No FTP, no PHP. Impossible to create truly professional photographer-friendly galleries

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 6 years ago
  • Acknowledged
I started out with Yola last year, and not knowing what I was doing in the beginning, it was ok at first. However, Yola lacks the functionality of managing and organizing huge numbers of images(even at the Silver level) and also lacks the tools that any professional photographer website invariably has. I want to have galleries where each image has a visible title (always visible, not alternative text that appears as you mouse over), a listing of key words for each image, and a searchable keyword function within the galleries (and including all images on the site). Allowing to rate images, and make comments about any specific image would also be nice as well. Additionally, the gallery needs to have next and back buttons, which would allow people to browse within the gallery, or browse according to the search terms they used. Example, you search for "wildflower", and the images would appear, and then you would have the option of choosing how many per page, with next and back buttons to get to the next page. Options to purchase or add to individual lightboxes might be useful as well. A simple example of what I mean is this photographer's website. http://www.kincaidphoto.com/. Photoshelter has even more features than this simple example, but for me, it's not all about endless features, but rather efficient and professional management of a photograhy website with a large stock list of images.
Having galleries like this when you are dealing with a large stock list is pretty much essential, and it is impossible to create a gallery like this in Yola. They invariably require FTP, and/or PHP or other features that Yola does not allow in Synthasite. Examples are Coppermine, or Lightroom (I believe), or PHP Album. Embedding with iframe is not the same, and is not ok. Iframes are not good for Google, and basically would most likely not even be indexed (and if they were, they would not even be associated with your actual domain name.
I see no sign in the immediate future for Yola to change this, and am thinking that the only real solution is to realize that my Google results will suffer temporarily because of the change(unfortunately, because they are quite good, in fact Wildflowers of Sardinia in Google shows the first two results as my site), however, I might need to build my own website (with something like Web Easy Pro), sign up with a web host that allows PHP, FTP, etc., and transfer my current domain to the new web host. Yola could still be my domain registrar I suppose, it doesn't really matter. I know this option would be cheaper anyway, if you figure you can get a web host for less than 4$ a month, and registering your domain is like 20$ or less a year. It's frustrating to think of after all the work I've done on my site, leaving might be the only really viable solution. I'd like to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Thanks.
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Aaron J. Sipf

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Posted 6 years ago

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Laura Thomas, Social Media Coordinator

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Hi Aaron,

We appreciate your continued support and your thorough feedback. There are a number of professional photography websites that are using Yola successfully. However it's true that our Sitebuilder was not designed specifically with professional photographers in mind and you bring up a number of valid concerns that I'm sure affect many in your industry.

While I can see how we don't currently meet all of your needs, some members are able to make Yola work for them by choosing to use a third-party service like Fotomoto in conjunction with their Yola website. Fotomoto offers HTML code which you can add to your pages to enable you to display and sell your photos directly from your website. You choose what products to offer and how to price your prints, then the service takes care of the printing, packaging, shipping and customer support. For more information please visit Fotomoto.

I realize this doesn't address all of your concerns, but I do feel that it demonstrates the fact that there are ways to build onto your Yola website to make it suit your needs should you be interested in doing so, and that we are here to help in that goal.

Further, I will be sure to share your feedback with our product and engineering teams. While I can't say that it will affect our immediate engineering plans, it could very well be something we consider for the future. I'm confident there are other niche industries in addition to photography that would surely benefit from some of the feature requests and uses you outlined.
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Aaron J. Sipf

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Thanks Laura. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that Yola is bad at all. At this point, I just wish that I could expand more. I would rather not leave Yola, since I do like my site, and there is too much time and energy invested in it. Please share these ideas with the product and engineering teams. Specifically, either somehow allowing 3rd party albums, such as PhP Album, or Coppermine, would be useful. This would require FTP and/or PHP. Alternatively, Yola could implement its own gallery, or galleries within the site builder itself, which would allow for searchable keywords of all images, scrolling through images horizontally (without the actual page changing), being able to choose how many images are displayed at a time, allowing comments and ratings, etc. I hope to see something like this become available soon, either from Yola, or a way to make these third party galleries work.
Best wishes,
Aaron
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Laura Thomas, Social Media Coordinator

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I absolutely understand your concerns Aaron, and I have passed your feedback on.