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Thread: Visual/Video Lightbox photo gallery questions & discussion

  1. #1
    Senior Member RayC's Avatar
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    Default Visual/Video Lightbox photo gallery questions & discussion

    Hey, all.

    I'm taking the liberty of starting a new discussion here on Visual (and Video) Lightbox, since this doesn't really apply to "NOF Suggestions" anymore. The thread originates here.

    I'm still wondering if the photo gallery that Paby linked to in the original thread is Visual Lightbox, or some other gallery software.
    Paby are you there?

    Initially I thought that this would be great to set up and hand over to clients to maintain, allowing clients to update their gallery without having to contact me to republish. But there's one snag that comes up: it uses a software package installed on your computer (PC/Mac) to generate and upload the gallery and photos. So if I were to purchase the "Unlimited Website" version, the client would still need to purchase their own license to install the software on their computer to do updates. So it's not really an online "admin" panel. I emailed support, and asked about this, and that's basically the response. I suppose there's really no other way around it. So each client would need to spring for at least the $40 single site version.

    So unless you're going to be a webmaster for several sites, it would seem the best approach would be to purchase the single site version on behalf of the client, set it up, and then turn the software over to them.

    The other question would be: if the gallery were updated using the desktop software, does the embedded gallery reflect that?
    Or would you need to manually copy/paste in the new code into the NOF page each time the gallery was updated? If that were the case, administration of the gallery by the client/site owner would be virtually impossible.

    Would some sort of server side include work for this? I suppose an I-Frame might work, or having the standalone gallery page in a pop-up window rather than embedded...

    Then, again, maybe I'm looking at it from the wrong perspective. I'm of the mind that I want to create a site, hand over admin duties to the site owner, and move on.
    "Here's your CMS admin, here's your FAQ, News, RSS, Photo Gallery admin etc.
    So long and thanks for all the fish."
    Is the proper business model to make the client dependent on the developer for maintenance, and have an ongoing monthly "webmaster" contract for these sorts of updates?

    The software looks excellent. I'm just trying to see how it would fit into a typical project workflow.

    -RayC

  2. #2
    Senior Member barbara0701's Avatar
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    Hi RayC, thanks for opening this interesting discussion.

    You are raising two issues:

    The one is the issue of setting up galleries and other applications that can be managed by clients. The other one is whether it is better to offer ongoing administration of a website or leave the customers do their own thing.

    Of course there are galleries that allow administration of pictures by customers. You wouldn't need to update anything on your desktop software, since these galleries can be included in various ways, either iframe of PHP-inclusion, depending on the needs you have. Using Visual Lightbox you could only do that using an iframe, because otherwise the pictures would have to be linked in NOF and because you would need XHTML ( I think 40 $ per Website is perfectly acceptable). But if the client needs an additonal gallery you will need to create a new iframe.

    However, it is nearly impossible to get the normal customer to understand anything about FTP-Administration, or uploading a new flash-gallery under the same url so that the results shows in the iframe. Even the uploading af a simple pdf through customers could cause damage to the server files if they make a mistake. And they mostly don't optimise their pics. It takes a lot of time explaning, which is also expensive, but they will forget after a while. The result is a messed up homepage at one stage or the other, and then you have to spend precious time solving problems for which frustrated people are not really willing to remunerate you.

    Therefore I much prefer doing a nice Website and make sure I can keep in touch with the customer. Updates are a great opportunity to tackle new ideas and perhaps doing new business. It is also a long term source of income. In my experience the customer cannot be left alone with a project.

    Keep well!
    Barbara

  3. #3
    Member paby's Avatar
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by RayC View Post
    Paby are you there?
    yes ;-)

    let´s play...
    the gallery without any changes in nof: http://paby.de/lytebox-gallerie/html...p?galerie=paby
    feel free to create some new galleries and upload pictures: http://paby.de/lytebox-gallerie/html/admin/
    password is 1234

    try it in your nof-project directly?
    http://paby.de/lytebox-gallerie/paby...erie-final.zip
    php is needed...

    its a template for nof11 - all needed files and directories are included
    just publish and give 777 to the directory
    html/galerien

    now you are ready

    have fun - paby

    ps.
    all galleries are in one nof-side - if you want to link to a gallery directly just write the gallerie-name at the end of the url like this
    http://paby.de/lytebox-gallerie/html/galerie.php?galerie=paby
    Last edited by paby; 04-22-2010 at 05:34 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RayC's Avatar
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    Thank you, Paby.
    It is fun! I see now that this is different from the others. Easy to upload new photos and create new galleries. Thanks for creating the template.

    Barbara, I understand that there are often risks associated with any client updates to a site. I recently visited a home-made site for a writer that had small images of 6 photos they had taken. I couldn't figure out why the site was so slow loading. The images on the page were approx 1" square, but the file size for each image was over 5 MB!!

    Perhaps what the creators of Visual Lightbox need (are you one of them?) is a smaller "admin" program that is only capable of uploading new images and some basic admin functions. I'd also hesitate to allow a client full editing capability for the gallery -- they would mess it up for sure!!

    Anyway, this isn't the Visual Lightbox suggestion forum, so I'll leave it there. It's a pretty slick package, and may be just the thing for certain projects.

    -RayC

  5. #5
    Twayne
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    Default Re: Visual/Video Lightbox photo gallery questions & discussion

    This is all IMO, so don't take offense at anything; there is nothing
    inherently wrong with anything you said, just a differeing of opinion which
    I present here for you to comment on if you wish. If you prefer not to,
    that's OK too; no hard feelings at all.


    In news:barbara0701.49tp8b@no-mx.forums.netobjects.com,
    barbara0701 <barbara0701.49tp8b@no-mx.forums.netobjects.com> typed:
    > Hi RayC, thanks for opening this interesting discussion.
    >
    > You are raising two issues:
    >
    > The one is the issue of setting up galleries and other
    > applications that can be managed by clients. The other one
    > is whether it is better to offer ongoing administration of
    > a website or leave the customers do their own thing.


    Those are things that also need to be part of the original quote/contract to
    the customer. I use a simple premise; surprise prevention. Neither the
    customer nor the consultant should ever be surprised by anything after a
    contract is signed. And there should always be "free maintenance" for a
    specific period of time by whatever method best fits, after the software has
    reached, and been agreed to be at, production status.

    >
    > Of course there are galleries that allow administration of
    > pictures by customers. You wouldn't need to update anything
    > on your desktop software, since these galleries can be
    > included in various ways, either iframe of PHP-inclusion,
    > depending on the needs you have. Using Visual Lightbox you
    > could only do that using an iframe, because otherwise the
    > pictures would have to be linked in NOF and because you
    > would need XHTML ( I think 40 $ per Website is perfectly
    > acceptable). But if the client needs an additonal gallery
    > you will need to crate a new iframe.


    Makes sense. Since the original contract includes (1), any more bear a cost.

    >
    > However, it is nearly impossible to get the normal customer
    > to understand anything about FTP-Administration, or
    > uploading a new flash-gallery under the same url so that
    > the results shows in the iframe.


    There are other ways to accomplish specific "area" editing for customers if
    you wish to. Either a password protected area, or a sub-site the customer is
    allowed access to. FTP Administratio can be donw with macros for setup, for
    instance. The customer doesn't directly deal with ftp or anything too
    unusual.

    Even the uploading af a
    > simple pdf through customers could cause damage to the
    > server files if they make a mistake.


    Damage to server files? A PDF? How? Especially if it's in their own
    protected area. Just curious, I can't think of anything off hand.

    And they mostly don't
    > optimise their pics.


    Very true! And a good reason to put file size limits on images. If it's over
    xxk, refuse it in code.

    It takes a lot of time explaning,
    > which is also expensive, but they will forget after a
    > while.


    Very True. Which is why a good Help file and context F1 sensitivity is great
    to use. Every page the customer has access to has a link to that Help but no
    others. That even adds something to use in checking; if there is no Help
    link, stop the processiing and tell the customer he has no permission to get
    there and to notify you.

    The result is a messed up homepage at one stage or
    > the other, and then you have to spend precious time solving
    > problems for which frustrated people are not really willing
    > to remunerate you.


    I assume you mean the Parent page, right?
    And uploading the Parent Page should be hard coded so it can't be
    forgotten, IF it's necessary for whatever reason. Here I announde "last
    update" on the parent page.
    Or am I all wet and missing something important?

    >
    > Therefore I much prefer doing a nice Website and make sure
    > I can keep in touch with the customer. Updates are a great
    > opportunity to tackle new ideas and perhaps doing new
    > business. It is also a long term source of income. The
    > customer cannot be left alone with a project.


    That's ideal and if you're backed up with clients at all, probably a good
    idea. I have found though that there are several that ARE capable of
    handling the job as long as the prompts proceed logically and their use is
    obvious. You give free e-mail help for a month or whatever your normal is,
    then charge for it after that on a per-session basis. They know they have
    the option, should they get too screwed up to handle it, of paying you to
    straighten it out and also to have you handle ALL of the maintenance,
    instead of them. Should be an option of course, and definitely worthy of
    being charged for.

    From an OO viewpoint, it's great because once you've incorporated everything
    once, the pieces will work for almost all of the rest of the sites you work
    on.

    An interesting discussion; I'll be interested in your comments.

    Regards,

    Twayne

    >
    >
    >
    > "When the shoe fits, you don't think about the foot"
    > (Chuang Chou)





  6. #6
    Senior Member barbara0701's Avatar
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    creators of Visual Lightbox need (are you one of them?)
    No, not at all, I use this and that gallery according to individual needs with no particular preference. I just mentioned that one because you referred to it.

    @twayne:

    I am delighted at the detail and depth of your analysis. I agree with every comment. The point of free basic maintenance is very important, I do that too, it's an inherent part of the contract.

    The point in uploading a pdf-file: OK, you can give access to only one area, otherwise they might delete things or move things around the web space. I always ask people not to access the webspace, just in order not to have to quarrel on questions of responsibility. But sure, you are right, you have very good ideas on how to solve some of these problems. Thank you, nice meeting you here, let's have more discussion on this and that

    Edit: Why didn't you register?

  7. #7
    Twayne
    Guest

    Default Re: Visual/Video Lightbox photo gallery questions & discussion

    In news:barbara0701.49twtn@no-mx.forums.netobjects.com,
    barbara0701 <barbara0701.49twtn@no-mx.forums.netobjects.com> typed:
    >> creators of Visual Lightbox need (are you one of them?)

    >
    > No, not at all, I use this and that gallery according to
    > individual needs with no particular preference. I just
    > mentioned that one because you referred to it.
    >
    > @twayne:
    >
    > I am delighted at the detail and depth of your analysis. I
    > agree with every comment. The point of free basic
    > maintenance is very important, I do that too, it's an
    > inherent part of the contract.
    >
    > The point in uploading a pdf-file: OK, you can give access
    > to only one area, otherwise they might delete things or
    > move things around the web space. I always ask people not
    > to access the webspace, just in order not to have to
    > quarrel on questions of responsibility. But sure, you are
    > right, you have very good ideas on how to solve some of
    > these problems. Thank you, nice meeting you here, let's
    > have more discussion on this and that


    I'm not in good health, but I do enjoy swapping ideas a lot, body and mind
    willing.
    I guess you'd have to say I'm "old school" since a lot of things were
    learned the hard way<g>! Every failure is a success though if it's
    perceived properly.

    Cheers,

    Twayne`


    >
    >
    >
    > "When the shoe fits, you don't think about the foot"
    > (Chuang Chou)





  8. #8
    Senior Member franko's Avatar
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    Default

    There are really 2 discussions going on here - 1. whether or not there's an image gallery that allows punters to manage it themselves and 2. a business model discussion on whether or not it's wise to allow punters to manage an image gallery themselves.

    On 1. I don't allow punters access to my servers at all, although I am now implementing snippetmaster on selected sites and presumably, if someone creates a photo gallery, they could upload and embed it in the area of their page they're allowed to. If they break the page, they pay me to fix it. Of course, snippetmaster also allows for a great deal of control over what punters can do so I'm not seeing this as a problem right now. And I charge an extra $150 a year for snippetmaster, er, sorry, for my proprietory content management system :-)

    2. My business model is that I do all the work on the sites I host and manage. Clients pay me for that. Snippetmaster will allow them to change content but anything more than that will require them to pay me. And funnily enough, most of them are not taking me up on the snippetmaster offer, preferring to have me maintain their sites on their behalf.

    3. Finally, as far as galleries go, as my primary business is that of a photographer I'm mainly interested in simple effective non-flash gallery software that allows me to place galleries on my web sites, eg. http://www.food-photography.com.au/html/gallery.html. For me, visual lightbox fills the bill nicely.

  9. #9
    Senior Member barbara0701's Avatar
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    @franko

    Great foodpics! Whose been doing the cooking?

    Here are some of mine, not comparable though, just amateur:

    http://www.rachinger-consulting.de/trennkost/

    The recipes are for a diet separating carbohydrates and protein.

    Edit: Sorry if this is too offtopic...

  10. #10
    Senior Member franko's Avatar
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    Hi Barbara, thank you for the compliment. For an amateur your shots are very good. Of course, it helps that the food is well presented in the first place. A couple of things that will help you improve them - your colour is off at times. Do you work on a calibrated monitor? If not, I highly recommend buying one of the monitor calibrations systems from gretag macbeth or Pantone. Also you need to be able to control contrast a little better. Small reflectors made of white card or with aluminum foil will help to fill in the shadow areas. Then expose for diffused highlight.

    I always work with a food stylist and much of the food you see isn't simply cooked. At the least it's usually very undercooked, sometimes it's barely cooked, just enough change colour and then colourized with one of our colouring formulas.

    cheers

    franko

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