When FotoJournal launched in early 2010, the mobile revolution that began with the iPhone was only a few years old. The world hadn’t yet been introduced to the iPad. Thus, the web was only just beginning to understand a concept we now know as ‘responsive design’.
What is responsive design?
Photographers are visual people so perhaps an example is the best way to illustrate this is with an example. Head on over to http://tim.myfotojournal.com/ and do the following: Change the width of your browser. See what happens? The design adapts to best fit the width of the browser window. Cool, huh? Try it on your phone too.
Why is this important?
If you’ve set up Google Analytics on your FotoJournal blog, then you’ll most likely be seeing traffic — perhaps a significant amount — from mobile sources like the iPhone. When people visit your blog, they’re often checking out your work with a view to hiring you so it’s critical that your images are presented in the best possible way, regardless of the device they’re using to browse the web. Afterall, the future will be mobile. Statistia states that:
Mobile phones now account for almost a fifth of global web usage, as smartphones have become ubiquitous in many parts of the world.
And the importance of mobile compatibility will only increase — mobile internet usage is growing at a phenominally fast rate globally, and especially in Asia and Africa.
At the moment the only template supported is the default template but we’re working hard to make all of our templates mobile friendly - the rest are in development and will be coming shortly!
Note: In order for you to see the new template design, you must either create a new post or save an existing one. This clears out our caches so you’ll see the very latest changes.
FotoJournal customers are a talented bunch that pour a huge amount of love and dedication into their work. It’s only fair then, that when your photography is shared on social networks, it should be presented in the best way possible.
From today, if you share a FotoJournal post on Twitter or Facebook it will be displayed with a large photo and additional metadata such as the author and a description.
Here’s what it looks like when you share a FotoJournal post on Twitter:
And here’s a Facebook example:
You can also share your posts when publishing them via the Publish a Twitter update for this post checkbox.
We’re working on a raft of new features for FotoJournal, including other ways to share your work. Stay tuned!
We’re happy to announce that as of right now we’ve increased the storage capacity of the Hobbyist and Pro plans! The Hobbyist plan has increased from 2GB to 5GB and the Pro plan has tripled from 5GB to 15GB. If you follow our recommended exporting & resizing tips, that gives you room for roughly 10,000 and 30,000 photos respectively.
The changes are effective immediately and all accounts have already been upgraded. Enjoy the extra space!
Another one of the popular feature requests to come out of our customer survey was that you guys wanted more power over the menu that appeared on your blog.
Our system before, while it worked, wasn’t very flexible. We’ve decided to implement a feature that allows you to change the label of your core menu items (Home, Archive.. etc) as well as the position or even their visibility.
Here’s a shot of the new form:
As you can see there are three core links assigned to every blog: Home, Tags, and Archive. These menu items are special and cannot be removed, but you can decide to hide them on your blog by unchecking the ‘Show?’ checkbox on the left. This is simply another step in a long list of improvements that we plan to implement in order to make your guys’ lives easier when it comes to managing your blog.
One thing to note is that by the addition of these items as orderable menu items, you may need to check your settings and ensure the order of the menu items is to your personal preference.
A drop in Page Rank: it’s everyone’s worst SEO nightmare (well, aside from being banned from Google entirely). One minute your site is near the top of search results, and the next it seems to have fallen off the planet entirely. To make matters worse, the cause of a decrease in Page Rank can be tricky to identify.
The good news is that these problems are usually caused by one or two overlooked details (like a misconfigured domain) which can easily be fixed. The Google Webmaster Help channel on YouTube recently posted a great video where they describe how to troubleshoot a drop in page rank.
The video mentions a few handy tools, Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, both of which are supported by FotoJournal. These tools give you a lot of insight into your website’s overall health and traffic sources, making it much easier to spot potential issues before they become a real problem.
One of the benefits of using FotoJournal is that we take care of the geeky SEO stuff for you. But as always, if you have any concerns about your blog’s SEO (or anything else!) don’t hestitate to email us or post a message on our help site!
Some of you have may already noticed but we implemented a new feature over the weekend: Social media buttons!
Better social media integration was a popular feature request coming out of our customer survey, so we decided to implement post sharing directly into the template through the use of social media. You will now see an updated post entry screen and new setting for enabling these buttons. As of now we have four available sharing tools: Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon.
Here’s a peek at the selection screen:
These selections can be made on a per-post basis, allowing you to fine tune your settings. The result is a selection of buttons on your blog, shown differently depending on your theme and customizable through our Custom CSS feature.
Here’s an example on the single column design:
Hope you guys enjoy, and look forward to more updates like this in the future!
We would like to start off by thanking all of those who participated in our very first customer survey! We were overwhelmed with the response and feel very positively about continuing to promote surveys as a way of allowing our customers to influence FotoJournal for the better.
All that being said, we’ve really embraced a lot of the ideas you guys have brought forth and plan to release regular updates and enhancements driven by the suggestions you have made. Things like better social media integration, more theme layouts, and improving our help center are all items we have on our radar.
Now on to the good stuff. Congratulations to our six winners, who each recieve a free tutorial from our friends at Photography Concentrate:
It’s been nearly 18 months since FotoJournal launched, and since then nearly every enhancement we’ve made has been due to feedback from you, our wonderful customers. Today we’re going to kick things up a notch and directly ask what you love (or hate) about FotoJournal with a short & sweet survey!
We would be forever grateful if you could take 2 minutes to complete the survey. And the best part is, you can win some cool prizes!
The survey closes September 5th at midnight (1 week) so be sure to get your answers submitted soon!
Our friends at Photography Concentrate have generously donated six copies of their amazing video tutorial series. No matter what level of photographer you are, you’ll definitely learn something new from these guys:
Super Photo Editing Skills is a downloadable video tutorial that gives you both the theory behind great photo editing, and the skills to actually do it. Using the industry leading photo editing program Adobe Lightroom 3 you’ll confidently create exceptional images with speed and ease. Read more »
Awesome Album Design Skills is a downloadable video tutorial that will give you both the theory behind great album design, and the skills to actually do it. Using the industry leading page layout program, Adobe InDesign CS5, you’ll confidently create exceptional designs with drag-and-drop ease. Read more »
Another downloadable multimedia tutorial that will give you all the essential camera skills in a quick and easy-to-understand format. By combining illustrations, text, photos and video, it will help you get control in no time. You can download it immediately, and start learning right away at your own pace. Bonus: it’s fun!!!Read more »
By the way, if you haven’t already checked out Photography Concentrate, you should. It’s a great wealth of top-notch photography knowledge, and is a must-read for any serious photography!
We’ll be selecting winners and posting them right here on our blog shortly after the survey closes. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
We just released a small (but super-handy) new feature that lets you search your blog posts and comments from the blog management backend. Many users have built up an impressive number of posts & comments, and we hope this addition makes it easier to manage all that delicious content.
FotoJournal is a web-based tool that lets photographers build their own blog, post photos, and get comments. It's also a great place to discover, connect and social network with other professional photographers.