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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TIP // Gallery Display Style Basics

Gallery display styles are an important and powerful tool to control the way your galleries, thumbnails, and images are displayed to your visitors. It is what allows you to match a gallery’s presentation with your own style, but also with the purpose of that gallery (a client gallery isn’t necessarily best presented in the same way as a portfolio gallery).

They are assigned upon gallery creation, but can be re-assigned later on. The 4 default gallery styles are a great place to start when setting up your website. And if you want more control, gallery styles offer a great deal of customizability.

Gallery display styles

You can access your gallery styles via My Website / Gallery Styles. The top menu of every gallery in your administration panel also has an indicator of which gallery style is currently in use. You can click on it to switch and customize your gallery styles.

Customize the gallery styles to change the size and style of thumbnails, pagination settings, how metadata is displayed, and much more. This is also the place to customize the placement of the recently introduced share button. For more detailed information about gallery styles, please have a look at the documentation.

Gallery styles are applied to all galleries using that particular style, so if you only want the changes to apply to one particular gallery, you should create a new style using the “duplicate” button.


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TIP // Setting gallery covers

Gallery cover images are a great opportunity to give your visitors a preview of what to expect before entering a gallery. A great gallery cover can mean the difference between a visitor exploring more of your website or leaving. Your PhotoDeck site offers a great deal of flexibility for gallery covers that you may not know about.

In the My images & videos tab, navigate to a gallery and select the image you want to use as the cover. Then, in the right-hand-side panel, click on Set as cover image. Confirming the dialog will set the image as the cover, which is denoted with a small icon on the thumbnail.

Gallery cover image

However, the cover image doesn’t need to be in the same gallery. You can select any image on your website to be the cover for any gallery. In the aforementioned popup dialog, you’ll see that you can enter any gallery name in the field. You can even set the image to be the cover for multiple galleries.

If you want to use unique cover images but not make visible in any public gallery, you can simply create a new gallery containing all your cover images and set it to “hidden” in the authorizations panel.

Setting a nice gallery cover is often overlooked, so take a look at your galleries and make sure they’re set to your liking. A simple tweak such as this can lead to more clicks within your PhotoDeck website and entice your visitors to explore more.


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TIP // Finding unpublished files

If you’ve been using your website for a while, chances are you’ve not only been creating galleries, but also removing some. When deleting a gallery, you’re presented with two options: Delete all files in the gallery, or keep them. In this post we’ll show how to find those unpublished files if you chose to keep them.

Under the My images & videos tab, click on All my files in the top left corner of the page. Then, open the search panel and set the Published drop-down to No. The search will then return all unpublished images, videos, and documents on your website.

Find unpublished files

From this view, you can re-publish them to other galleries, or use the multi-selection to delete them all permanently. You can use the search tools to further narrow down your results. For example, find all unpublished files with a rating of 2 stars or less.

Like any search, it can also be saved as a Smart Collection, a time-saver if you access it often. And in fact, every PhotoDeck account is created with an “Not published” Smart Collection already!

Whether you’re just looking to clean up your archive or free some storage, finding unpublished files is a good place to start.


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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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Providing your customers with legal invoices

In Europe, it is required you provide your customers with invoices for their purchase, and these invoices must include specific information. In the UK, VAT invoices for VAT-registered businesses must for example show the VAT rate and amounts.

Enters the new PhotoDeck Invoicing module

In addition to the payment receipt that your customers already get after payment, you can now also deliver PDF invoices right from PhotoDeck — less paperwork!

The PDF invoices will automatically include the full order details, including Tax breakdown if you use PhotoDeck’s tax module. You can also customize the header and footer to include any additional information your local legislation might require.

invoicing_settings

The PDF invoices can be automatically emailed to a customer after an order has been delivered (delivery is what counts when it comes to invoicing). Alternatively, you can send invoices manually from each order’s page in your admin space via a simple button.

You will find the new module under My Business / Setup / Invoices Settings.

What will you do with the time this new feature will free up for you?


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