Maintaining image quality in a site with lots of photos

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Hi,
I'm a member of the Yola Experts Program and am just getting started building sites for people (I've built 6 relatively simple ones so far). Someone wants to hire me to build a site for her nature photography business, which sounds pretty extensive.

I was wondering what is the best way to go about managing a high number of images (maybe 100-150). She wants them organized into galleries as well as a store for prints, cards, etc. One concern I have is that the images I've been using on my other sites come out pixilated from the image optimization feature. I read somewhere on the forum that if you don't use the optimization feature the page may not load right (and I don't want it to take forever for the page to load either).

I love yola and am familiar with it, but am wondering if it's the best choice for a project like this with so many pictures. The client is looking at other options as well such as imagekind.com, smugmug and weebly. It would be nice to be able to let her know the pros (and cons if there are any) of using yola. I read something on the forum about smugmug urls not working with yola due to a bug or something, but it was from 3 years ago. It made me a little nervous though about getting into a big project and getting stuck.

I guess my main concerns are preserving image quality and that it not take forever for me to upload that many pics.

Also (this might be a silly question), what are the different options for how to receive that many pictures from the client? A CD or...?

Any suggestions would be SO appreciated! Love this forum. :) Thanks! -Cynthia
http://www.simplicitywebsitedesign.com/
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cynthia b

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Posted 8 years ago

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Brianna

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Hello Cynthia,

Thank you for your message and kind words of Yola. One fantastic tool when looking to showcase multiple images on a site, while retaining great image quality and speediness on the site is using Flickr.

Your client may need to purchase a Flickr account, since the free account has a size limit, though once the purchase is made, it lasts for a year and has unlimited storage capabilities.

With Flickr, you will be able to create multiple albums for your client. One of my favorites with Flickr is that the albums are clickable, meaning she will have a smaller album containing thumbnails, and her site viewers can click on the thumbnails to see the larger image. This helps to provide a very clean and professional website.

Here is a Photo Gallery tutorial you may find helpful.

Ideally, it would be nice if your client could create and upload her pictures onto Flickr and provide you access to her account to add the tags and separate them into albums. Otherwise, I have personally shared images via a large storage DVD which has worked well.

I hope these suggestions are helpful to you, Cynthia. Please do not hesitate asking for additional suggestions or help.

Cheers!
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cynthia b

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Hi Brianna,
Thanks so much for the info and speedy reply. I checked out the photo gallery tutorial. It looks like the options shown there result in pretty small images for a photography site. Are there any options that would make it so you could see the images more clearly? I think the photographer is looking for something that will display her pictures similarly to how they appear now on her blog, but organized into galleries. Here's her blog:

http://www.sylviavalentinedesigns.blo...

Thanks again!
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Brianna

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Hello Cynthia,

Thanks for your message. Loading single images similar to the size that your client has on her blog will most likely entail a slower loading website, due to the high volume you are speaking of.

I was recently familiarized with a fantastic web photo album creator called Jalbum. Jalbum offers many different gallery options and I encourage you to look at what they provide to see if this would cater to your clients' request.

Please let me know whether Jalbum will suit your needs or not. I will gladly continue to provide other alternatives if needed.

Cheers!
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cynthia b

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Hi Brianna,
Thanks for the info. Since she also wants to sell her photos, I'm thinking it may be better to use a site that is already set up for displaying and selling a high volume of images. I'm looking at http://www.imagekind.com and smugmug. Anything you know about these or suggestions for others would help. It looks like even those sites have smaller thumbnails, so there may be no way around that, as you said. Thanks!
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Brianna

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Hi Cynthia,

Glad to hear from you! I am not at all familiar with imagekind.com, though, I have helped customers add SmugMug galleries to their sites before. While it would be possible to upload your clients pictures in the picture widget individually, or create an online store, I do feel that using an external source such as the ones that I, Jean or you have brought up, would be best. If you are interested in testing out SmugMug on your account, you can add a gallery by following these instructions:
Follow these steps to add a SmugMug gallery to your page:

1. Register on SmugMug and upload your pictures by creating a gallery.
2. Click on the "Multimedia" folder and drag and drop the SmugMug Gallery Widget onto your page.
3. A dialog box will appear.
4. Delete the existing URL and replace it with your own from SmugMug (or browse SmugMug for the one you want to use), the URL should look something like http://yoursite.smugmug.com/gallery/5...
5. If you click on "Settings" next to the URL field, you will be able to set the width, height and alignment of the gallery.
6. Click on "Save".

I would suggest giving that a test run, Cynthia and seeing whether or not you feel it would work well for your client. I must say that I enjoy SmugMug, but know that everyone reacts differently to different features.
Cheers!
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cynthia b

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Hi Brianna,
Thanks for continuing to provide info on this. It seems like if I did a smugmug gallery on a yola site, it wouldn't include the option to purchase prints, like it does hosting it on smugmug itself? Not sure if I'm using the right lingo, but your probably know what I mean. Thanks!
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Brianna

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Hey Cynthia,
My pleasure to assist you with this! Yes, adding a smugmug gallery to your site would allow for the pics to be seen on the site. The actual hosting and purchasing would have to be done via the smugmug gallery.
Please let me know if you need clarification!
Cheers!
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Jean

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Another alternative, cynthia, is to use a slide show with images hosted at Picasa. I used Picasa was because the store owner already knew how to upload, sort into albums and write captions in Picasa. You could have a separate slide show for each gallery category (page).

You can see it here, www.montanacampshopping.com, on the home page.

Hope it gives you one more idea.
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Jean

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One additional comment, cynthia.

Looking at the link, the photographer's photos are beautiful--every one of them. I noticed though that none have copyright text on the image.

That's something I would definitely suggest she or you do asap.. As it is now, any of them could be downloaded with no indication of whose they are.
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cynthia b

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Hi Again Jean,
Sylvia, the photographer wanted to ask you a follow up question on this, but had trouble logging in to join the discussion. So, she asked me to post this for her:

"Cynthia sent me to this conversation, thanks for the feedback! I'm researching how to watermark copyright my photos but haven't found out how. can you help? I have copyright written on the blog but the photos themselves don't have the watermark I know. thanks for any direction! I have a mac and use iphoto and photoshop. but am new to the tech aspects."
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cynthia b

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PS Does someone have to have a yola account to view this forum? Wondering why she had trouble accessing the forum. Thanks!
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Brianna

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Hey Cynthia,

I realize that this comment was directed to Jean, and by no means want to be intrusive, rather another input on watermarking.

Watermarking your images is an effective way to ensure that another user cannot take your pictures and use them as their own - and what is better, if they do take the pictures and use them on their own website, they will effectively be advertising your work for you for free. If you are selling your work; what many people do is provide low-resolution watermarked images on the site, with an order form for people to request the larger unmarked images.

If you are looking to watermark your images, here are 3 online free watermarking services that you may find useful:

1. PicMarkr
2.
WebWatermarks
3. Watermarktool

I am confident Jean will have a few suggestions as well! I hope this is helpful information for you.

Cheers!
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cynthia b

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I said the exact same thing about her photos--every single one amazing. Thanks for the info about picasa. I like your site. I think some of the other sites mentioned are probably more what she's after though since they allow for easy purchase. I'll pass on the info about the copyright though. Good info!