I have been a fan and user of Smugmug since 2005, and since then I have seen a lot of changes with the site, most of them have been under the hood, but this is the first time Smugmug has rolled out a new look and feel. Anytime any web site updates the User Interface (UI) you wonder what all is going to break along the way. This time though, no breaking, just good clean solid programming making things much more pretty, and a way to harmonize your Smugmug site with the other web sites that you use to showcase your pictures.
If you want to check out the changes – trot on over here.
It took about 5 hours to roll my 60,000 pictures over on the Smugmug site to the point where I could get to the new UI and then actually go tinker with it. There were a lot of people out there yesterday trying to do the same thing and while they say it might take a minute or two to do this, the more pictures you have the more time it will take to roll everything over to the new UI. I have some friends who had 150,000 pictures or more that are still waiting and we all tried to do this about the same time yesterday. So figure about an hour for every 10,000 pictures wait time for the roll over and that means you can go grab a cup of coffee or take a nap, or go do something useful along the way while you are waiting.
The wait is worth it.
The new UI is clean, pretty, and allows you to really customize a lot of what you do or how you want to showcase your stuff. I personally made a special gallery of my latest stuff or the stuff I really love and then used that as my main linkage point back into the rest of the site. You are going to see a drop off in traffic as people try to get used to the new Smugmug layout, and some of it is counter intuitive. For example, there is a browse link, I wanted to change the name over to Check out the other Galleries, but you can’t change the text on the default links. You can however finally make a link back to the other places you store stuff, so you can interlink your Smugmug with your web site, flickr, Deviant Art, and other places to build a route to the other places you share your stuff.
The wait was so worth it.
Honestly I really love what Smugmug has done here, I am generally not a foaming at the mouth rabid fan, and there were some hitches with Smugmug last year with the pricing model that they had proposed. But I also know that Smugmug will listen to people, so while I whine about the browse vs galleries link – if that is the only think I found lacking, then I consider myself very lucky. Smugmug is worth the cost, and the time, and the new UI roll out last night just hit on all the numbers. Thank you Smugmug, as always, you are awesome.