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How to Customize Your System Pages

One of the most popular requests we've heard from our customers was: "Why can't I customize my system pages?"

With the new SmugMug, Power, Portfolio, and Business users can customize certain pages that were untouchable before.

What you can change?

(If you're a long time SmugMugger, first be sure that you're using the new SmugMug.)

In the "See it" links below, simply replace the "XXXXX" with your SmugMug nickname. These special site page are not listed in your Site Organizer since they can't actually be moved around, but keep the list below handy so you can access them at any time.

404 page

What: The error page that shows when people try to visit a page on your site that doesn't exist.

See it:

Tip: Your fans may be frustrated trying to find something specific on your site when they get this page. Don't be afraid to drag and drop in a text box and type up something friendly that invites them to contact you for help.

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What: Timeline view, which lets you (or viewers) search for photos shot within a specific date range.

See it:


What: Your keyword cloud, which shows you all the keywords you've entered into your site, and how many photos are found under each.

See it:

Tip:  Keyword clouds are also available as a content block, found under  the "Discovery" section of your site customization. It could look great on your Browse page, which is included by default of many of our design layouts.


What: The page your fans and clients see every time you share a gallery protected with a viewing password.

See it:

Tip: Drop in a title and/or text box inviting them to email you if they can't remember the right password.


What: Your public photos and videos that other people have voted "Thumbs up" (now called "Like") and commented on the most.

See it:


What: A clean, simple, but extremely useful search field where anyone can type in a search term. Good for finding photos, galleries and videos.

See it:

Tip: A search box is also available for dropping into any page on your site as a content block. Find it under the Discovery section in your site customization.


What: A page that lists all the folders (categories) on your site. When you're logged in, your unlisted and private folders will show up here, too.

See it:

Tip: This page comes already linked from our default design layouts, and is a great place to drop in additional content boxes like the keyword cloud, the map, and the timeline search.

What you can't change

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There's some core content on a few pages that you can't change, for obvious reasons, like the password fields on a password page.

You'll know that these can't be touched when you mouse over them in customization mode and the little lock icon appears in the corner. (Shown above)

How to do it

1. Type in the URL to visit each page, as per the full list above. Remember, use your SmugMug nickname in the domain instead of the "XXXXX."

2. Click Customize > Customize Site from the top of your page. You'll be taken into customization mode where you'll see lots of content blocks you can pick and choose. Click to expand each section and drag the boxes you want into any green area on the page.

3. Once the boxes are on your page, mouse over them and click the little wrench icon in the top corner. This way, you'll customize exactly what your viewers see.

4. Save your changes when you're done. Remember that if you are still in preview mode, you can publish your changes and you'll be the only one who sees it until you officially, permanently publish your website to the public.

Link them up

From here, you'll want to add a link to these pages from your website's menu bar so your visitors can access them. The exceptions are the 404 and password pages, which will automatically be displayed to viewers at the proper time.

To do this, simply open your Site Customization mode again and look under the "Navigation" section, then choose Menu. Drag it out, click the wrench icon top open the settings.

Add a new link by hitting the "+" sign and select "Page I Choose." From there you can browse your site and select any of the system pages you've just customized. 

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Have fun! As always, let us know if you have questions, problems or creative customization ideas that you're willing to share.