HTML and CSS customization
- No free plan
- Lack of templates
- Customization isn't intuitive
Disclosure: We earn a commission if you make a purchase through referral links in this review. This helps to cover the expenses for running ongoing performance tests.