The New SmugMug was launched today, and users can migrate their legacy sites to the improved templates whenever they desire. But don’t press that button yet: converting to one of the new templates will permanently install a branding footer on every page, and you can’t undo it, apparently. This means that if you currently “hide” the footer with html code (not allowed, but many do it) or if you had your site customized by a third-party … migrating to the new version will eliminate all concealment tricks. What will show up is one of the two lines (you choose!):
For those who joined SmugMug in the early days, you were grandfather out of the recent requirement that ad be displayed … I’m not sure if those grandfathered elite are still grandfathered on New SmugMug.
Of course, plenty of sites have a similar policy (e.g., WordPress), so my post title might seem a bit over the top. But many photographers don’t really want their potential clients to know exactly how much it costs to produce a 6′ canvas-wrapped wall photo because it reveals their profit, and many people don’t think photographers really need that much profit. And even if they didn’t mind clients knowing base lab prices, the name of the company is not really professional sounding, even though they are truly professional and wonderful at heart. The similarity that comes to mind is “Smuckers,” and it addressed the issue with a delightful ad campaign (“With a name like Smuckers, you have to be good”). “SmugMug” just sounds bad, and many photographers don’t want it on their site even if it’s at the bottom of the page.
I suspect that if they received 10,000 complaints about this issue, they’d reconsider. I tried for years and failed, but here’s the link if you want to register your anger. I recently gave up and migrated to Zenfolio…which allows me to remove all advertizing (my site, if you want proof). I miss many things about SmugMug, but I’m happy with my decision so far.