PhotoShelter BEAM Review – Pages You Create
PhotoShelter BEAM review to create pages for people with little or no coding experience such as my friend Peter or me a few months ago. I just call us “normal people” in this post. WHICH I do NOT say the coding experienced women and men out there are not normal, no way. They learned to play with characters and who knows what, the aliens behind a website. The “coders” put the “aliens” in the back of our websites, that the design/layout looks like you see online. So, the PhotoShelter BEAM review of pages is made for us “normal people”, but maybe the experienced website coders are interested to have a look in Developer tools of BEAM!
This post is a PhotoShelter Beam review of BEAM Pages you create! Not the Galleries, nor homepage …etc. Just the pages you can design and set up to get your SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, into your PhotoShelter BEAM. The pages you set up with SEO “maybe get found” on Google, Yahoo, Bing and more search engines. Good luck! (BTW, SEO is for Photoshelter a blog post itself!)
My Photoshelter website uses the Classic Version and is integrated into this WordPress website. Diego, my experienced coding friend customised my WordPress with PhotoShelter in all corners. Peter Delaney’s PhotoShelter website uses a BEAM theme. BEAM is till today not customisable with WordPress. You can “pull” your blog posts into BEAM and that’s about it from my point of view! Edit:20th Nov’15, Peter has canceled his Photoshelter website.
No Coding Experience – Then PhotoShelter BEAM Review is for You
Inside BEAM you create a certain amount of pages. You give the page a name, that is your link, like this from Peter: www,peterdelaney.co.za/#!/p/buying-prints (edit: 20th Nov’15 Peter has canceled his Photoshelter account). Chose careful your name/link for SEO! Now the fun part starts, you insert/write text, images…etc. for your page layout/design. I really try now to explain from a “normal person point of view”.
Photoshelter BEAM Tool Bar to Create Pages
You have on top of your page a tool bar, below the empty field for text and design. First comes title of your page, of course, many click on the icon “B – bold” to make the font bigger in size or even think it increases the size of the letters!
Where is the font size icon?
There is non, you need to click on the icon which looks like a “P” just flipped horizontal! The second icon from left in the tool bar! For the title you for sure want to use the Header 1 and glue that on top of the empty field. For a second title or bigger font size Header 2….etc. keep in mind, you want only 1x Header 1.
This done, insert text, you want to make it look fancy, cool design and as great as your theme from PhotoShelter looks. Who doesn’t?
Making Peter’s “Buying Prints” page, I wanted to use the bullet points and increase indent to the right a bit. I as well wanted to have space between every sentences, for better overview. The “Bullet list” icon, 6th icon from left, hover over it, it says:
- “Unordered List”. Click to make dots in front of your sentences/words…etc.
- “Ordered Icon” which shows numbers in front, just beside bullets.
You can see bullet lists in my Japan Tour blog post on the bottom of the page. I moved them a bit to the right, like here. Can be done with the icon saying: Increase Indent in Photoshelter BEAM.
To make the space bigger between sentences was a little tricky in Photoshelter, but is NOT in WordPress!
Hitting enter in Photoshelter moves the sentence down, makes my bullet point look different again and I just do not get it done with the space I want, as a “normal person” with no coding experience. Wishing badly for WordPress tool bar!
- Trying this often
- and probably giving up as a normal person
- you might just leave the page with the bullet points as they come!
No space between the sentences or just using a simple ” – ” / dash which will work just fine as you want in all cases. But does the page design looks like you wanted too? Well, for me NOT!
What did I do for Peter’s pages? I clicked on the icon “</>” = HTML, the first icon from left and clicked on it to see the coding “on the backside” of the page. Aren’t you curious what is behind?
Top of Peter’s Buying Prints Page Codes
When seeing this mess, like above, which is not a mess, but for us “normal people” it looks like one, maybe overwhelming. I copied what I had on codes and finished that page in WordPress. In WordPress everything works just fine with all bullet points I wanted. When done I copied the TEXT / HTML again and pasted it back into Peter’s page. Viola, all points where sitting where I wanted to have them, the layout was set. In BEAM, you might write first the sentence, click in front of sentence, click on bullet icon and then indent this sentence, then actually all should go it’s normal way! Maybe! Not in my case.
Inserting Images Into PhotoShelter BEAM
I inserted the images in the size 300px longest side. Those images are by now removed, simply because they did not resize with the BEAM on an iPad to stay in one single row! But it is a PhotoShelter BEAM and photos should resize to all devices! Really, no 300px resize in there to be found for a non experienced coding human! Thought it goes automatic? Many do!
This is a preview of my purchase prints page, have a look on an iPad. The images stay in a single row when viewing on an iPad, they resize! This did NOT happen in Peter’s BEAM site. The images shifted, the last image of the row went underneath, 2 images just one line down. Hurray!!
Alright, images do not resize when I insert them straight from the PhotoShelter gallery into the BEAM page on iPad view.
I grabbed the correct code into Peter’s page for resizing the images properly. Still the shifting of the photos occured, which shouldn’t with the correct code. Yes, with the correct code, I think I got that coverd! I called PhotoShelter, this was really bugging me. Support could not help me further with a code, instead they sent me the link to the W3schools. Okay went in there, checked my code. It was working correct, but again not in Peter’s page! Conclusion for this hick – up = make 1 single image of 2-3-4-5 images you want to have in a row and load that up. This will be responsive, but not 3 single photos set in a row with longest side 300px! For coding people, check source of BEAM pages => fit=350×1440 -…. might be just this! AM not a coder, but can puzzle!
BEAM Page Done – Nearly
Links icon to connect galleries and pages of Peter’s website together for SEO. No big deal actually, till I got further down in the page. I was getting a bit annoyed.
- Maybe to spoilt from WordPress?
REASON: the toolbar on top did not move with me within the browser down! Inserting a link to the bottom of the page in the text I had to highlight the text, scroll up on top of the page to the toolbar, click on insert link, done. Sadly the next link was at the bottom of the page too. Scroll down all the way, highlight text, scroll up again, click on insert link icon…etc. Same scenario for images or whatever you wanted to add when you were further down the page!
WordPress: the toolbar is following me like a sticky candy! Why not in BEAM?
Inserting images into BEAM:
Toolbar click on insert image and it says: Image Web Link including a field to paste the image link in.
The image Web links you get from your uploaded images to PhotoShelter in your galleries. You make your own customised “image with 2-3-4-5 images inside” for your pages. Upload this to a folder in “Unlisted on Website” and set the folder to visible to everyone!
How to get the embed image codes
You are in a image folder in your listed galleries inside Photoshelter under Images. Double click an image that it shows big. On top click on the Actions arrow – drop down menu – “Get links and embed code”. You need to copy the: Direct Image Link
The Link will look like this (I changed the link a bit for this post): http:// __cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000RCUsakjdhfasf/s/500/I0000R04ioO2Z4CU.jpg
The red number is the size of the image it comes. Set on default to 500px longest side. Of course you can change it, just remember, 300px does not resize with 3 images in a row on iPad! Click on the tool bar on image icon and paste the link into the field and click insert! Who tells you that the # 500 is the size of the image in PS? So far no one in Photoshelter. When you know codes a bit you can count 1 + 1 = together. A normal person, which have never saw or worked with such codes… well, might be lost!
Image is inserted into the page, click on it, a pop up window will show, insert Title and Link of image page display. Naming the Alternative text, also called ALT text Title is misleading in my opinion. On the backside, the page source, the codes Title is in the shown as ALT TEXT. Alt text is not a title, Alt text is telling Search Engines what human eyes see in that image. Google can read but not see! Also that blind visitors of the site understand what is in that image to ‘see’. So, write short sentences 1 or 2 describing the image and not the Title like: Photoshelter Beam Review | Why WordPress. In my eyes to call this “Title” which is actually ALT TEXT is misleading for Photoshelter clients. This really bugged me and brought me to write this Photoshelter BEAM Review.
It looks like this in html page source: <img src=”http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000R04ioO2Z4CU/s/500/I0000R04ioO2Z4CU.jpg” alt=”Insert the Text to describe your image for Google to ‘read’ in 1-2 sentences.”
The Link field, just enter the normal page image link / page display of image from your BEAM galleries website.
Why Moving Pages to WordPress
Remember, PhotoShelter BEAM review for no experienced people in coding? Simple, when done with the design and text for the pages the major SEO needs to be set. The SEO Meta Description and SEO Title on the left hand side bar. These need text to give the Search Engines like Google, Bing something to show in search results what visitors will find on that page.
We were and still are NOT able to add any SEO Meta description nor SEO Titles to the 3 pages in PhotoShelter Beam. Peter has 3 different pages, every page totally different content. When I filled out the SEO Meta description and SEO Title for one page, all 3 pages took it over. Check it out! Means, I am not able to write for each single page the proper SEO Meta description or SEO title for SEO purpose… to be found on Google, Yahoo….etc. Edit: 20th Nov’15, Peter has canceled and moved his Photoshelter Beam website to WordPress.
Contacting Support at Photoshelter
Someone had to tell them such bad hick up. My email went it’s way to Photoshelter support. I got a reply telling me, that they are aware of this and trying to fix!
This mail reminds me: Diego made the old version of Photoshelter responsive. He was the first one doing it. Now tell me someone; Why, till today, Photoshelter did not apply the coding to the old version?
Now I ask myself: How long will it take to fix the important SEO Meta Description and SEO Title BUG in BEAM Pages? Well, I do not care much, but maybe the BEAM users!
Conclusion, move your pages into a proper website, wordPress or Jamoli…etc. From there lead your visitors to your PS BEAM site, if you wish! Hey, this sounds familiar with the Classic version of PS. See my website, we have integrated PS into our WordPress.
This will be covered in an upcoming blog post
- When BEAM came out, I asked, right at start up, till today about 4-6x, per email, in Twitter and again per emails: When does PhotoShelter make BEAM customised with WordPress? That we, CLIENTS / PHOTOGRAPHERS can TARGET better Search Engine Optimisation?
- Why do You want to have the old version of Photoshelter or BEAM with WordPress integrated and RESPONSIVE?
- Photoshelter websites SEO is NOT the best. Last year in June, “Google referrals” dropped to 80-90% for many Photoshelter users. Maybe outside for others too, I do not know. My Photoshelter website was effected and still is today.
- Before the drop, the Google Search referral links were around 35%; WordPress 65% per month.
- Now, today: 96% of referral links traffic to my Photoshelter site comes from my WordPress website! Google, Yahoo… referrals for PhotoShelter… lol!
- Means, visitor of my WordPress site are referred to my Photoshelter website, when they click in the menu or a link in my WordPress pages and blog posts. If I would not have the WordPress website, my Photoshelter would nearly hit the ground of the ocean. I at least able to add text…etc. to my customised PhotoShelter homepage, portfolio and galleries, but NOT BEAM users. I mean text, which has more than 156 characters a BEAM Meta Description gives you!!
By Anette Mossbacher