Monday, August 5, 2013

Giving the SmugMug Another Chance

I've been playing around with the new SmugMug site...and I like it! It still has a few things that could function better, that I talk about below, but it's a vast improvement over the old site. 

I used to use Smug Mug a couple of years ago, but shut it down as it was so cumbersome to manage, and the format was little pedestrian.

Now it's so much easier to use with the new features launched last week. Here are few of my favourites:

New Design Themes - very professional looking, especially the way your photos are automatically set up; you don't really have to think
Organization - really easy to re-sort and organize your photos, just a simple drag and drop
Content Blocks - relatively easy to customize your site; you can create your own page from a blank slate even within a Theme
Simple and Clean- the look and feel is simple and clean across the board
Mobile - looks great on a mobile device, and I also did some customization on my iPad

However, there were a few niggly things that drove me slightly nuts (SmugMug in case your listening):

It was a little difficult to figure how to do some things using the Help options. This is not due to lack of information, but rather the opposite with too much information, which makes is hard to sort through when you're looking for a quick answer. Thankfully it was +Trey Ratcliff to the rescue for me with his video giving a peek behind the kimono of how he set up his site. Thanks Trey!

Also, the Help link doesn't open in a new tab or window. I didn't realize this until I was 4 or 5 links deep in the Help section, found what I needed, but then realized that I had left my site a few exits back. I solved it by opening another tab myself after I realized this, but it's a pretty easy fix.

OK, you've just spent some time customizing your site and set up your menu, inserted a logo, and configured your social buttons. Then you decide to try a different Theme only to find that your logo, menu and social button settings didn't carry over. You have to configure each of them again in the new Theme.

I know this seems like a small thing, but once you have these foundational pieces configured it would be nice if they carried over into the different Themes so you don't have to duplicate effort.

As I said, pretty niggly things that I experienced, but overall SmugMug got a lot of things right here! My site link is below, and I'm going to keep playing with a few different designs. But I think it's time to give SmugMug another chance.