This week's leading article is a guest post by Bill…
Get ready for a brand new PhotoShelter. We’re kicking off a year-long radical upgrade of our service that will take a big leap forward in photo hosting and photography websites. These upgrades will take place across a series of phases throughout 2012 that will bring you a brand new PhotoShelter, including:
- Time-saving workflow improvements
- A simpler user interface
- New tools to make your clients really happy
- Beautiful websites & new ways to show off your photography
- Power and speed
Along the way, we’ll enable you to do so much more with our websites and tools, and so much more with your photography. Each phase will upgrade the way you build your website, display your photos, market yourself, collaborate with clients, sell your work, and manage your photography online. So what’s the deal with all this change?
We did our homework with your help
The first phase combines hardcore technical and workflow innovation with highly requested product features. Months of user testing, innovative problem-solving, major leaps in product philosophy, and attention to best practices in user interface design will enable us to deliver on a goal of simplifying PhotoShelter, making the service more elegant and faster, while at the same time introducing even more powerful new features to help you grow your photography business.
It’s gonna be really big
Inside-out innovation. The first phase kicks off March 24, 2012 with the inside of PhotoShelter, and major improvements to the ways you manage your images, assign client access and visibility, and handle online image delivery. The way you interact with PhotoShelter will change – but the change will be a massive improvement that will save you time and help you delight your clients even more. Plus, you’ll quickly see how the upgrades in these key areas will set the foundation for even bigger improvements as we move forward. We’ll start sharing more details immediately to help you prepare for the shift.
Later this year we’ll bring you a major update of the PhotoShelter website management tool, introducing brand new customization capabilities and the most attractive website designs in the marketplace, plus a host of new tools to engage visitors and show off your photography.
Along the way, we’ll be creating new image sales options and fine tuning the PhotoShelter infrastructure as well, to bring you a faster, more powerful PhotoShelter. And we’re beefing up the API to invite external innovation and a host of PhotoShelter related apps that can help you do things with PhotoShelter even we haven’t dreamed of. Rest assured, we have a lot more up our sleeves.
The first phase launches March 24, 2012
Welcome to a workflow that actually works the way you do. Get ready for a big leap forward in the way you manage, publish and share your photography online.
Here’s your first look at what to expect on March 24:
- Easier, faster image management. An efficient, streamlined and more elegant user interface will expedite the process of uploading images and publishing them online. Virtually everything you want to do with an image inside of PhotoShelter will now be possible in one single place- the new Image Browser.
- Better image organization. A brand new, more intuitive structure for arranging public and private image galleries, including infinite gallery “nesting.”
- Happy clients. A new set of online delivery tools that help you make your clients’ lives easier and get batches of images to them faster. Plus, a more intelligent address book that tracks client activity, makes relationships easier to manage, and expedites the distribution of your content to groups and individuals.
- More flexible viewing & access permissions. We’ve created a revolutionary new way to manage visitor permissions. This will empower you to easily manage access to sensitive content, allow restricted downloads without hiding content entirely from fans and search engines, and dramatically simplify how your busy clients interact with your images.
- And much more. We’ve added a host of powerful new workflow tools, including improved search with image filtering, sorting, viewing and uploading. These upgrades will save you time, make it easier to edit images and collaborate with clients, and keep them coming back for more.
Let’s get into the details…
Big upgrade #1:
A brand new image management area. This is more than just a new paint job – to save you time and make PhotoShelter easier to use, we’ve significantly streamlined the way you organize public images for display and private images for backup. This means the archive and gallery areas will be combined into one single, easy-to-manage view. Of course, you’ll still be able to easily segregate public vs. private content, and doing so will be more intuitive than ever before.
This new management area is called the Image Browser, and its many upgrades include:
*A single, central area to manage your photos
- The functionality of the Archive Browser and the Gallery List will be combined into a single toolkit – no more frequent hopping between the archive and the gallery sections to manage photos.
- Your archive folders will become private galleries (i.e. galleries that only you can see). Fear not, you may still keep your internal content privately organized as you always have!
- Images will be uploaded directly to your selected galleries for faster publishing.
- Individual images may be “hidden” within a gallery — so they’re visible to you alone, even if the gallery’s already been shared.
*Redesigned for speed and elegance
- Much faster performance – images will be preloaded so your browser doesn’t have to continuously refresh. This will make a huge difference, especially when viewing one image at a time.
- An “infinite scroll” feature will make it easy to browse through large galleries – no more wondering what page a certain image was on.
- A familiar user interface design that uses concepts from common editing tools such as Photo Mechanic and Lightroom.
*Infinite gallery nesting
- The option to nest galleries as many levels deep as you’d like will bring improved organization to both your account and your website (yes, infinite nesting for the galleries on your website).
*New and greatly improved image uploader
- You’ll be able to drag and drop images from your desktop right into your browser window, allowing you to publish content more quickly than ever.
- We’ve replaced our Flash uploader with a much sleeker HTML5 uploader with pipelined uploading that makes use of the latest technology.
*Stronger image search
- With search now integrated into the Image Browser, you can perform a quick search and instantly act on the selection of images (i.e. directly send to a client or publish on your website) — even selecting all images from a search result at once.
You’ll instantly feel the benefits of the Image Browser’s elegant design as you quickly get your images uploaded, organized, published (publicly or privately), and shared with your clients.
Big upgrade #2:
The most advanced image sharing and delivery tools. Image delivery is part of PhotoShelter’s “secret sauce” – the features that make our service essential to so many photographers. This upgrade will make the process of sharing your images with clients as smooth as possible. We’ve introduced a whole new set of options and improved functionality for client image delivery, permission levels and access to high-res downloads, batch downloads, and more.
*Intelligent download and visibility options
- More flexibility and control over how you customize the way clients and groups interact with your content.
- Create multiple passwords for a single gallery/collection, each corresponding to a different level of visibility and download access.
- Who can see your content is decoupled from who can download it, opening you up for many more options: Create galleries that are visible to all but allow downloads for only those with a password; combine password and login permissions for a single gallery; even open your galleries to all visitors to download — really any combination of access and download permission is in your control!
*New batch download tools
- Easier, more reliable batch downloads for clients with streaming .zip file delivery. This alone will make your clients quite happy.
- This brand new feature lets you send a selection of images to clients for immediate downloading via a single email link. Choose images from a gallery or a search of your archive and group them together for a simple .zip file download. This provides yet another streamlined way to get your clients the images they need in a hurry.
*A brand new address book
- Our completely overhauled address book will let you easily import existing contacts from other email services like Gmail, group clients for faster distribution, monitor their image viewing and access activity, and edit their contact info with ease.
When you try these new and improved sharing and delivery tools, options, you’ll find we’ve reached an entirely new level of ease, convenience, and intelligence in providing pro-strength options for photo delivery. You’ll really have no need for third-party file sharing tools or costly CDs/DVDs and hard drives to deliver your work to clients.
Big upgrade #3:
- We’ve moved over to a new database server with solid state disks and massive RAM, combined with state-of-the-art core programming libraries. This shift not only means enhanced performance for your day-to-day tasks, but creates the foundations for new PhotoShelter features for the future.
And much more. We took the opportunity to include a variety of highly requested additional workflow improvements that will drive speed and efficiency into using PhotoShelter, which include:
- An easier and more flexible interface for pricing images
- Public filename as a search option
What’s do I need to know now?
The first official launch of the first phase, the initial step toward a brand new PhotoShelter, will take place March 24, 2012, which is a Saturday. We’re working hard to minimize the downtime associated with this major set of upgrades, and we’ve chosen the time frame for when PhotoShelter member sites across the globe are least trafficked.
We’ll be communicating with you very often between now and then to help you prepare for the changes. You can expect multiple emails regarding the new PhotoShelter in the coming weeks, and we’ll hold a series of advance preview webinars as well.
>> Have you seen the intro video?
>> Sign up for a preview webinar of the first phase.
The preview webinar for the first phase of a brand new PhotoShelter will be on Tuesday, March 20 at three separate times. As with all PhotoShelter webinars, scheduled times are in Eastern Standard Time. Register for one (or all three!) by clicking on the links below:
>> PhotoShelter Members: Read FAQs about the first phase upgrades.
>> Not a PhotoShelter member?
Register here and we’ll keep you posted too!
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