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Photo Folders, Just another WordPress site

Documentation : uploads

Published on 15 June 2014 and updated on 28 June 2014 -
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We'll see here how to add pictures and albums in Photo-Folders. We'll start with explaining how Photo-Folders integrates in your photo creation and publication workflow. Then, we'll see how to upload pictures via FTP or via the plugin.

Managing pictures

Photo-Folders is a pictures publishing tool, enabling the author to broadcast it on the web. It's not a pictures backup solution even though it can play this role under some conditions. Common wisdom always requires to have one if not multiple backups of your important files.

A typical worflow consists in getting the pictures generated by a software like Adobe Lightroom. If you take your pictures with a DSLR camera, you may get it out of the camera in RAW format. Once selected and processed, you'll export it in a publishing format, probably JPEG. You can also export it in TIFF to print the pictures in high quality. But TIFF files are very large, over 100 Mb for 20+ mpixels pictures. It's not suitable for Internet publishing. RAW files are also heavy and not usable for Internet publishing. You then need to put in place your own archiving and backup solution for your picture originals.

On your computer, you can view and organize your JPEG pictures with your operating system file management tools or with a software like Picasa which contains a very fast search feature. It can also process RAW files, but not like Lightroom which is more professional. You'll use these tools to organize your pictures in albums, and preferably, also in groups containing albums.

You will publish the JPEG versions of your pictures in Photo-Folders. But PNG files are also supported in the plugin, which is useful for publishing libaries of logos or icons with transparent background.

You'll archive your RAW files in a separate way. You can used cloud bases archiving tools like Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, Box or Microsoft OneDrive. Prices can vary. You can find prices starting with 3€ for 1 Tb. MediaFire offers 100 Tb for $25 per month. Google offers unlimited free pictures storage since mid-2015.

You can also use NAS or local hard disks. You can find many consumer NAS solutions like Apple Time Capsule (for Macintosh users), with networking and storage vendors (Seagate, D-Link, Netgear, LaCie,...).

If you create a lot of RAW files, these RAW backups can take a lot of storage space. It's most of the time incompatible with cloud storage unless you have a symetrical very high speed broadband access enabling high speed uploads. A 2 Tb hard disk costs less than 100€. It's better to use duplicate hard drives or a RAID5 drive to avoid losing your data when a disk gets unusable. A continuously running hard disk has a MTBF (mean time between failure) of 3 to 5 years. Whatever, it's better to have your own local storage on top of some cloud solution.

Here are the various methods to feed your albums in Photo-Folders.

You have several possibilities:

  • To copy files via FTP on your server, which can be used to initialize your photo galleries in Photo-Folders when you have a large number of albums. You can upload many albums at once. This is rarely possible with picture sharing sites and by Wordpress plugins because they prefer to offer uploads via an HTML user interface where they control the was the image database is fed. For this plugin, the images database can be updated with a PHP batch file as well as with the plugin user interface (one album at a time in that case). It can also be useful when you need to replicate a Photo-Folders instance into another one on another web site using the plugin.
  • The copy of pictures in an album to create in an existing group, through the plugin user interface, when logged as administrator of your Wordpress site. This is the right method when you add one album or sub-album at a time. It is very easy to use, with a simple drag and drop of pictures into the plugin user interface, avoiding the usage of the plugin settings in Wordpress admin like what is done with many pictures plugins.
  • The copy of pictures in an existing album or sub-album through the plugin interface, while also being logged as Wordpress admin.

You could put in place an automatic synchronization of your desktop files with your Wordpress Photo-Folders pictures folders. But it's not recommended. Generally, you don't publish all your pictures online. Some are bound to stay private. You usually manually select the albums you want to publish. Also, Photo-Folders do not contain a feature to automatically process any new files aded to the pictures folder. A server daemon could still be created to launch photo-batch.php on a regular basis.

Pictures specifications

The pictures you can publish on Photo-Folders must comply with the following organization and specification:

  • Pictures are organized in albums themselves organised in groups (or you just have albums that you'll put into a single group). For example, your groups can be named by years and your albums by event or topic. The group "2013" can contain albums "Event 1" and "Event 2", etc.
  • The albums can contain subfolders. It will be automatically processed when regenerating the images database in a recursive manner. These pictures will be shown in a single level in their album by default but can be shown split by sub-albums.
  • The pictures must be in JPEG or PNG format and their name must contain an .jpg, .jpeg or .png extension.
  • Groups can contain pictures without any album, at their folder root. These pictures are presented in the plugin with an album name like : [...].
  • The names of groups, albums and pictures can contain accented letters and simple quotes (') but no double quotes ("), neither special characters like ! < or >. All european diacritical signs are supported (spanish, german, etc). Here's the supported accented letters: ŠšÐŽžÀÁÂÃÄÅÆÇÈÉÊËÌÍÎÏÑÒÓÔÕÖØÙÚÛÜÝÞßàáâãäåæçèéêëìíîïðñòóôõöøùúûüýýþÿƒ.
  • Forbidden characters in groups, albums and picture file names are € (Euro sign), <, >, ! and ?. % and # authorized by should be preferably avoided.
  • The pictures must have a resolution equal or smaller than the one specified in the plugin Wordpress administrative screens. This maximum resolution is conditionned by the available PHP memory, particularly on a mutualized hosting solution. This resolution is set by default to 2000 pixels. Since most JPEG pictures have a larger resolution, you can process them on your desktop with an utility to reduce their resolution before uploading them. Under Windows, you can use the PhotoResize freeware which can be copied on your desktop as 2000ISORM.exe. You then drag and drop any folder on this executable icon to launch the pictures compression to a maximum 2000 pixels both vertically and horizontally. These parameters will keep JPEG EXIF data for the compressed pictures like the camera and lens name.
  • The maximum size of downloadbe pictures in Mb (through the plugin) can be limited by the settings of your PHP server. It's specified in the "upload_max_filesize" setting from the php.ini file that is being used by your Wordpress instance. The path of this php.ini is indicated in the Photo-Folders server diagnostics (in admin mode only, of course). When you try to upload a too-large picture with the plugin, it provides some feedback indicating that some pictures couldn't be uploaded. The error detail is available in the errors log that can be displayed with the statistics dialog box, which is launched with clicking on the plugin logo at the top of the plugin interface.
  • The people and object names can be embedded in the JPEG EXIF title field or as their file names. People name can contain company names between parenthesis. For example: "Jean-Baptiste Rudelle (Criteo) (17)". This will make it easier to handle name search in Photo-Folders. The "title" and "description" EXIF tags are supported by Photo-Folders when you have documented it with some software like Adobe Lightroom.
FTP copy

In this uploading mode, your pictures folders must be copied in the folder hierarchy indicated in the plugin settings (see in the administration documentation how to change it).

You usually copy your pictures folders on your server with using an FTP tool like Filezilla or with the synchronization tool of your choice like rsync under Linux. Filezilla must be configured so that accented file and folder names are well sent to the server. You'll find below the settings on a Windows PC, using a ISO 8859 character set.

After the files are uploaded on your server, you need to launch the batch PHP command photo-batch.php in command line mode while being in the Photo-Folders plugin directory. It will generate the thumbnails for the newly copied pictures (as well as any missing ones) and feed your Wordpress MySQL with pictures references, enabling their viewing in the plugin. You can launch this command through an SSH tool enabling the access to your server. Please refer to the documentation of your server hoster to know how to launch it.

The upload processus also supports the integration of text files using the same name and location as groups, albums and pictures. They will feed the pictures database to document these object's description. When using the upload through the plugin, the number of uploaded text files is indicated at the end of each upload.

Uploading an album in the plugin user interface

You can upload pictures and create an album using the current group dialog function. You then drag and drop pictures from your Windows, Linux or MacOS desktop on the red dotted rectangle. They are then detected and listed. You can then launch the creation of a new album in the group with the small upload button showing up at the left of the red rectangle.

A new drag & drop of pictures will cancel the previous one and add only the new pictures to the upload to launch. The rectangle indicates the number de of pictures that is ready for upload and its size in Mb. Only the pictures with a resolution below the threshold configured in the plugin settings will be counted and uploaded. Only JPEG pictures are handled, no GIF or PNGs. You can't drag and drop a folder icon. You must drag & drop pictures itself and not a container folder.

You also need to input the album name in the field above the images drop zone. Don't input special characters (?, slash, antislash, [, ],|). These will however automatically discarded from your input. You have access in a drop down list to the existing albums from the current group. If you select an existing album, pictures will be uploaded in it. Otherwise, it will create the album with the given name.

When you drag and drop pictures on the upload rectangle, some pictures can show up in grey. It means their resolution is larger than the threshold configured in the plugin settings, 2000 pixels by default (height as well as width). It corresponds to the resolution of usual HD screen (1920x1080 or 1920x1200 pixels).

Once the album name validated, the upload will start, picture by picture, as indicated above the progress bar below the red rectangle. Once the upload is completed, the server will do some work to update all tables.

And the plugin will automatically display the created albumand its pictures. You then input ESCAPE or click outside the dialog box to close it and check your displayed pictures.

Adding pictures in an album

Like for creating an album in a group, you can add pictures in an existing album, using the album functions dialog box. This is the same process given the plugin won't ask you for an album name.

A checkbox enables you to specify that the uploaded pictures must replace all the pictures from the album. It's a "copy and replace" function. If you upload pictures that already exist in the album, the uploaded ones will overwrite the existing pictures.

Replacing a picture

This feature enables the administrator to replace an existing picture by another picture, with keeping its name and URL intact. It can be used when, for example, you have retouched a picture and want to update the version that is published in Photo-Folders.

The update process is quite simple. You select the picture to update with clicking on it in the thumbnails view. Then launch the picture functions dialog box with clicking on its name at the bottom, then click on the replacement button. You can now drag and drop the new picture into the right zone and launch the upload.

The result will be immediately visible. You shouldn't have any cache issue with your browser since the displayed pictures are timestamped with their date/hour of file creation.

Creating a group, an album or subalbum

To create a group, an album or a subalbum from the plugin, use the red upload button atthe top right of the screen. This button also is a sign that you are running Photo-Folders while being an administrator user.

This is a very flexible upload tool : you can use it to feed an existing group, album or sub-album or to create one. If the album name is empty, pictures will be uploaded at the root of the group. It will then show up in the album named [...] in the group's albums list.

In this dialog box,you can select an existing group in the drop down list or create a new one. A label at the right of the drop down list tells you if you have selected an existing group or input a new name to create one. It goes the same with picking an existing album or inputing a new album name and for an album's subalbums as well.

The default group and album showing up in the dialog box are the current displayed ones, unless we are in a search or inthe TOP people special group.

You can then drag and drop you images from the desktop to the red dotted rectangle zone, check the images selection, remove some pictures from the list and launch the upload like when you upload pictures in an existing album (from the album function dialog box). You can proceeed with the images upload with the button at the left of the red dotted rectangle containing your uploadable pictures.

You can also click on the label at the right of groups, albums and sub-albums names to display it underneath the dialog box, when it already exists.

Restoring deleted pictures, albums and groups

Groups, albums and pictures can be easily deleted from your images database. But they can also be easily restored from within the plugin.

Let's first explain what's happening behind the scene. When a group, album or picture is deleted from the plugin interface, its related files are not deleted but simply renamed with a "(delete)" prefix before their name. This prefix indicates that the object must not be displayed. We suppose that you won't use "(deleted) at the beginning of your valid objects. To restore deleted objects, Photo-Folders with simply remove this "(delete)" prefix from the names of files and folders to restore. It will then regenerate the database. This won't work if you delete groups, albums or pictures manually on the server through your FTP client.

To restore deleted pictures, you must select its album and launch the album functions dialog box. The undelete button will display the list of found deleted images in the album with a thumbnail.

Small detail : this thumbnail is the high-resolution version of the deleted picture since its thumbnail may not exist anymore at this time. You click on the button next to each image to restore it and it shows up underneath in the current album.

It's also possible to restore all deleted pictures from the album with one click : using the button at the top-left of the dialog box. It will launch pictures undeletion one by one. They will disappear from the dialog box which will indicate after each undeletion the number of remaining pictures to undelete. until there's no one left. Underneath and at the end of the undeletions, the album is also updated to show the undeleted pictures. Which can be seen if the album display mode is using thumbails. If it shows only one picture enlarged, you won't notice the undeletions.

To restore deleted albums, you need to first select its group and open the group functions dialog box. The undelete button will display the list of deleted albums from this group (if any exists). You can then click on the "Launch" button to undelete albums one by one. After a few seconds, usually, the album shows up behind the dialog box.

If and when the undeletion would create a name conflict with an existing album, the undeletion will be disactivated but the deleted album will show up in the list. It means you first need to rename the existing album using the same name before restoring the deleted album using the same name. When deleted, the existing album will be renamed with "(deleted) Album name" followed by a number between parenthesis to be distinguished from the one that is already deleted.

To undelete a group, you launch the related function from the Statistics function that you get with clicking on the plugin header icon.

Undeleting groups works well for average size groups. If it has a very large number of pictures, the undeletion process can be long and uncertain.

You can also undelete several groups and albums at a time through the plugin settings interface from Wordpress admin.

Importing albums

Photo-Folders enables his admin to import albums from other web sites using it. You can then manage several sites with similar albums. At this point, it's not an automatic synchronization feature.

You can import an album in a group with the related icon in the current group functions dialog box. It will first ask you to input the url of the Wordpress site where you want to get pictures. The provided url must be the root of the Wordpress site. It's memorized in the user cookie to avoid inputing it for each album import.

Once the url validated, it will display a list of albums found on the target site. This list is provided only if Photo-Folders is configured on this site to allow JSON functions.

You then select the album to import and validate the import. This will display another dialog with the thumbnails of the album pictures. You can resort these pictures by name or date, remove injdividual pictures or all pictures after a given one (included that one). Then, you validate the import and it will be done picture by picture. At the end, the imported album is shown in the plugin.

If the imported album already exists, the imported pictures will be copied there. If the existing album contains pictures using the same name as with the imported album, it will be overwriten and updated. It's a good way to synchronize an album in one site with a more recent version of the same album in another site.

Published on 15 June 2014 and updated on 28 June 2014 Page from | 764 lectures

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