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.” Maybe the experienced website coders are interested in having a look at the 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 (edit 2019: does not exist anymore) uses the Classic Version and is integrated into this WordPress website. Diego, my experienced coding friend, customized my old WordPress with PhotoShelter in all corners. Peter Delaney’s PhotoShelter website uses a BEAM theme. BEAM is till today not customizable 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 your name/link carefully for SEO! Now the fun part starts. You insert/write text, photographs,…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. Which looks quite okay, not quite like in WordPress, better than nothing! Right?
You have on top of your page a toolbar, below the empty field for text and design. First comes the title of your page. Of course, many clicks on the icon “B – bold” to make the font more significant in size or even think it increases the size of the letters!
Where is the font size icon?
It is not, you need to click on the icon which looks like a “P” just flipped horizontally! The second icon from the left in the toolbar! For the title, you for sure want to use 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, fresh design and as great as your theme from PhotoShelter look. Who doesn’t?
Making Peter’s “Buying Prints” page, I wanted to use the bullet points and increase the indent to the right a bit. I as well wanted to have space between every sentence for a 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 at the bottom of the page. I moved them a bit to the right, like here. It can be done with the icon saying: Increase Indent in Photoshelter BEAM.
tricky in Photoshelter, but is NOT in WordPress!
To make space bigger between sentences was a little tricky in Photoshelter, but not in WordPress. Hitting enter in Photoshelter moves the sentence down. That 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 the WordPress toolbar!
- Trying this often
- and probably giving up like an average 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 to? 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 about what is behind?
Above you see the top of Peter’s buying photo prints page the codes. It looks like a little mess, and many will be overwhelmed seeing this!
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 the bullet-points I wanted. When done, I copied the TEXT / HTML again and pasted it back into Peter’s page. Viola, all points were sitting where I wanted to have them, the layout was set. In BEAM, you might write first the sentence, click in front of a sentence, click on the bullet icon, and then indent this sentence, then actually all should go its the regular way! Maybe! Not in my case.
Photographs Do Not Resize in PhotoShelter BEAM
I inserted the photographs in size 300px longest side. Those photographs are by now removed, simply because they did not resize with the BEAM on the 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 (which is by now totally new since 2019), have a look on an iPad. The photographs stay in a single row when viewing on an iPad, they resize! This did NOT happen in Peter’s BEAM site. The photographs shifted, the last photograph of the row went underneath, two photographs just one line down. Hurray!!
Reminder, I write this PhotoShelter BEAM review of pages from the point of view of non-experienced people in coding a page!
Photographs do not resize when inserted directly
Alright, photographs do not resize when I insert them straight from the PhotoShelter gallery into the BEAM page on the iPad view.
I grabbed the correct code into Peter’s page for resizing the photographs properly. Still, the shifting of the photos occurred, which shouldn’t conflict with the correct code. Yes, with the right code, I think I got that covered! 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, I went in there, checked my code. It was working correctly, but again not on Peter’s page! Conclusion for this hick-up = make 1 single photograph of 2-3-4-5 photographs 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 the longest side 300px! For coding people, check the 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 the insert link icon,…etc. Same scenario for photographs or whatever you wanted to add when you were further, down the page!
WordPress: the toolbar is following me like a sticky candy as further, I go down the pages! Why not in BEAM?
Inserting the photographs into BEAM
At the toolbar, click on insert photograph and it says Photograph Web Link including a field to paste the photographs link in.
The photograph Web links you get from your uploaded photographs to PhotoShelter in your galleries. You make your own customized “photograph with 2-3-4-5 photographs 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 photographs codes
You are in the photographs folder in your listed galleries inside Photoshelter under photographs. Double click a photograph that shows big. On the top click on the Actions arrow – drop-down menu – “Get links and embed code.” You need to copy the: Direct photograph Link
The Link will look like this (I changed the link a bit for this post): // __cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000RCUsakjdhfasf/s/500/I0000R04ioO2Z4CU.jpg
The red number is the size of the photograph it comes. Set on default to 500px longest side. Of course, you can change it, just remember, 300px does not resize with 3 photographs in a row on iPad! Click on the toolbar on the photo icon and paste the link into the field and click insert! Who tells you that the # 500 is the size of the photograph in PS? So far, no one in Photoshelter. When you know codes a bit, you can count 1 + 1 = together. A normal person, which has never seen or worked with such codes… well, they might be lost!
Photo is inserted into the page, click on it, a pop-up window will show, insert Title and Link of photograph 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 photograph. Google can read but not see! Also, that blind visitors of the site understand what is in that photograph to ‘see.’ So, write short sentences 1 or 2 describing the photographs 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 the HTML page source: <img src=”//cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000R04ioO2Z4CU/s/500/I0000R04ioO2Z4CU.jpg” alt=”Insert the text to describe your photograph for Google to ‘read’ in 1-2 sentences.”
In the Link field, just enter the normal page photo link/page display of the photo 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 sidebar. 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 with 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! This means I am not able to write for every single page the proper SEO Meta description or SEO title for SEO purposes… to be found on Google, Yahoo….etc. Edit: 20th Nov’15, Peter has canceled and moved his Photoshelter Beam website to WordPress.
Edit 2019: Johan Peijenburg and I made for us total new websites solely with WordPress. Simply, we both had enough of Photoshelter. My new wildlife and landscape photographs website.
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 it!
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 critical SEO Meta Description and SEO Title BUG in BEAM Pages? Well, I do not care much, but maybe the BEAM users!
In 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 startup, till today about 4-6x, per email, in Twitter and again per email: When does PhotoShelter make BEAM customized 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 affected 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, a visitor of my WordPress site, are referred to my Photoshelter website when they click on 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 am at least able to add text,…etc., to my customized PhotoShelter homepage, portfolio, and galleries, but NOT BEAM users. I mean text, which has more than 156 characters a BEAM Meta Description gives you!!
Explore my post about Website page speed. Google wants that websites open fast! That is a bit technical with websites, so why not check out my posts about all sorts of camera gear as well. More information about myself you can find on my Bio page. You might want to see how fast by now my portfolio pages open. Explore the speed of our page of our beautiful wildlife photos on this website.