Recreating Subsites: No way to collect galleries and folders?
In Phanfare I was able to check a box to publish an album (gallery) to a specific subsite. In SmugMug, it appears that in order to do something similar to subsites, I need to make top-level folders and then put the galleries I want in each subsite. Unfortunately, the only way I've found to put a gallery in multiple locations is to create a new, empty gallery and then collect the photos from one gallery to the other. This means I need to retype all the descriptions, reset the permissions, reset the gallery look and feel, etc. Yes, I have more flexibility to change the presentation for different groups if I want, but it's also a lot more work. Why can't it be set up to give me a "Collect or Move" menu when I drag a gallery instead of dragging photos?
The Phanfare --> SmugMug migration did a great job of moving everything over and copying the descriptions of galleries that were on multiple subsites, but continuing that now is a lot of labor.
SmugMug may not have the idea of a "collected gallery" (meaning a gallery that shares the same permissions, description, etc. as a source gallery). I can understand that would be more work to implement. I'd be happy if the option did this:
1. Create a new gallery can copy all the settings from the existing source gallery. The gallery settings are now independent of each other.
2. Collect the photos from the source gallery to the new gallery.
That would allow me to set my source gallery they way I want it and easily copy it to other locations. Then if I need to make changes, I'd have to update multiple galley settings, but at least it would be a quick way to get there.
The next problem comes with what Phanfare called sections: essentially it was a gallery of galleries. So in SmugMug land, it's just a folder with other folders inside of it (one level deep only), but I could easily share the entire structure to a subsite. I guess if the option above also did the same for folders and allowed me to copy/collect an entire hierarchical structure it would be somewhat workable.
While our collect feature is currently only available on the photo level, if you'd like to see this expanded upon in a future update, you could consider checking out the SmugMug feedback page.
There, you can vote and comment on existing suggestions or if you don't find what you're looking for, create your own. Our product management team is actively monitoring the suggestions made and takes them into account for future updates.
Note that a folder may contain not only galleries, but also other folders. That allows you to create an extensive structure of up to 7 layers. Details on folders and using them can be found in our help center.
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Due to the inability for me to collect folders in SmugMug, I considered another alternative that SmugMug has: Sharegroups.
Sharegroups seem to be a strange bolt-on to SmugMug. They don't work like other things and have a different user interface for configuring.
There's an option to bypass passwords on galleries that are included in a sharegroup.
I can't have any type of folder organization; all galleries are together.
I think sharegroups aren't going to work for me, but if you used Phanfare subsites differently, this could be an alternative for you to investigate.
I think I'm going to have to stick with the tedium of manually creating galleries in different folders and collecting photos to the folders. In Phanfare all I had to do was check a box. We're talking a few seconds to publish a gallery to multiple subsites--and automatically send emails to subscribers to let them know there was a new album. Now I'm looking at the prospects of several minutes to create each gallery and then having to do something like set up a Mail Chimp account and create an email there to mail friends and family to tell them of a new album that's been published to SmugMug. So maybe that's 30 minutes of my time now to accomplish what used to take me 5 seconds in Phanfare. We paid more for Phanfare than services like SmugMug or Zenfolio, but it's differences such as these that made me feel it was totally worth it.
Phanfare had so many things working so much better than SmugMug. It was simple, elegant, and powerful.
Its a shame that - seeing as how Carbonite isn't using the technology and intellectual property - that it couldn't have been just handed over to Smugmug (maybe as a thank you from Carbonite for saving their butts and rescuing their client base!). Things like the subsite stuff and rotating videos.
I am liking the ability to customise my various non related folders to give them their own personalities etc which wasnt available on Phanfare - but its the subsites and how I used them that are causing me the most grief.
I don't know anything about the technology behind SmugMug and very little about the technology behind Phanfare, but I do work in software development. Just "handing over" the intellectual property wouldn't likely solve the problem. Unless Phanfare was built on web service back end, it wouldn't be too easy to integrate components. Judging by the age of Phanfare and Carbonite's neglect of the platform, it probably wasn't built on web services or updated to use them. Even if it was built on web services and the user interface was decoupled from what underlies everything, there would still be a problem with integrating the data sources for things like user management, notification, photo retrieval, etc. My guess is that the only things SmugMug could have a chance of leveraging would be the slideshow mechanism and the photo book builder.
If the slideshow was decoupled enough from the rest of Phanfare maybe it could be retrofitted to pull pictures from SmugMug. However, it was implemented with Flash, which was great at the time, but is a bad word in many circles now, so it might not be worth the effort to retrofit a dying technology into SmugMug.
Yes, additional customizations are nice, but I want my subsites back!
I really really want my subsites back too
A lot of playing around and I am still not finding an adequate solution beyond setting up totally separate smugmug accounts and paying extra for each individual one
A real pain I'm dealing with is how subsites were migrated from Phanfare to SmugMug. In some cases, I may have published Phanfare albums to maybe 4 or 5 subsites on Phanfare. Through the conversion process, I now have many cases of duplicate galleries. Yes, I only have one original, but, unfortunately, I'm finding in several cases that the originals are spread across the 4 or 5 galleries in SmugMug. Maybe one gallery has 20 of the originals, another has 8, and so on. I really would like the originals to be in one gallery, not spread all over the place. In some cases, the conversion did put all the originals in the same gallery, but in others it did not. I've also found situations where I have different image counts between the supposed identical galleries, which is really puzzling.
The bad thing is that I had 60-70 years of pictures organized quite nicely in Phanfare. I'm not sure I'm ever going to be able to recover from the mess that's in SmugMug now.
If you have a power or higher account level you can use the customization tools to display one gallery in more than one place.
On any folder or page that you add a galleries content block, you can use the setting 'galleries I choose' and select any gallery for display there. This is also true for a folders content block. This allows you to display the same folder or gallery on multiple different webpages on your SmugMug site.
My Galleries My Photography BLOG
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Thanks for the idea, Ann. It seems very interesting and potentially a partial answer to my nightmare.
I just tried doing this. I have some unlisted albums and I tried picking a few of them and and adding them to a _Galleries _content block on a public gallery. It looks fine when I'm logged in, but when I'm logged out, no albums appear. I don't know if you have any ideas about that? I might have to have SmugMug support take a look at it and tell me what's wrong (or that I stumbled upon another feature request).
Wow...this forum tool just ate my post I guess I'll try re-posting.
Thanks for the thoughts, Ann. This might be a great solution and a partial end of my nightmare.
I just tried it out. I have some unlisted galleries. I added a new gallery and changed the content block to show a few of my unlisted galleries. It looks great when I'm logged in, but if I'm logged out and navigate to the public page, no galleries appear Any ideas? I might need to contact SmugMug support who can look at my settings and tell me what's wrong (or maybe I stumbled upon another feature request if it won't work as anticipated).
Unlisted galleries show to you when you are logged in. They show to visitors only if they use the direct link to the gallery.
From the help page Gallery, page, and folder privacy settings:
I don't know if this helps at all, but are you aware that you can have public galleries inside of an unlisted folder? This would essentially hide the galleries from your \browse page for not logged in viewers but you would be able to show the galleries in a content block.
Musings & ramblings at https://denisegoldberg.blogspot.com
Denise...thanks for the information. I think I'd tried public folders in an unlisted directory and SmugMug did something I didn't like with them (i.e., they were more visible than I had wanted). I'll try playing with it again and see what happens.
I feel your pain as it really sounds like you and I had very similar set ups with our phanfare albums and subsites - and quantities and decades. during the conversion I accidently deleted what I thought were "duplicate albums" not realising of course they were actually "originals". Fortunately the help staff were able to recover them - thousands - and I had to re start the comparison work again from scratch.
I have found the whole transition quite stressful and had to take time out from it once I had finished the rush to do side by side comparisons of every sub album before Phanfare fully disappeared.
So I still havent reached a place where I am in a position to send out my link to my friends and family - folks that were use to my daily life updates and blog etc. So I have pretty much been invisible to them since Easter - after having a permanent online presence to them since the 90s (the majority of my friends live around the world - not near me - and none of my family live in the same state as each other or me - so my photo albums and blog connected me to them no matter where they were).
I also discovered that for all the use Pages were to replicate my blogs and my "lists" - they are not actually visible at all on the phone ap! So I have gone from being able to lay in bed actually typing up my blog on my phone each night in phanfare - to not even being able to view it on my phone - let alone update.
My workplace is closed for 10 days over the xmas new year break so I imagine I will try and sit and get it all fixed somehow .
Denise...I just tried this out again and quickly remembered the problem with this approach: once you click on a gallery to view it, your "path" context switches away from the path where the content block was to the unlisted path, and now anyone can see all the public galleries inside the unlisted folder.
For example, suppose I have this:
My Galleries (unlisted) / Recent (unlisted) / Vacation A (Public)
My Galleries (unlisted) / Recent (unlisted) / Vacation B (Public)
My Galleries (unlisted) / Recent (unlisted) / Birthday A (Public)
Now I have my content block configured like this:
Public (public) / Content Block
Content block contains Vacation A and Birthday A.
I go to a web browser where I'm not logged in and browse to Public.
Everything looks great when I go to the public folder. Now, suppose in that content block I click on Birthday A. SmugMug shows me the gallery. Everything looks great. However, as I look at the breadcrumbs, I would expect to see this as my location:
Public (public) / Birthday A (public)
But that's not what I see. I'm really here:
My Galleries (unlisted) / Recent (unlisted) / Birthday A (Public)
Now all I have to do is navigate up one level to "Recent" and I'll see all the public galleries: Vacation A, Vacation B, and Birthday A. But I didn't include "Vacation B" as a selected gallery in the content block.
Maybe if I removed the breadcrumbs people wouln't be able to navigate and see things? Even if that works, what I don't like about that approach is that once someone lands on a gallery, there's no obvious way to get back where you came from.
You can remove the breadcrumb on those galleries so no path is visible.
For each of those three galleries in Optimize, Content and Design, click "Make This Gallery Custom".
Then delete the breadcrumb.
My Website index | My Blog
But if I delete the breadcrumbs, there's no navigation back to where you came from. I don't know how to recover from that.
You can add the return link or wherever you want them to go in the gallery description.
My Website index | My Blog
The gallery would be the same and may be shown in the content block of various pages. The gallery wouldn't know where you want to go, because where you want to go depends on where you came from. If there a way to know where you came from?