We’re Listening To You. Here’s Our Roadmap.

We’re Listening To You. Here’s Our Roadmap.

Earlier this fall you heard about how we’re renewing our commitment to PhotoShelter. A key component of that commitment is building out a team dedicated solely to improving, expanding and evolving the PhotoShelter product in new, exciting ways. 

In an effort to ensure we’re updating and producing the features our members want most, we sent around a survey a few weeks back to collect your feedback and opinions. A whopping 2,175 PhotoShelter members took the time to answer our survey questions and we can’t thank you enough. Your input has been invaluable to us as we build the PhotoShelter product roadmap for 2019 and 2020. In the spirit of transparency, you’ll see the details of our roadmap below, and I’m committed to updating this list regularly so you can keep track of our progress.

We’re currently busy building our development team in Guadalajara to supplement our team in New York City and are already off to a great start. We have been aggressively hiring and ramping up the team with new, amazing web engineers, mobile developers and a designer, and their work is already making an impact. Our hiring plan for 2019 is 50% complete.

In our survey, we asked you to tell us what you’d like us to work on next. The results (shown in the chart below) clearly indicate that our members want more choices when it comes to website design templates, and we plan to fulfill that request. New designs start with research, mockups, and user testing. We’ve started this process already and plan to have functional designs in place in early 2020. We’ll be asking for member feedback prior to integrating them into PhotoShelter. Please let us know in the comments or by emailing our support team if you would like to be an early tester.

In the meantime, we are improving the search engine optimization of all existing websites using the recommendations we received from our expert SEO consultants. These improvements will come in phases, as outlined below.

In addition, I’m happy to say that an “anonymous download” capability is about to be released, a highly-requested new feature. This means you’ll be able to deliver images to your most trusted clients without requiring them to sign up for an account or use a password. Just send out a gallery link and anyone can download the images. The work was completed in development and is now going through our Quality Assurance (QA) process.

Other improvements scheduled for 2019 include:

  • A shopping cart that’s visible on all mobile devices
  • Keeping your own domain name on all pages of your website
  • FileFlow app for Android
  • Responsive design adjustments on all existing templates

Improvements we have scheduled for 2020 include:

  • Overhaul client galleries with a modern, user-friendly interface
  • 6 new website templates with advanced customization options
  • A flawless mobile shopping cart experience
  • Support for video files
  • FileFlow app support for password-only galleries and anonymous downloads

In the interest of transparency and open communication, I’ve decided to share this detailed view of what’s coming for PhotoShelter. With all roadmaps and time estimates, I like to give the very real disclaimer that software development can be a journey with unexpected twists and turns. Based on what we learn from you as we continue down this path, we may choose to deliver more detailed feature work, or reorder priority. As always, we welcome your feedback and encourage you to share your opinion in the comments below or with our support team

You will be hearing a lot from me in the future and I plan to keep you updated with our progress along the way.

— Grover Sanschagrin
(Co-founder and General Manager, PhotoShelter)

2019

Two-factor Authentication for Photographer Admin area
Status: Complete (10/30/19)
Description: Users can elect to have an additional layer of protection added to the website image browser administration area of a PhotoShelter account. (This does not apply to image gallery invites.)

Anonymous Downloads
Status: Complete (11/5/19)
Description: Support added for image download within galleries for users without an account, or a password.

SEO Improvements (Part 1)
Status: Complete (11/14/19)
Description: Updates to image ALT tags; use of H1 tags; use of title tags for 2 templates (Marquee and Element)

Mobile App Update (iOS)
Status: Complete (11/15/19)
Description: Update the PhotoShelter mobile app so that it is fully compliant with the iOS 13 operating system.

SEO Improvements (Part 2)
Status: Complete (12/05/19)
Description: Updates to image ALT tags; use of H1 tags; use of title tags for 3 templates (Shuffle, Promenade, and Sonnet)

Mobile App Update (Android)
Status: Complete (12/10/19)
Description: Update the PhotoShelter mobile app so that it is fully compliant with the Android 10 operating system.

Shopping Cart – Mobile Friendly
Status: In QA
Description: Ensure that the shopping cart is visible and fully functional on all mobile devices.

SEO Improvements (Part 3)
Status: In QA
Description: Updates to image ALT tags; use of H1 tags; use of title tags for 4 templates (Downtown, Pivot, East, and Horizon)

Custom Pages Fixes
Status: In Progress
Description: Fix the issue where page title and descriptions are not correctly updating when more than than 1 custom pages are present. (This is an SEO-enhancing fix.)

FileFlow for Android
Status: In Progress
Description: Release our new mobile download app for Android devices. Target public release Dec 2019.

SEO Improvements (Part 4)
Status: Scheduled
Description: Fully qualified links within portfolio websites (all templates)

File Download Usability (Part 1)
Status: In Progress
Description: Implement new UI/UX to make image delivery easier for all users.

New Website Templates
Status: In Progress
Description: Design and user testing of new templates. Design previews available in January 2020.

SEO Improvements (Part 5)
Status: Scheduled
Description: Removal of the switchover to the PhotoShelter.com domain name. Preserve custom domain name on all pages of the website.

Existing Template Updates (Part 1)
Status: Scheduled
Description: Improve responsiveness and address support tickets (if any) for 4 templates (Marquee, Element, Shuffle and Promenade.)

Existing Template Updates (Part 2)
Status: Scheduled
Description: Improve responsiveness and address support tickets (if any) for 5 templates (Sonnet, Downtown, Pivot, East, and Horizon)

2020

Archive Modernization
Status: Research
Description: Overhaul client galleries with a modern, user-friendly interface.

New Website Templates
Status: Research
Description: Make 6 new website templates available with more customization options in each.

New/Responsive Shopping Cart
Status: Research
Description: Rebuild the shopping cart entirely, with a responsive design that works flawlessly on mobile devices

Video Support
Status: Research
Description: Add support for video files in a PhotoShelter photographer’s account.

FileFlow: Deep Linking & Magic Links
Status: Research
Description: Will allow use of our mobile downloader app without an account. Will support password-only and anonymous downloads

List Updated: December 05, 2019

Cover image by PhotoShelter member Sophie Carr

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PhotoShelter co-founder and GM

There are 80 comments for this article
  1. Hanna at 4:37 am

    What about full Stripe integration to be able to accept local payments?

    The possibility to be able to actually close deals is kind of a deal breaker for an online photobusiness.

  2. David Brabyn at 11:37 am

    Languages: if not multiple versions for site visitors to choose from (front-end version sync is harder), at least multiple languages for site owners to chose from for single-language admins and front ends.

    Quite sure the PhotoShelter member community would happily to translate everything very quickly.

      • Kevin at 5:09 pm

        I recently moved to Japan and I’m struggling helping people download their photos because they don’t speak or read English. My Japanese wife and I would love to help you translate Photoshelter in Japanese. It’s becoming a deal breaker 🙁

        Thanks for your hard work!

    • Sergiy Kadulin at 3:22 pm

      I DO very much support multiple language support for the web sites. This is not only convenient for majority of clients in different countries, but also will hugely impact SEO in positive ways.

    • Grover Sanschagrin Author at 2:11 pm

      Hi Amyn. The Lightroom Plugin is currently being worked on. The issue our developers are running into, in this particular case, is that they cannot replicate anything that our members are reporting. The issues are all different and somewhat random for each user, based on their individual setup and the contents of their archive and computer. This makes the whole process super difficult. If we can’t replicate a problem, then we can’t fix it. So, right now we’re trying to set up an environment where each issue can be replicated, and that process is taking a long time.

      • Amyn Nasser at 2:55 pm

        The big issue I had which resulted in having to delete some 25,000-50,000 images is that the Photoshelter Unique ID was being duplicated when the same image was added to multiple Galleries, i.e. the first one with the ID was changing with the same image in a second gallery and likewise for each gallery that the image was added to. This resulted in the same image having multiple IDs but no connection to the original image in the specific Lightroom Galleries. This means while in LR the image had One ID, on PS the same image had several. There was no way to manage these additional multiplications if you have several galleries and thousands of images. What would you do? Spend your life going through each Gallery and each Image?

        Fix this issue and the rest will fall in place. In Lightroom, my guess is that if an Image ID is being assigned to an image in a gallery and there are several IDs of the same image on the PS dashboard, then, how would you expect the Plugin to know which single one ID of the several IDs is the correct one for that one single image.

        The Unique Photoshelter ID assigned to each image NEEDS to be Static and Sticky and stay Stuck until the user decides to remove it – instead, it is changing the ID at each instance of the same image when added to a new gallery.

        Did you get it?

        If this is not fixed, you are creating chaos which means it really is irrelevant how many new templates there are and what the new features are, valuable time is lost in micromanaging images that are multiplying on their own!! Yes, everyone wants templates, however, some of us are dealing with many uploads and many galleries, and many updates to the same image as well. So, therefore, it is normal for the same image to be in several galleries as it may be going to several parties (clients, stylists, whatever!)

        I hope this makes sense. I have said that you can call me and I can explain it better than having to type out a thesis on a comment section.

        Thanks!

          • Amyn Nasser at 8:48 pm

            Sure, let me know, however, please make sure that it is stable so I do not lose data and time. We can figure out.

  3. Mike at 12:22 pm

    I’ll be the odd man out and say disappointed 41% main focus is templates, sure more is better, but gladly paid for custom designs on both accounts to stand out already. Customer experience is what care about most, so hope the 2020 shopping cart overhaul is major on all aspects from buying ease, customer pages, built in reports and marketing, etc.

  4. Brian Smale at 1:08 pm

    Hi Grover, This is all great news. Thanks. I’m curious though about the choice of Guadalajara for a second office. Any particular reason why there, and not somewhere further afield, like India or China?

    • Grover Sanschagrin Author at 2:04 pm

      Hi Brian. For starters, that’s where I live. 🙂 But also, we weren’t interested in a pure “offshoring” solution because that often ends up being all about saving as much money as possible. We liked the idea of expanding our current team, and not finding the cheapest possible solution. We also wanted a place in the same relative time zone, where people from NYC and GDL could easily travel back-and-forth.

  5. Dan Ungrue at 1:18 pm

    Please tell me there will be a more definitive feature for adding to a cart with tabs that don’t just say “prints” and “products”. How about tabs for all mediums (paper prints/metal prints/canvas/acrylic/wood etc) and a products tab for stuff like coffee mugs, keychains, ornaments? Almost EVERY order I get is for a metallic paper print that is supposed to be an actual metal print. There’s nothing more frustrating than telling a customer I need an additional couple hundred dollars.

    • Grover Sanschagrin Author at 1:59 pm

      Hi Dan. Good points. We’re going to totally re-build the shopping cart, and I am grateful for your feedback.

    • Charles Sternaimolo at 10:41 am

      I’ve had the same issue. The “metallic print” option is very misleading. My customers always think it’s going to be a print on a sheet of metal – and they are always disappointed when I explain to them that it is not. There’s hardly any room in checkout to add helpful comments or descriptions for customers. And the experience of ordering canvas gallery wraps is very poor for both me and the client compared to other photographer website services. There’s no preview for me or the client to know exactly where it will wrap – and there’s no option for black or white solid sides or mirrored sides like on almost all other sites that offer canvas gallery wraps. I had to set up a custom profile to collect the money, then I have to personally outsource the printing to another company which makes for a lot more work on my end. And of course, photoshelter is happy to take their 8% cut of the sale. Don’t get me wrong there’s a lot that I like about Photoshelter but these are areas that I feel need improvement. Glad to know Photoshelter is working on the shopping cart experience!

      • Allen Russell at 11:15 am

        I agree with these issues for print sales; especially canvas gallery wraps having to be listed under products. Clients contact me asking why I don’t offer gallery wraps because they don’t look under products due to expecting them to be listed with other prints. I know this has cost me sales.

  6. Marcus Getta at 1:34 pm

    This is a very decent start to your new role, Grover. Keep it up! And if a proper full-screen view on smartphones is part of the improved responsiveness (especially with regard to the Downtown template), then I might even consider to stay with PhotoShelter 😉

  7. Steve at 1:35 pm

    Wow! Finally some updates!
    Curious which members were sent the survey as I never got anything and would have liked the opportunity to share my views.
    Good timing too as I was looking around at the competition ready to move to another provider as I was so frustrated with PS dated website designs and features.

    • Grover Sanschagrin Author at 1:56 pm

      Hi Steve. Any member who has elected to receive emails from us were sent the survey invitation. Maybe it went to spam?

  8. Phil at 1:44 pm

    Not with photoshelter at the moment, makes for very interesting reading and more encouraging to think about changing over. Please may I ask if the use of ftp sending is an option going to be added as this would be a no brainer to change to photoshelter.

  9. Chris Violette at 3:27 pm

    Thank you, Grover. Happy to be a guinea pig for new templates if you like. Glad to see new optimized templates and SEO are priorities. Hoping a revamping of proofing galleries doesn’t get lost in the mix. Cheers!

  10. Dan at 4:24 pm

    You lost me as a customer about 7 years ago and I have closely monitored the service since then, waiting to see some of these issues addressed. For years things looked so stagnant and all I saw was people complaining about the same old things. I’m so glad to see you guys doing this, and also being open to sharing the plans in this way. Removing photoshelter.com from the custom domain is the thing I have been waiting to see. Adding simple anonymous downloads is also great news. You have my attention again.

    I feel like it took a pretty long time (too long) to get to this situation, but I’m glad it has happened and I’m pleased to see the way in which you are planning it publicly and taking feedback.

  11. Carmen Sisson at 4:52 pm

    Thank you for the update. I was pleased to get the survey. I’m glad to see the proposed SEO enhancements and improved shopping cart experience as well as the anonymous download.

    I have a lot of people who simply refuse to sign up. 9/10 customers end up calling me to complete the sale, because the website is “too much work” to figure out.

    It doesn’t help me if I have to stop shooting to hold someone’s hand and help them buy a $10 print.

    I appreciate the work you all do. I’ve been here for … I don’t know — a decade maybe? And I intend to stay.

  12. Stu Jackson at 5:55 pm

    I’m curious, was I the only one out of 2175 respondents that suggested adding more options in the ‘categories’ area ?
    for example :- Agriculture / farming or Industrial or Transport
    Surely I can’t be the only person shooting these subjects and they don’t fit nicely into any of your current categories……..
    the easier it is for clients to find our images, the more work we get or sales we make, the happier we are with Photoshelter 🙂
    Happy to be an early tester……
    Regards, Stu ( New Zealand )
    http://www.photographs.co.nz

  13. Mr P Marsland at 6:05 pm

    Thanks, Team PhotoShelter, being a relative newcomer 24th Oct 2019, looks like my package is going to be an excellent choice, being value added to in the next couple of months. Looks like an inspirational 2020 ahead.

  14. Jon C at 7:06 pm

    So, if I’m reading this right, there is no plan to do any conversion tracking for advertising. Very disappointing to say the least, as I’ve been asking for this for 4 years. I’ll definitely be looking at other solutions next month.

    • Grover Sanschagrin Author at 1:55 pm

      Hi Jon. I wouldn’t say “no plan”, because when we launch new modern templates we’d like them to support this. If you have services in particular you want to integrate, please email me directly with them so we can inspect the requirements. grover@photoshelter.com

  15. Mills Tandy at 7:26 pm

    I don’t see anything about (1) coordinating image sales with an agency such as AGPIX nor (2) offering to convert galleries to a smart phone compatible slide show system for those of us who find your procedures more than difficult for non tech photographers.

    • Grover Sanschagrin Author at 1:53 pm

      We’re still in research mode on that one, but the requests we are getting is suggesting it should be a complete overhaul.

  16. Siggi at 3:04 am

    Great news. I somehow missed that survey though. Found it when I searched my inbox so missing it is totally on me. No bad though since the road map pretty much is a in line with what I need. It looks like I am coming back after a year away. To bad I also missed the 30% off deal of the pro account :-/

    I’ve got to go and clean up my inbox.

    All the best
    Siggi

    PS. By the way, if you need an early tester, I’m here 🙂

  17. Claire at 1:27 pm

    Hi!

    It might not be the place to write the following, but since things seem to be starting to move and since you speak about possible new templates, I might have a suggestion that would make me a new customer.

    In 2016, I tried Photoshelter for my photography website. I had an idea in mind for my site.

    What I envision was this: the first page would comprise all the photos with a menu. If someone click on one specific item of the menu, say “Winter”, they will see only the photos that are tagged “Winter”. If they click on “Street photography”, they will get the photos tagged “Street photography”. The important thing here is: one photo can be tagged “Winter” AND “Street photography”. So, that photo will appear in both cases.

    Not one site builder I tried (and I tried MANY!) offers that option. So, I got excited when I saw the Shuffle template because I thought that it was it! But, trying it, I was sad to find out that it didn’t work the way I thought it was. When I tried it, I got this: when the “All” was chosen, the photos that were in both galleries appeared twice…

    Someone from Photoshelter confirmed it: “a photo can live in two galleries but the All section within the Shuffle template will showcase both of these images as if they were two separate images.” He also told me that he will bring this up to his products team as a suggestion.

    Since 2016, I was hoping that Photoshelter might find my idea interesting. So, this blog post gives me hope. And I am, again, submiting this idea. And I might consider Photoshelter for my future website.

    Hoping!

  18. Matthew at 3:37 am

    Reading this update made me (finally) upgrade to a Pro Subscription, so thank you so much for sharing.

    Can you confirm whether the SEO Improvements (Part 1) include fixing the ‘sticky’ metadata issue, whereby all Custom Pages share the same Meta Page Description?

    For me this has been the most stubborn issue, as none of my pages with descriptive text (my services, reviews, offers, etc) don’t rank for the keywords I need them to.

    Looking forward to watching PhotoShelter grow, anyway.

  19. Mitch Wojnarowicz at 8:40 am

    Thanks for the roadmap.

    I’m the type of user who doesn’t care about the integrated website as I already have my own. Years ago when websites were becoming more and more important PS lagged, causing me to source and start using a third party. Who knows. Maybe with these improvements, that may change sometime in the future.

    Where PS shined for me was in the robust ability to deliver images to clients. I primarily use it to deliver to and collaborate with my corporate and editorial clients.

    For the few weddings a year I do, I largely abandoned my PS wedding-side subscription. Occasionally I’d send a few images to vendors or a publication. But in the end, the client facing experience for the consumer and retail marketplace was poor. And that side of my work has declined substantially in volume.

    For the corporate and editorial work I do, it’s been years of waiting for clients to catch up with the web-gallery literacy needed to smoothly use PS galleries to get their photos. If you look at the consumer-retail oriented marketplace (PIxieset, ShootProof) there are many offerings with ease of downloads, ease of arranging images, pretty graphics so the end user can easily understand things, streamlined ordering of products … PS fell far behind in these improvements. I understand the rollout of Libris was important to the company. But “we” have waited long enough.

    Delivering images to clients via PS involves outdated graphics and nav’s, cumbersome check boxes and navigation trees, the inability to easily set custom permissions for individual clients or individual images … no customization options for the galleries…

    Online delivery of files from a shoot is mandatory in the corporate and editorial realms today. So I’m looking forward to major improvements in the UI and BTS tools PS will offer for keeping my clients happy.

  20. Allen Russell at 3:15 pm

    You have stated that the shopping cart will be extensively updated. A problem I have in Prints is that Gallery Wraps and some others prints must be listed under products rather than with other prints. This has caused confusion with print clients who naturally consider a Gallery Wrap as a print but can’t find them under Prints and don’t think to try products. All type prints should be under the Print selection not with coffee cups etc.

  21. Charlie Varley at 8:00 am

    Re; Print partners in multiple countries and currencies……

    Great to see the continued development of PhotoShelter, however for those of us with clients both in the USA and in Europe the problems with image and print sales remain. Currently it is very easy for my US clients to order prints, select images, make edits, pay for prints and they are seamlessly delivered and I get paid with little to no interaction with clients except to thank them for their orders. Great templates and partners to work with who make this process relatively easy to set up.

    However for those of us who move around and are now based in Europe, in particular France – I still have US clients and now European clients who as yet are not so easily served. For a start PhotoShelter does not have an easy to set up French based print partner. Sure – I could perhaps select a partner in the UK, but with Brexit and Sterling as it is this doesn’t offer a realistic alternative.

    Then there are the issues of dual currencies.

    I’ve spoken at length to Stripe about this and it seems there is no easy solution other than to have 2 Stripe accounts – 1 in the US for US payments in $ and then a second Stripe account in Europe for payments in €. However I can’t see any way to implement a dual payment option on PhotoShelter whereby if a US customer orders digital downloads or prints they are automatically directed to US$ payments and a European customer would be directed to Euro € payments for either prints or digital downloads?

    This current dilemma continues to impact sales, especially print sales to a new European client base which as a result remains difficult to develop and I hope it is possible for PhotoShelter to look into the issues at hand or suggest viable options for those of us who might wish to seamlessly deliver prints to clients in multiple territories?

    Many thanks.

  22. Bertus at 9:52 am

    Hi,

    not sure if this has been mentioned before, or if I’ve been overlooking this feature – apologies if that’s the case. I would like the ability to temporarily take my website offline, whilst making updates in the back-end. Just to display a custom message along the lines of ‘Website currently being updated, please check back later’

    It looks bad when you are for instance, trying to figure out the correct sizing of a new logo and have to see what it looks like on the live site, whilst making adjustments. Hope that makes sense.

    Thanks!

  23. Ian Nigos at 11:35 pm

    Hi Mr. Grover Sanschagrin,

    My name is Ian and I would like to express my interest in being an early tester for the new templates. Am greatly appreciative of PhotoShelter making improvements and definitely am welcome of the changes ahead.

    Would the new templates for testing include support for video files? Is there any chance that UX design would be integrated as well? My current online portfolio is solely made up of Photographers, however, I do have video work as well that I would like to showcase and I assume that I am not alone in this.

    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Have a great week ahead!

  24. Ian Murray at 5:06 am

    I am writing again because I really want to stress this. I’ve just looked at Google Images again and NONE of my Photoshelter images appear in search results. NOTHING AT ALL.

    Now, what is the point paying $500 a year and having a website that is invisible? What is the point of preparing galleries, pricing images, working on captions and keywords, linking to a print provider, doing the suggested SEO tweaks, to get ZERO back in return.

    This isn’t just a desirable thing that should be listed for development. It is a basic, fundamental service that is promised within the deal I sign up for and should be provided. Over the last few years SEO has just faded from being quite good to NOTHING.

    Please this is an absolute essential and I haven asking about it for far too long.

    Can you provide some dates when I can expect to se my images listed – surely a reasonable request.

    • Grover Sanschagrin Author at 11:02 am

      Hi Ian. Yes, we are fully aware of this. That’s why it is priority #1, and in active development as I write this. A lot has changed with Google over the years, we now have to play catch-up. We intend to have all of the major issues resolved by the end of this year, so you won’t have to wait much longer.

      As for when you’ll see this reflected in Google itself, I don’t have an answer for that. But we’re doing everything we need to do to make it happen.

  25. Etienne at 2:06 am

    Well, glad to hear PS is finally waking up from long hibernation.

    There is a small point I repeatedly asked for years, with no success : I found not practical to renew my login in the admin area every 24H as I can spend days working in there.
    It would definitely nice to be able to customize ourself for how long we can set the admin to remains open, 24H, 48H, one week etc…

    Really hope to hear about that, shouldn’t be complicated to implement especially with the new two factors authentification.

    Also, I wish to hear about PS safety concerning your servers were our images are stocked. Hacking proof, redundancy, encrypted uploading ?

    Bests,

  26. Jonathan at 7:47 am

    This is of course welcome news.
    However please could you also offer some reassurance that changes to existing templates and functionality will be made and introduced very carefully and in such a way that it is possible for us each to opt in or out, or at least have some ability to test the improvements and control over when to ‘upgrade’. It’s well known that the last major upgrade, introduced several years ago, caused massive problems for some users. This is particularly important since all our websites are in a constantly live status so if anything goes wrong our clients get to see everything, which makes us look unprofessional.
    In my case I do also have some code customisation in place which I’d want to test before activating any changes.

  27. Thomas at 6:53 am

    I had to stop using Photoshelter several years ago because of the changes to EU vat laws, and the fact that Photoshelter never updated it’s shopping cart to support these changes, meaning it was impossible to use legally to sell images in the EU. It’s a real shame because I loved phtooshelter. It would be great if you could consider this when reengineering the shopping cart. EU countries are a large potential market, and its a pity we can’t use one of the key features of the software properly here.

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