February 2008

We hope you have all had a great month since our last newsletter! In this month's edition we have some exciting news for those of you that use (or have thought of using) credit vouchers! We also have an update on the new storefront templates that will be coming out this summer, and we have some good news about your storefront image quality. So let's jump right in and get started with all the great news!

February News

This month we have spent quite a bit of time on fine-tuning things to improve the responsiveness of your storefronts, and let me tell you, it has paid off nicely! Although we hadn't received any complaints about the responsiveness of the storefronts we felt that they could be running a bit quicker, so we put on our tool-belts and jumped right in. If you haven't already noticed the difference, take a few seconds and browse your storefront to see what you think.

In addition to speeding up the storefronts we have also been hard at work getting a more robust backup policy in place for all of your images. Don't get me wrong, in the past your images have all been backed up, but they were being backed up locally (at the same physical location). With everything being backed up locally, if there was ever any major catastrophe at our server location both the backups and the original images could have been lost. In order to reduce the chance of complete data loss due to a major catastrophe we have now moved our backups to multiple off-site locations, and we believe that this will benefit everyone if the time ever comes that it is needed.

But that's not all! :) On February 27th we updated the thumbnail generating process in order to have clearer thumbnail images on your storefronts, and on the morning of February 28th we put a new process in place to make all of your larger images show up much more clearly. These changes don't come without cost though… the new images are slightly larger (in bytes, not in pixels) than the previous images and may take an additional amount of time to be displayed if you are using a slow internet connection. With almost 90% of the internet users in the USA having broadband connections (see here: connection speeds) we figured it was the right time to make the change. The image below shows what type of effect the change had on your larger images; click the image to view a larger version of the comparison image.


Sneak Peak

Storefront Templates:

Last month we showed you some of the new storefront look that will be available this summer, and we now have a bit of an update for you. Unfortunately some of the pretty transparent stuff can't be handled by Internet Explorer 6.0, and since over 37% of your the storefront visitors use that version of Internet Explorer we will need to scale down the design a bit in order to accommodate everyone. We are thinking of still offering the template that you saw in both black and white formats (we can fake the transparency a bit), but the templates that you are able to customize the colors on will be scaled back so that Internet Explorer 6.0 can handle everything.

Credit Vouchers:

As some of you already know, credit vouchers can currently be purchased in the “Store” tab and they are used much like a gift card that you can give to your clients (as part of a session package deal, etc.). Though these have been useful to a small set of you, credit vouchers have been fairly limited in their use. Well hold on to your hats folks because that's all about to change! The following set of changes will be put in place sometime around the middle of March: For the most up to date information on these changes see the forums here: forum. On March 1st the current voucher pricing will be reduced to $0 on all sizes so that you will not have to wait on the new features to get the new price.

How to: Find those images!

Whether you send your digital images to a lab using ROES, a generic FTP application, or through another third party tool one of the most time consuming pieces of fulfilling your orders may be sorting through your thousands of images and finding just the ones that have been ordered by your clients. In order to help you do that job a little bit quicker (and more accurately) we have developed a tool called the “Multi-File Search” that will make that task much easier. Follow the steps below for some super-quick file finding!

Step 1) Download the file finding application: PC Version , Mac Version

Step 2) Get a comma separated list of the images that you want to find. You can get a comma separated list of the images for a particular order by scrolling to the bottom of the order details page and clicking on the link titled “Comma Separated Image List”. You can also get a comma separated list of images from your customers' favorites by clicking the appropriate link on the favorites page.

Step 3) Copy and paste the comma separated list into the “Files to Find” box within the application. The application requires that the extensions be correct in the list, so be sure that you have the correct file extensions (jpg, tiff, etc.) on your images in the list.

Step 4) Select the folders to search in by pressing the “Add” button next to the text “Search Folders”. The search already handles sub-folders without you needing to select each folder individually, but if you want to search in two (or more) completely separate folder at one time you can add more than one folder to search in.

Step 5) Press the “Search” button at the bottom of the application. Once your results have been returned you can move them or copy them just like you would from your system's built in file explorer application. Be careful not to move the files from the search results and then delete them thinking that they were just copied and not moved!


Parting Words

We hope you have enjoyed this month's newsletter and that it provided you with some useful information! If you have any comments or suggestions for our future newsletters please let us know!

And lastly, if you are going to be at the WPPI tradeshow in Las Vegas on Monday, March 17th feel free to come up and say “hi” if you see any of us walking around with Instaproofs shirts on! We won't have a booth there, but we will be walking around checking everything else out.

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