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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New: XL-sized gallery covers and thumbnails

We’ve introduced new LARGE sizes in our image walls displays, available for both gallery covers and individual image thumbnails.

xl_wall

A perfect use of this is on your frontpage, when you have split your site into 2-3 main galleries. Or more generally, when you have galleries with a couple of subgalleries only.

This will also be useful when you simply want to show all images in a gallery on the same page, and in a larger size than usual (a trend that is picking up!).

Maximum impact, minimum fuss

Not sure what size to pick? We’ve also introduced new “Autosize” options for the gallery covers and image thumbnails. Depending on how many galleries or images there are to show, the system will pick the best size taking into account look, usability and loading speed!

autosize

You’ll find these options in the Gallery style settings.


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Design upgrade!

Today, we’re delighted to announce an important (and free) update to PhotoDeck websites!

The enhancements we’re bringing you this time are about design. Seemingly small little things that, put together, have a significant impact on how people will perceive your website, and through it, you.

The list of what we’ve improved is long, it’s all in the details:

Pinch-to-zoom

A popular demand, allows your customers to zoom in part of the images on mobile devices up to the size shown on your desktop site. Yes, double-tap works too.

Breadcrumbs RIP – Welcome to modern integrated navigation

Now was the right time to redesign from stratch the navigation between images and between galleries. The galleries’ and pages’ titles now optionally include a subtle Back arrow, just like in your admin space.

Similarly, the navigation between images is now much better integrated with the image layout itself. A new option in the Gallery Display Styles allows you to display the navigation either above or below enlarged images:

page_meta

Image icons and buttons

In addition to the better layout:
– updated, more modern icons
– the “Info” and “Fullscreen” icons can now optionally be displayed as buttons outside the image instead of being overlaid on the image. Perfect if you want to keep your images clean of any visual interference (new option in the Gallery Display Styles)
– the “Buy” buttons next to the images are now grouped under a single button (with a new “currency” icon), to make it clearer to your customers, and cleaner-looking.
– for those who sell packages, the “Add to package” button is now only displayed when a package has been choosen, and the text on the button can be edited.

Better fullscreen view

Both on mobile (cleaner) and desktop (better usability).
fullscreen

New styles for thumbnails titles/icons and image metadata

Gallery titles and icons are now shown on thumbnails in a more modern style, over a customizable translucent background that matches the design’s palette (new options in the Gallery Display Styles). The image metadata overlay got the same treatment.

overlay

Themes updates

All current themes have been updated to take advantage of these new capabilities, but in addition, we’ve also worked on some details to improve the designs themselves. For example, with designs #5 and #9 the logo automatically disappears when viewing enlarged images, to leave more room to your work.

Speed improvements

You know we’re speed addicts, no proper update goes without making PhotoDeck websites ever so slightly faster, up to 15% on some pages!

What does that mean for me?

  1. To benefit from most of these improvements, simply follow the prompt in your admin space to upgrade your design.

    upgrade

    If you’ve been with us for a long time and are still on an old design not listed in the interface, you won’t see that prompt. Everything will keep working, but we suggest you take your site to a new level and move to a new design!

    If you haven’t significantly customized your design nor your Gallery Display Styles, you can also do a full design reset by re-choosing your theme (My Website / Desktop & tablet theme / Change theme and My Website / Mobile theme / Change mobile theme). This way you’ll get all the latest settings, but you will need to re-set your logo and redo any customization you’ve done to your design.

  2. Check your site in preview mode before applying the upgrade to the live site. You might want to adjust some things, like for example title font size.
  3. Optional but recommended: check out the new options in the Gallery Display Styles:

    gallery_styles_thumbs

    gallery_styles_enlarged

This is the fruit of several months of work and about 16.000 updated lines of code, we hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we enjoying bringing it to you!


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Work in progress…

As often, we’ve been too busy making improvements to PhotoDeck to update our social networks lately…

Currently we’re working on design improvements, and doing them right means digging deep and rewriting a lot of code.

Until this makes it to your own site (soon!), what can you notice in this screenshot? ;)

refresh_media_view


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