Are you a professional photographer looking to showcase your work to the world? Do you find that social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram just don’t cut it when it comes to storing and sharing your high-quality images? If so, you’re not alone.
Fortunately, there are many online image hosting and portfolio building sites that cater to photographers just like you. SmugMug is one such platform, offering convenience and opportunities that can be indispensable for professionals.
But what if you’ve tried SmugMug and are looking for alternatives? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve scoured the internet to find our favorite sites that offer similar services and features, taking into consideration factors such as price, convenience, and availability.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the best SmugMug alternatives out there, so you can find the perfect platform to showcase your work and earn money from your passion. So, let’s dive in and explore your options!
- SmugMug alternatives exist with varying pros and cons, so it’s essential to consider which features you need, the cost, compatibility, and ease of use.
- SmugMug offers tools for online photo storage, portfolio site building, and commerce, but it may not be the most cost-effective option if you’re only using it for photo storage.
- 22 Slides is a simple, no-nonsense SmugMug alternative with a powerful, lean site builder, and a variety of tools most photographers need.
- Format offers a suite of tools, including award-winning templates and convenient hosting options, making it a great choice for showcasing photography work, but it has a three-tiered pricing structure.
- Ultimately, the best SmugMug alternative will depend on your individual needs and preferences as a photographer.
- Adobe Portfolio is a great option for Creative Cloud subscribers, with Lightroom integration and password protection features.
- Pic-Time is a good choice for beginners, with a free option and commission-based pricing for sales.
- Zenfolio offers affordable pricing and cross-device optimization, but may not be suitable for power-users.
- Dropbox is a cloud-based file storage solution with collaboration tools, but does not offer site building or portfolio features.
- Squarespace is a popular website builder that offers plenty of photographer-focused templates for showcasing your work.
- The platform is intuitive and easy to use, but also provides more in-depth tools for those who are technically-minded.
The good news is that there’s a ton of SmugMug alternatives out there if you know where to look. Each comes with its own set of pros and cons which we’ll dive into a little further down this page.
In this section, we’ll explore some of the main things to consider when searching for alternatives online. Check them out.
One of the great things about SmugMug is the number of tools it gives you as a photographer. You get access to stellar online photo storage, a portfolio site builder, and great commerce tools, to name a few.
Thing is, these are only worthwhile if you’re actually using them on a regular basis. If your main reason for using SmugMug is for photo storage, for example, you can almost certainly find cheaper alternatives online.
With this in mind, it’s worth thinking about how much you’re willing to spend per month on sites like this. It all comes down to how often you use them and how much they’re benefitting you as a photographer.
Using them constantly and actually making money through sales, etc? You can probably justify the cost of sites like SmugMug.
Just starting out and money is tight? This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it, but proceed with caution.
SmugMug works on Android phones, iPhones, Macs, and PCs. Can you say the same of the alternative you’re considering? It sounds obvious, but it can be easy to overlook if you’re not careful.
Make sure that any SmugMug alternative you consider will work with your current setup. The last thing you want to do is interrupt your workflow with a silly mistake like this – trust us.
One thing many SmugMug customers praise is how easy it is to navigate and use the site. Make sure that any alternative you consider won’t cause you headaches down the line.
This works both ways too – if you’re looking for some coder-friendly, in-depth features that SmugMug just doesn’t offer, it’s worth keeping an eye out for these tools during your search. It all comes down to the type of site you’re looking to build and your level of experience with this kind of work.
Right, let’s get into it! The list below contains some of our favorite SmugMug alternatives in 2021. Some come with fully fledged features suites that are on par with SmugMug. Others offer a more minimalist approach that can save you money.
We’ve compared online reviews, feature sets, price, and availability to find the suggestions made below. Read on to find the best option for you!
Cost: 30-day free trial then $10/month
First up is the refreshingly simple 22 Slides. This is a portfolio website builder that’s dedicated to being easy-to-use yet powerful in the hands of the right photographer. You get a good impression of 22 Slides the moment you look at their ‘pricing’ page.
They offer one payment plan – $10 a month with absolutely 0 upsells or extra gimmicks to be found anywhere. This no-nonsense approach can be found throughout the 22 Slides platform.
It’s lean yet powerful throughout. Customers can easily build unique portfolio websites, integrate commerce tools, master their site’s SEO and much more. If you’re looking to set up your professional site as a photographer, this is a fantastic option in our opinion.
The site builder and cloud storage on offer here are exactly what most people will be looking for. Over 200 servers worldwide for speedy load times? Check. Flawless Flickr and Instagram integration? Double check.
Free custom domains, coding tools, and flexible pricing features? Check, check check. The list goes on. Long story short, 22 Slides is a phenomenal, no-nonsense SmugMug alternative in 2021. Check it out.
- Super simple pricing structure
- Powerful, lean site builder
- All the tools most photographers will need
- No smartphone app
Cost: 14-day free trial then $7, $15, or $25 a month
The tagline used by Format is ‘where photographers get serious’ and for the most part, we agree with them. The platform comes with a slew of tools that make it easy to set up a site and start showcasing your work.
In some cases, this can be all a good photographer needs to start earning money through their images. The templates on offer here deserve praise in our opinion. Their award-winning design makes it effortless to build sites that are beautiful, easy-to-navigate, and effective.
Users will be able to upload their images at full resolution and showcase them in a number of convenient ways. The client gallery feature will be especially useful to headshot or real estate photographers who need a place to store and organize their individual clients’ shots.
Format starts at just $7 a month, but you’ll have to pay significantly more if you want access to the full suite of features. This basic payment tier only grants access to the platform’s ‘starter’ templates, for example.
- Great portfolio tools including client galleries
- Award-winning templates
- Convenient hosting options
- A three-tiered pricing structure that limits access to customers who pay less
Cost: $10 for Portfolio tools or $50 a month for the entire Adobe suite
Adobe has been an industry-leader in the world of photography and software editing for quite some time now. Their Portfolio platform is designed to add one more tool to their already substantial suite of creative online tools.
The primary purpose here is to help creatives set up a site, set their pricing, and start selling to customers. There’s a ton of beautiful templates to choose from that are designed from the ground up to showcase your work in all its glory.
If you’re already a Creative Cloud subscriber, you’ll be able to access Adobe’s portfolio tools for no extra cost. This of course is only worthwhile if you’re already subscribed for other tools, but it’s worth mentioning.
With killer features like Lightroom integration, password protection, image hosting, and much more, Adobe Portfolio is another great alternative to SmugMug, especially if you’re already using Adobe’s other programs.
- Great templates
- Optimized for practically any device
- Free for Creative Cloud subscribers
- $50+ for Adobe’s entire suite might be too expensive for some
Cost: Free (with 15% commission on sales) or $17, $34, or $50 a month
If you’ve built up a collection of high-quality work but are just starting out professionally, Pic-Time might be a great option. Unlike the other platforms discussed so far, it’s possible to build and maintain a site on Pic-Time without paying a monthly subscription.
Instead, the site takes a 15% commission on any sales made through your galleries. Once you start earning as a photographer, this might be a bit of a steep cut. If you’re a newcomer to the profession, though, this could help you cut costs early on.
The platform comes with plenty of templates to choose from and most of the pro-grade tools you’d expect. It’s easy to set prices, tweak SEO, automate commerce functions, and much more.
We’re big fans of the simplicity and convenience on offer here.
- A great free option for beginners
- Commission-free paid options for pros
- Lovely templates and powerful tools
- Not suber robust for self-coding fans
Cost: $4-$10 a month
Another SmugMug alternative that’s worth considering is Zenfolio. Like the other options listed on this page, it makes it super easy to start showcasing your work to the world. Expect convenient templates, simple selling tools, and hosting that should be more than enough than most people.
In general, we found the site builder to be pretty easy to use. If you’re used to the in-depth, power-user features of platforms like WordPress, you might find Zenfolio a little too simple. For most people, however, you should find it refreshingly easy to build what you’re looking for.
This platform has done a great job of cross-device optimization. Once your site is up and running, it will look just as good whether you’re viewing it on a Mac, PC, smartphone, or tablet.
The pricing here is particularly compelling – you can get started for as little as $4 a month!
- Pretty affordable for most people
- Great cross-device optimization
- Easy to use
- Not great for power-users
Cost: Free, or $8-$18 a month
We’ll cut right to the chase here – this isn’t the option for you if you want to build a portfolio website. If the main appeal to you with SmugMug was the file hosting, however, Dropbox might just be a welcome alternative.
It’s one of the world’s leading cloud-based file storage solutions (as if you didn’t know that already). It comes with a surprising number of tools that make it really easy to share your files with other people.
The platform has put a lot of effort in recent years into their collaborative tools. They’re designed to help people come together virtually and interact with files online. When sharing or tweaking content with a client, this might be more than enough for your needs.
Dropbox can be used for free, but if you want to take advantage of higher storage volumes, you’ll need to subscribe.
- No-nonsense file storage
- A surprising number of collaboration tools
- Access your files anywhere
- No site building or portfolio features
Cost: $10-$30 a month
If you haven’t heard of Squarespace before, where have you been the past ten years? The platform has reached legendary status in the world of website building and online commerce.
There are plenty of photographer-focused templates on offer here that make it really easy to share your work with the world. If you’re more technically minded, Squarespace also makes it possible to tweak things to your heart’s content.
Coding, SEO adjustments, HTML changes, and much more are all just a few clicks away. Keep in mind that Squarespace is built to be an excellent website builder, but it’s not a purpose built photography tool like some of the other options on this page.
There are premium plans available for more intensive image hosting, but the switch from sites like SmugMug might take a little getting used to for some people. In general, though, this is a fast, convenient way to build a photography website with impact.
- Loads of high-quality templates
- Plenty of more in-depth tools
- Super intuitive
- Not perfect for high-volume image hosting
In conclusion, finding the right platform for your online image hosting and portfolio building needs can make all the difference for your photography career. With the help of our recommendations, we hope you’re one step closer to making an informed decision.
Remember to take advantage of free trials and test out the platforms for yourself. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different options until you find the one that suits you best.
And always remember, it’s not just about the platform you choose, but also how you use it. Putting in the time and effort to curate a stunning portfolio can set you apart from the competition and help you achieve your professional goals.
So what are you waiting for? Start exploring these alternatives to SmugMug and take your photography career to the next level!