New size option on low-res “comp” downloads

We’ve just introduced a new size option to the free low-res “comp” downloads:

This allows you to offer downloads to your clients in sizes larger than 800×600 px. So that the download can be started in a single click, the alternative size is the same as the one used on your website (set via the gallery display style settings).

In addition, free low-res downloads applied to video clips now contain the (potentially watermarked) video itself, either in 360p or 720p size, instead of a still preview image (applies to new and updated galleries).

Free low-res “comp” downloads are a great way to give professional clients access to files they can use in layouts, for example before purchasing the high-res versions. They are watermarked if the images on your website are.


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Say hello to the new design editor!

We’re thrilled to launch today a major update of the design customization tool, which will make it significantly easier for members to customize their website. The themes have also been updated to allow for effortless color palette customization.

Design editor update

You’ll now see a new Customize panel that replaces the old Theme styles and Theme settings pages, where everything is now nicely grouped.

Once you’ve updated your design, clicking on the “filter” icon for a component in your design (for example the social icons) will bring up all relevant design options — no more no less.

We believe this will make finding the right customization options and adjusting them much more intuitive! In addition, it is now possible to simply revert theme style options to their default, and therefore to see what you have customized.

Themes update allows effortless color palette changes

All desktop and mobile designs have been updated to bring another major customization improvement: adjust background, text and accent colors and the design can automatically adapt all its other colors, for a professional-looking yet unique matching palette! Of course, you can still customize individual colors if you wish.

Updating my design – Q&A

Q: Will anything change on my website if I update?
A: You might notice minor changes, but your customization will mostly stay intact even if you used Custom CSS code (changes to the actual theme’s HTML/CSS code will be discarded though). In doubt, take a backup first (under Advanced and don’t hit the Apply to live website button until you’ve checked your website in preview mode.

In any case, we do recommend you update your designs to benefit from future updates too!

Q: I want to take advantage of the new easy color palette customization, what do I need to do?
A: After you have updated your design, go through all the design components, and deactivate all color customization. The design will then compute the individual colors based on the 3 main global colors.

Customized individual colors (left) vs colors automatically computed from main colors (right)

Alternatively, you can fully reset your design (via the Change design panel), but in this case all design customization (logo, fonts, …) will be lost.

Enjoy!


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Secure customers connections on all PhotoDeck websites

Customer login and protected gallery access are now always encrypted

The update we just published this morning forces secure (HTTPS) connections on pages where a password is asked, just like on payment pages that already had that protection.

On websites that use their own custom domain, this involves a temporary domain change to a PhotoDeck URL. A secure connection always requires a security certificate specific to that domain, and we don’t have certificates for our members’ domains. We direct back to the website custom domain for pages that are not sensitive, to maintain the website branding. Ultimately our goal is to provide security certificates for custom domains without requiring members to purchase the certificates themselves, but that will be for a bit later ;)


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New: easier customer order download

Today’s upgrade is an improvement for your customers: it allows them to download the digital files they’ve ordered, one by one.

This is especially useful on mobiles devices, where dealing with a Zip archive can be messy. Here’s a typical download email:

Customer download email example

Customer download email example

The Zip file is still offered for large orders — it’s up to your clients to use what’s most practical for them!


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Workflow improvement for orders and lightboxes

To kick off what promises to be an intense 2017, we’ve just rolled out an improvement designed to make your life easier: now, orders and lightboxes can be managed directly in the same space as your galleries.

To view an order's images in the image management panel, open the order normally, then click on manage medias.

To view an order’s images in the image management panel, open the order normally, then click on manage medias.

This makes it much easier for example to create a new private gallery from an order or a lightbox, to replace images in an order or to change their Proof/Final state.

Lightboxes, if you've enabled that feature on your website, are now directly accessible from My Images & Videos, just below the galleries list.

Lightboxes, if you’ve enabled that feature on your website, are now directly accessible from My Images & Videos, just below the galleries list.

Bonus: Find any image set in LightRoom

You can now also easily find in LightRoom the images contained in any gallery, collection, order or lightbox (provided you’ve got unique filenames, which is always a good idea anyway!).

To do so, open e.g. a gallery, and select More > Copy list into LightRoom/Excel. From there, copy-paste the list into LightRoom’s search field.

On behalf of the PhotoDeck team, a great and successful 2017!


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4 MPixel images displayed right on your website

We have added the “WQXGA” size to the sizes available for the display of enlarged images on your website. This is a LARGE size (max 2560 x 1600 pixels), resulting in images of about 4 million pixels displayed directly on your website!

The quality is naturally perceptibly better than the former highest size (UXGA 1600×1200), at least on very large displays.

A note of caution !

You know how we at PhotoDeck obsess about website speed. Images this large are on average twice as slow to load at UXGA images. It is not a problem when you frequently visit your own website, as images are cached in your own browser. But for a new client on an average home Internet connection, it can be noticable (and clients are often more sensitive to loading time than to the image definition).

Of course, this also means that those additional pixels are available to image thieves too.

In summary

For normal use, UXGA is probably the best compromise when quality is important. But if you accept the drawbacks stemming from displaying higher definition images, and more importantly, if your customers tend to view your images critically on a large display and behind a fast Internet connection, it can certainly make sense!

The image size can be changed via the gallery styles settings.


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New design options: custom slideshows and page backgrounds

website_slideshows_static_splash

You probably know that you can display any gallery in slideshow mode, that’s what the Portfolio gallery style does by default. A little-less known PhotoDeck feature is the ability to add a custom slideshow to a custom content page or a gallery overview.

We’ve just completely revamped and expanded that feature.

website_slideshows_gallery_banner

Here is what’s now possible:

– display a slideshow as the background of a page
– display a slideshow as a banner which size depends on the viewer display size
– overlay text on slideshow
– show text that changes with the images
– add images to the slideshow more easily than before

website_slideshows_metadata_splash

This allows for eye-catching full-bleed frontpage slideshows (see live example), elegant banners above content pages or gallery indexes, a custom background image on your contact page… the possibilities are limitless.

Learn how to make the most of it and share on our Facebook` a screenshot what you’ve done with it!


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Designs update: thin fonts

A current website design trend is to use thinner-than-normal fonts, and we’ve now made sure you can do that on PhotoDeck websites.

Matt Leete // www.mattleete.com

Matt Leete // www.mattleete.com

You will see today an invitation to upgrade your designs (desktop and mobile) to take advantage of these new options. Note that the desktop design upgrade will push a lighter font weight on your website’s main content, and we invite you to adjust to your taste (under All theme styles / Overall site).

font_weight_option

Everywhere where you can select a different font (e.g. logo, menu bar…), you can now also select a font weight! Just don’t overdo it: mixing many different weights will look unprofessional and will slow down your site. Super-light fonts (weight of 100) might also not display well on non-retina displays.

Although most do, not all fonts come with lighter versions. Remember you can also use TypeKit fonts if you have a TypeKit account!

Updated forms styles

We’ve also updated the styling on forms (e.g. contact, address forms). You’ll see the changes as soon as you edit your design, even if you don’t upgrade it.

contact

Hope you’ll enjoy these improvements! As always let us know what you think.


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Adding Facebook Pixel tracking…

… and staying compliant with the EU Cookies law

It is now possible to add the Facebook Pixel tracking code on PhotoDeck websites.

To do so, go to My Website / Setup / Analytics and Verification Codes and simply enter the digit code provided by Facebook.

As a side note, this is a prime example of things that look simple to implement (“just paste that code into your website”) but aren’t… Turns out, the Facebook Pixel tracking wasn’t apparently designed to be compliant with the EU Cookies laws, and we had to partly reverse-engineer the code to find a way to allow your visitors to NOT be tracked if they refuse cookies.

So feel free to enjoy the most EU-law-compliant Facebook Pixel solution we know about ;)


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New social sharing feature

This update replaces the Addthis widget by integrated, modern icons

Allowing viewers to share your website and your images to their social networks is an important marketing feature. For very long, we have integrated AddThis into our designs to handle this.

This solution, while convenient, had a number of issues: it significantly affected the websites’ speed, raised some privacy questions, and perhaps most importantly, looked outdated and didn’t make it obvious for your visitors how to share what they were seing.

share

So today, we’re delighted to fully retire AddThis from all our designs. Instead, we’ve build a much more intuitive and modern-looking solution, that displays a clear SHARE icon on enlarged images, full-screen views and galleries’ thumbnails pages.

The icon opens a nice integrated popup with all major social networks, including Pinterest.

And as usual, it’s customizable

For example, on the enlarged images / videos, you can display the icon either over the image (like in the screenshot above), or with the buttons outside the frame of the image (you’ll find that setting in the Gallery Styles settings under Enlarged images and videos / Navigation and buttons / Buttons options).

And if you don’t want to use that new feature, you can desactivate it on both thumbnails and enlarged images pages.

What if I liked AddThis?

Frankly, we feel the new integrated solution is so much better on many levels that we don’t recommend keeping the old widget. But if you do want to keep it, simply please make sure you don’t upgrade your design!

If you’re not sure yet, remember that you can always preview the upgrade (and revert) before committing to the change and applying to your live website. You can also backup your design before applying the upgrade!


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