Category Archives: Support

DigiLabs Webinar: Upload Online Gallery

In case you missed Tim & Kate’s webinar yesterday you can view it below. Tim & Kate were able to cover a lot of ground in less than an hour! Discussed was the new DigiLabs Pro software including how to upload an online gallery, how to create a gallery wrap and how to design an album. They even had time to take a look at the new StudioShare iPhone App.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/10413837 ]

Feel free to click on the link.  This will take you to the Vimeo site to view in full screen and even download.  If you’re having any problems viewing please feel free to contact us directly.

We look forward to the next one.  Let us know if there is any topic you’d like to see discussed!

The DigiLabs Pro Team

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Talking Beta with Dale

Hi everyone, I’m Dale the new Digilabs Pro tech support person. Don’t worry, Tim is still around, but I will be joining the team to help support you and your business.

Dale working at DigiLabs Pro - customer supportI’m really excited to become a member of the Digilabs Pro team since everyone from the top down is taking the time to show me the ropes. While I have a lot to learn I have a bit of experience in bookbinding, wedding photography, graphic design, inventory control, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Mac tech support.  (Yes, I worked at Apple for many years – we will be focusing a bit more on you mac users!)  Off the clock I’m taking a nine month web design crash course (HTML, CSS, Flash, etc.) at a local college and enjoy doing animation.  Here is one of my original self portraits.

Tim is still handling a majority of the tech support questions right now and, until I’m up to speed, I’ll be spending most of my time in my new spacious office (actually the old Digilabs basement darkroom) proofing coffee table books, albums, and cards before they get printed. My job’s pretty simple.  Just make sure that you get the best products and have the support you need to make your business successful.

Since the big news here is the release of our Beta DigiLabs Pro software, I was asked to write a little about what the terms “Beta”, “Beta Testing”, and “Public Beta” mean.

Creating a software application means going through multiple steps to design, write, test, rewrite, test again and finally publish the software. Briefly the steps are named:

  • Pre-Alpha (What are we going to write?)
  • Alpha (Hey I wrote this. What do you think of it?)
  • Beta (Hey I rewrote this. Tell me what you think of it now.)
  • Release Candidate or “Golden Master” (Hey I fixed everything)
  • Release to Marketing or “Going Gold” (Hey, lets share it with everybody!)
  • General Availability (Hey, here it is!)

I know that those names really mean a lot more but I’m short on blog space. Check out “software development process” at Wikipedia if you want to know more.

Technically this is more of a “release candidate” but to keep it simple, we are calling it beta.   In the end, we are testing every single feature in every single way to make sure it’s fully cooked. The problem with testing is that takes people and it takes time. We are so excited about releasing this new all in one software we can’t stand it. Plus, many of our customers were begging us to try it.  So, we had to make a choice:  Wait and test it slowly or release it to our users as a Public Beta to help us test it faster?

We decided that there’s strength in numbers. It’s worth it to us to let our army of users tell us where we improve because no one’s better at knowing your workflow than you. If you want to help out you can find the Beta DigiLabs Pro software at:

http://www.digilabspro.com/downloads/

Now if this whole idea of trying a beta is new to you then I better give you a heads up. A beta version may still have issues that we haven’t fixed yet. It may not be a good idea to use this new software if you have a deadline you absolutely must meet. Bug bites (bytes?) can be nasty. That’s why we still have our current software available for download at the bottom of the page at:

http://www.digilabspro.com/downloads/

Well, that’s it for now. I think my next post is going to be about laying out books in Photoshop. If you have any ideas, add them as a comment to this thread.

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My Favorite Cookies…

One of the most common questions that we get in support is about cookies.  No…not Oatmeal Raisin, or Chocolate Chip, but browser cookies.  What are they and how do they affect both our system and browsing?  Let’s start with what a cookie is.

The techno babble: “The cookie is sent as an HTTP header by a web server to a web browser and then sent back unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server. A cookie can be used for authentication, session tracking (state maintenance), storing site preferences, shopping cart contents, the identifier for a server-based session, or anything else that can be accomplished through storing textual data.” – Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_cookie

To some of you that probably doesn’t mean much or at least could use some clarification…so let’s use my favorite support tool…the analogy.

You’re going out to a concert (The Gallery).  When you get to the front door the venue gives you a ticket (Cookie).  This cookies gets you a specific seat at the venue…it has information about your specific visit.  When you get to your seat you put down your things (Favorites for example).  After you’ve put everything down you go out for a minute.  When you try and get back in the venue (Gallery) they (browser) checks your ticket (cookie). If you still have it, great, you get back to your seat with all your stuff.  The problem comes when browsers, security programs, and spyware checkers, clean your browser and now you’ve lost your ticket and you can’t get back to your seat.  You lose your “stuff” (preferences, etc)  You either have to prove that you bought the ticket for that seat, or go in with a new ticket and lose all the stuff you put at the other seat.

Now let’s bring this back to the DigiLabs system.  As referenced above, cookies are necessary for clients to save favorites and maintain their log-in information (if you’re forcing them to register).    Our system has a way to check and validate that cookie.  Sometimes these cookies are cleared and if you or your client loses (or clears ) their cookies, the server still has one, but it needs for you to prove that it’s yours.  Our system does this two ways:

  1. If you have your clients register when they enter the gallery the cookie is stored based on their e-mail address.  When the cookie gets lost the system will ask them to re-register.  As long as they enter the same e-mail address they can get back to their favorites and other information in the gallery.
  2. Not everyone wants to force registration so we’ve provided another method.  We’ve given you, the photographer, access to the cookies stored on our server.  You can see what’s stored in those cookies by going to your account administration.  Once there click on “view galleries”, then “view details”, then see gallery history and favorites.  If you’re not having people register(and sometimes even if you are) you may need to click on “show all” at the top of this page to see everything.  This will give you a list of all the people that have visited the galleries that are seen as “unique” visitors.  If you click view details here you can see all the favorites that are stored within the cookie, but you can also have access to a relogin link that you can send to a client who lost their cookie.

A word of caution about that second option.  If you click on that relogin link, our server will think that you are that person (Sort of like a fake ID).  This can cause confusion when you login to every gallery you upload.  Because you are now cookied as Jane Smith anything you do will modify the cookie as if Jane Smith was online.   The best thing to do is, after you click the link, clear your cookies.  Read more about clearing your cookies (http://www.aboutcookies.org/default.aspx?page=2)

So there you have it.  All this talk about cookies made me hungry.  Here is a great recipe for classic Chocolate Chip Cookies…

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (12-oz. pkg.)  Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

 

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

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Digilabs Tip of the Month: Event ID

I feel some pressure to make this tip extra special since it is the first tip of the year…  I wonder if I am putting too much pressure on myself on this one.  I have racked my {little} brain and I can confidently say that event ID’s are going to set the tone for the rest of the year.

There are many ways to say event ID but bottom line it’s the password you give your customer to enter their gallery.  Do you remember November’s tip?  This one was on portal pages and this is a good follow up since, once someone arrives to your portal page, the next step is to enter the event  ID.

The event ID is created (by you) when uploading your gallery through the DigiLabs software.  Once you have loaded your images into the software and press the ‘Website’ button, a screen pops up asking you to enter your account ID and your event ID.  For the event ID you have two options:  (editors note:  In both cases your event ID can only contain numbers and letters with no spaces and you cannot use characters except for underscores and dashes)

1. Option One: Create an event ID and verify that it wasn’t used by another photographer.  This means that you probably won’t get to use something as simple as Jane or MarySmith (although they might be available).  You can enter something and see if it is available, or used by another photographer.  You will want to use this method if:

  • You don’t really care what event ID you use and are willing to compromise.
  • You don’t have your custom portal page on your website, or don’t have a website and are using www.sendtoprint.net.

2. Option Two: Use any event ID by adding a unique and hidden part to the event code that will guarantee the event uniqueness.

Let’s use an example: Let’s say you want to use the event code macarena.  I mean why not? Who doesn’t love a good macarena? But guess what?!  macarena is already in use.  Apparently someone else is obsessed with this 90’s dance craze…Well here is the solution:

1.  Designate your studios unique prefix.  The best time to do this is when you first start uploading with DigiLabs, otherwise you’ll need to reupload older galleries.  I suggest making this easy for yourself and use your account ID (ex unique prefix: KTRocks_)
2.  When uploading the event, name it KTRocks_macarena {part of me wishes this could have been KTRocks_themacarena, mostly ’cause I do.}
3.  Pass the studio prefix as a hidden variable in the log in page.  To do this you either need to:

  • Email Support (support@digi-labs.net) with your hidden code and they will help you.
  • Add this code on your website and clients can log in to your galleries directly from your website (with no studio prefix – please make sure to change KTROCKS_ to your studio prefix):
    <form method=”POST” action=”http://www.sendtoprint.net/proofbook/login.asp”>
    <p>Event ID:&nbsp;<input type=”text” name=”UserID” size=”20″ value=”Enter your Event ID here”>
    <input type=”hidden” name=”ReferOnError” value=”TRUE”>
    <input type=”hidden” name=”PhotographerPrefix” value=”KTROCKS_“>
    <input type=”submit” value=”Submit” name=”B1″></p></form>

Now when a customer gallery is released and they go to your portal page they only have to enter the text PAST the _ in your event ID.  In this case it would only be ‘macarena‘.  Also please DON’T FORGET that:

  • This has to be global. The prefix must be used in all galleries or none otherwise this magic will not work.   You can’t just start using this one day without changing ALL OLD galleries and re-uploading with new proper event ID.
  • Although the user will log in using the macarena code, the real code is KTRocks_macarena.
  • KTRocks_macarena is the event code that must be entered in the software.

And there it is!  As always, if you have any questions on how to implement feel free to contact our support team.  And, good news for next month:  pressure will be off me for tip of the month as our DigiLabs support team members will start blogging!  Don’t get too excited y’all.

Kate

Account Manager

kate@digi-labs.net

Digilabs, Inc.

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Digilabs Tip of the Month: Photographer Portal Page

One of the things that set Digilabs’ ecommerce services apart from our competitors is our ability to be seamless.  Not only can we achieve seamless look and feel to your brand, but we also offer something called a portal page.  The portal page can  be linked from your website to your galleries.  When clients visit your website  and click on “client galleries” (or whatever text you have) they go to your custom login page and quickly navigate to their event.  Lately I have been getting many questions on this functionality and I think it is  because we have MANY options.  So, I thought I would break it down, show you screen shots  and give you a little more information on this feature.  I am going to explain the 4 different portal page options but keep in mind there are many more.  Read more about the detailed options.

To make any of the changes, login to your account adminstration and click ‘portal page’ on the left hand side.

Here are the 4 different ways to set up your portal page:

1. Thumbnails: This layout would showcase each galleries’ cover image and a password box (only if the gallery is password protected).

You can customize the number of galleries per page so that you can have anywhere from 1-25 rows.  A great example of this can be seen at www.joymariephoto.com.  Click on weddings and clients on the bottom.  Also check out www.jagstudios.net.  Click on enter site and clients to see a different portal page look.

This is our most popular portal page view and is good if you have many galleries.

2. Samples: This layout has horizontal listings of all galleries with a password box (only if the gallery is password protected).

You can customize the number of galleries per page so that you can have anywhere from 1-25 rows.   Sample images would be visible on the left of the galleries, if you would like them displayed.

You can add sample images by clicking ‘logos & samples’ on the left hand side and uploading sample images.  I suggest uploading 3-4 images to achieve the best look.  Make sure to resize all images to the same size according the specifications listed prior to uploading.  See a sample at www.alisonyinweddings.com and click on ‘links’ and click on ‘client proofing’.

3. Simple: This layout has the simplest of all options, hence its name. It is just a listing of all live galleries with password box (if gallery is password protected).

You can customize the number of galleries per page so that you can have anywhere from 1-25 rows.  To see a sample go to www.uniquemindsphotography.com and click  “client area” in the upper right hand corner.

4. Single Login:And last but not least, our newest edition, single login.  Our product team added this new feature earlier this month! You have two options for the look of this portal style:

a. Single Login with no sample images: This layout is just a password box.

Check out a sample at www.benchrisman.com and click on “client proofs”.

a. Single Login with sample images: This layout has a password box with sample images on the left hand side.

You can add sample images by clicking ‘logos & samples’ on the left hand side and uploading sample images.  I suggest uploading 3-4 images to achieve the best look.  Make sure to resize all images to the same size according the specification listed.  See a sample.

And there you have it!  If you have any questions on how to customize these features please don’t hesitate to contact your Account Manager.

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