Seamless Customization #1

We’ve had a lot of interest and questions about the PhotoShelter Seamless Customization option, so I decided to write one of potentially many entries on what it is and how to use it.

The main issue that the Customization tries to solve is how to give a website the features and functionality of PhotoShelter without sacrificing site design and branding. Other online services offer “customization,” but all of those amount to changing font colors and in some cases inserting a logo into the corner of the page.

The PhotoShelter Seamless Customization option was designed to allow you to retain your current page design/geometry and add image search, self-publish and e-commerce by setting up a few basic templates using HTML and CSS.

Here is a simple example:
http://www.fistick.com/

Jock Fistick is a Belgium-based photojournalist. He hadn’t updated his website in many years, and when he found that we had the customization option he jumped on it. He opted to create a very simple design to allow the photos to speak for themselves.

When you go to his homepage, it is being served by his hosting provider, s2f.com. When you click on his “portfolio,” those images are being served from his PhotoShelter account. He can add/subtract images and galleries through the easy-to-use web interface. There’s never been an easier way to self-publish.

You’ll also notice that clicking on the “portfolio” still keeps you in the fistick.com domain. This is because he mapped the subdomain “archive.fistick.com” to the PhotoShelter site.

His search and e-commerce pages (whether print or electronic download) are available with the customization option, which costs $20/month. We also have consulting options available if you do not want to set up the templates yourself.

The seamless customization uses a combination of HTML and CSS plus a few PhotoShelter code “widgets” to generate the pages you see.

For example, if you want to insert a “next page” link, you’d use the “page_next” widget like this:

[[page_next]]

Of course, you can style and position it however you want. Let’s put it in a table with an image below it.

<table>
<tr>
<td>[[page_next]]</>
</tr><tr>
<td>[[image]]</>
</tr>
</table>

Pretty easy, right? We even have customizations with sites that are built in Flash by companies like NeonSky and LiveBooks. You can find a list of more customization examples in our tour.

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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter.

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