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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TIP // Automatically Sharing to Social Media

For many businesses, social media is an essential marketing tool. For some, it’s considered a necessary evil. In either case, your PhotoDeck website makes it easy to automatically share new content to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

socialnetworks

You’ll first need to connect your social media accounts to PhotoDeck. To do this, go to Dashboard / Me / Social Networks. Click on Connect a new social media account and follow the prompts on the page. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to set up automatic sharing. Simply add the message you want to share with your followers, choose a time of day, and you’re done! The system will check for new images every 24 hours, and update your social networks if there is new content.

Connecting your social media accounts has an added benefit: it makes it really easy to share images or galleries directly from your My Images & Videos panel. In your gallery, go to MORE / Share gallery link and select the pages you want to share to. Additionally, you can select a single image and share it via the dedicated share button in the right-hand-side panel.

Whether you’re a social butterfly or just want to take the work out of social media marketing, connecting your social accounts makes it easy to “set it and forget it”.


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TIP // Capturing Visitor Information

As you build your website or business, it’s important to know who your customers are. The more information you can capture about your visitors, the better you can target your content to your audience. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re not left in the dark.

Visitor Statistics

The first and easiest step is to use the Statistics page, available directly from your dashboard. This will allow you to see an overview of visitors, searches, and price lookups of your product. You can use this information to get a better understanding of what your visitors are interested in.

statistics

Another thing you can do is to integrate your website with a dedicated analytics service such as Google Analytics, StatCounter, or Facebook. You can connect your analytics accounts to your PhotoDeck website easily via My Website / Setup / Analytics & site verification. Some of these services also track device an browser information, as well as where on a particular page visitors were active.

Capturing Email Addresses

Beyond analytics and statistics, one thing you may really want is a visitor’s email address. In order to get signups on your website, you’ll need to create some incentives.

For example, you could set up a gallery with free high-resolution downloads. In your gallery’s authorizations panel, enable free 1-click downloads, and choose the method “via cart.” This will let visitors get the image for free, but they will need to go through the checkout process and leave their information with you.

viacart

Another incentive could be a valuable newsletter with interesting content or offers for subscribers. There are many powerful third-party services available, but your Pro/Studio membership already comes with an easy-to-use mailing facility.

Using a combination of website analytics tools and email capture methods, you should be able to get a good understanding of who your visitors are and what they’re doing on your website.


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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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TIP // Moving a Gallery

Sometimes you want to change or clean up your gallery structure. Other times, you may have just created a gallery, uploaded images to it, only to realize that you accidentally created it in the wrong place. Rather than delete everything and start over, you can simply move a gallery to the desired location.

First, navigate to the gallery you want to move. Then, open the Name and main settings panel via the MORE menu. Alternatively, you can click on the small pencil icon next to the name of the gallery. From this screen, you can re-assign your gallery to a different part of your website using the This gallery goes under dialog.

movegallery

If you need to move many galleries at once, another great way to do this is by using the PhotoDeck Lightroom plugin. Once you’ve set it up and imported your gallery structure, you can simply drag and drop galleries to where you want them. Your PhotoDeck admin panel will update accordingly and make the changes.

Moving a gallery also changes its URL, so be careful about moving it since both SEO and inbound links may be affected.


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TIP // Your Own Newsletter

A newsletter is an often underutilized tool, ideal for promoting sales, studio events, or new offerings. What you may not know is that your Pro/Studio PhotoDeck membership already comes with an easy-to-use mailing facility that allows you to send out newsletters to your existing client list within minutes.

Newsletter

To create a new mailing, simply navigate to My Business / Mailings, then click on Create a new mailing. Once you’ve selected which clients you want to reach, simply insert a title and use the visual editor to format your message.

While you’re preparing to send out your first newsletter, it be a good opportunity to clean up your client list and create some groups.

Choosing a good title is essential, as it can mean the difference between your message being opened or going straight to the trash folder. Try to keep it short and catchy, but be aware of your messaging: a “clickbait” title may not resonate well with your professional clients.

We recommend that you first send yourself a test message to see what your mailing will look like to your clients. Feel free to insert images and links, but keep in mind that emails are often met with a short attention span. Depending on your goals, a simple message with a clear call to action will be most effective.


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