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If you don’t have time to read the full differences between the SmugMug Power vs Portfolio plans, then SmugMug Power (15% off with this link!) is better for creating a fully customized site for sharing photos online, while SmugMug Portfolio (15% off with this link!) has the same benefits but also lets you sell your prints with fully integrated order fulfillment.
SmugMug is widely considered the best photo site builder by professional photographers, and is constantly evolving with new features, such as the ability to store RAW files.
If you are interested in building a fully customizable photography website, with the ability to share your photos and even sell them to customers, then the SmugMug Power account and Portfolio plan are the two most cost-effective ways to do this.
This article covers the specific features of both, so that you can be assured that you are getting the features that matter to you, and if you follow my links, you can even get a 15% discount!
Key Differences Between SmugMug Power vs Portfolio
The SmugMug Portfolio plan contains everything that you will find in the cheaper SmugMug Power plan, plus extra features related to selling your photos. Therefore, this section contains the extra benefits that using the Portfolio plan gives you. The main benefits that both plans share are in the next section.
Note: Every SmugMug plan that starts with a 14-day free trial (follow this link) automatically gets full customization options for your site. Once the trial ends and you choose a plan, then your site will have to follow the plan’s restrictions. This lets you try out a higher priced plan with no risk.
SmugMug Power is the cheaper plan (although not as cheap as the SmugMug Basic plan), at around $100 per year, while the Portfolio plan comes in at around $240 per year, both when paying annually. This is quite a jump, so you have to be sure that the extra cost is worth it to you.
Note that the listed prices are for annual payments, which save you around 35% over monthly payments, and the price can be reduced still further by using this link to get another 15% off.
Physical Product List
The SmugMug Portfolio plan gives you access to a vast product list to which your photos can be printed, with the real bonus being that you can then sell these through your site to anyone that visits.
SmugMug has partnered with four photo labs to fulfill physical product creation, which range from simple prints on paper, through wall art, albums, mugs and many more products. In fact, there are over 1000 possible products on which you can have your products printed.
The keepsakes can be something quite unique, with a very wide range that is not found at traditional photo printing labs. If you are running a photography business that depends on selling your photos, then these can be a real income boost for you.
But if you don’t want to deal with physical products, then the Portfolio plan also allows you to sell digital downloads of your photos – you can choose the size and resolution so you don’t have to sell the highest res version if you don’t want to. This is particularly useful for photographers who shoot groups of people, like sports club socials, and want a site where they can then sell these photos cheaply to those in the photos.
For an example of how this works in practice, take a look at Thomas Hawks’ site and click on the ‘Buy Photo’ button to see some of the products available.
Fully Integrated Order Fulfillment
With everything from ordering to paying, printing and shipping all contained within SmugMug and its partners, there is nothing for you to do in order to get prints delivered to your customers – this is really a set-it-and-forget-it kind of operation.
SmugMug also offer 100% money back or reprint guarantee, so if you or your customers are not happy with the product, then a replacement should not come out of your budget.
Custom Shopping Cart
Perhaps one of the most useful features of the Portfolio plan is the ability to customize most of the shopping experience, from a custom shopping cart that contains your branding, to custom printmaking options, such as backprinting to add your logo or other information to the back of images.
This is something that most photo labs do not offer, and gives a real professional touch to any images printed this way.
What’s the Same Between Power and Portfolio?
The differences between the SmugMug Power and Portfolio plans are mainly concentrated on sales, but the excellent image sharing and site building features are common to both plans.
Both plans give you the ability to:
- Fully customize your site, from content to themes, background and layout, to make a really unique website.
- Design a site using drag-and-drop templates – a professional site can easily be created in under an hour.
- Use a custom domain name, that does not have “.smugmug” in it.
- Have privacy and security tools, like custom right-click protection and password protection for images, pages and galleries.
- Every plan comes with unlimited photo storage.
- RAW photo storage can be added on for a few dollars extra.
- Use SmugMug’s app to auto-upload photos from your desktop or phone, and perform basic edits.
- Zero image compression – upload full res images, but you can then limit the versions displayed to a lower res to avoid image theft.
Which SmugMug Plan is Right for You?
The decision on which SmugMug plan is right for you essentially comes down to whether you want to sell your photos or not. The price difference between the Power and Portfolio plans is quite substantial, but this can be easily covered by a few photo sales.
The SmugMug Power plan is best if you want to create a fully customizable website with unlimited photo storage. You get access to many useful features like using a custom domain, plus the drag-and-drop website builder interface, meaning you can easily create a professional level website for sharing your images more widely.
The SmugMug Portfolio plan is ideal if you want the benefits of the Power plan, but also want to sell your photos. You get all the same features as in the Power plan, but the ability to potentially sell thousands of designs of physical products, plus digital downloads.
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