I have been with SmugMug for three years now and I feel it’s about time I spread the word!

Prior to this I had been uploading my photos to free databases like photobucket which I was happy enough with until the ads got so prevalent and using the system became complicated and difficult. At that point, I figured it was time to switch.

Easier said than done! I honestly thought I would be able to find a system I liked well enough, that was free. It turns out they were all like photobucket – slow loading, full of ads, and not user friendly. I resigned myself to having to pay for the privilege of uploading my photos and that is when I came across SmugMug.

I haven’t looked back! I got my first year at a discount, for $20 for the year. The regular, standard annual cost is $40 which works out to a whopping $3.33 per month. This package is perfect for the casual user or photographer who wants to keep his/her photos all in one place. They do have a “Pro” package that is more expensive but, of course, allows you to do more – you can even sell your prints directly through SmugMug! But since I’ve been using the standard SmugMug account, that’s what I’m reviewing.

First of all, the interface is intuitive and user friendly. Set up your galleries (such as “pythons”, “lizards”, “family” and so on), pick the look of each gallery (I use the classy, dark Carbonite layout on each of my galleries, but there are many more to choose from, or make your own), and upload your photos! Uploading is easy and you can use any one of several interfaces, such as drag-and-drop, flash, HTML5, photo apps, uploading from other sites, and more.

You can upload your photos right off your camera, at full size. SmugMug conveniently displays the photo as a small thumbnail and gives you the option to view and download (or let others do so – or not!) a photo in a variety of sizes including thumbnail, small, medium (for online forums), large, original (for printing).

If you allow it, users can comment on your photos or simply give a thumbs-up or -down. You can connect directly with Facebook and other social accounts to “show off” your photos. Your photos can be shared, tweeted or liked.

Customer support is excellent. SmugMug heros (staff) typically respond within a few hours and are helpful and courteous.

Stats are available so you can track who is looking at what.

SmugMug does all I want and much, much more. Not a single “con” comes to mind.

So try it for free! If the free trial doesn’t convince you that SmugMug is worth paying for, nothing will.