PHOTO SITE: Which has the most flexibility for layout?

Discussion in 'Website Creation' started by mi_name, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Not sure if this is the right category but I couldn't see anything for photo websites. I'm looking for a website like Flickr/Photobucket/etc that allows you to control more of how the page is laid out. I notice that most websites waste enormous amounts of space. Space that could be used to display my photos. It seems like the world is addicted to white space these days. Yet we all know whatever is at the top of the page gets far more views. So packing as much info up there is crucial to reach the maximum number of viewers.
  2. > You have a misunderstanding as to how web pages work.
    > Yet we all know whatever is at the top of the page gets far more views.
    Well I sure wouldn't agree with that. Obviously many people click off a website without scrolling down. So the top of the page always gets the views whereas the stuff down lower may not. I don't how one could possibly dispute that.
    Anyway, no matter. The point is to find a photo website that allows one control over the layout and especially control over the size of the thumbnails all the while not wasing vasts amount of space with blank white areas. On this page on my 1920 x 1080 monitor 1/3 of the width is not used. Seems illogical to me. Guess some people love blank margins. Not sure why. They are functionally useless. Any non-lobotomized web designer can design a page for varying widths of monitors. Probably 95% are between 1024 x 768 and 1920 x 1080.
  3. "Packing as much info." is not the right way to look at Web design. Consider Google as an example to follow. Simplicity is key . . . not packing in as much information as possible. People will read something simple. Not many will read something complex. Photos are nice . . . even necessary, so they should dominate . . . of course . . . especially since you are a photographer. This is my site:
    I used to have a domain (many actually), but they never worked out for me. Nobody could understand them or spell them right. It was pathetic. I'm still looking for a good domain name.
    Some people like SmugMug, but I don't like their logo, and I believe they still force their logo onto your site.
    If you want something free . . . maybe try this one:
  4. Your site is good example of what I'm talking about. The thumbnails have a gray border. Then 50% of the width of the page is blank. 25% on each side. On 2 pages I get 4 thumbnails. I would choose to display thumbnails on all the space. So for the same amount of webpage space I could display about 10-20 times as many thumbnails. No margins, no borders. I just don't want any wasted space. Google is a poor example. Its the first page. You haven't searched for anything yet. Of course there's nothing to display. I understand your premise of simplicity. But I'm trying to sell a bunch of stuff online. The more stuff I can get the person to see in the first glimpse of the site the better the chance they will scroll down or click a link. You have to grab them on that first glance. Most webpages ignore this facet of web browsing. The top of the page is crucial. If the monitor is wider it should display the more info width wise. If its narrower, then the page will be longer as the same amount of info can't be displayed width wise. But no margins ever. It seems margins are for web designers that are unable to have a varying width in their layout. Kind of pathetic actually. Yet more and more sites seem to be dumbing down to that level. Perhaps because of the stupid javascript animations and other brain dead drivel they insist on cluttering the space with. "Please like me on Facebook" media....ugh. That's got to attract the dumbest people on the planet that can't send an URL through email in couple of seconds with their email program....oh wait....they don't use an email program because its too complicated....webmail for them all the way. Social media just brings in the idiots. I can't remember seeing anything useful on any Facebook page in my life that wasn't on the corresponding webpage of that organization. Its like they're saying, "If you're stupid, we have a Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin place just for you".
  5. On this page
    I wonder why you didn't pack the photos closer together. On my 1920 x 1080 monitor I get only 3 thumbnails on the first page before I have to scroll down to see more. So if a tired viewer doesn't see anything in those 3, you've lost them. There are 16 thumbnails there (all outstanding I might add) but many will not see them. On the top, it would have been space efficient to put "LANDSCAPES SEASCAPES CITYSCAPES FLORA BIO CONTACT" to the right of FFphotos. "Landscape photos from around the world" could be to the right of "Home»LANDSCAPES". So now you have 2 lines instead of 4. By eliminating the blank areas you could display all 12 thumbnails at their current size into the first page. Instead of 3. That's what I'm talking about. Making sure the viewer sees as much as possible as soon as possible.
  6. Well, thank you for the compliment on my photos. I am viewing the Web on Firefox 14.0.1 and my computer display is set to 1440x900 (the highest resolution it will do - I have a 13" MacBook Air). You obviously have a problem with your system settings, because I see ALL the thumbnails on one page (that's 16 thumbnails, and there is plenty of room for more). I have viewed my site on various computers at Office Depot, the Apple store, and other places. I have never seen only three thumbnails on one of the gallery pages.
    As far as the photos having a little space between them . . . that is normal. Have you ever been to an art gallery? Do they squish all the photos together? No. Do you realize why? Probably not, huh? They leave space between the photos for a reason.
    You need to learn more about graphic communication. Maybe you are joking with this thread, and I am taking the bait, but if not, you are in serious need of some education in Web site design. Yes, Amazon tries to squeeze as much stuff into their main page as possible. They do it well though, with style. Of course . . . they spent more than a million dollars on their Web design over the years, perfecting their formula. Good luck trying to copy that. They have hundreds of top Web designers and programmers working for them. Their very best people design the main pages and "user experience" for that site.
    NewEgg is a leading on-line retailer of computers, computer accessories, and other electronics. They are not stupid. Their site does NOT resize. Apprently it is not necessary for a site to resize, like Amazon does.
    As far as Facebook is concerned, I think you need to rethink your attitude a little. There are hundreds of millions of Facebook users for a reason. It may be that they are all stupid, but then who are your customers going to be? I LOVE Facebook. I hated it for a long time. I thought it was the most complicated and annoying site, but somehow I got sucked into it. Mostly because MySpace was basically broken, and I like to use social networking sites. I had not heard of Google+ at that time. Now I spend about two to three hours per day on Facebook. I go on Facebook instead of watching TV. I know I am no genius, but I may represent a demographic that you may think does not use Facebook. I do know of a doctor who uses Facebook regularly. She went to an Ivy League college. I believe she has a high IQ. She is obviously not an idiot. Through Facebook I have met some of the smartest people I have ever met.
    Marketing through Facebook has helped many companies. I think you are acting like the people who just a few years ago said stuff like, "World Wide Web? Why would I want to have one of those stupid Web site things?"
    Could my site be better? No doubt. I'm sure it could. Still, it is not bad, and I am not that serious about marketing my work yet. I will work on redesigning it at some point in the future. I may even hire a real designer. I think that might be a good idea for you. Find a few sites with design that you think is good, and see if you can hire the person who built those sites.
    As far as control over the space between the thumbnails and stuff like that, I don't think a site like SmugMug or Zenfolio or even Wix will work for you. I think you need a custom design. I suggest you stay away from Flash, though as you can see by the main page of my site, it contains Flash elements. It does seem to work on the iPad and iPhones, which is why I urge you to stay away from Flash. There are millions of people who look at the Web only through an iPad or iPhone. It would be silly to alienate 10% to 20% of your potential customers, because you want to use Flash. Oh, and BTW, the number of people using iPads and iPhones almost exclusively is growing. The desktop computer is going the way of the dinosaur. Before long, we will see fewer and fewer desktop computers and more an more companies not even carrying them anymore. Apple sells way more notebook computers than they do desktop computers, and they sell way more iPads than they sell notebook computers. I believe that the latest statistic is that Apple has sold more than 100 million iPads in the U.S. alone, and even more iPhones
    Well, anyway, please consider that when displaying a photo, you probably should not squish it up against another photo, because the view of it will be changed by the adjacent photo(s). I know people do it. In fact, the thumbnails for most slideshows are displayed that way, but those are often cropped to a square form factor too, so I guess that might be an exception to the rule. Have you seen a slideshow on my Zenfolio site? Here is one:
  7. This site seems to have some issues with Opera 12. The spacebar doesn't work sometimes when I'm replying. Also, they notify you when YOU post to a forum. That's useful. When you reply to someone you can't see what they wrote on the same page. So you need to open the reply in a different window or tab or copy and paste the thing into your reply. And the system adds a 2 or 3 spaces at the end of the line when the return key is hit. Do I want that? And then it double spaces things when the return key is hit. Don't you think I can add spaces or double space on my own? You can do better. The domain name must have cost a fortune. Time to tidy up!
    OK - here are my replies to your points.

    > > Well, thank you for the compliment on my photos.

    Your most welcome. They are outstanding. You deserve recognition for a superlative eye and the ability to capture a vista in unique and creative ways.

    > I am viewing the Web on Firefox 14.0.1 and my computer display is set to 1440x900 (the highest resolution it will do - I have a 13" MacBook Air). You obviously have a problem with your system settings, because I see ALL the thumbnails on one page (that's 16 thumbnails, and there is plenty of room for more). I have viewed my site on various computers at Office Depot, the Apple store, and other places. I have never seen only three thumbnails on one of the gallery pages.

    One reason I may see only 3 is that I have my text settings set to 150% and the Font Size under Appearance in Display in Control Panel set to Extra Large. Of course a decent web designer would account for this and not put more space in one scenario than another. But I see many programs where the text spills outside of boxes. Eraser is one example. Awesome program but the layout doesn't work for me. I like my text size big to reduce eyestrain. This is very important to many people. Only someone that has no grasp of how the eye works would ever use myopic glasses to view their computer if they don't need to. It grossly increases visual fatigue. Sadly, very few people understand visual fatigue. When you're a teenager or in your early 20's you don't notice it so fast. Later you do. But the damage has already been done. By damage I mean if you wear glasses for myopia (can't see distance clearly) your prescription gets stronger and stronger because your eyes are getting worse and worse. By wearing your glasses when working close its like moving the working surface much, much closer than it really is. After a while the eye adjusts by trying to move the image further away. That's why your myopia increases. Its your eye adjusting to a close proximity of focus. Myopes should never wear glasses on the computer unless they're almost blind without them. Then you want computer glasses whereby the point of clarity is just at the computer monitor distance, not infinity. This will give you perfect clarity on the computer and not fatigue your eyes nearly as much. Eye doctors will rarely mention this. They just don't care about real health, like almost all of the medical profession. They're just in it for the money. You are just part of a patient assembly line that courses through their practice.

    > As far as the photos having a little space between them . . . that is normal. Have you ever been to an art gallery? Do they squish all the photos together? No. Do you realize why? Probably not, huh? They leave space between the photos for a reason.

    First of all, an art gallery already has the people in it. They're not going anywhere. The web is the opposite of that. A millisecond of decision and they're either scrolling down or closing the page.

    Second, I'm online to sell stuff. To show as much stuff in as little space as possible in as little time as possible. For reasons stated above. People are impatient. Billions of websites are vying for their attention. If I don't capture their interest in the first page, they're gone.

    You mention Amazon. They're there to sell. Same principle. Of course they're going to try to pack as much info in as possible. But people don't leave Amazon once on the first page because they don't like it. Unlike my site. They may leave after viewing their first searched item of course.

    And no, I'm not joking. I value function above all. And when people are looking for something, margin spacing and the graphic prettiness of the page is of far less importance than them being able to identify something there they can use.
    When you go to a hardware store to buy nails do you care about the color coordination of the interior design of the store? I think not. You want nails. You look for nails. The faster you find nails the more likely you'll return to that store. Because they provided you with what you wanted: Nails.
    You mention Newegg. While I have to commend them on some very clever sorting techniques that help the viewer narrow down what they want, I just don't understand their wasted space on the page. To me its illogical. To me, anything that wastes space is illogical. Make it work first, then focus on cosmetics. Sadly, the world today cares far more about other people's opinions than what they really want or need. It shows a stupendous lack of personal integrity. We've come weak, weak people that are controlled by what others think.
    You mention Facebook and its 100's of millions of (idiots) users. You say it was complicated and annoying. I would agree it is annoying because they don't observe web standards. You try to go back in your browser and it ignores you unless you hit the back key several times. It shows you want it wants you to see. Much like Microsoft, Adobe, Apple and many other companies. The bigger they get the less control they give the user.
    When I'm on Facebook I see the stupidest comments, the utmost drivel I've ever witnessed online. Its like it attracts the dumbest people on the planet. Maybe that's profitable. It probably is. Though I smile as their stock price drops lower and lower. Facebook is also the greatest threat to the average user's privacy of all time. On no other site are people dumb enough to post incriminating text, photos, audio and video of themselves and others using their real name. Many careers and relationships have been decimated by irresponsible posting on Facebook.

    I've tried to sell stuff on Facebook. I get no response. Nothing. Yet I get lots of replies on Kijiji and Craiglist. Its like people go there for no purpose. A companies' website page useful. Their Facebook page is pointless. "Its like saying: Please go to the website. We're just here for idiots that can't type in a URL."
    As for Flash, yes I would try to stay as far away from that monstrosity as possible. Every time I see any Adobe product used online I find I have no ability to control anything about it. Adobe Reader is the WORST pdf reader of all time. It allows you no control over what you want to see in terms of text color or background color. Plus its a pig and very slow. But the masses worship it like the fools they are. If you want to be unsuccessful, just do what most people do.
    But I absolutely agree that its important to always have the portable market acknowledged. Unfortunately more and more people are going to try to surf the web on a 3" screen. To me this seems insane but I don't have to commute and am lucky enough to be able to always be near my desktop computer. Every time I get a message "sent from my iPhone" its truncated, poorly worded, pitifully laid out....just lousy communication. They should say: "Sent from an iPhone - Don't expect much." But having to deal with phones and other small screen devices is just proving my point of the necessity of having a layout that adjusts to the resolution used by that particular user.
    Google's Glasses are going to be the start of something huge: The ability to see in HD in a small device. The devices of the future will have no screen probably so the device can be much smaller and lighter. You'll have a wireless pair of glasses that fold down into your pocket that you can pop on and see everything in glorious color and detail.
    Poor people are still at 640x480 on their $10 CRT monitors. We must reach them as well. They spend money too. Probably one of the reasons they're poor. They're often avid shoppers!
    > Well, anyway, please consider that when displaying a photo, you probably should not squish it up against another photo, because the view of it will be changed by the adjacent photo(s).
    This is a good point. I'll guess I'll try to minimize that trying to get them as close together as possible. Asking people's opinions will be interesting. But remember I'm selling something so it they are looking for functional items they want. The main thing is I want the ability to layout things as I want. Not as the website insists.
    Saw your slideshow. Looks like you created it using iPhoto. Hated that program. It was always in the way of what I wanted to do. The thumbnails on the bottom....terrible idea as most DSLR photos are about 4:3 so you have space on the sides, not the bottom. Their stupid thumbnails blocks part of the photo. The slideshow window won't even close when I hit Alt_F4 in Firefox. Great! Its hijacked my browser. Total blithering incompetent software design. The only OS X program I could tolerate was Mail. Every other one was hideously controlling. You should be able to navigate the slideshow without activating that space wasting thumbnail bar at the bottom. They should have arrows on the left and right of the photo for navigation. And they should be in the same place so you don't have to move your mouse when the size of the photo changes.
    Its Apple: What can you expect? Logic? Apple designers park logic in the parking lot before going to work. Sorry - I used OS X for a while. It was stupendously awful. They have an unbridalled fascination with all things mouse. You have to use the mouse for almost everything. It slows any competent keyboard user up tremendously. The average Mac user is like a tortoise at the Olympics. It just seems to attract the most hardware oblivious users on the planet. I used to sell computer hardware. You wouldn't believe the stupid, ignorant, incompetent questions I would have to answer coming from Mac users. Its mind blowing. I bet many don't know where their gas tank is on their car. They pay an electrician to replace a light bulb. No wonder Apple is so profitable. They extract (marketed brilliantly to idiots) money very successfully from naive shoppers.
    They are a magnificent example of irresponsible consumer spending.
    Guess I'm not an Apple fanboy after all.
    So we come back to the main question: What photo website allows the most amount of user control in the layout of the thumbnails? I used to care about uncompressed photos. Now I don't. If you can display 1280 x 1024, that will fulfill 98% of the viewer's needs. For the other 2%, enthusiasts can always link to a uncompressed version on Microsoft's Skydrive. I think other photo sites are also increasingly allowing uncompressed photos as long as they aren't ridiculously huge. Its a nice trend.
    Another thing I could do is make a website the way I want, then use remote photo hosting to link to the full screen and uncompressed versions.
  8. Sorry - I was editing it for a while, correcting various typos but little did I know in their infinite wisdom only allows 10 minutes. Did they tell me that? Of course not. Great web design! Thanks for wasting my time!
  9. Wow, some bitterness! ;-)
    Web design (as a professional web designer, amongst other things design oriented) is not about putting the most information in the smallest space. That would be pointless and confuse/annoy people.
    A good website, particularly photography, is about presenting the work in a clear and concise way. Often times, photos look better with white/black space around them (if not all the time), to cram a ton next to each other, to cram a billion random colors next to each other, would just be overwhelming.
    What I would suggest is going to look at somewhere like ( They have some templates/customizable designs that present a lot of information in a relatively small space.

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