Photo Folio News

We’re working hard on the next design. Hope to have it out at the end of the month but I don’t want to set an official date because the debugging always takes longer than we expect. I will keep you posted.

I’m always amazed at the many ways photographers find to design their site using the settings we give them. I’m constantly adding more control to the settings of the websites and I worry that it’s overwhelming for people, but when I see a site like this I know it’s the right move:
http://www.sanganphotography.com

I’ve just updated the video of our admin control panel to include most of the new features we’ve released recently. I thought if you were checking out the sites it might be helpful to see. Narrated by yours truly:

http://aphotofolio.com/admin-video/

If you like our designs but can’t decide which one go ahead and sign up then switch for free if the one you picked isn’t working for you. This doesn’t go against the free switch we give you once your site is live.

Things just keep getting better over here at A Photo Folio. We’re just now releasing a couple major upgrades to the admin control panel to make managing your images a little easier.

I never want to put any restrictions on how our photographers use the websites, but when we realized some people were loading 1000 and even 2000 images into the image bank it started to get pretty messy in there so we decided to find a solution.

Introducing folders for organizing your image bank:

Then we realized that most people have huge screens now and part of the beauty behind Designs 2 and 3 is that the images will expand to accommodate any size screen, so why can’t the admin do the same.

Voila, introducing the liquid layout for the image bank:

(click for large view)

and also liquid galleries:

Now that’s spectacular.

We’re working hard to get the video added by the end of the month. It might take untill early January for all the sites to have it (Design 3 will be first) but I guarantee you will love how easy it’s going to be to use and how seemlessly it will fit within your design.

Given the state of the economy it seems like the appropriate time to explain why I think our websites are the best value you will find anywhere.

First off I want to reiterate how important it is that your potential clients can quickly and easily look at your images. That’s why they visit your website in the first place. Any portfolio website you buy absolutely must not hinder this process.

Ok, here’s the cost: $1000 to setup and $17/month for hosting, upgrades and maintenance. There is one discount available and that’s if you buy 2 sites the second is half off the setup fee. I know this is a fair price but I want make sure you know it too.

Here’s why this is an incredible value.

These are the basic features you will find on template websites and as you can see there’s no limitations really. There’s no hidden fees. You buy a site and do what you want with it as the design will physically allow.

Number of Portfolios: Unlimited (As many as you can fit on the menu)
Image Size: Unlimited (on Design 2 and 3)
Menu Pages: Unlimited (As many as you can fit on the menu)
External Links: Unlimited (Make all you want)
Pass Protected and Hidden Galleries: Unlimited (As many as you can fit on the menu)
Email Addresses: 100 (yes you can have 100 different email addresses @yoursite.com)
Website Traffic: Virtually Unlimited*
Email Storage Space: 7GB
Website Storage Space: Virtually Unlimited*
*99% of you will never hit the limit on this. If you did we would just figure out a way to work with you on it.

Now, not to sound like one of those crazed late night knife salesmen but that is not all you get.

You also get.

Visitor Stats: Signup for any web stats service you want (Google Analytics, Mint, SiteMeter) and we have a spot in the admin where you paste the code. Paste all three if you like.

FTP Access: You can store client files here or upload lightboxes.

Future Upgrades: All the sites receive upgrades when we make them like the ability to display video in December.

Switch Designs For Free: First switch is free next time it’s $100. We hope to have a new design every 3 months. That means after a year you will have 4 new designs to choose from.

HTML Mirror Site: Automatically created HTML site that mirrors whatever you’ve posted for easy reading by the google robots and clients with browsers from the 90’s

iPhone Site: Automatically created iPhone site that mirrors whatever you’ve posted for a slick presentation on an iPhone.

Free Blog Setup: We will load a wordpress blog on your url for free. We give you 13 themes to choose from but you can upload any you like using the ftp access. Same goes for all the plugins. No amount of SEO advice can compete with making blog posts about your photography on your own url.

Deep Linking with Clean URL’s: You shouldn’t even consider a flash site that doesn’t have deep linking to specific images because clients can’t send the boss a link to the perfect shot. Also, check out the urls to the different galleries and pictures on the sample sites. See how elegant and descriptive those are? Wouldn’t you rather send out an email with a link like that?

Email An Image Option: You can optionally turn on a feature that allows people to email an image straight out of your portfolio. Incredibly handy for sending the perfect shot to the boss.

Add A Custom SWF Opener: You can upload your own SWF opening graphic if you want.

There are plenty more little things that make these sites great not to mention the clean designs that clients love but I wanted to point out some of the features we have that no one else does because I feel like we give you more for your money. Oh, I almost forgot the most important part of what we offer. Fanatical customer service led by yours truly. Give us a try and you will see that for yourself.

I’m happy to announce our new design number 3 called Brooklyn Bridge. We combined a few features from the first two designs (Manhattan and Brooklyn), came up with a new way to display the thumbnails and an exciting full screen homepage slideshow.

Let me fist explain the overall idea behind this new design. I wanted to use the dynamic resizing of the images in D2 with the fixed and open menu of D1. This makes this site incredibly client friendly. In addition to that I wanted the thumbnails to display every thumb for every picture in your entire site (except hidden and password protected of course). Again, another client friendly application that will allow them to scan the entire site in a matter of minutes. Finally, I wanted to do something cool with the homepage slide show. We made it so you could have the images fill the browser frame with your logo and menu overlaid on top (you can opt to have the slideshow normal if you like).

Here’s an example of the full frame slideshow: http://www.adarknessvisible.com

You will notice in that example where we made it possible for you to have your whole site display full frame with the logo and menu overlaid on top of the images. The only downside to doing this besides having your menu on top of the images is that it will crop the side or the bottom of your image to fit in whatever size browser window your client has open.

Here’s a demo of the new site as I envisioned it: http://72.32.9.12/~smurphy

Here’s an example of someone already using it:

http://leannmueller.com

http://www.ryanschude.com

Now, while we were making the settings for the new site we decided to give you all kinds of control in the template settings. You can:

Set the width of the border on all 4 sides.
Set the width of the menu.
Set the vertical and horizontal position of the menu.
Adjust the transparency of the menu box color.
Adjust the transparency of your logo/text title.
Set the font size of the menu categories/pages.
Set the font size of the galleries/sub menu items.
Set the font size of the bottom navigation bar.
Determine the vertical position of the bottom navigation bar.
Set the font size of the bottom contact info and copyright.
Determine the vertical position of the bottom contact info and copyright.

That can make the settings kinda complicated so I have some help on the setup page with an explanation of the settings and a map showing where the effect takes place. http://aphotofolio.com/design-3-brooklyn-bridge/

Since we launched 3 months ago we’ve added password protected and hidden galleries and we’re on track to add video support to all the sites by late December.

Visit here to signup: https://aphotofolio.com/signup

We’ve been busy making improvements and now we have a new design about to drop. If you’re interested in hearing about it just sign up for our mailing list and you will be alerted as soon as it’s ready. I’m shooting for an election day release.