Brought to you by the photographers at SmugMug

A Photo Organizer Worth Switching For

Site-Wide Organizer = Big Benefits for Every Photographer

Whether you're a long time SmugMugger looking to upgrade your site from legacy to the new SmugMug, or are a photographer looking for a safe place to put your photos, the Organizer is a must-have tool for photo file management on SmugMug. We think it's worth migrating your account just to be able to use it!

What's in it for you: Take control of the chaos and corral your photos into a neat, tidy, familiar folder tree that you can organize via a drag-and-drop window. You stay in control when organizing your photos and videos, and you can shuffle your galleries into any layout that works for you. 

You can open the Organizer from anywhere on your SmugMug site. Simply log in and look for the ORGANIZE button in the header tool bar, top left:

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Big Benefit #1: Folders

Since you probably have lots of photos, you'll want to create an organizational structure that makes the most sense to you. Example: Sort your photos into buckets based on:

• Subject

• Sport

• Date

• Event

•  Name

There are infinite ways you can organize your photos based on what you shoot, so be sure to create folders that fit your photos best.

In the new SmugMug, your photos are uploaded into and contained inside Galleries. Galleries are end points on the tree, and typically you'll keep your galleries inside Folders. A Folder can hold either galleries or up to five layers of nested folders inside it. This results in a total of 7 layers of organization:

* TOP FOLDER  > Folder > Folder > Folder > Folder > Folder > Gallery              

Remember that in legacy SmugMug,  you can only organize up to three levels deep.

Need help? For an in depth look at Folders, Galleries and Pages, check out our video tutorial

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Big Benefit #2: Drag and Drop

The Organizer displays your Tree Structure in the drawer on the left hand side. The right pane of the organizer shows whatever content you highlighted on the folder tree. If you've highlighted a Folder, then all of the child Folders and Galleries of that folder will be represented as thumbnails on the right. 

You can drag and drop items within that right hand panel to sort them, or you can drag and drop anything from the right pane into the tree on the left. Easy!

If you want a gallery to end up in one of the child folders, make sure you've clicked the top level Folder first to open it up and reveal the nested content within it. 


In old SmugMug, moving a gallery from one location to another required you to dig down through a complicated gallery settings menu, and then scrolling endlessly through empty category options and many, many clicks. You had to be familiar with the structure of your own site to be able to do this.

In the new Organizer!

In the new SmugMug, everything is presented to you on a single page in a beautiful, visual interface. You can see the nested Folders and Galleries so you know exactly where your photos live in relation to one another. No memorization needed.

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In old SmugMug ordering your content is done through the Arrange menu with only a small panel of buttons to click on the left. It's possible to do this for your homepage, and for each category and subcategory page one at a time. Talk about tedious.

Making changes in the new Organizer is instant. You can Sort, Arrange or Move your site content around and the changes take place immediately. Plus, you can access everything on your site from one place. Save time clicking and digging around!

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Big Benefit #3: Do Everything From the Organizer

Whether you're creating new galleries, uploading photos and videos or adding keywords to your photos, you can do it all from within the organizer. 

• CREATE new galleries, folders and pages, add details like meta descriptions, keywords and security settings

• MANAGE gallery, page and folder settings 

• ARRANGE the order of files and folders

• MOVE folders, pages, galleries and photos between locations

In legacy SmugMug, each of these processes is done from a different spot, sometimes in the gallery settings, sometimes from inside the gallery, sometimes from your Account Settings. You have to learn where to go to do what you want.

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Big Benefit #4: Bulk Actions

What's the point of having those juicy photo tiles if you can't use them? One of the nicest features of the Organizer is the ability to edit your galleries and photos in bulk.

To do this, simply highlight multiple folders or galleries from the list on the left, and click the Settings button at the top.

You can also edit multiple photos from within the same gallery: Highlighting the thumbnails you want gives you the power to Delete or Hide/Show just those photos. 

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Homework Assignment: Tidy Up!

Try your hand moving, arranging, deleting

Now that you've created a Folder structure that works for you, it's time to put all of it into practice. Go ahead drag and drop anything you wish into your new Folders and Galleries. With up to 7 layers or organization, the sky's the limit.

If you've been with SmugMug for any length of time, this should be exciting because you no longer have to dedicate an entire evening to organizing your site!

For deleting: You can delete images one at a time, or a selection of images from within a gallery. You can even delete a gallery (which deletes everything inside it) and you can delete entire folders.

Highlight the item(s) to delete, and click the garbage can in the tools menu. 

PS. Don't worry, we do show a warning message because this process is permanent!

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Tip: Did You Know?

SmugMug's customization tools allow you to present your photos and galleries in ways that make sense to your viewers. In other words, the structure of your Folders and photos DOES NOT HAVE TO MATCH what your visitors see.

Think of the Organizer as your fully-stocked warehouse. Nobody but you sees it, but it's there with all of your photos and videos in neat boxes and Folders. Your homepage, on the other hand, acts as the front window of your shop – use it to entice guests to come in and browse. You should craft the different Pages on your site to show off what your guests should see, dipping into your warehouse as you need. 

And, as any successful shop keeper will tell you, changing up your displays regularly will keep enticing visitors to come in. So keep it fresh!


Old SmugMug has a standard two-column layout for the content on your homepage. 

Arranging them is done on the homepage (or category page) using that tiny link at the top.

Visitors see all public galleries on pages like this. Note that there's more empty white space than anything else, and lots of text in a confusing jumble of font weights and styles. In short, it's overwhelming and difficult to navigate:

In the new Organizer!

In the new SmugMug, you get to put your most important (read: Beautiful) content on your homepage using content blocks. Draw their eyes to the main content with zero distractions. 

Use the powerful new customizing tools to guide your visitors around your site, giving them a great viewing experience and making sure that they find the photos that you want found. 

Check our articles on Creating a Great First Impression and Building a Menu Bar that works for you. 

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