Now that Social Gallery version 2.0 is out it’s time for those of you who are still using v1.4 to upgrade (if you want to, it’s pretty kick ass so you should.) This is a quick post guiding you through some of the changes made to Social Gallery in this new major release and informing you on how they will affect your blog and social sharing. The move to Version 2.0 might well shake things up a bit, but it’s for the better in the long run, trust me.
So here’s what we will discuss:
- Social Gallery Pages & Fallback URLS
- Social Gallery Image Library & Scans
- Adding Google Adsense to Social Gallery
- CSS3 Effects
Documentation: You’ll also find a much better set of documentation in the new version which you can access via the “documentation” link at the top of your Social Gallery Config screen.
Social Gallery Pages & Fallback URLS
Social Gallery Pages is a new way of using Social Gallery on your blog. In essence it creates a unique page (social hub page) for each image you share via Social Gallery. By doing this it allows for professional image sharing with pretty URL’s and proper SEO value. It also adds depth to your site, giving people a full page URL to share with other users that links right back to the original blog post. It’s a great addition and adds another way for users to find your content for themselves, something which is proven to increase readership (on top of the added share rates + SEO benefits from edge rank etc.)
The most important thing to note when moving from v1.4 to version 2.0 is this new feature (Social Gallery Pages.) – By switching to using Social Gallery Pages your blog images WILL be associated with new URLS from facebook, twitter and the other social media sites point of view, this will mean that your previous comments & likes remain on the original page urls (url.com/#sg1 etc.) – This is how Social Gallery used to deal with unique urls – via a “hash index”. You CAN maintain exact same functionality of URLS (leave the URLS with hash indexs in place from v1.4) by disabling “Social Gallery Pages” and setting the fallback URL to “Hash Index”.) … however I do not recommend you do this for future features of Social Gallery – and indeed best practice is to use Social Gallery Pages. In short – it’s going to mean a refresh of the comments/likes etc. (which will remain attributed to your pages) – but it’s a necessary move to a proper, professional solution.
Social Gallery Image Library & Scans
Version 2.0 brings so many new benefits! One of my favourites is the Image Library. Social Gallery (can) now create and maintain a full image library for you, much like that of WordPress but with the addition of Social Statistics (this will come later as a module) and easy access to your Social Gallery Pages. Although the Social Gallery Library is kind of a foundation for future enhancements it’s still very useful!
Scans: There are two types of Image Scans built into Social Gallery version 2.0 and they function to scout out images on your blog. You can run either a Quick Scan (low level quick check) or a Full Scan (complete, comprehensive deep-scan of everything) via “Update Engine” under Social Gallery settings. Both scans can be started/resumed at any point if required. To use Social Gallery Pages you will need to perform at least a Quick Scan (though a full scan is recommended.)
Once a full scan has been completed there is no need to re-scan after adding new content, Social Gallery will usually automatically maintain the Image Library.
Adding Google Adsense to Social Gallery
One of the most requested features by far for Social Gallery after v1.4 was the capacity to add advertisements to the sidebar of Social Gallery. This was at first not achievable, due to restrictions of using AJAX with Google Adsense. In the end it was possible, though there’s a few extra steps you have to perform in order to set this one up. Definitely a cool new feature though and a great way to generate more revenue from your existing blog images! To set this one up read the full blog post:
Social Gallery version 2.0 has CSS3 effects? Why, I hear you asking? Well for one they are very, very COOL! With these new animations/transitions you will be able to slide, drop, roll or hinge Social Gallery in and out (when it loads or closes) in all modern browsers! For some this might be a gimmick, but I think it’s a really cool new feature and actually enhances Social Gallery beyond just being a Facebook Style image viewer – it’s now a CSS3 powered social gallery sharing monster! It’s one of my favourite new additions, but by default its disabled in favour of the existing fade in & out. You can select your own CSS3 Animations in version 2.0 under the settings tab “Style” – at the bottom. You can choose from 40+ options for both the opening & closing of Social Gallery, as well as the animation duration!
Cool Code: Another great thing about Social Gallery version 2.0 and these CSS3 effects is their selective inclusion. What’s that I hear you asking, well including all of these fancy animations would normally mean adding 40KB or more to every page load on your site (the way some other plugins do it) – but Social Gallery only loads the effect’s you chosen! Removing this excess baggage while keeping your Social Gallery Epic!
There will be some examples of these up later, but for now you version 2.0 users will have to try it for yourselves!