Pixieset vs Smugmug: What’s Better For Photography?

16 Min Read
Pixieset vs Smugmug

There are a lot of ways to deliver pictures to your clients. You can email them, share them through Google Drive, or use an online platform like Pixieset or Smugmug.

Both Pixieset and Smugmug are excellent options, making them direct competitors.

Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, and with 2021 upon us, it’s time to evaluate the pros and cons.

Which platform is better for photography?

In today’s article, we’ll share with you all the strengths and weaknesses of each platform and which one you should choose for delivering your pictures.

Pixieset vs Smugmug
Pixieset vs Smugmug

Table Of Contents

  1. What is Pixieset?
  2. What is Smugmug?
  3. Ease of setting up your first website Pixieset and Smugmug
  4. Build Time
  5. Designs and Templates
  6. Photography Features
  7. Plugin and App Support
  8. Payment Support
  9. Customer Support
  10. Pixieset and Smugmug
  11. Pixieset vs Smugmug Cost
  12.  Pros and Cons
  13. Conclusion

What is Pixieset?

Pixieset is an online platform that allows you to deliver photos and videos to your clients.

Most photographers already have websites or social media platforms to share their previous works and attract clients.

What Pixieset does is allow you to send the client’s pictures to them.

Pixieset is designed for the sole purpose of delivering pictures and videos, making it one of the best options for it.

Pixieset gives you the opportunity of having a free account or a paid plan.

You can choose from Free, Basic, Plus, Pro, and Ultimate.

Each plan unlocks different features and tools.

The free plan allows you to accept online payments from clients once they download their pictures and gives you 3GB of storage.

It is perfect for beginners, but you won’t have a mobile-friendly app for your clients.

The Ultimate plan, which is the most expensive one at 40 USD a month, gives you unlimited storage.

It also allows you to connect website domains and personalize your account.

With this plan, you can even have a mobile-friendly account without any Pixieset branding.

What is Smugmug?

Like Pixieset, Smugmug is an online platform that helps you deliver pictures and videos to your clients.

It is one of the most popular options on the market, thanks to the company’s acquisition of Flickr in 2018.

The platform is also known for being a specialized site focused on photography and video.

Many consider it to be the safest one for your work and money.

You can access a 14-day free trial if you decide on any of their plans, all of which come with unlimited storage for your pictures.

Try Out Smugmug or Try Out Pixieset

Ease of setting up your first website Pixieset and Smugmug

Most people only know web design and creation basics, making website builders like Pixieset and Smugmug necessary.

Pixieset and Smugmug offer you an easy way of setting up your photography page. Here’s all you need to know.

Setting up your website with Pixieset

Pixieset has a wide range of tools and features you can play with and modify to have a more personalized profile.

However, for the basics of a photography website, you’ll only need a couple of hours of hard work.

You fill in your information and decide whether you want to have a paid plan or a free account.

After that, it’s only necessary to set up your rates and upload your work.

You can do much more with the platform, but that will depend on you and your plan.

Setting up your website with Smugmug

Setting up the basics of your Smugmug account is relatively easy.

All you need to do is fill out the necessary data and start editing and linking your website.

You can do many small edits with a couple of clicks, and your page should be up and running in an hour or two.

It does not mean Smugmug and other website builders do the job for you; it only means that they make it easy for you to understand each step you need to follow.

Build Time

The necessary time to create an impactful and beautiful photography website depends on you.

If you want a unique website, it might take you quite a while, but if you want it only to function, it can be a matter of hours.

Pixieset vs Smugmug

When it comes to building time, both platforms offer similar features and support.

You need to create your account first, then decide which plan you are going to get.

Once you decide on the plan, you fill out your information and the description for your web.

Once you have the basics, you need to design how it will look.

Free Pixieset won’t allow you to customize your account, but you can have your logo and domain up on your profile if you upgrade plans.

There’s not much difference between them in terms of setup and time, but if you want a free account, then Pixieset is the platform to use.

If you want something basic but with unlimited storage, then you can use Smugmug.

Designs and Templates

When it comes to website builders for photographers, looks are a vital feature.

Both Pixieset and Smugmug offer a wide range of templates and designs.


Pixieset offers you five different templates for your website.

Each template has a unique look and feel, and you can customize them as much as possible.

Here’s the list of templates that Pixiest offers you:

  • Stanley
  • Edward
  • Canvas
  • Avery
  • West

And one that they are about to launch: Hudson.

Pixieset vs Smugmug
Pixieset vs Smugmug


On the other hand, Smugmug offers over 21 different templates and designs for you to build the website you want.

Here’s the list of templates that Smugmug offers:

  • Classic
  • Smokey
  • Turbo
  • Ludwig
  • Arrow
  • Deco
  • Osiris
  • Dash
  • Willow
  • Shadow
  • Oslo
  • Nyx
  • Moss
  • Cosmo
  • Spartan
  • Koda
  • Duke
  • Vida
  • Dina
  • Sierra
  • Sophie
  • Octavia
  • Max
  • Zoe
  • Jasper
  • Pixie

Try Out Smugmug or Try Out Pixieset

Pixieset vs Smugmug
Pixieset vs Smugmug

Photography Features

Suppose you are a photographer building up your first website.

In that case, you should have in mind that you need the highest quality possible for your pictures and the most effortless interface for your clients to browse around.

Contrary to most website builders, Pixieset and Smugmug are focused on offering the best features for photographers.

It means they both have high image quality levels and an easy interface for you to work on.

Client Galleries and Interface

Pixieset offers an easy-to-use interface for your clients to browse through your work and galleries without any problem.

They have a fast and reliable design, but it is still not the most comfortable interface.

Smugmug, on the other hand, offers more features and tools on their interface, but it can be a bit trickier to use.

They do not support nor provide many plugins for additional features either.

Custom Galleries

Both platforms succeed at creating custom galleries for clients.

They both focus on being the best website builder for photographers.

Pixieset offers this possibility on their paid plans, while Smugmug offers it on all their plans.

Plugin and App Support

Each platform offers app support for mobile use and different plugins that will allow you to unlock extra features.

Pixieset offers the possibility of linking your website to Lightroom.

The Plugin allows you to connect your Lightroom account to your website so that you can upload directly from Lightroom, synchronize your galleries, and re-edit previous work.

Smugmug, on the other hand, allows you to download a plugin to unlock a Lightroom feature.

This feature allows you to upload pictures from your Lightroom account but offers no more than that.

The plugin is not well-rated by users, and it tends to crash from time to time.

Mobile Apps For Clients

Both Pixieset and Smugmug offer responsive websites that can adapt automatically to mobiles and other devices.

On top of that, they also provide the possibility of downloading apps specifically designed for mobile use.

You can unlock the app features on Pixieset if you subscribe to any of their paid plans.

The app allows your clients to browse through your galleries and download the pictures they want.

It also supports e-commerce and other additional features.

Smugmug also offers a mobile app for clients, which you can download from the Play Store or Apple Apps.

The app is free, but to use it, you’ll need a paid Smugmug account.

Try Out Smugmug or Try Out Pixieset


Payment support is essential for a website builder that offers e-commerce and online shops.

Professional photographers need to use their websites to generate income, making reliable payment support necessary for a website builder focused on photography.


Pixieset offers the possibility of accepting payments from credit cards, PayPal, offline payments, or combining the options and receiving payment from all.

Setting your payment method is also relatively easy.

All you need to do is go to your store’s settings and choose the options you’d like to use.

You’ll need to fill in your tax information too, which should be easy if you live in the US.


Smugmug supports online payment through PayPal and credit cards.

If you live in the US, you’ll need to fill in your tax information, and you’ll receive your money on the set date of every month.

They also support payment methods for international clients through PayPal.

If you live outside of the US, you can have your money delivered to you in your currency.

Customer Support Pixieset and Smugmug

Customer support is an essential feature for professionals that decide to invest in a website builder like Smugmug or Pixieset.

If something fails with your payments, or the download, or even the delivery of products, then you need to solve it soon.

That’s where customer service support comes into play.

Pixieset Customer Support

Pixieset has operational customer service support but is not as personal as Smugmug.

They have 24/7 support with bots and a decent average response rate for human interaction.

Smugmug Customer Support

Smugmug’s customer support is one of its most significant features.

They sell the idea of 24/7 customer service for 364 days a year, taking one day a year off.

The people they work with are experts in customer service, and they will help you with anything you need.

The company has a reasonable response rate.

They do not use the occasional bot as many customer service support companies do nowadays.

Pixieset vs Smugmug Cost

The two platforms offer you paid plans, and each plan unlocks new features.

Only Pixieset offers you a free account, although it comes with little to almost no storage space.

Pros and Cons

Pixieset and Smugmug are direct competitors. When it comes to choosing which one to use, you need to compare its advantages and disadvantages.

Understanding their strengths and weaknesses is the right way to determine which platform is the right one for your needs.






  • Smugmug offers unlimited storage space.
  • It allows you to present your work of the highest quality possible.
  • Smugmug is one of the most uncomplicated website builders for photographers to use.
  • Smugmug allows your clients to print the pictures at the best possible printing labs.


  • There’s no free version.
  • Your clients won’t be able to like their favorite pictures.
  • You can’t do invoices.
  • 15% fee on everything.


Both platforms offer excellent features for professional photographers.

Each platform provides clean and easy-to-use interfaces, good customer support, a wide range of payment support, and unique templates.

Pixieset is one of the best choices for professional photographers.

They regularly update their features and tools, and their paid plans are affordable.

The Lightroom plugin for Pixieset is also an excellent tool that most photographers will love.

Their mobile app is fantastic for clients to browse and buy.

Smugmug, on the other hand, is the one that’s been on the market for a longer time.

They offer the best customer service and a more comprehensive range of templates and designs. All of their paid plans come with unlimited storage space.


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Posted by Rebecca
Rebecca is an Independent content writer for breldigital, She writes content on any given topic. She loves to write a case study article or reviews on a brand, Be it any topic, she nails it
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