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Individual, Personal Support

Management Area

The Management Area section of your website is available from most pages, by hovering or clicking on the very top right corner of a page.

Most pages are 'context-sensitive', and will take you to the correct Management Area section for the page you're looking at, such as an album, an image, your About page, or products.

Click Return in the Management Area to return to your website.

Quick Start

Website Tips

Quick Start

Getting up and running is easy!

To log in, put your mouse on the very top right corner of the window. You'll see a Manage link appear. Click that to log in to the Management area, using your Village.Photos username and password.

Use the Website management page to set your template, turn links on and off, add Google Analytics tags for tracking, log off, and more.

Loading Your First Images

  1. Click Albums in the top menu of the Management area.
  2. Click Create Album
  3. Fill out the album information and click Save.
  4. Click Manage Images at the bottom of that page. That button won't appear until you've saved your first album.
  5. Upload Photos on the Manage Images page.
  6. Manage individual photos by clicking Edit to the right of image on the Manage Images page.

Uploading - Drag and Drop or One-By-One

  • On the Manage Album Images page, you'll see two ways to upload. The basic method is used by clicking the "Browse" or "Choose File" button (varies depending on your browser), and locating an image file to upload.
  • The second method is used by dragging and dropping multiple image files anywhere over the yellow Upload Photos box. Use your Windows Explorer, File Explorer or Chooser to locate files to upload, highlight/select them, then drag them to the Upload Files box, and let go.
  • After dragging and dropping images, you may need to refresh the page to see the images listed. Use your browser's refresh button to do this.
  • Once images are uploaded, Manage Images page will list them. The Edit button to the right of each image lets you set its title, description, etc.

From the Manage Photo page you can set your "porfolio cover" image. That's the background that will carry through your website.

You can also set an image to be an album cover - those are the images that represent each album on the "Galleries" page.

Once logged in, back on your public website pages, most manageable content areas will have a yellow Manage link appear when you hover over it - like the website title, message, home page title and message, etc.

There is a Return button on the top left of the management area - that takes you back to your home page. On other pages, like a blog post, clicking Manage on the top right of the page will take you to the Management page for that article. Clicking the Manage on the top right from an album will take you to the Management page for that album. And so on, etc., etc.

Visit the blog on my own Village.Photos website for updates, and some tips on making the most of your custom photography website, search engine optimization and more. http://scottsmith.photos/articles

More Helpful Tips

Setting a Cover Photo

Most templates support a "splash" image or cover photo, at least on the home page. Set your cover photo by navigating to the image in the management area, then look for the 'Set as Cover Image' checkbox. Hit that, then save.

Warning about Deleting Images or Albums

  • There are two ways to link to an image. First to it's page, and second, to its direct URL, which is called 'hotlinking.' Custom Sites do not support hotlinking.
  • Deleting an image will break any links to it's page, including all likes, shares, comments on social networking sites. Be careful you haven't shared the image on Facebook or other websites before deleting, unless its okay that any shared links are broken.
  • Deleting an album will break any links to it, as with images. Recreating an album will work on your website, but not for any links on social media sites. Be certain you want to remove any shares of your album on Facebook or other websites before deleting, unless you want those shared links broken.
  • Renaming an album will have the same effect as deleting it - it will break any shared links to the album.
  • To delete an album, you must first remove all images from it. Once the album is empty, visit the Albums page in the Management Area, then click on it's name. The Delete Album button will be available.

Folder and Image Names

  • Actual image filenames must have an appropriate for the file type when uploaded. These are stored with the image information, but you can assign a descriptive text Name for each image, that does not have to include JPEG, GIF, PNG, etc.
  • Album and photo names will become part of the URL to their related pages. As such, for either image names and album names, avoid punctuation, focusing on numbers or characters other than A-Z. Punctuation and other characters maybe be used, but our SEO engine converts them to URL-friendly dashes, although they will be displayed on the web page as you created them.
  • Folder names should be complete words, and spelled correctly. You can be fairly verbose with album names, but shorter names may be more readable. Avoid punctuation and spelling in album names - they don't need to end with a period.
  • The same applies to image names. If your images aren't named using "words" when uploaded, you should rename them as soon as possible - before search engines spider your page. No file extensions or dots (periods) in image names are needed, the actual name of the files are shielded from the public.
  • Try to provide a clear Description for each photo you upload, as well as for each album. This content is also used for search engines.
  • The album name, photo name, and photo description will be used for sharing to social media websites.
  • Photo names *can* be duplicated within an album, but it will hurt search engine performance, and may be seen as duplicate content.
  • Album names cannot be repeated within a single account.

Managing Photo Albums

To manage your albums, click the Albums link in the main menu. This will load the Manage Albums page, where you will see a list of all your photo albums and create new ones.

The list on this page includexs a link to edit an album as the album's name, its Privacy setting, if it's a Featured album, and a link to view the album in your website.

To create a new album click the Create Album link towards the top of this page. This will bring you to the page where you can manage the details of an individual photo album.

Provide a Name (required), a Description for your album here. Meta Keywords and Meta Description are optional, and will be embedded in the HTML of the album's webpage for SEO purposes. If you aren't familiar with SEO, it's best to let the system default these values for you.

The Featured Album checkbox is to 'highlight' this album on certain templates. Some templates list featured albums on the home page, or on a separate web page.

Dynamic Albums

When creating a new album, check the "Dyanmic Album" checkbox to create an album that contains selected images from other albums.

When the Dyanmic Album? checkbox is clicked, you'll see an option to enter a tag. Enter a word or phrase that you have tagged images with, like "fall" or "fall colors" and these images will be automatically included in this album!

  • As you add your selected tag to additional images, they will also be included.
  • You can't upload images to a Dynamic Album - only images with a matching tag will be included.
  • Don't include the hash tag symbol (#) in your tag for the Dyanmic Album.
  • Use only one tag for your Dynamic Album.
  • Images in Dynamic Albums cannot be sorted or managed like your other albums.
  • Currently, the cover image for a Dyanmic Album is the first image listed.

If your album contains any mature content - including partial nudity or other content inappropriate for children or the workplace, please check the Mature Content checkbox.

The Enable Downloading checkbox will allow visitors to download files. Normally, downloading of image files is blocked, to protect your files, the Download button will only appear for an image if it's album has this checked.

Finally, Privacy Settings can be selected - options include:

  • Public - anyone can see the Public albums listed in your complete album list, and anyone can view the images within.
  • Private - Private albums are not listed in your public album lists or included in SEO indexing or sitemaps. To view them, the visitor must know the complete URL to the album or have a link to it.
  • Password - these are password protected albums let you set a password which you can share with specific people you wish to have access to the album. Password protected albums are not listed in your public albums list, and not included in SEO indexing or sitemaps. Once the correct password is entered, the visitor will have access to the album for the duration of their visit.
  • Hidden - similar to Private albums, Hidden albums are not protected by a password, but do not appear in your public list. Hidden albums are part of future expansion plans.

Be sure to click Save before leaving this page if you have made any changes.

Managing Images

Images are grouped together according to the Album they are part of on the Manage Images page.

Managing Groups of Images

Access the Manage Images page by going to the Albums page then clicking on an album name, then finally click the Manage Images at the bottom of the Manage Album page.

Once files are uploaded to an album (and you have refreshed the page, as neccessary) they will appear in the Manage Album Images page. This page lets you set the name, description, and hash tags for multiple images. Click the Save button when you're done making changes.

You can also click checkboxes on the left of the images list and delete multiple images at once, or move multiple images to another album.

Individual Photo Settings

Access the Manage Image page from the Manage Images page. To manage an individual image, and to set more advanced settings for a single image, navigate to the Manage Album Images page from the Albums list, then click the Edit button on the right of the images list.

On the Manage Image page, you can se the photo Name, Description, hash tags, and you also have the option of setting the image as your website cover image used by some templates.

You can Delete an image from this page with the Delete button.

This page will also have the Sell this Photo button, used to set up your product types for selling prints.

Be sure to click Save before leaving this page if you have made any changes.

Managing Products

Before listing any photos for sale, make sure you have a valid email address for your account. When prints of your images are sold, we will need to contact you for your payout.

Print sales are subject to a 30-day return period. Payouts on the markup of your sales will be paid in the month following this return period.

Your image will not be listed for sale until you click "Save Changes" on the Manage product page.

Upload the largest image file you can. Don't resample it in Photoshop to make it larger, but use the highest possible resolution. Larger print sizes are available with larger image files.

On a new image, a red warning message will appear above the list of sizes until you click "Save Changes."

Enter any markup (profit) you wish to add for each size.

You can remove sizes, and see a preview of the image on a given size from here.

*Note - the markup amount you define here will not be added to the base price if you are ordering prints of your own images.

Once you save, your image will be available in the public "Products" page, and in your own Products page.

Blogging

Embedding Images in Articles and Biography

First pick the image you want to share from the management area, by following these steps:
  1. Selecting Albums from the main menu
  2. Select the album that contains the image by clicking on it's name.
  3. Select Edit on the row for the image you want to embed.
  4. Select and copy the Share This URL content, this is the direct URL to the version of the image scaled for web use.

When pasting in the image URL, make sure you replace everything between the quotes - including the parenthesis.

Images used in articles, custom pages, and your biography are limited to 100% of the width of the article - they should not expand outside the boundaries of the article.

To embed the image, within an article, and to be 50% of the width of the article, add this:

<img src="(paste URL from step #4 above)" style="display:block;width:50%;" alt="(something descriptive about the image)"/>

To center the image:

<img src="(paste URL from step #4 above)" style="width:50%;display:block;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;" alt="(something descriptive about the image)"/>

To float the image to the right, put this *before* the text that will wrap around the image:

<img src="(paste URL from step #4 above)" style="width:50%;float:right;" alt="(something descriptive about the image)"/>

To float the image to the left, put this *before* the text that will wrap around the image:

<img src="(paste URL from step #4 above)" style="width:50%;float:left;" alt="(something descriptive about the image)"/>

Getting Found on the Search Engines

You're probably here because you want to promote your art. You can have the most amazing portfolio and website in the world, but if people can't find you, it's not doing you any good.

We do everything we can to make sure you'll make it onto Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines - but you have to do your part too.

  • Link, link, link! Most important. Add links to your website everywhere you can. Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and any other pages you have. Add links on every website or social media network that will let you add it.
  • Use Clean Album and Image Names! That's critical. Those album and photo names are what will drive search engines to match your content against what people are looking for.
  • Provide good descriptions for albums and photos! Also critical - this is the primary text that search engines will index. Leaving off a description on either an album or a photo will drastically reduce the amount of text that can be indexed, and could mean a page won't make it into results at all.
  • Fill out your biography for the about page.
  • Blogs. It may seem counter-intuitive, but quality content in your blog, especially if you're linking to a photo or an album, can really help. Search engines thrive on text content, and well, photography hosting is typically short on verbiage. Write blogs about your photo trips, a session you shot, tips and tricks for other photographers, things you have learned.
  • Sitemaps - we dynamically generate a sitemap for each customsite. These sitemaps are used by search engines to locate all of your content without spidering and parsing every single page. Your sitemap URL can be found on the Settings page. We suggest you take your sitemap URL and add it everywhere that accepts them. Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools are the big ones.
  • Google Analytics - we highly recommend you sign up for Google Analytics. It's free and you just need to have a Google account. Create a new property, using the URL of your custom website, then get the "UA Code" to enter on the Settings page. Google Analytics might be intimidating at first, but there are some valuable metrics about your website traffic, performance, search engine results and more.
  • Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools - both indispensable tools. Register for each of them and add your website. You'll need to verify them, use the "HTML Tag" method of verification, then paste the tag they provide in the Global Meta Tags, in the Settings page.

Optimizing how search engines index your content is a primary concern for us. We've done almost everything we can to ensure that Google and other search engines can find and properly spider your content, but it does take some planning on your part as well.

CSS Overrides

A list of the commonly used classes and ID's for CSS styles in our themes. Use an !important at the end of any style to make sure it takes effect.

  • .websiteTitle, .websiteTitleMessage - the main title and message that appears under it.
  • .pageTitle, .pageDescription - the title of each page, separate from the main website title. An example of an album's page title might be "My Travel Album", and the description under it, such as "Images of my trip to Colorado this summer."
  • #slideshow - the container for slideshows on the home page. You can set this height of this, overriding the default height.

Custom Domains

If you own or purchase your own website domain, such as MyGreatPhotography.com, you can update your DNS Settings with your domain registrar to point to your website.

A Domain Registrar is where you purchase domains, like GoDaddy.com, NetworkSolutions.com, etc.

DNS are settings on the domain that tells the internet what server your domain should point at.

Our primary server IP address is 69.30.238.122. Update your host record (@ record) to point to 69.30.238.122. Please wait up to 72 hours for this change to take effect. Its much faster on brand-new domains that haven't been used before.

After making DNS changes, avoid trying to access your website with the custom domain address in a browser for at least an hour. If the information hasn't updated yet, the previous address can get loaded and cached on your computer, making the process take even longer.