The Photium blog

A small but important change to Gallery upload preferences

A small change has been made to the Gallery upload tools, so now your last-used upload preferences (e.g. using the filenames as the titles), will be stored in our database, rather than a cookie on your computer.

We've made this change because some people were finding that after changing web browsers, or clearing cookies, they would do an upload and find their usual preferences hadn't been used.

While it should all "just work", we recommend checking your preferred upload options are selected on your next couple of uploads.

In the unlikely event you encounter any problems as a result of this change, please let us know.

Quantity based price reductions

Our Promotions feature is already quite flexible, with options to offer free postage, a % or fixed amount off the total, limiting by date, promotion code etc.

Something we didn't offer, which was much requested, is the ability to reduce the price of an item, based on the quantity ordered. We now have this feature in beta and if you're interested in trying it, please just send in a support request mentioning "The promotion beta" and we'll enable it for you and explain a little about it.

If you haven't already, please also see the earlier blog posts about important improvements you can take advantage of on your website. Particulary the new PayPal option and the secure mode beta.

Sales feature improvements

We have a new shopping cart beta available to try.

It offers a number of important advances over the old system, including easier downloads for your customers and more reliable order reporting.

You can enable it via the Sales settings admin page with just a few clicks. We highly recommend you use this instead of the older system.

Improved upload tool

Because browsers like Firefox are removing support for Java, our Java upload tool is now being phased out (but will remain available for those of you that can still use it).

Our new replacement upload tool doesn't need any plugins like Java or Flash. You only need a modern browser, ideally Google Chrome.

This new tool offers the same automatic client-side resizing that made the Java upload so popular. In addition, it also allows multiple transfers at a time, to speed up uploads. Perhaps the most useful new addition, is that you can now drag and drop folders of images, with multiple levels.

E.g. Say you're uploading an event shoot, you could have a folder with several folders inside, for different sections of the event. The single folder containing all the sub folders can just be dropped on to the new upload tool. It will then upload all the photos and will create portfolios for each of the folders automatically.

Customers on the Standard and Advanced packages can still upload the original files to be backed up or sell. However the speed benefit will be lessened, as the files will be larger and take longer to upload.

We hope you will give this new tool a try and let us know if you have any issues or feedback.

Secure mode beta

We've been working on all sorts of exciting new improvements recently. One that is just being launched as a beta, is a more secure mode for your website. You can now choose to have all pages served over https, rather than the less secure http.

This is something that's becoming more and more important, as Google are favouring https sites websites in search rankings and will also start flagging up non-https sites as "Not secure" in their popular Chrome browser. It is also possible that this could encourage more sales on your website, although the shopping experience was already secured by PayPal.

There's no extra charge for this new feature and you can read more about it after logging into your website admin area.

New domain redirection options

We've added a few new options to give you more control over any domain name\s you use with your website.

The first is you can now alter the main domain used with your website, via the Account options admin page, without having to contact us and wait (a short while) for us to make the change for you.

More usefully, you can now set up additional domains to redirect to the main domain, again without having to wait for us to make the necessary changes for you.

Last of all and really the most helpful of all, you can now choose to have your domain redirect visitors to your address and also redirect to This ensures you will have no duplicate content issues with search engines (although we do have measures in place to reduce the chance of that).

You can find all these new settings at the bottom of the Account options admin page. Of course, if you encounter any problems or have any questions, please let us know.

Responsive design changes

Some time ago, we enabled a beta option to change your website design, to make it more mobile friendly. This became particularly important as google can sometimes show websites that are less mobile friendly lower on search results.

Many of you have been using this feature for some time but we have recently added a couple of improvements. You can now have the menu items hidden for visitors until they click a single "Menu" button. This can be enabled on the Responsive beta page.

Enabling this new setting also enables support for automatic mobile resizing of Vimeo and Youtube videos, which wasn't previously provided.

Lastly, it's important to note that this responsive design beta is only a stop-gap measure for the current designs, which are due to be replaced with completely new ones.

File system improvements

It's not something you will always notice but we are always working to improve the infrastructure behind Photium. One of the most recent improvements and one of the most significant and time-consuming in our ten year history, is a complete overhaul and re-think of the storage systems used to host your photos. Without going into all the technical details, the changes have resulted in faster loading of photos, greater scalability and improved resistance to outages.

As an example, to further increase speed, photos will now load from the server location closest to each visitor. So if a visitor in the USA is browsing your Gallery, the photo will load from a server in the USA, someone in the UK though, will have the photo loaded from a UK server nearer to them.

As always, we endeavoured to implement these changes with the minimum of interruption to service. Everything was completed successfully and has been in operation for some time now without incident.

We have so many new features planned for 2016 and future blog posts will be less about behind the scenes improvements and about more noticeable ones instead. It should be an exciting year...

Maintenance completed

The emergency maintenance has now been completed on schedule and downtime was approximately 5 minutes at 05:13 Wednesday 4th November 2015.

All websites are fully functional and there should be no residual issues from this network maintenance. Websites can be updated as normal again.

Maintenance downtime 4th Nov 2015

We have been notified of essential emergency maintenance by our data centre (to reload a core router).

It will take place between 05:00 and 11:00 GMT (00:00 and 06:00 EST) on Wednesday 4th November 2015.

As a result of the maintenance there is expected to be downtime of approximately 15 minutes. During the hours mentioned above, please avoid updating your website to avoid losing any unsaved work when the downtime occurs.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by this extremely rare interruption to service and if you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch.
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