SmugMug Portfolio vs Pro: The Best Website for Professional Photographers?

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If you want to quickly learn the differences between SmugMug Portfolio vs Pro, then SmugMug Portfolio (15% off with this link!) lets you create a fully customized site with integrated selling abilities, while SmugMug Pro (15% off with this link!) gives you everything in the Portfolio plan, plus extra client management and branding tools, ideal for those who want to sell photos commercially.

SmugMug is one of the most used photo website builders by professional photographers, thanks to its ability to guide you to quickly and easily setup a brand new photo site from scratch in just minutes.

It is an ideal place to host your photo portfolio, with unlimited photo storage and uploads, and has some excellent eCommerce features in both the Portfolio and Pro plans.

This article quickly compares the SmugMug Pro and Portfolio plans to see what the differences are, and to help you decide which will best suit your goals.


SmugMug Portfolio vs Pro

What are the Differences Between SmugMug Portfolio vs Pro?

The SmugMug Pro plan contains all of the functionality of the Portfolio plan, but also contains several extra features. Therefore, I will only focus on the extra functionality that the Pro plan possesses, as these are the only differences.

Note: When you start a 14-day free trial of SmugMug, you get access to all customization features of the top plan, but your access will revert to that of your chosen plan at the end of the free trial period. This means that you can try out the Pro plan risk free.

Pricing

SmugMug Portfolio is the cheaper plan by quite a distance, currently available for $240 per year, while the Pro plan is around $430 per year, assuming that you are willing to pay annually. This saves you around 30% on the monthly price.

You can save an additional 15% off these prices by following this link.

SmugMug Portfolio vs Pro Price
SmugMug Portfolio vs Pro Price

Custom Pricing

Probably the most useful feature of the Pro plan over the Portfolio plan, and the main reason that many professionals take the jump to this more expensive plan, is the ability to set custom prices for your photos on a per photo, or per gallery level.

These photos are printed by one of SmugMug’s partners, with the ordering, paying, printing and shipping entirely out of your hands.

In the standard Portfolio plan, you can only set a global price for any of these sales, but in the Pro plan, you can take pricing to a more granular level, setting different prices for different galleries.

Combined with the password protection that can be setup on a per gallery level, the advantage of the Pro plan is particularly apparent for wedding photographers and the like – they can set different prices for different shoots, as well as offering different products from over 1000 that SmugMug provide.

If you deal with a lot of clients, selling photos to them individually, then the Pro plan makes a lot of sense.

Client Galleries & Coupons

Related to the ability to set different prices for different galleries, you also get far more client management tools with SmugMug Pro. This comes in the form of being able to assign specific galleries to specific clients, along with providing a soft-proofing feature, so that you can be assured that prints are going to come out exactly as intended.

You are also able to offer packages of photos to clients, rather than making them buy photos as a one-off, and can assign coupons, meaning that they can receive a discount if they buy specific photos.

Both of these features can really help to drive sales and increase your business.

Branded Extras for Shipping

If you want to be seen as a professional photography brand, then having branded thank-you notes, packaging and stickers really makes you stand out, and this is what you get with the Pro plan.

> See an example of a branded thank-you note.

From a customer’s perspective, it will appear that the entire process from selecting their photo, paying for it and up to delivery will all have been conducted by you, and they shouldn’t even realize that SmugMug was involved. This is invaluable from a branding perspective and to help you seem like a professional photographer.


What’s the Same Between Portfolio and Pro?

The differences between the Pro and Portfolio plans are in the extra client features, as seen above, but both plans share a large number of excellent common functionality.

The Portfolio and Pro plans both have:

  • Unlimited uploads and storage.
  • Zero image compression – upload a full res image, but limit users to only see a lower res version.
  • RAW photo storage can be added for a few dollars extra.
  • Full customization, allowing you to drag-and-drop to create a professional level site in minutes.
  • Custom domain name support.
  • Privacy and security tools, like right-click protection, and the ability to password protect individual galleries.
  • Access to SmugMug’s app to auto-upload photos from desktop or your phone, plus let you perform basic edits.
  • The ability to sell images with fully integrated order fulfillment.

Which SmugMug Plan is Best for Your Photography?

Both the SmugMug Portfolio and Pro plans are quite expensive, but they offer some very helpful features for those starting out as professional photographers.

They are both really only suitable if you intend to sell large numbers of images, such as if you are a wedding photographer, school or sports club photographer, for example, otherwise one of the cheaper plans might be more suitable.

SmugMug Portfolio vs Pro Price

The SmugMug Portfolio plan is most suited to those who want a fully customizable site with basic sales functionality. This would work well for those starting out as pro photographers, or who make money from photography as a side business.

The SmugMug Pro plan is best for those who intend to sell large volumes of photos and value strong branding. The hands-off approach to printing and branding means you can easily sell lots of photos with minimal work to you, with this being the next best step once you are selling too many photos to be able to handle order fulfillment by yourself.


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Hi, I'm Tim Daniels, photographer and photo trainer, founder of Lapse of the Shutter and creator of the totally free Lightroom Develop System. I've travelled to (probably) 30 countries over the last few years, taking photos and licensing them around the world, and creating lots of free photography learning resources. Read More ...

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