Webvanta Blog: Creating Effective Websites

New Features: Photo Gallery and Video Player

We’ve added two new features that make it drop-dead-simple to display photos and videos on your Webvanta sites.

All new sites have these features set up automatically. If you have an existing site, let us know and we’ll update it for you; each feature has a few pieces (CSS, JavaScript, snippet) that need to be set up.

Photo Gallery

To use the photo gallery, which is based on the Galleriffic jQuery plug-in, all you need to do is upload photos and tag them with "gallery". Webvanta automatically resizes the photos appropriately when you upload them.

The default photo gallery presentation includes both thumbnails, for direct navigation to a particular photo, and a slideshow, which can run automatically or be paused and manually advanced.

It’s easy to customize the appearance of the gallery, which is styled entirely with CSS, and to change its behavior by setting a few parameters when initializing the JavaScript code. You can easily create any number of galleries for different sets of photos. You can even use Webvanta’s database system to automatically generate a gallery for each category you specify, and you only have to design a single page.

You can also use any other JavaScript or Flash photo gallery that you’d like. You can adapt the techniques used in our standard gallery to work with virtually any design. There’s just one bit of back-end magic: setting the sizes at which you want the thumbnails and larger photos generated. Then you just use standard WebvantaScript to find the images you want to use, generate HTML that references those images, and apply the appropriate HTML structure for the photo gallery code. We’ve preconfigured all this for the built-in gallery, and it’s easy to do the same setup for any other design.

For details on using the photo gallery, see Using the Photo Gallery.

Video Player

To play video on your site, often the best solution is to upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo and use the embed code from the sharing site. This makes your video easy to share, and also gives you unlimited free bandwidth for playing the video for your visitors.

There are times, however, when you want complete control over how the video is played. For example, you may want to use a specific resolution, or control the compression. Or maybe you just don’t want another site’s logo on your video player.

We’ve set up the Flowplayer Flash video player to make it super-simple to have your own video player. All you need to do is upload your FLV file and place a small code snippet on the page where you want the video to appear.

For details on using the video player, see Displaying Video.

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