SmugMug vs. Squarespace: Which is Better?

SmugMug vs. Squarespace: Which is Better?

If you’re a photographer, then you know that you need to have a website to showcase your work. But which platform should you use – SmugMug or Squarespace? In this article, we will compare the two platforms and help you decide which one is better for you. We’ll cover everything from pricing to templates to customer support, and give you some tips on how to make the most of each platform. So let’s get started!

What is SmugMug

SmugMug is a photography-oriented website and image hosting service that enables users to upload, store, share and print photos.

The company was founded in 2002 and is still kicking it. With SmugMug, you can create your own personalized galleries to enhance the presentation of your images as well as manage and store all of your digital photographs. It offers powerful editing tools, secure storage space for media files, unlimited storage, eCommerce options for selling prints or digital downloads, password protection settings and more.

SmugMug also allows you to easily transfer photos from other online services such as Flickr or Facebook directly into your galleries with just one click. Furthermore, the interface is simple and intuitive, making it easy for users to create beautiful and customized galleries that can be shared with family and friends. SmugMug’s powerful content management system enables you to organize your photos into albums or collections, allowing you to easily keep track of your images. Additionally, SmugMug also offers a variety of customization options including custom background colors and patterns as well as complete control over how your images are displayed on the site. Lastly, there is an excellent customer service team available if ever needed. All in all, SmugMug is an excellent service for anyone looking to store, share or print their digital photographs. [1], [2], [3], [4]

What is SmugMug

What is Squarespace

Squarespace is an all-in-one website building platform that provides users with a simple and intuitive way to create and manage professional websites.

It offers various web design, blogging, ecommerce, social media integration, and other features to help business owners create stunning online presences. Squarespace also offers hosting services and domains so users can get everything they need to launch their websites in one place.

The main feature of Squarespace is its drag-and-drop website builder which makes it easy for anyone to customize their website the way they want it. It also has several templates to choose from so anyone can quickly build a beautiful site without any coding knowledge or experience. Other features include analytics to track performance, SEO optimization, and 24/7 customer service to help users with any issues or questions.

Squarespace is an ideal choice for businesses that want a simple website builder with all the features needed to create professional websites. The platform also offers hosting services and domains so users can get started immediately without worrying about other aspects of setting up their website. With its intuitive design tools, easy-to-use templates, and great customer support, Squarespace is an excellent option for anyone looking to create a stunning website quickly and easily.

Additionally, Squarespace offers advanced features such as membership portals, appointment scheduling, product customization options, and more that make it suitable for larger businesses. It also has integrations with popular third-party services such as MailChimp, Shopify, and Google Ads for even more customization options. [1], [2], [3], [5]

What is Squarespace

Comparison of SmugMug and Squarespace

Now that you know more about SmugMug and Squarespace, you may be wondering which one is better for your needs. In this section, we will compare SmugMug and Squarespace with regards to features, design, cost, customer service, and more.

Customization & features

Customization and features are essential components of any photo platform. Customization allows users to tailor the platform to their needs, while features offer a wide range of options for editing, storing, and sharing photos.

For example, many photo platforms provide an array of customization options such as color adjustment tools, filters, frames, etc., that allow users to quickly alter the look and feel of their images. Additionally, features like batch processing or automated backup can save time by allowing users to edit multiple photos at once or store them in secure cloud-based storage services.

One of the main differences between SmugMug and Squarespace is their approach to customization. SmugMug offers a range of pre-built templates for users to choose from, as well as powerful editing tools that allow for much more advanced customizations. Meanwhile, while Squarespace does offer templates of their own, they don’t provide nearly as many editing options for them.

In terms of features, SmugMug has a more comprehensive suite than Squarespace does. It provides users with a wide range of tools for managing their photos, including tagging, sorting and organizing them into albums and collections, as well as the ability to create lightboxes that clients can view before downloading images. Additionally, it also offers an integrated print lab and support for multiple payment gateways.

Both SmugMug and Squarespace offer SEO tools and analytics, as well as some basic e-commerce features such as payment processing, discount codes, and the ability to sell physical products.

Supported file types

Having a wide range of supported file types is an important factor for any photo platform. It allows users to upload, store and share photos in the format that works best for them. For example, if a user prefers to take photos in raw image formats such as .dng or .raw files, having support for these formats enables that user to fully benefit from the features of the photo platform.

Similarly, advanced editing capabilities may be limited when using compressed image formats such as .jpg or .png, so having support for larger image file sizes can make post-processing easier and more efficient.

Comparison of SmugMug and Squarespace

In addition to providing better quality results and increased flexibility, supporting multiple file types also helps ensure compatibility with various devices such as phones, cameras, and tablets. Different devices may have different file types that they natively support, so having the ability to upload images in a variety of formats gives users more options when it comes to finding a solution that works for their needs.

When it comes to file types, SmugMug and Squarespace both support various image formats, including common ones like JPEG, PNG, GIF, and TIF.

However, when talking about RAW files, SmugMug only allows for them to be uploaded on the last tier of their subscription plans, while on Squarespace, RAW files can be uploaded on any plan.

Ease of use

The ease of use of a photo platform is incredibly important for the success of any photography project. A good photo platform should be easy to use, intuitive and provide quick access to essential features. It should also offer guidance on how to achieve the desired results from the tools available.

Good user experience is essential for photographers as it ensures that they can make their images look exactly as they envisioned them without having to spend hours figuring out how to do so. This helps photographers save time and energy, allowing them to focus more on taking great photos rather than worrying about how to edit or manage them afterwards. Additionally, a good user experience will allow photographers to easily share their work with friends and family online.

SmugMug is incredibly easy to use and has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to get started. It also offers tutorials, tips, and other resources to help photographers become more familiar with the platform. The customizable and intuitive dashboard allows photographers to have complete control of their project with an organized view of all their images, albums, galleries and orders.

Squarespace is also relatively easy to use for photographers but due to more complex features it may require more time to learn and understand. Its user interface is not as intuitive as SmugMug however with an organized dashboard that allows photographers to easily find their desired tools quickly.


Pricing is essential for the success of any photo platform. It should be able to reflect both the customer’s needs and the value that the platform brings to its users.

For customers, pricing should be competitive and also provide them with a clear indication of what they’re getting in return for their money. Customers should be able to see which features are included for each pricing tier, along with any additional fees or restrictions associated with using those features. This will help them compare and decide which package best suits their needs and budget.

Now as for the pricing comparison between SmugMug and Squarespace, they both offer different pricing plans depending on the type of features and services you need.

SmugMug offers three tiers of their packages with no additional fees: Power, Portfolio and Pro. Prices range from $13/month for the Power plan, while Portfolio+ is slightly expensive at $28/month. The Pro package costs from $
45/month and is the most expensive.

Comparison of SmugMug and Squarespace

Squarespace on other hand offers four tiers of its plans with some additional fees for certain features. Its Personal plan starts at $16/month with the additional fee for a domain name and an e-Commerce feature. The Business plan is slightly more expensive at $23/month. The Commerce plan includes all the features from the Business plan plus additional sales tools and discounts, starting from $27/month. Finally, Squarespace offers an Advanced Commerce plan with their most advanced features, starting from $49/month.

Customer support

Customer support is an important aspect of any business, especially for a photo platform. It provides users with access to assistance when they need help navigating the platform or resolving any technical issues they may encounter while using it. Customer support also helps build trust in the company and its services, since users know that there are people available to help them if something goes wrong.

When it comes to a photo platform, customer support can be especially helpful as photos are often irreplaceable memories that may not be able to be recreated. If something happens to a user’s photo collection, having someone available who can quickly provide assistance may be invaluable. Furthermore, customer support agents can offer advice on how to best use the platform’s features, as well as answer any questions that users may have about the platform.

Fortunately, both SmugMug and Squarespace offer excellent customer support. Both provide 24/7 customer service via email, phone, and live chat. They also have a detailed knowledge base that contains helpful articles on various topics related to the platform. However SmugMug also offers video tutorials and a support forum where users can ask questions and get answers from other users. [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]

SmugMug Advantages & Disadvantages

Now that you are familiar with the features and pricing of both SmugMug and Squarespace, let’s discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Advantages of SmugMug

We begin with the advantages of SmugMug. The platform is popular among professional photographers because of its powerful features and customization options. Let’s check out the main pros of it!

Convenient SEO tools

SEO is an essential part of any online business that wants to succeed. With the amount of competition online, it’s crucial for businesses to stand out and rank highly in search engine results. This requires effective use of SEO tools in order to optimize content and drive traffic from potential customers.

SmugMug Advantages & Disadvantages

By using SEO tools on photo platforms, website owners can gain insight into how visitors interact with their websites and content, which keywords they use when searching for photography-related topics, and how well their photos are ranked in comparison to other similar images. For example, a user may be looking for stock photography or aerial photography and could find your photos by typing those keywords into the search bar. By optimizing your images with the right keywords, you can increase the chances that these potential customers will find and purchase your photos.

One of the biggest advantages that SmugMug has over Squarespace is its convenient SEO tools. With these tools, photographers can easily optimize their images to improve their visibility in search engine results. This makes it easier for potential clients to find them and increases the chances of getting more customers.

The importance of SEO tools cannot be overstated, as it is essential for the success of any photography business. Therefore, having an easy to use SEO suite can be extremely beneficial for photographers who want to boost their online presence.

Lightroom integration

Another advantage of SmugMug is its seamless integration with Adobe Lightroom. This feature makes it much easier for photographers to manage their images, as they can quickly upload and edit them within Lightroom and then easily export them to SmugMug. This way, they don’t have to waste time manually uploading each image one by one or using a third-party tool to transfer them over.

Lightroom is a powerful photo-editing software developed by Adobe that can be used for organizing, editing, and sharing your digital photos. It allows you to store all of your photos in one place, apply adjustments and effects quickly, and share your edited images with others.

The main features of Lightroom include non-destructive editing tools (allowing you to make adjustments without actually changing the original image), an advanced library system for managing large collections of photographs, and an intuitive user interface that makes it easy to learn how to use the program. A professional photographer will certainly benefit from having Lightroom as part of their arsenal.

SmugMug Advantages & Disadvantages

With SmugMug’s integration with Lightroom, photographers can easily manage and optimize their images for the web. This is a huge advantage over Squarespace, which does not offer such an integration feature.

Option to sell 100% of your works

Being able to sell your works is an invaluable tool for photographers. On SmugMug, you have the option to sell 100% of your work with no platform fees. This gives you full control over how much you charge and how your photos are presented. Furthermore, customers can purchase prints right from within the platform, allowing them to easily find what they’re looking for and make a purchase without having to leave the site. [1], [2], [3]

Disadvantages of SmugMug

Despite all this, there are some disadvantages to SmugMug. While those may not be a dealbreaker to everyone, it is important to be aware of them before committing to the platform.

Exorbitant service fees

The biggest disadvantage of SmugMug is the cost. While there are plans as low as $13 per month, the more advanced plans can be quite expensive. For example, the Pro plan costs $45 per month and if you want to use it for commercial purposes, then you will have to pay an additional service fee. This can add up quickly and make the platform unaffordable for some photographers.

Lack of customized URLs

Another major disadvantage of SmugMug is the lack of customized URLs. This means that all photos are hosted on a single URL, which can be difficult to remember or share with others.

Customized URLs are incredibly important for photo publishing platforms as they allow photographers to create unique web addresses for their portfolio. This makes it easier for clients, buyers, or other interested parties to quickly find the photographer’s work online. Having a customized URL also helps to establish a professional presence and adds credibility to the photographer’s work since potential customers can easily remember the address of the site. In addition, these types of URLs provide search engine optimization (SEO) benefits since they make it easier for people searching on Google or other search engines to find exactly what they’re looking for.

While not having this feature is certainly a disadvantage, SmugMug does offer some additional tools to help photographers customize their portfolio. For example, they allow you to add custom text and images to the homepage, as well as link out to your other online portfolios. While this will not provide the same SEO benefits of having a customized URL, it is still helpful for branding and helping people find your work more easily. [1], [2], [3]

Squarespace Advantages & Disadvantages

We are moving to the Squarespace platform. It is worth mentioning that there are also some advantages and disadvantages to using this platform instead of SmugMug.

Advantages of Squarespace

Squarespace doesn’t lag much behind and offers plenty of features that make it a great platform for photographers. It is also easy to set up and use, so even newcomers can quickly make the best of its tools.

Squarespace Advantages & Disadvantages

Outstanding client service

We already discussed the importance of client service and how both SmugMug and Squarespace offer excellent customer support. But one thing that sets SmugMug apart from the competition is its outstanding client service. With their Personal Account Manager feature, photographers can have direct access to an experienced professional who will answer any questions they may have about the platform and provide assistance whenever necessary.

Many opportunities for internet selling

The platform is also a great choice for photographers who want to sell their work online. Squarespace provides many built-in tools that make the process easier, including integrated payment gateways and the ability to create custom prints. With these features, it’s easy to set up an ecommerce store on Squarespace in no time. Additionally, its SEO capabilities help ensure that your products are optimized for maximum visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Perfect website-building service

Not only photo hosting matters, but also the site-building feature. Thankfully Squarespace has a great website-building service that can be used to create professional-looking websites quickly and easily. The interface is easy to use, allowing users to drag and drop elements into place with no coding knowledge required.

Squarespace also provides hundreds of templates for different types of sites, covering ecommerce stores, portfolios, blogs, personal sites and more. These templates are fully customizable so that users can add their own content and design elements as needed. Additionally, Squarespace offers its customers access to additional themes from third-party developers which can help make your site stand out from the crowd even more.

Disadvantages of Squarespace

Despite all its advantages, Squarespace does have a couple of drawbacks. It’s important to be aware of them before investing in the platform.

Restricted utilization of third-party applications

The first downside is the limited ability to use third-party applications with Squarespace. While users can access most popular services like Google Analytics, the list of supported apps is significantly shorter than what SmugMug has to offer. This may be an issue for photographers who prefer to have more control over their website and need specific features that cannot be found on Squarespace.

Lack of payment methods

Another of the major disadvantages of Squarespace is its lack of payment methods. Currently, the platform only supports payments via credit card, PayPal and Apple Pay. While these are all popular options, they may not meet the needs of everyone who wants to use Squarespace for ecommerce.

Squarespace Advantages & Disadvantages

Additionally, there are certain restrictions on how many products can be sold per transaction and what countries are supported when using Apple Pay as a payment option. This could be an issue if you plan on selling to customers from other countries or if you want to offer multiple payment options at checkout. [1], [2], [3]


What are the limitations of SmugMug?

On SmugMug you can’t use customized URLs, which means that the URL for each page is assigned to you automatically. You also are limited in file size for images, with a maximum of 500 MB per photo. Additionally, you cannot upload RAW files unless you sign-up for the best tier of the service. SmugMug also does not include any e-commerce features unless you opt for the Pro account level, which is more expensive than other services.

Other than that, SmugMug is generally a good choice for hosting and displaying your photos. It has plenty of features to make it easy to organize, share, and protect your images. Additionally, you can upload videos as well which makes it quite versatile.

Ultimately, the limitations of SmugMug depend on what type of account you have (free or pro) and how much storage space you need. You should always consider your individual needs before making a final decision.

Is SmugMug better than Squarespace?

In most cases, SmugMug is better than Squarespace for photographers. The main reason why SmugMug is superior to Squarespace is because it offers more features and customization options tailored specifically to professional photographers. For example, SmugMug has advanced image editing tools that are not available with Squarespace, as well as e-commerce capabilities which allow you to sell prints and digital downloads directly from your website.

Additionally, SmugMug offers a wide range of templates and themes designed specifically for photographers, making it easier to create a beautiful website quickly and easily. Finally, SmugMug’s pricing plans are much more affordable than Squarespace’s, making them the clear choice for budget conscious photographers.

What’s better than SmugMug?

SmugMug proudly keeps the title of being one of the most popular photo hosting and sharing websites around, but is it always the best option for photographers?

Squarespace is an up-and-coming platform that offers a great alternative to SmugMug. With its user-friendly website design capabilities and powerful ecommerce tools, many photographers are switching over from SmugMug to Squarespace.

The answer as to which one is better ultimately comes down to personal preference and budget. For example, if you’re looking for something more affordable than SmugMug’s Pro plan then Squarespace might be the way to go thanks to its lower prices. On the other hand, if you need advanced features like unlimited storage space or built-in SEO tools then SmugMug might be the better option.

Ultimately, it’s important to weigh all of your options before making a decision as to which platform is right for you. This guide will go into more detail on what each platform offers so that you can make an informed choice.

Do photographers use Squarespace?

Yes, Squarespace is often used by photographers to create and show off their portfolios or start photography businesses. It provides an easy-to-use platform for designing beautiful websites with integrated blogging capabilities and eCommerce store capabilities. Its drag-and-drop page editor makes it simple to create a professional website and its expansive library of modern templates help you quickly create a captivating design.

Additionally, Squarespace is great for SEO optimization, which helps your photos and site appear higher in Google search results. This gives your work more visibility, potentially leading to more business opportunities or purchases from potential customers. In addition to these features, the hosting service also provides advanced security measures and reliable customer support, making it ideal for photographers who need a robust, reliable platform to showcase their work.

Is SmugMug worth the money?

SmugMug is certainly worth the money for photographers looking to invest in a powerful, customisable photography platform. SmugMug’s range of features makes it an excellent choice for professionals and serious hobbyists alike who want more control over their online presence. Additionally, the cost savings speak for themselves: users pay significantly less per year than they would with similar services such as Squarespace or The ease of use and variety of customization options make SmugMug an attractive option for anyone wanting to create a professional-looking portfolio website.

In terms of pricing, SmugMug offers three tiers: Basic ($5 per month/ $60 yearly), Power ($8 per month/$100 yearly) and Pro ($25 per month/$300 yearly). Each tier offers more features than the previous one, allowing users to upgrade as their needs grow. The Basic plan is great for those just starting out, while the Power plan provides more customization tools and e-commerce capabilities. Finally, the Pro plan unlocks numerous advanced features such as priority customer support, unlimited storage and customizable user profiles.

Useful Video: SmugMug vs Squarespace: Which One Is Better?


SmugMug and Squarespace are both great solutions for photographers who need to showcase their work and create a professional website. The two platforms offer a variety of features, customization options, and pricing levels so each photographer can tailor their website according to their needs.

In this article we have discussed both platforms and the advantages they offer. Ultimately, the best platform will depend on the individual photographer’s needs. SmugMug is a great option for those who want a reliable, easy-to-use platform with gorgeous designs and gallery options. Squarespace offers more customization options for those looking for a comprehensive website builder with powerful blogging capabilities.

When it comes to selecting the perfect platform for your photography business, SmugMug is better suited if you’re looking for an all-in-one web hosting solution with excellent customer support, while Squarespace may be a better choice if you want more control over your design and prefer a feature-rich website builder. Ultimately, the decision will come down to which platform best meets your individual needs as well as budget considerations.
By taking into account the pros and cons of each platform detailed in this article, you should be able to make an informed decision and choose the right solution for your photography website. Best of luck!

This concludes our SmugMug vs. Squarespace guide – we hope it helped you decide which platform is right for you! Thanks for reading!