One of the reasons that TTG web galleries stand apart from others is the emphasis on filling in the full picture. It's not enough to put a page of images on the web; a webpage has an anatomy, essential systems that help to tie it into both its immediate environment and the larger World Wide Web (search engine optimization and other such jazz). Now if you're not interested in all of that, you can run defaults and skip over it.
But if you want to make the most of your web pages and galleries, then you'll want to spend some time on your page setup, much of which is under-the-hood stuff that can't be seen in the preview. And most of it is going to be the same for all of your published assets under the same website, so you can spend time on it just once then share your template settings throughout your work, never having to do it again.
The root location of your website, i.e. Home. This takes an absolute URL with the trailing slash,
/. The slash is important.
If running at the root location of your domain, then you can either leave the default
/ or fill in the full URL of your site,
The gallery will make use of this information in various ways, such as establishing navigation or locations of shared assets. For the most part, if this is set correctly, then you shouldn't have to think about it beyond this point.
If running your site from within a sub-folder on your domain, then you would need to treat that location as the root, i.e.
Using that label for lack of a better one. These options have to do with the international localization of a site.
Character Set can almost always be left at the default UTF-8. Don't change this unless you already know and understand that you need to.
Language sets the ISO Language Code for the page, meant to assist search engines and browsers. If you want your site to be more likely to show up in searches originating in your country/language, then set this accurately.
Robots (Privacy), added in an update, may be used to allow or disallow search engines indexing your pages/galleries. When “Allow Search Engines” is set, the page/gallery will behave normal in regard to SEO. When “Disallow Search Engines” is set, search engine bots will be instructed not to cache, index or follow links from the page:
<meta name="robots" content="noarchive, noindex, nofollow" />. This is not a magic bullet; it is entirely up to the search engine whether or not to obey this directive, and you will likely yield better results by manually implementing a robots.txt file for your domain (search Google).
Text Direction specifies the base direction of text, whether your language flows left-to-right or right-to-left.
The favicon is the tiniest visual representation of your branding, a 16-by-16-pixel PNG image that appears typically in the title bar or tab of the web-browser. For example, this very page has a favicon; in the Chrome web-browser, it looks like this:
It's a tiny TTG logo, and it helps to make the page easy to see and identify when you have several tabs open in your browser window.
If you do have a favicon of your own, just put it online someplace. Then fill in the address here:
If you want the default back, or you just don't want a favicon, then use the pull-down menu:
In the early days of the Internet, search engines leaned heavily upon meta information in pages for search rankings and results. But as meta abuse became a common tactic to cheat search ranking, if fell out of favor. Today, meta is almost entirely ignored by search engines. There may still be some small value in it, though, particularly for the meta:description, which can still be used to store short content summaries to appear in search results.
Meta: Author is your name.
Meta: Description is a short summary of your page content, no more than one or two brief sentences.
Meta:Description and Album Description, which appears later in the plugin, share content. Therefore, it's okay to leave this blank here in the Site Info pane. Your page content will mostly be managed in the Color Palette and Appearance control panes, and you will have opportunity to fill in your short description at that time.
Meta: Keywords is a place to put keywords by which to tag your page, though this is almost entirely useless. Still, if it soothes your soul to have them, we understand … Because the keywords serve little or no purpose, I would keep them as generic as possible so that they might apply to my larger website as a whole, rather than to any specific page or gallery. Then I would never revisit this field again to change them. But that's just me.
If you've setup your domain for Google Analytics tracking, then you can supply your web property ID here to enable analytics tracking on your pages.
Of course, you will need to have signed up for Google Analytics and configured your account for the location of your site.
If you have a blog, then you have a feed. The gallery or page doesn't use it for anything, but some web-browsers can detect feeds and will give visitors the option of subscribing. For example, in Firefox:
By providing your blog feed to your TTG pages and galleries, you can allow your visitors to subscribe to your blog from any page of your site. Just enter your feed URL here:
There may also be some residual SEO benefit in having your non-blog pages cross-reference to your blog, but SEO is a moving target, so it's hard to say from one day to the next. Still, it can't hurt.
I'd rather not even mention PHPlugins right now, but the controls are between what's above and what's below, and so you're bound to see them and want to know, so …
PHPlugins are a part of our set of advanced extensibility features. Not too difficult to use or understand, but not for beginner's either. Also, PHPlugins are COMPLETELY OPTIONAL.
We think they're great, and we encourage you to set them up (which is an extra step, but easy to do). Even if you don't plan to use them now, you may want to use them later. And if you don't set them up from the start, you'll probably want to kick yourself down the road when you decide that you do want them.
But because PHPlugins are covered in great detail in a dedicated section of the wiki, and tutorialized aplenty on our blog, I'll say no more about there here. For more information, see the PHPlugins section of the wiki.
Very, very important to any site is its title, which fills in the HTML
<title> element. This will appear in search results, and weighs heavily into your search engine optimization. Seriously, DO NOT LEAVE THIS BLANK.
For our purposes, this is a universal page title that will be used throughout your site. It's not a gallery title, so don't treat it as such. What belongs here is your name or name of business, and your location. For example:
Matthew Campagna Photography - Seoul, South Korea
And now some smarty-pants one of you is going to say something clever like, “But Google says that your page title should be different for each page and relevant to the page content for better SEO,” and I'm tell you not to worry about it. We'll concat this with your Album Title later on to create unique titles for each of your galleries, and in TTG CE3 Pages we'll concat this title with your navigation titles for each page. To wit, we're taking care of it, and your SEO will be just fine. So this – this right here – is a generic title, and I'll say it again:
YOUR NAME OR NAME OF BUSINESS, and YOUR LOCATION.
And I've been preaching location for a long time, but folks still often fail to include this vital piece of information in their sites. Photographer Zach Arias recently had something to say about this, and we see eye-to-eye on the issue. So here's your second source; now take it to the bank. Arias says:
STATE YOUR PHYSICAL LOCATION! I can’t tell you how many photographer’s web sites I’ve been to that don’t actually say where they are located. There may be a phone number listed (as there should be) but I don’t know what every area code is. Also, with so many people moving and keeping a cell number some folks have moved to one city but their listed phone number is from another city. That’s fine and all but at least state something like “I am based in Austin, TX” or whatever. If you are in this situation consider getting a Google Voice number.
You don’t have to tell people you are available for travel. We already assume that you are. “Available for assignments worldwide” sounds like you’re trying to play up your importance in the photo industry. I imagine the amount of people who would NOT take an international photo job are less than 1%. And when you mostly shoot babies and maternity it sounds kind of silly.
Speaking of location, unless you have physical studios in other cities why list based in Atlanta, Miami, LA, and New York. You can’t be in four places at once. I’ve heard photo editors and art directors talk about this and they find it silly and feel the photographer is, again, trying to embellish themselves. That said, if you have a legit rep in NY and LA and you are based in Dallas then say “I’m based in Dallas and I’m represented by Acme Reps in Los Angeles and XYZ Reps in New York.” And make sure those are real reps. Not your second cousin with a New York cell phone.