How to Create a Gorgeous Photography Website with SmugMug in 90 Minutes – A Complete Step-By-Step Tutorial

2016-02-25 3-45-05 PM

20% Off SmugMug Coupon*

If you are interested in getting started today with SmugMug use the link below to save 20% off ANY of their packages. That will save you money on an already affordable product. You’ll love it!

SmugMug – 20% Off <<– Use this special link to get 20% off your new SmugMug account!

*Already in the 14 day free trial? Shucks, the 20% discount link above only works for brand new signups. Maybe if you haven't started working on your new SmguMug site you could delete it and start a new site using the link above so you can save some money.

Which package should you get?  I suggest either of the SmugMug Pro packages (Portfolio or Business) because I've found it relatively easy to sell enough prints through my SmugMug site to cover the cost of my SmugMug subscription. That's a win-win. :)

Creating my photography website has been one of the best decisions I have made for my business. Ever. Since creating in 2005:

  • I have had a “home” for my images (backed-up, secure, and on display to the world)
  • I am able to direct friends, family (and eventually clients) to my photography website for them to experience my photos the way I want them to be experienced (ad free and without facebook clutter!)
  • I was able to sell my first prints – which led to my second sale, and my third and the eventual launch of my part-time photography business.
  • I have a website to make client images available for viewing, sharing, and purchasing prints and other products – for profit.
  • I have become more confident in my photography. It has been the perfect stepping stone to conquering my fears about what I can product and how I can offer my services to clients.

As a part-time business owner, my website is my storefront. It's where people find out that I exist, and that I offer a valuable service. It's also where they decide if they want to hire me — or not.

It's incredible, and I get a lot of emails from people that either love my photos, love my website, or both. And that is so cool.

Do you really need me to convince you any further? Now is the time to build your website and this post is here to help you make it happen.

Now about this tutorial…

Course Objectives: Mission Possible: Build your very own custom photography website in as short amount of time as possible.

Course Requirements: Nadda, Zip, Zilch — You don't need know ANYTHING about web design or website creation to complete this course. Yippee!

OK, I'm Ready to Take the Course. Let's Do This!

Certainly, just follow me…

Wait, Can I See What My Final Website Will Look Like?

Sure! Check out the demo site – (it's a fake site, clearly) :)

All right. Let's get started!

SmugMug Tutorial Testimonial

Step 1: Sign Up With SmugMug and Upload Our First Gallery

In this video, we'll create our SmugMug account (if you haven't done so already), and create our first gallery – filling it with beautiful images.

Step 2: Upload a few more galleries and create our Portfolio gallery

In this video, we'll fill out our site by creating a few more galleries and uploading more photos. I'll show you how to use the “Quick Settings” feature in SmugMug. Then we'll use the best photos from each gallery to create our very important (and impressive) Portfolio gallery. And we'll be using a secret SmugMug ninja trick to create our Portfolio. That's right – Secret. Ninja. Trick. :)

Step 3: Setup Our Site Settings, Create the Menu Bar and Social Media Profile

Step 3 is about creating our profile and site settings so things just “work” in the later steps.

Step 4: Customizing Our SmugMug Website

In Step 4 we get to have some fun while we customize the look and feel of our website using SmugMug's New “Drag and Drop” customization tools. It's what you've been waiting for I know! No coding, no special skills required. Just follow along and have fun.

Using SmugMug’s new “drag and drop” customization tools we'll make the following changes to your website:

  • Adjust the color of our default “Ludwig” theme
  • Create the homepage slideshow
  • Add a text block (customer quote) under the homepage slideshow
  • Design the Header section – stacked and centered
  • Customize the other page types by removing unwanted content blocks and adjusting the margins

Step 5: Create Our “Work With Me” Page and Contact Form

In this step, we'll create a special page on our website which will provide information about you, the photographer, your services, and client testimonials.

This is where you sell yourself – to hopefully get people to contact you (through our fancy contact form) and attract more business!

  • Get your own custom domain name ( instead of at (yes, they sell .com’s as well as .ca’s and .net’s, etc.).

Bonus Step: The Zen of Pricing Our Photos in SmugMug

In this bonus video, I show you how to simplify the pricing options for both you and your clients to maximize sanity and profits.

So there you have it

I truly hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I spent over 30 hours putting this tutorial together for you and I know it’ll help you fast-track your way to a successful website.

If it has helped you in any way, please do me a favor and let me know in the comments section below and also share this tutorial using the social media buttons at the side of this post. Thank you!!

Cheers, and I’ll see you and your website on the world wide web very soon!

P.S. For those of you who just “scanned” to the bottom of this page (yeah, you!), let me lay it out plain for ya:

  • If you doubt SmugMug – just remember that there is a 14 day free trial. It takes seconds to sign up – and if it's not for you, you'll know it in 14 days and you can just let it go. No strings attached. And if it's good enough for these photographers, it might be good enough for you too!
  • If you doubt my tutorial – just have a browse through the comments below. The videos work, they help, and they don't cost a thing but a little bit of your time. But trust me – it can save you WEEKS of work to get you to a site you love.
  • If you doubt the end result of the SmugMug site I help you create – No worries! We all have our preferences. But if you're still looking at using SmugMug, make sure you use my SmugMug link to save 20%.
  • If you doubt SmugMug and the tutorial – I still love ya. No hard feelings. :)

Please share your thoughts or questions on the tutorial in the comments below. As you can see, I reply to every comment – sometimes faster than you can believe!

I'd love to hear from you.

Create a Gorgeous Photography Website with SmugMug
Create a Gorgeous Photography Website with SmugMug

Easy to follow screencasts with step-by-step instructions for creating your own custom photography website.


  1. Hey Ryan,

    great tutorial – it helped me a lot!
    But i have problem. I created a Menu-Link called prints.. i added a gallery which i named prints and linked it to the Menu-Link prints. After that i customized the gallery and made all settings as i want but if i click on preview the print Page i not in the Menu bar and it cant be seen. What should i do so solve this problem?

  2. I was wondering how can I add a functionality for my client to proof their photos and call for action buttons?

    • Hi Naj. So I’m not exactly sure what you’re looking for. But SmugMug does have a feature called “Events”. This is a Business account feature and it allows you to give your clients a bit more control of their viewing experience. They can favourite photos and make their own space around that. Then they can also purchase prints. It’s pretty cool. Learn more about Events here –

  3. Ryan,
    Fantastic video series thank you.
    One issue that I cannot solve and it will prevent me from moving forward with smugmug is getting the Buy button eliminated from Gallery view. Shopping is turned off in the Organizer for each Gallery but the Buy buttong still shows up in every gallery when the site is published. i have looked on the internet and otehres seem to have this problem as well. How do i get rid of it?

    • Hi Tom,
      Glad you found the tutorial helpful. :)
      So I think what’s happening is that you’re seeing the “BUY” button because you are logged in to your SmugMug site. Try logging off and going to that gallery again and seeing if that Buy button is now gone. If that doesn’t work, send me an email through the contact page and I’ll help you sort it out.

  4. Hi Ryan! Excellent tutorials. You are the perfect example of what to do so people use your affiliate link. If I sign up for SmugMug I will definitely use your link! Super happy with all you share. I immediately signed up for your list.

    I have completely ruled out FAA for numerous reasons including the lack of flexibility to offer only certain products, the complete disregard of the years of concerns and requests by artists over there about protecting images with watermarks in any serious way if the artist wants to use them, as well as the many, many stories of unequal and unfair treatment of artists who are not in the inner circle. I want a professional solution, not a company with pervasive discrimination (of any kind). Was feeling like going it on my own site was looking like the only solution. Your detailed posts and tutorials have given me renewed hope that there is another faster and fair option before my own stand alone art sales site.

    I have two questions. I am an artist and I love that you get to choose which products you offer on SmugMug.
    I was wondering if you can choose product per gallery or if you have to offer all you choose in every gallery. I was lovin’ your mention of the web optimized images and wanted to create a product series just for that and only offer the web res images for them. Is that possible?

    Secondly, have you ever ordered the same print from BayPhoto and WHC to compare quality. I know you mention above that you had not at the time of this tutorial. Has that changed? Can you compare and contrast now or did I miss that somewhere?

    Thank you so much for this excellent information.

    • Hi Taylor,
      Thanks for the comment and the kind words.
      Regarding your questions:
      1. You can choose different products/pricelists for each gallery if you have a Business Account with SmugMug.
      2. I have still not tried WHC to compare quality. BayPhoto has just been dandy for me. It would be nice to see a comparison though. :)
      Hope that helps!

  5. Loving all the info. THANK YOU!! I still have no idea how I can add all the fancy forms I have though, Where can I upload a contract or client questionnaire or other paperwork that my clients need? I made a tab called forms and my drop down menu lists each one, but how in the heck do I get my psd file onto the page i created in smug mug? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Im guessing I have to embed it as code?

  6. Thank you, Ryan! This was a fantastic video series and leapfrogged me WAY ahead in the process to having a nice, clean photography site. There were a few differences in your video and what I had on SmugMug, but I’m assuming it’s either because I don’t have the Business account or perhaps a different software version, but I was able to figure all those things out. I set it up the same as the tutorial and have some changes to make, but at least I feel like I know how to do them quickly and easily now. I really appreciate you sharing your expertise. Thanks again!

  7. Many thanks for preparing this tutorial Ryan. I am just a stay at home mum/amateur photographer and I’m digitising all my late Mother’s collection of photos for future generations. I came across Smugmug and decided it was the best way to share the digitised photos with the extended family and future generations.
    However I was having a real struggle trying to get my head round where to start and your tutorial has given me the overview I needed to get started. There is a lot of very detailed videos from smugmug on levels of security etc but no overview like you have done.
    I would really have liked to give you something in the way of signing up for smugmug for all the effort you put in but I have already signed up. Could I renew using one of your codes – let me know if I can do this.
    Anyway I was really worried about posting up all the family photos and then if something happened to me they would have no clue how to access and manage all the photos uploaded to smugmug. I will definitely leave a note with my will referring my kids to your tutorial! Many thanks once again. You’ve done a great job and also saved me a lot of time and stress. Cheers Karin

  8. Pete Cornwell says:

    Thanks Ryan, a great tutorial – I think that smugmug has changed a bit since, but the options were easy to find regardless. I found it very informative and useful as I design my own site. Very clear, well produced, an invaluable resource. You rock.

  9. What was just my hobby and love of photography was growing rapidly and was getting hard to manage without having a website. You are totally a lifesaver and I seriously could not have done my website without you! There are a few things I’m trying to figure out, like how to make the portfolio page with separate galleries related to what people are looking for, instead of a collage, but it’s so minor compared to what the task used to be.

    I can’t thank you enough for putting up a helpful tutorial for people to understand!

  10. Well done Thomas looks great.. wish I would’ve seen this when I started my photography website

  11. Hi Ryan
    Thank you for your tutorial. It was a real lifesaver for me and with it was able to set up our website. I do have a question however. My header section (Name, Menu and Icons) does not scroll up with the pages throughout the site. Is there a way to unfreeze it so it doesn’t overlap the photos?

  12. Hey, this was a great tutorial. Creating my own site would have been completely overwhelming and way more time consuming if I didn’t have your videos.

    I was wondering, how important is it to have your own domain name? For example: VS

    Does it improve SEO to purchase your own domain name? Or or does it simply look more professional?

  13. Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for your cool and helpful tutorials. I’m trying to get my website up and am wondering how to connect/share with folks inside smugmug. I think I can figure out how to share on social media but I don’t understand how to post photos within the site. It seems like there are daily forums and things like that but how do I connect? Thanks for any help!

    • Hi Beth,

      I think what you’re getting at is you’re wondering how to use SmugMug as it’s own social media platform – maybe like how Flickr is. Well, SmugMug isn’t it’s own social media platform. It integrates with the popular ones like Facebook, Twitter, etc. but there isn’t a direct community or tools to link SmugMug users together. Except there are specific forums where SmugMug users get together. Try Good luck!

  14. hi greetings,
    i want to know,after creating website and purchasing domain,how do i connect it to internet ? host ?

  15. This was wonderful, thank you!

  16. Hi Ryan
    I just played all the videos on the tutorial, and let me tell you, You really did a great job, the videos really help me to set-up my first website.
    Now im wondering about the best option to upload the photos, through Lightroom or direct on the website option.

    What are your thought about that ?

    Thanks in advance to share your experience.

  17. Hi,
    Just wanna say thank you. Great instructions. I completely redesigned my page with your help.

    All the best,

  18. I just used your tutorial to create a website. Thank you so much for posting that, very much appreciated. People like you who make photography a little easier for the rest of us.



  19. Amazingly simple and detailed enough to go from zero to complete a Site … thank you very much for putting the tutorial together Ryan … I just signed up for the site and its up and running … Keep the updates and great work coming ….

  20. Ryan,

    I totally dig your site and tutorial. As an emerging part-time professional photographer, I was looking for a way to display my images and to create a method of using a high quality lab for my clients. I did this backwards, I first established my preferences for a lab, which I choose Bay Photo. I printed several pieces on board and framed art, using all sorts of paper, boards and textures. I think their products are first class, and deliver a quality product with a very fast turnaround. As I began my search for a website, one that could use Bay Photo and a photographer’s choice of a website, I came across your website posting. Well done! I can see that the Smugmug site made changes from your video, but it was easy enough to follow without too much of a hassle.

    I am evolving my feel for the site development. Even though my interest is landscape photography, I recently landed a shoot for a corporate shoot for their collateral material and website material. The new website was extremely useful! You never know what will come your way!

    The photographer community thanks you for your contribution!

    David Adams

    • Hi David, I’m thrilled that you were able to find SmugMug and the tutorial. And I hope that your new website generates lots of new business for you. All the best and good luck!

  21. Hi Ryan,
    Your tutorials were very helpful. I don’t think I would have been able to do this without your help. I was hoping I could get thru this without having to ask questions, but I can’t seem to figure out how to get the navigation bar to show up under folders. It is there on the home page, and on the galleries, but once you click on a gallery, there is no easy way to go back – and the background goes back to black instead of the white. I’m sure I’m missing something simple, but I just can’t find it.

  22. I have created mine via SmugMug, its really simple and worth for the money. 5Stars

  23. OMG. you have saved me. i can’t tell you how many times I tried to set up my site and gave up. how close i was to giving up entirely. i googled smug mug and miraculously found your tutorial. I just did it today. I am not finished- have some tweaking and writing to do. But i can’t thank you enough. Really. Now i feel like i know what i am doing and finally closer then ever before to having a real working site!

    • Wow Cathy. Your site (and your portraits) look fantastic!!! I’m so glad I could help you with your SmugMug site so you didn’t have to give up. Yay! :)

      • thanks Ryan. i have a question regarding products though…i followed your zen of pricing tutorial but when i go to my site as a guest and look to purchase digital images only the option for gallery download appears, not the print mark. do you have any idea why this would happen? most of my client galleries are still set on original image size but if you have a chance to look at the nicole head shot gallery/pw nicolehead1 you can see what I mean. THX in advance

    • Hi Ryan if all the tutorials on the web would be explain as easy you do it would be amazing, I cant not express in words my gratitude for the hours that you must put up to teach some donkeys like me,lol, do you have other sites where you at least accept donation? For free this stuff is just not fair. Grazie grazie grazie

      • Hi John. Wow. Those are very kind words. Thank you. I’m happy to offer these tutorials for free – but SmugMug does give me a commission for folks that sign up with my special link (that also gives them 20%) off. So it’s a win-win-win for sure. :)

  24. Hi Ryan,
    Thank you for these tutorials, I have a word press site but want a smugmug account to just sell prints directly to clients. How do you set passwords for each gallery? I do school sports photography and they have to be password protected. Thanks so much!

  25. Hi Ryan this tutorial as well as your blog have been invaluable! I was able to watch the tutorials at my own pace and pause and copy your steps to get set up so thank you! The coupon code link was not working for me at all. It might be outdated by now but just in case it wasn’t I wanted to let you know I could not get it to work following the link and there was no where to enter a coupon code at all when trying to go from my free trial in to an actual subscription. Thanks so much for the tutorial though it was great!

    • Hi Sarah – yeah, sorry, the coupon code is no longer active. :( Sorry about that. But glad the tutorial helped you out. :)

      • No worries it was still worth watching and purchasing the pro account. I have kind of a one-off question on the Zen of pricing video (which was awesome help by the way!). When you put a price for purchase on the digital download of a gallery, are you then not including a pricing structure or package that includes the client’s digital copies of the photos? Do you just have them go to your site and purchase their digital pic copies from your site?

        • Hi Sarah – Yes, if you set a price for the digital downloads, then you are making the files available for your client. If you don’t set prices for the digital downloads, they won’t be able to see an option for it. So it’s your choice!

  26. I am still in the process of building this website. And still in the process of pricing. It is clear to me that if the likes of a book, newspaper or whatever wants to down load one of my files I am sure I will want £2 or more from a 7×5 print. So how do you go about pricing the actual file. For instance I have shots of people surfing and many birds.. How do you go about selling the actual file. As opposed to just the print. For instance if I have a 10mb photo of President Obama stepping on a dog poo, how do I price and actually sell the file to say the press. I have a pro account

  27. Hi Ryan, What a great service you have made to all those who want to set up a SmugMug website but dont know how to start or how to set up the website efficiently. I for one, have benefitted a great deal from your tutorials and have been able to set up my website much faster as opposed to learning and doing everything on my own and from scratch. I can very well imagine the effort & time that has gone into making the tutorials / vidoes and on behalf of those that would continue to learn from these tutorials in the days & months to come, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Have a wonderful 2015 !

    • Hi Swapnil….You are too kind. Thank you for your comment. I’m really glad the tutorial helped you out.
      All the best to you and yours in 2015 as well.

  28. Ryan, Thank you so much for your brilliantly helpful tutorial! I’ve had a SmugMug Pro account for a while now but just didn’t have a clue on how to start. Your tutorial was easy to follow and although my site is very much a work in progress – I’ve more or less followed all your settings for now – I would still be wondering where to start had I not come across your tutorials. Next, need to get some social media presence and upload more photos!
    Thank you again!

  29. Thanks so much for your awesome videos. They were very easy to follow and soooo valuable.

  30. Sell anything on Smugmug? Using other platforms, such as Etzy? What is your most successful platform for selling photos?

    • Hi Ken – yes, I sell my photos through SmugMug. I haven’t used Etzy but I just did a quick google search and found that, yes, folks do sell prints on Etzy. Looks to me like it would be more in the Fine Art department – than, say, allowing wedding clients to buy their own photos.

      Hope that makes sense!

  31. James Dunn says:

    A couple of small points. .
    1. When you upload your photos to the web site.. What resolution do you use. .
    2. I live in the UK. (a). when you order prints it is clear on your tutorial they are from US labs. When a client orders a print does the order go straight to the print lab direct from a client in the UK. And does the print lab post the print(s) back direct to a customer. (b). How does the money change hand. Does an account from the photographer have to be set up via smug mug. Which brings me back to question 1. If the order goes straight to the print lab then each photo on the web site would have some gigantic file sizes to suit industry standard.. Or am I picking this up wrong. On your Zen pricing video that is how it seems to come over to me. Your tutorial was great, but I am a bit confused on those points.. Many thanks.

    • Hi James,

      1. I will upload high-res images if I think I may be selling the prints to clients. If I use low-res on those, then the client will only see the smaller print sizes in the shopping cart. And I want them to order large prints, if that’s what they want. On personal galleries, I sometimes use a lower resolution just so the upload time is less.
      2. When a client orders a print, the order goes through SmugMug to the print lab. And the print is sent directly to the client. You are only notified of the transaction by way of email and there isn’t really anything for you to do. SmugMug and the printer does all the fulfillment and shipping. As far as payment goes, SmugMug outlines how that all works on their help page which you can visit here –

      Hope that helps!


  32. Thanks so much for this tutorial. I’m about halfway through and am trying to sign up but I can’t fnd where you enter the discount code. I’m at the end of my free trial.

  33. Thanks for everything, Ryan. After watching the videos it was all very logical and straightforward. Much faster than learning by trial and error! Thanks for the code too.

    Best wishes

  34. Hi Ryan,
    Once again I want to thank you for all of your help to all of us out here! Your site is invaluable and the coupon code is an amazing extra! I decided I wanted to add a drop down to the portfolio section. I want to be able to choose from weddings or portraits. Can I do this easily after setting it up the way you had in the video? So far I only uploaded my weddings to the portfolio page. Thanks again!!!

  35. Ryan:

    I just wanted to say thanks for the discount code it was very generous of you to share that with us. I have had your page saved as a favorite when I eventually managed to get around to tweaking my site to my liking and business was doing well. I invite you to look at my page and provide any constructive criticism after going through your tutorial numerous times and changing everything to my personal tastes. Thank you again for all of this!



    • Hi Jim,

      I think your site looks great! If I were you, I’d just get some feedback from your clients or friends and family to confirm that the navigation and everything is clear. I’d also fill out your “About” page.

      And you’re very welcome about the coupon code and the tutorial. I’m glad it helped you out!



  36. Thank you for the very helpful tutorial!

    I just made my first Smugmug gallery. Pretty happy with it (collage portrait style) but when you click on am individual photo, the captions drop below the left corner of the screen. Is there any Smugmug template that has captions centered under the photos when you are in single photo view? I have a “power” level account, looked through online Smugmug templates but the “preview” mode doesn’t show titles or captions. Perhaps you know from experience which ones are best for displaying text with photos? Thanks!!

    • Hi Lorelei – thanks for the kind words about the tutorial. I’m glad you found it helpful.

      Regarding captions and titles – I have tried all the gallery templates and have found “SmugMug” to be the best. SmugMug is the one where you have small thumbnail photos on the left and the large, selected photo on the right. In that gallery style, the text is below the image and easy to read. So that’s my choice!

      Hope that helps.

  37. Hi Ryan,

    Great tutorial, thanks for sharing.

    I have a problem, I can’t seem to remove the download arrow (link) from the bottom of my photos. I have disabled the “right click” in the gallery settings and this works OK, but I still get the download feature at the bottom of each picture. I know it is probably in front of my nose, but I have been through the gallery settings time and time again and I still can’t figure it .
    Can you help ? Liam. (

    • Hi Liam – So this is a sneaky little thing that, unfortunately, isn’t very obvious. To get rid of the download link from showing up, you need to set you Maximum Display Size to something OTHER than “Original”. If Original is selected, that download icon will appear. So I change all mine to X3Large.

      Gallery Settings -> Security & Privacy -> Security -> Max Display Size -> (Select) X3Large

      Hope that helps!

  38. Roger Ignacio says:

    Hi Ryan! First of all, I would like to thank you for all the time and effort on building this tutorial. I was able to start my site and make it like the one in your tutorial in few hours.

    I just have a question regarding the “contact me” section. I’m not sure if it has been asked before since I didn’t read through all the messages. Is there any way to make the “contact me” page look like the rest of the site? Right now it looks like the background color is dark gray and I want it to match the rest of the site for clean look.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    • Hi Roger,
      Thanks for your comment and I’m happy to hear the tutorial helped you out.
      Regarding your question about customizing the contact me pop-up…you’re the first to ask. So I don’t have experience in customizing it. Having a look through the SmugMug help pages, and I didn’t see anything that mentions how to customize it. Which doesn’t mean it can’t be done – but I’m guessing that it wouldn’t be something straight forward to do. I suggest you ask around in the forums.
      Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

      • Roger Ignacio says:

        Thank you once again for the reply.

        We need more ppl like you willing to share their knowledge and help without asking for anything in return.

        May God bless you and your family.

  39. Hi Ryan. This is one of the most useful things I have ever found on the web. My site is not fully built out yet, but I got a huge head start thanks to you. Really appreciate your help, and the coupon is a great bonus. Thank you so much for putting this together. I’m looking forward to exploring your other stuff, which I’m sure is equally amazing.


  40. Why do you not want people to buy from your Portfolio Gallery?

    • Hi Roy – good question.

      For a wedding/portrait photographer, the portfolio is there for prospective clients to look at your best work in an attempt to get them to hire you. So it makes sense to turn off the shopping cart in the portfolio gallery.

      However — if you are a fine art photographer then it absolutely makes sense to keep the shopping cart ON in your portfolio gallery.

      Hope that helps.

  41. Hey Ryan!
    First off thanks for creating the tutorial! I’m in a hurry to get a site up and this is a great help! I’m having problems though in the first video you have us create a client gallery then select client gallery to create another under that. Well it doesn’t give me the option to do that. I’m making sure that client gallery is selected and it only gives me an upload option not a drop down create with the three options as yours shows? Could you help me with this? Again thanks for this!

    • Hi Marie. Sorry the video wasn’t clear. So the first thing I have you make is a FOLDER called “Client Galleries” (not a gallery called client galleries – which is what I think you had done.) So once you make this FOLDER, you can then select that folder and create a new gallery within it.

      Hope that helps!

  42. Really great video, Ryan. I needed this information on how to set my own prices. This was extremely helpful.

  43. Ryan,
    I can’t thank you enough! Great tutorial. Huge help. Very nice, elegant and simple design.
    You got me from being overwhelmed to up-and-running.

  44. Wow!!! An awesome tutorial! Your instructions were so easy to follow! Thank you for putting this together and sharing it with the world. My site is still a work in progress but exponentially better already (Of course I copied a lot of your layout and verbiage directly just to get it going). That was the right pace and right amount of detail.

  45. Ryan ….. cant thank you enuf bro, your tutorial really helped me in creating my own website . you re the best bro…i appreciate . many thanks

  46. Hi Ryan,

    Great videos. Very helpful. Thanks. I am curious as to your thoughts on the commercial license option in the price lists. Do you use that at all?

    • Hi Benj,

      I don’t have a lot of experience with commercial licenses through SmugMug. I know they have that option – but I think it’s a limited agreement. So if you want to customize it at all – you won’t be able to. Maybe ask around in the forums –

      Ryan :)

  47. Hi Ryan,
    Thank you SO much for this detailed tutorial! I just finished what is the first attempt at my photography website, and your guidance here was priceless. I will make sure to check your other tutorials! Muchas gracias :)

  48. Hi Ryan,
    Thank you SO much for your detailed tutorial! This was so helpful! I just finished what is at least the first attempt at my photography website, and your help was priceless. I will make sure to check out your other tutorials! Muchas gracias :)

  49. Hey Ryan, thanks for all the help on building my website. I have another question though. Is there a way to add a follow me link?? This way someone knows when I have added new photos to my site?? Thanks Chris

    • Hi Chris – so SmugMug isn’t considered a “social media” site in and of itself. It differs in that regard from other sites like Flickr or Facebook which are much more “community” based. So what you need to do is link your SmugMug site to your other social media sites – like facebook, twitter, your blog, etc. That’s what I do. And when I have a new photo or gallery I want to share with my audience, I use the “Publish to Facebook” tool in SmugMug’s organizer. This creates the photo on my Facebook page and links back to my SmugMug site where people can purchase the photo or browse the rest of the gallery.

      Hope that helps!

  50. Chris Hull says:

    Hey Ryan your tutorial has been awesome but I have a question. I am building a website that has sub folders to folders such as Galleries, drag racing, zmax dragway 4 wide 2014 or Galleries, zoos, asheboro zoo. How would I go about setting that up. I tried doing it in step one but wouldn’t work. Please help. Thanks Chris

  51. Hi Ryan,
    i am a furniture maker in Nelson and i want to upgrade my website. if Smugmug works for photographers, it will work for me, won’t it?
    if it does can i transfer my domain name to the smugmug site?

    thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom!

  52. Thank you! I’m a couple of days into my 14 trial and this is exactly what I was looking for! I will be referring back to this as I build my site!!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  53. Hey Ryan,
    Brilliant set of tutorial videos. Really helped. Thought I had it all sorted then I was putting pages all over the place and losing them.
    Will recommend these tutorials to anyone else I know who goes with smugmug.
    Cheers mate

  54. I am trying to checkout with smugmug portfolio – the price says $120 if I pay in full for a year and i checked the weddinggig discount and said apply but it is saying the price is $150 and $120 after discount – What am I doing wrong??

    • Hi Patty,

      Sorry you’re having some problems. It’s hard to know what’s going on with your checkout. I haven’t heard of any problems with the discount code not being applied correctly. So I would try using the “weddinggig” discount code, check out, and then see how much you’re charged. I’m guessing it will be the correct amount of $120. If it isn’t, you (or I) can email SmugMug customer service and I’m confident they will give you a refund.

      The other option is to ask SmugMug for help on this BEFORE you check out.

      Hope that helps.


      PS. Thanks for the kind words about the tutorial. Glad it helped you! :)

  55. Thank you so much for all your help creating my website from beginning to end! You left nothing out and I love my website!

  56. Hi Ryan
    Excellent tutorials
    I was about to give up on Smugmug, until I googled your link. Thanks for saving my sanity.
    One problem I can’t seem to work out.
    The Social Media bar at the top of my homepage is not white as it is in the rest of the site.
    Any insight as to what I did wrong.


    • Hi Paul,

      Glad I could help restore you to sanity. :)

      Regarding your social media bars — it seems to me that you have a setting on just your homepage that has the background to the social media block set as “grey”. I would have a look at your customization on your homepage and find out what is different from the rest of your site and make the change.

      Without having access to your SmugMug account, I can’t tell you for sure what is going on there. But I think it’s what I just told you.

      Good luck!


  57. Hey Ryan. Thanks for generously sharing what you know about pricing & SM. I’m a couple days into setting up my account, but I’m wondering if I’m not cut out for this kind of photo selling. I’m not an event or wedding photographer, but am more interested in selling fine art photography. I’m finding that SmugMug is just too overwhelming — yes, like you, I think simplicity is key. Yet I wish I could do something even more simple (e.g., make a print available explicitly only in ThinWrap 8×12).

    However, seems like SM is set up more for an event photographer to have a client buy the shots he or she particularly likes. What do you think?

    To give you an example, I’d love to sell fine art prints such as these (site is just now getting set up):

    • Hi Jake,

      I can see why you might be frustrated – certainty my tutorials are set up for the traditional event style photographer. But I can tell you for sure, SmugMug can and is used by fine art photographers.

      The most famous example would be the famous travel photographer Trey Ratcliff at Stuck In Customs –

      He uses SmugMug to handle the print and sales side of his business.

      Sounds like I need to make another tutorial! :)

      Hope that helps.


      PS. Your photos look great!

  58. Ryan,

    Thank you so much for this tutorial….. As I had never done anything like this before, your videos gave me the confidence and the learning curve that I needed.
    I have since been an avid lurker on Dgrin and have found the community there very helpful and knowledgeable and have allowed me to add various CSS to my site and alter my site to how I like it.

    Once again, thanks for the tutorials, without which I wouldn’t have the site I have now.

  59. I’ve learned something new from your videos.
    Ryan thanks for sharing such a great tutorial….

  60. Ryan, thanks for introducing Smugmug. I’m creating my account now, I’ll share it here soon! I think I’ll love it.

  61. Hello Ryan,
    Any chance you have a tutorial posted for creating a guestbook via new Smugmug? If not, any guidance you have on created one would be really appreciated. Thanks for all the help you put out there as it’s really been a lifesaver!!


    • Hi Jonathan,

      I’m glad you’ve found the tutorial helpful. For a guestbook, I would first create a new page. You can call it “guestbook” or whatever. Then add a title block and probably a text block to give a bit of information to the visitor about what it is you want them to do on the page — which is to leave a comment, of course. Then under that you would add a comment block from the social section of the customize page builder. After that you can get fancy by adding an image and/or formatting the look and feel of that page.

      Hope that helps!

      • Thanks for the response Ryan. I have created the “Guestbook” page, but can not figure out how to add / drag the comment box from “add contents block” to the Guestbook page only. I am only able to add it to “All Galleries”. Thanks again for your time.


        • Hmm….OK. Maybe you should make a gallery instead of a page. Then just have one photo in that gallery. And you can use the built in comment box for your visitors to leave you a message.

          Have you tried that?


  62. Hello, Ryan
    I just want to say that I am so much appreciated for what you have shared. This helps not only saving time but also giving right insight for managing photography website, especially pricing part. Thanks so much again!

    From a high amateur photographer who is seriously thinking to move on pros in Finland.

  63. I’ve worked in media for over 15 years and as a web producer of lifestyle content for almost as long. Running a lifestyle website for Fox, I left the design and functionality to others, concentrating on content alone. Until my VERY talented sister/photographer asked me to help her with a site and I happened upon Ryan. Rarely in my career have I come across someone so willing to help with nothing but a thank you in return. Not only is his tutorial succinct, easy to follow and a pleasure to participate in, but Ryan himself goes above and beyond answering questions, walking his students through the mucky waters of confusion and giving advise on design, pricing and function. Having started with little confidence and following his tutorial and design tips, I found the site to have emulated exactly the tone I wanted it to – clean, professional, creative. Thank you Ryan – the site would not have come to fruition without you!

    • Hi Noelle,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. It means a lot that you would take the time to leave that comment. I hope your sister thrives in her photography career (with her new SmugMug site)! :)

  64. Hello, Ryan Oakley,
    I have question regarding URL for SmugMug.
    .I saw that you putted in the URL gap your website name and then / .so question is if I give someone my website link I should add SmugMug
    In the end? For example http://www.baryalay photo/ SmugMug
    . Com is it right? Or I need to purchase the domain outside then use this domain for SmugMug.
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Baryalay,

      So when you set up an account with SmugMug, your website will include the in it. For example,

      If you want to get rid of the “smugmug” part of the domain name, you need to purchase your own domain through the many hosting companies out there. I use a company called Because they are awesome. :)

      But you can also purchase a domain name through SmugMug (which I believe they just go through another hosting company).

      Then you follow SmugMug’s instructions to have your new domain name “point” to your SmugMug site.

      Feel free to contact SmugMug customer support — they will walk you through all the steps.

      Good luck!


  65. Daniel Strol says:

    Hi Ryan
    I already have an account with Smugmug, I am planning to transition to the new Smugmug, from the current Legacy. Let me know if I can follow your primer to create a website, in the new Smugmug ?
    I read that customizing in Legacy will not quite work in the new Smugmug. I would rather go through the process once,
    please let me know.

  66. Hi Ryan! Awesome tutorial! I would have never been able to create this smugmug site without it! Well Done!! I sooo appreciate all your work in putting it together!

    Question ~ i purchased a domain name at and I have no idea how to hook up my custom domain to point at the site. The Smugmug site suggests the following tips but this is all very foreign territory for me and I don’t know what it all means. Contrary to the Smugmug verbiage…. I DON’T know what i’m doing ha-ha-ha! :( :

    Already have a domain? Great! You already know what you’re doing. Be sure to check your domain hosts setup instructions to prevent problems.
    1. Point your CNAME ‘www’ to .
    2. Point your A Record ‘@’ to .
    3. Visit your SmugMug Account Settings > Me > Account tab for the “Custom Domain” line. Paste your new domain name into the box and click “Save Changes.” That’s it!

    Maybe I should have used GoDaddy, which i now see has partnered with Smugmug. Any suggestions you may have would be soooo greatly appreciated! Thanks a bunch Ryan!!

    • Hi Shana,

      You are most welcome for the tutorial. I’m glad it helped you out.

      I totally understand about the domain name stuff being foreign territory. I’m in the same boat.

      I used these guys called and emailed them the instructions from SmugMug and they got it all set up for me on their end. Then I just did that last step on my SmugMug site.

      So that’s one route….the other is to just use GoDaddy through the SmugMug site. I’m sure that’s the simplist, but I have no idea about which one might be cheaper.

      Hope that helps!


    • Opps….I should have read your comment more closely…

      So you’ve already purchased your domain through That’s great! Just email them the instructions and ask for help. Those guys are amazing!

      In fact, just this afternoon they helped me with this blog (which is also registered through them) as someone was attacking my site. :( Namespro got it all sorted out though. They’re awesome!

      Let me know if you need anything else.

    • I figured it out!! Thanks again for your awesome tutorial Ryan!

  67. Hi Ryan,

    I just finished listening to your IBM interview and I absolutely loved your story. I’m inspired and motivated to go back to the IBM academy, complete and finish the course I paid for. Thank you for sharing your success!

    Barry W.

  68. Ryan

    I have just listened to your IBM podcast interview – so inspiring. Continued success with this fantastic blog.


  69. Hi Ryan,

    Just wanted to say what a great guy you are for posting these very clear and helpful videos! You have saved me so much time in getting my site up and running. People like you make the internet such a wonderful resource for learning and sharing skills and information. I did have a couple of questions which I was hoping you might know the answer to…How do you copy instead of move photos from one gallery to another? And also, Is there a way of deleting the saved ‘quick settings’ that you can create when you are organizing your photos?

    Thanks again Ryan – you’re a gent!


    • Hi Matt — thank you very much for the kind words. It’s great to hear that my tutorial helped you out. That’s awesome. And yes, that’s the “good side” of the internet at it’s best. :)

      As for your questions:

      Q1 – to make a copy of an image, open the image in the “Organizer” screen. Click on the “Options Wrench”, select “Organize” then “Make a Copy”. Then the copy will show up in your gallery where you can move it wherever you’d like. The other option is to use the “Collection” tool which you’ll find under the “Share” link.

      Q2 – I can’t find how to delete a quick setting in the New SmugMug. You used to be able to with the Legacy SmugMug. I’ve emailed SmugMug customer service to see if there is something I don’t yet know. But I’m guessing its a feature they are working on as the roll out the new system. I’ll keep you posted.

      And Matt — YOU’RE great too. :)

  70. Ryan,

    Thanks for much for taking the time to put that tutorial together. Just went through it and found it easy to understand and implement. Am still working on the new Smugmug doing a few tweaks here and there, and have to say I probably would not have gotten so far so fast without your help.


  71. Ryan:

    Thanks for providing this information for us. I just signed up for Smug Mug. However, none of my pages in my smug mug look like those in your instructions. Am I missing something?


  72. Did you delete your love for the legacy smugmug? I was watching the JohnyWalkerPhotography/smugmug video tutorial set and now they are updated to the new site. I am still on the legacy site and was learning by watching your videos. Where did you hide the legacy videos?

    You should have a link on your site to the legacy version in case so slow, procrastinators can find help for our old versions.

  73. Hi Ryan,
    Your tutorial really helped me out. I think I have designed something that is passable! I do have a question about adding a link to my facebook page. I just want to add a link in my about me page that goes to my facebook page. Something that says Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page for specials and they can click on the work facebook and it goes there. Can you help? Thank you.

  74. Nice job Ryan, and extremely helpful. I would never have found the Journal setting as a way to create an about page. I would have spent hours struggling to build it from scratch.

    Since I don’t do weddings I need to think about what I learned and how best to make the site do what I want. This was a great way to start.


    • Hi Paul – Thanks for the nice comment.

      So you should be able to run through my tutorial just fine even if you don’t shoot weddings. Any gallery setup will work just fine.



      • I first watched all the tutorials, then went through them again with my site open on a second monitor. I could pause the video while I made the changes on my site and then re-start. I more or less made the changes to setup the site like yours on that pass. Then I followed that link to the customization on DGrin and tried out some of their code.

        Now I am at a point where I will try different things and think through the implications. For example, I had never thought of putting a header image at the bottom, but your rationale for doing that made a lot of sense. I suspect it may a good idea for my site(s) too.

        It looks to me like SEO is less important for wedding sites than word of mouth. For my sites I am looking for a user friendly presentation that also gives Google some text to work with. That seems a common problem on photography sites and I am not sure there is a good answer. I need to spend time testing the multiple page layout choices. I saw the code to suppress the category and gallery labels. SEO might be better served by making them more keyword focused.

        It’s actually a pleasure to be able to think about these choices. Without your tutorials I would still be hacking my way through the code jungle :)

        • I agree Paul – that’s its nice to move on from design and layout to SEO. :)

          I think the best way to optimize for search is to keyword photos. Like you said, I don’t worry too much about SEO as I base my business on word of mouth. But for Fine Art and Stock Photography businesses, keywords are huge.

          Good luck!

  75. Gee Ryan, did you have to make it THAT easy?
    You saved me a ton of money and yes, in 90 minutes or less, you can be up and running a SmugMug site of your own design and style.
    And I can’t thank you enough for the 20% discount for the Business package! or any package SmugMug offers. I took a LONG time choosing a hosting service and SmugMug was my choice due to ALL the offerings and options for Printing, Albums, and services. YOU made it easy to create the site I wanted and can easily modify over time as needed.
    Thanks again!

    • Hi Mike,

      lol. Thanks for the kind comment. I’m very happy I was able to help you get your site up and running quickly.

      You’re right — SmugMug really is the best hosting service out there for photographers. They have everything — prints, albums, security, speed, you name it.

      Good choice. :)

  76. Hi Ryan,

    I just finished your tutorial last night and I’ve got say THANK YOU! I don’t know how I would have ever built my photography site up or learned the skills needed without watching your videos. You have saved me countless hours of trying to figure it out on my own. Once again, THANK YOU!!!


    • Hi Garrett,
      You’re most welcome. I’m glad my videos saved you some time.
      Your site looks great — and so do your photos. I especially like the ones from the Lajitas Golf Resort (I’m a big golf nut). :)

      • Hi Ryan,

        Thank you for the kind words. If you’re ever interested in traveling to South West Texas for a golf trip then I highly recommend Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa. My wife and I are providing them with our photography to use in their upcoming print material redesign. The course is simply amazing. We aren’t golfers, but we were almost converted.

        I do have a quick question for you. We are looking to add a blog to our site and have looked into several free blog providers. I know that smugmug partners with a couple of places, but the integration will cost another 300ish dollars on top of our smugmug account. Do you have any suggestions for adding a blog to a smugmug site? I know that we can just provide a link via a menu button to an offsite blog, but I really don’t want to drive people away from the photography site. Any ideas or insight that you may have would be greatly appreciated.

        Thanks again!


        • Hi Garrett,

          I’m a big golfer. I haven’t been down to Texas in over a decade – when I used to work there. But if I find my way down, I will certainly look up Lajitas. :)

          As for your question about putting a blog on your SmugMug site, I would do what you suggested — adding a link to an offsite blog. But you’re right, this may not be the most effective way. I am not sure what the best way is, cause I’ve never done something like that…but I would start by googling “Blog on SmugMug site” and see what info and solutions pop up.

          Sorry I couldn’t be more help on that.

  77. Oh I am so embarrassed. I just started video 8 and realized you deal with the breadcrumb. So sorry. I seem to never read far enough … :-/

  78. Hi Ryan, I’m having trouble getting rid of the breadcrumb on my galleries. I want my site to look like yours: all squeaky clean!!! I researched it and grabbed the CSS code but I guess I don’t know where to put it. Help. BTW I have not quite completed the tutorial (many interruptions) so if you cover this at the end, please disregard this question. Thanks again for everything. ~JtheP

  79. Ryan,
    I have been researching options for setting up a bit more elegant, or advanced, portfolio website. I have been a SmugMug user for a couple of years and just found your tutorial today. It is was incredibly easy to follow and the results were exactly what I need/want at this time.
    I truly appreciate your time and effort!!!

    Thank you,
    Mike Pruner

    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for taking the time to leave your comment – and for your kind words. I’m very glad the tutorial helped you get the site you wanted.

      Could you now show me how you take such amazing portraits? The man surrounded by black shadow is AMAZING! Well done.


  80. I haven’t watched the vids yet or followed the instructions but I plan to, and before I do, I just want to say thank you so much for doing this. It is exactly what I’ve been looking for and I’m really excited to transform my smugmug website into something that looks more professional. You’re a diamond, mate. I hope you don’t mind if I drop back in and hound you if I have any questions. Again, thanks a million for taking the time to do this.

    • Hi Jenny the Pirate. :)

      Thanks for your kind words. That means a lot to me.

      Of course you can ask me any questions you want as you go through the tutorial.

  81. This was a super helpful tutorial! Thanks so much for putting it together. Many of my questions were answered… but I have one more.

    I created the contact page by cutting and pasting javascript using the dgrin reference above. BUT… neither this nor the smugmug footer contact link actually works. I must be missing something. I have entered my email address in tools->account settings->me->account… is there another place that you enter a contact email address?

    Thanks again for putting this tutorial together. It was so helpful! :)

    • Heh… I found it… it was under tools->account settings->me->profile… way down at the bottom.

      Thanks again for putting together this tutorial!

      • Hi Nic – Thanks for your kind words about the tutorial. Glad you found it helpful.

        I’m also glad you found your answer to your Contact Page question. Man – I REALLY need to get that Contact Page tutorial finished and posted on this page. :)

        Your site looks great, BTW.

  82. Ryan,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to put this together! I had no idea that this could be done without having to pay out a few hundred dollars which I almost did before finding your site. Thanks to YOU, my site is soooo much better! You rock!


    • Hi Miguel,

      I’m so glad I could save you a few hundred dollars!!! That’s awesome. Your site looks great, by the way. I love how you customized the navigation bar to suit your needs.

      Nice work. :)

  83. Hi Ryan,

    Awesome tutorials. My account looks so much better! It mirrors your demo page for now but I hope to change it up a bit as I become more familiar with the site. Have you had a chance to make the “Contact Me” video tutorial yet? I like the way you have it set up on the demo site. Thanks again!

  84. Ryan,

    Your tutorial has been a god-send.Your steps are concise but very effective and informative. It has saved me many many hours of trial-and-error. As an enthusiastic amateur, a SmugMug website gives me a central location to store and share my photos with friends. I do not feel I am in any position to think of selling my photos at this point, but you certainly give me the incentive to continue to improve. One question I have is there any way to increase the size of the photos for the slide show window for the Home Page? Increasing the window from the default of 500 only makes the window larger, but not the photos. A slightly larger size would make portrait-orientation photos more dramatic.

    Thanks for all your hard work and inspiring others.

    • Hi Carl,
      Thanks so much for the kind words. I’m so glad the tutorial was helpful.
      I got my SmugMug site before I even thought of earning money from my photography passion. But once I had the site up and running, it was really easy (and tempting) to earn some extra income — first by selling prints online, and then by offering my services as a family photographer. Many people don’t want to turn their hobby into a job — but I think I’ve found a nice balance by keeping my photography business part-time.
      Anyways…. :)
      Sorry you’re having difficulties with the homepage slideshow. I’m not exactly sure how to fix it….but I did find this resource for you that you might find helpful.
      Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

  85. Hi Ryan,

    Many thanks for taking the time to make the videos, they were excellent. When I uploaded a wedding to my previous gallery host, I used to split up the wedding into Bride Prep, Groom Prep etc, I am trying to figure out how can I can do this without going to the extra expense of buying the Business edition and creating an event. Do you have any ideas? I’m going round in circles trying to get my head around it.
    Thanks again,

    • Hi Ross,
      You are very welcome for the tutorial. I’m glad you enjoyed them.
      To have one wedding split up into segments – I think you’re right. Your best bet is to use the events feature that’s available with a Business account.
      The only other option I can think of would be to have the entire wedding in one album. Then you can simply send out that album link to your clients. You could do this with a Portfolio account.
      Hope that helps!

  86. Ryan, thanks so much for this tutorial. I’ve been through most of it so far and it’s been absolutely brilliant because I was not having much luck getting setup the way I wanted to to start with. Your layout is a perfect building block, in fact I can’t think of anything I need to change.
    I’m so very grateful for your efforts putting together this tutorial.

  87. I wanted to thank you for all of your tutorials I never would of gotten my site up without them. I do need some help I wanted to add a CONTACT button or link. I wanted a place for customers or potential clients a place to enter their name, address, phone number and questions for lining up possible jobs. Can you refer me to the process to set this up?

    Thank you

    Jo Haigwood

    • Hi Jo – I’m glad you found the tutorial helpful. :)

      For a contact button or link there are a few options. I am planning to create a new tutorial video to show people how to do this stuff….but in the mean time, the quickest way is to add a “Contact Me” link to your navigation bar using the Easy Customizer. Then instead of a regular hyperlink, you use this:
      When someone clicks on the Contact Me link, their native email program will open up (ex. Outlook) and your email will be auto-populated in the “to:” field.

      There is a better way to do it – which I’ll share in my video. But for now, I hope that helps.

  88. Ryan
    I just finished my website following your instructions and with my tweeks. I’m very happy. It would have been hell without your guidance. You are the BEST….

    Dave and Phyllis

    • Hi Dave and Phyllis,
      You’re VERY WELCOME! :)
      I’m glad the tutorial helped you out.
      I think your site looks FANTASTIC. The background colour and your header is really really nice.
      Did you create the header yourselves? Or did you hire someone to create it for you?

  89. Ryan,
    You’re more than amazing!!! I’ve had SmugMug for several years and I haven’t been able to figure out how to get rid of my ugly front page. Thanks so much for the amazing tutorials!! I don’t use SmugMug for the normal reason most people do….it’s just easy for me to upload all of my photos quickly and without a lot of hassle. Trying to get help, since I’m not a “photographer” has been challenging, to say the least. Thanks again!! Now if only you would do a tutorial on how to do a FAQ’s page, I’d be one happy camper. Lol!

    • Hi there!
      I’m glad the tutorial videos helped you out. Several years is a long time to live without a site you enjoy looking at. :)
      I would love to do a tutorial on setting up an FAQ page. Do you have an example of one you like?

  90. Ryan,
    Thank you so much for the work you put into the tutorials! You are awesome! It totally help me pull together the loose ends and clean up my site. I just launched it and had a great response. I can’t imagine how long it would have taken without the help of your tutorials. I will definitely share your link with fellow photogs! I even got an offer to shoot my first wedding the day after launching.

  91. One issue:

    On my equivalent of your ‘Work with Me’ page, I cannot remove the slideshow button even though I used the CSS code above – gallery_xxxxxx #slideshowButton {display:none;}. Although its gone when I preview my changes in Easy Customizer, when I publish it there it is. Any suggestions?

    Thanx in advance!

    • Hi John,
      This is the second CSS question in an hour after never really having any CSS questions from the users of this tutorial. Therefore, I’m thinking this might be a SmugMug thing…and nothing you or I are doing wrong. If you’re following the instructions correctly, it should work just fine.
      I’ll send a message to SmugMug and see if I can get some answers from their end.
      Stay tuned…

    • I talked to SmugMug. They don’t think they are having any problems……so could you send me a link to your page and a copy of the exact code you are trying to use?
      And I assume you’re watching the tutorial videos and following all the instructions. :)

  92. I tried putting only these lines of CSS code into the Advanced Setting box:
    /* Hide breadcrumbs when not logged in */
    .notLoggedIn #breadCrumbTrail {display: none;}

    /* Hide pageNavigation, Slideshow button, and album navigation for Work With Me gallery */
    .gallery_xxxxxx .pageNav {visibility:hidden;}
    .gallery_xxxxxx #slideshowButton {display:none;}
    .gallery_xxxxxx #albumNav_top {display:none;}

    I added the number of the gallery number where the x are located. I then pressed the Update button and was immediately logged out and the code was not saved in the box when I logged back in. What am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Philip,

      Sorry you’re having difficulties. This is the first I’ve heard of this problem, so I’m a bit stumped.
      Could you please send me:
      1. the url to the page that you’re trying to apply the CSS code to, and
      2. the exact code that you tried using (including the numbers where the xxxxxx goes).

      And just to confirm — you’ve been following my tutorial videos, right?

  93. Ryan!!

    My Smugmug site was SO ugly! Yuck! Black-red-cheap-ugh! The tutorial was great. My Smugmug site is so much better.

    Thank you thank you thank you.
    Great job!

  94. CharleneSmart says:

    I am sure you hear this all the time but you ROCK!!!! Holy cow I cannot tell you how thankful I am. You really helped me ~ 
    Thank you again,

  95. Hi Ryan,
    It’s a great work that you have done! Really, Thank you! I have used Smugmug now for two years and felt that my page looks boring. I do the photos just as hobby anyway, but still. Maby I’m also too lazy to search, test and read all the manuals (like most people) but now I just spent one evening “pausing” Your videos, changed the front page and Info – already feel beeing quite satisfied. Just started with big “clean up” to through out older photos with not so good quality and now over all refreshment will be like cherry on a pie :)
    Thanks again!

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      Hi Gerlin,
      Your site is look really good. Well done. I’m glad the video tutorial helped you out.

  96. ChrisBradshaw says:

    Ok I’m getting a bit confused and this now doesn’t seem like the most user friendly system in terms of galleries!?!?!
    I’m tying myself in knots… Am I missing something???
    Basically what I want to be able to do is have the one nav tab for clients that then leads them to their galleries why on this site is that such a hard thing to achieve???
    The Nav Tab you set does not open a new page that then displays galleries, instead it uses a gallery URL which just complicates matters because then all settings of sub galleries are set by the Original, catagories and titles and names all start to become a jumble.
    Heres what I’m trying to achieve so you get a better idea:
    Ive covered an Equine event (Dressage Test) multiple riders = Multiple clients.
    Basically what I would envisage would be clients visiting my page clicking on the tab for Client galleries, a page opening displaying thumbnails with the persons name as the title, they find their name, they open their gallery!
    Or To organise different groups of clients, the event/shoot name being displayed with thumb, they click on that and that then opens that events photo galleries or single set.
    I just dont seem to be able to arrive at anything like this.
    What am I missing??

  97. ChrisBradshaw says:

    Scratch that I just found it right in nfront of my nose Hahahaha

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      @ChrisBradshaw :) I get asked where that banner tutorial is all the time. Clearly I haven’t done a good enough job to make it clear.
      Glad you’re enjoying the tutorials Chris.

  98. ChrisBradshaw says:

    Hahahaha Scrath that… I just found it right in front of my face, sorry

  99. ChrisBradshaw says:

    Hi… Loving the tuturials, really helping me with my new Smugmug account. Did you ever create a tuturial for making a Banner and if so where can I find it??

  100. KylliTedre says:

    Thanks, it was a lot of help! I already knew lot’s of the stuff, but I’m no computer geek either, so some tips were very useful, for example the Work With Me page. Thanks again for good work.

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      @KylliTedre You’re most welcome Kylli! I’m glad it helped you out. Thanks for taking the time to send me your message. :)

  101. Thank you so much for the help! I sure was beginning to hate customization. Lol I was doing it the hard way, which is usually the way I do things most of the time. I was looking at your demo site and was wondering if there is a way to hide the professional gallery from showing under galleries without it causeing a problem under “Work with me”. Just a thought… Thank you again for all the help!
    Leslie M
    P.S. I will be back later to share the link to my page once it’s done. ;)

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      @LeslieM Hi Leslie – I’m very glad you found the tutorial. I’m here to make your life easier. :)
      I’d love to help you with your question – but I’m afraid I don’t quite get what you’re asking…..can you try one more time for me please?

      • @Ryan Oakley  @LeslieM
         In your demo site, if you click on Galleries, you can see the gallery “professional” is visible and links to “Work with me” gallery. Well, I would like that to be hidden. However I still want to “work with me” or about me page visible. Hope that made sense.
        Thank you again,
        Leslie M

        • Ryan Oakley says:

          @LeslieM Ahh…I see now. Yes. What would happen if you made the “Wrok With Me” page “unlisted” in the gallery settings?

  102. Many thanks for this tutorial!  I know it saved me hours of searching through help files.  I really appreciate the work that went into making the videos and am grateful that you posted it for free!  Thanks again!  

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      Dawn – your site looks fantastic! Great job. And your portfolio photos are……stunning.
      The icing on the cake for you is how good the Blackhawks are playing right now. Wow. I have Kane in my hockey pool, so I hope they keep winning! :)

  103. Great article! It helped out a lot! I created my site a couple of months ago, and used a few of your tips to get it where I like it….let me know what you think and any tips are greatly appreciated!

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      @Jeff K Hey Jeff. Your site looks really good. First time I’ve ever seen a linked called “YouTube Me!” in the navigation bar. :)  As far as any tips I can give you – I think the design of the site is great. And so are your photos. But it’s not clear what your site is all about. I would guess that you’re a hobbyist – just looking for a place to show your art. Cause it doesn’t seem like your site is set up to attract clients (no about me, services, testimonials, etc.)

      • @Ryan Oakley  @Jeff K I honestly dont know to create an “about me” page on there. I did a contact me page but cannot seem to get the “the gallery has no photos” thing at the bottom to disappear. Its all about just seeing if people thing I have a good eye. I’d love to get into the professional side of it but I have an older Canon XS camera and have no idea where to start :

  104. Thank you very much for this. I have had a Smugmug account for over a year.  While I had most of my site set-up, I wasn’t quite satisfied with the final product.  Your tutorial helped me clean it up really nicely.  You can check it out at at
    Thanks again. I appreciate the effort you put into this.
    Ottawa, On

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      @Red Bike Hey fellow Canuck! Glad you found the tutorial helpful. Your
       site is looking great. So do you think we’ll see an NHL season this year or is it a lost cause? :)

  105. I have seen a huge number of similar tutorials on how to create a website using different kind of CMS and website builders all around the web. And lots of them are no more than just wasting time stuff. But you managed to make really good videos that are easy to understand and clear. Moreover, your final result is amazing! I can imagine how much time went on preparing these videos. Good job, Ryan! :) Btw, here is one more tutorial on how to create a portfolio website you can be totally proud of It’s just another solution for those, who are going to create a personal website. Feel free to check it out! Thank you once again for sharing this stuff :)

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      @Nancy Young Thanks for the kind words about this tutorial. And thanks for sharing that link. There are a gazillion ways to get a website up and running. And mine is just one way, for sure. :)


  107. Hey Fred, I took a look at what you made and your work came out beautifully. After getting over the initial angst, I found myself actually enjoying fiddling around with all the options. I especially like your little “Email Me” button! Gotta go back in and make myself one of those! Have fun! Shoot tons!

  108. Hello Ryan, I have had a Smugmug site for a few years but have never been very satisfied with it. My attempts to modify it have always met with frustration and little in results. Last week I found out about your video series and have watched it twice. First time to see what it covered and the second time to follow alone modifying my Smugmug site. I now have the site that I was hoping for. It was fun and easy, plus I feel that I can continue to improve it in the future. Thanks for your effort and generosity in making this video series.

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      @fthur Hey Fred. Thanks for the kind words. I’ve heard the tutorial be described as “easy” before – but never really fun. There’s a first for everything!
      And your site looks great, by the way. :)

  109. Hello Ryan, I have had a Smugmug site for a few years but have never been very satisfied with it. My attempts to modify it have always met with frustration and little in results. Last week I found out about your video series and have watched it twice. First time to see what it covered and the second time to follow alone modifying my Smugmug site. I now have the site that I was hoping for. It was fun and easy, plus I feel that I can continue to improve it in the future. Thanks for your effort and generosity in making this video series.

  110. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!  This is totally amazing!  I truly appreciate your time to create this and for breaking it down so simply.

  111. Ryan, you are The Man! I work on a MBP13″, so screen real estate is minimal. I sat at my computer with my SM site open in easy customizer, and had my iPad next to it with your videos playing, so I could make changes along with your vids. Freakin’ Perfect! I spent about 5 hours total fiddling.
    First, I did it exactly how you did it and became comfortable with the adjustments. Then, I looked at my site and said Hmm… cool, but not quite *me*. Went into p/s, made a logo and the two gray lines above and below the slideshow window. Uploaded all of it and re-did it. I took a dreamweaver course a long time ago and came out of that experience knowing I wasn’t gonna become a coder. SmugMug does make it easy, but your tutorials are priceless for the code-challenged.
    Check it:
    Super-extra thank you! -Clint

  112. Thank you so much for all your help Ryan! I belong to a large camera club in my city, as does the person I set the site up for and we will be sure to let everyone know at our next meeting about you and your great tutorials and how helpful they are. And thanks also for your prompt email responses and willingness to help that way too!
    I have been working on this site for nearly 2 months, and until I found your tutorials, I was completely lost! I am fairly web-savvy too, and have set up many other types of websites on my own, but this one kicked my butt. I emailed people, watched videos, read blogs,  live-chated with Smug Mug folks (who did nothing but point me right back to the useless blogs and vids I had already watched).
    And then I found YOU!!!! It made all the difference and got me exactly where i wanted to be with the site.

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      @GretchenK Wow. I just love seeing people get the SmugMug site that they want by using my totorials. And if that means a few back and forth emails to help someone get unstuck, then I am more than happy to do that.
      I’m glad I found you too!! :)

  113. DawnyaThornton says:

    Hi, I just finished with your customization tutorial. I have the layout done, now just have to go in and re-catergorized some galleries. I am new in the photography business, so I have some nature photos too. Right now I don’t have a specialized area, I really photograph anything. Here is a link to my site-
    I also read further down where someone asked if you can make a facebook button for your site, I found the place to do so, just having trouble placing it where it does not look odd. So I don’t have it on my site yet. Here is the link to that- 
    Here is the link to the SmugMug help that helps you with adding it to your site. Basically after you create the button for whatever site want to create it for, you copy and paste it into an html section, I believe in advanced customization, but I don’t know where yet. I need help with that part.
    There are different ways to do this, this is just the way I did it. (DISCLAIMER—I DO NOT know a lick about code. Everything I have done has been cut and paste code from this tutorial)

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      @DawnyaThornton HI Dawnya – congrats on completing your site. It looks great!
      And thanks so much for sharing that information about getting a facebook badge and link on your SmugMug site. I’m sure lots of people will check out those links.
      Take care…

  114. Hi Ryan,
    I’d like to get rid of the “map this” button.

  115. Ryan,
    I’d like to get rid of the “map this” button.  Thanks.

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      No problem.  Enter this code into the CSS section of your Advanced Customization page…
      .homepage #mapsButton
      { display:none !important; }

  116. Hi Ryan, 
    just wondering if you have ever made a video regarding social media buttons? I’d love to put them on my website… probably facebook, twitter and pinterest. Not sure what code to use or even where to put it? LOVE your other videos, thanks so much for your time!

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      Hi Angelica – I haven’t made a social media button video. I’d have to first figure out how to do it myself! I know it can be done – though it might be a bit advanced. I would have a look through the SmugMug forums at
      Hope that helps!

  117. Thank you so much Ryan!!!! You are a life saver!! I was pretty sure all my hair was going to be ripped out from trying to figure all of this out, when I discovered your videos and good news my hair is all still very much attached lolI am definitely going to work on doing a banner now that I see you posted the area in which it is and hopefully I can figure out how to do a favicon as well. Thank you SOOOOO much! 

  118. Hi Ryan thanks for the great video’s I spent days trying to make a great site and never was happy with it. After watching your videos I am getting to a place where I like it. Thanks for the help.

  119. Hi Ryan,
    Thank you so much for creating these stepping stones for us! I am FINALLY making head way. 
    Can you point me in the direction of the “Creating a custom banner” that you speak about. I can’t find it to save my life. 

  120. Hi Ryan,
    I stumbled upon your tutorials and have not looked back! VERY helpful! That being said, I can not find the tutorial on creating a custom banner which you refer to. Can you show me the way??
    Keep up the great work! 

  121. Kudos for the entire series, Ryan! Very helpful. Thank you.
    As a takeoff on your “work with me” gallery, I’m setting up one-image galleries to display an introductory page of suggestions, notes, and comments to the viewers of password protected galleries. The format is the same as you advised for “work with me” – Journal (Old). On these introductory pages I include a direct link to the gallery itself. It adds a nice personal touch.

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      Hi Will – I’m glad you found the videos helpful. :)
      I really like your “intro page” idea. And I’d love to see it in action. Could you share a link to your SmugMug site?

      •  @Ryan Oakley Sure… 
        The site is new, so no portfolio page yet, but it’s coming this week. Home page is showing a featured image that will take you to an “intro” page. It was a private event, so it’s password protected. I sent you the password via your contact page on your SmugMug site.

  122. I loved your videos.  I’m not done yet, but you helped me to get as far as I have.  I’ll go to Youtube later and ‘like” your videos.  I still have to add text and some other stuff, but I have the meat and potatoes done.  Here is the link,

    • Hey Kev,
      Glad you have found the tutorial to be useful for you. I would really appreciate the “likes” on YouTube. :)
      Your site is looking great. And your photos in your slideshow are sweet. Great work. :)

  123. Ryan thanks so much for the videos. You have saved many of hours and help me transform my site from zero to hero. I still have not gotten it to where I want it to be, but I am onto a great start. Thanks again for the hard work you put put into the videos to help people like me out with making a great website.

    • Hey Kirt – you are most welcome! I’m glad the tutorial helped.
      I checked out your site — you’re well on your way! Nice work.


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  2. […] It’s drag-and-drop easy but if you need some help, you can check out my SmugMug Customization Tutorial. […]

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