We have released version 1.3.0 which has some large, important updates for our growing international user base. We’ve also worked on improvements to make Sunshine integrate into your custom WordPress theme a little better.
We originally built Sunshine thinking it would be almost entirely US based photographers using it. However, it quickly spread out to Europe where we have started to build a good sized international user base. As such, we have finally put real internationalization into Sunshine.
Instead of user accounts information and shipping being based only around the US, users can now select any country they belong to as well as respective state or province (if applicable).
In the administration area, you can limit which countries users can choose from for shipping and billing information. This can make it easier on your users if you only work out of a single country and don’t want to bother your clients with having more options to choose from than they need. Taxes can also be applied to international state or provinces (if applicable).
Improved WordPress Theme Integration
For improved theme integration, we actually ripped out half the code that handles this aspect – we essentially simplified how it is done. We now simply include the header and footer files from your WordPress theme and put Sunshine between them.
However, this does have a negative consequence for ProPhoto users. While this approach worked great on the 20+ random WordPress themes we used for testing, ProPhoto unfortunately builds their themes not entirely the “WordPress way”. Please reach out to us via Support and we can help change just a few lines of code to make it work at no cost to you. We ultimately made the decision that we cannot make the theme integration worse for everyone else by trying to work with a non-standard theme system like ProPhoto.
PayJunction Payment Gateway
We have also created a PayJunction payment gateway – accept credit card payments on your website via your PayJunction account (requires SSL certificate).
So our new Price Levels add-on for our Pro version was built because we know wedding clients have bigger budgets than the annual family photo session. The new Price Levels add-on will let you setup as many prices for a single product as you want. You can then choose which price level you want all your products to be sold at for each individual gallery.
Even better, if you don’t set a price on a product for a specific price level the product won’t even appear for any image in that gallery. We feel this would be great for making special products available only to specific types of galleries. Only want to offer that mug which inexplicably seems to sell like hotcakes to family sessions but not even visible to wedding clients? You can do that!
This update will create a “Default” price level for you and use the existing product price and assign it to this level. Once you add more than 1 price level, Sunshine will then give you the new data entry fields where needed otherwise it assumes the “Default” price level.
Go to Sunshine > Price Levels to get started!
Managing Price Levels
In the administration area, you will find the new “Price Levels” link where you can create and manage unlimited levels.
Setting Product Prices
You can easily set a unique price for all price levels for each product.
Set Gallery Price Level
Last is to set the price level you want to use for a specific gallery.
“Responsive” is the web’s hottest term right now. To make a website responsive means that it can adapt to any window size and still look good. This also means that the site will adapt to various devices such as tablets and mobile phones. Lately the most common question we have been getting is “Is your photo cart plugin responsive?” So we thought the best way to answer that question was with a video demo. Enjoy!
As of 1.7.0, we have included a watermarking feature. However, we still don’t think you should use it.
Nope, we do not have an automatic watermarking feature in Sunshine. And it has purposefully been left out. Here is why:
One of the biggest complaints we had with other photo carts which you installed on your own web server was the images clients looked at always had some kind of color distortion to it. Highlights were blown out, faces looked unnatural or colors were just plain off. The cause was the web server taking an original image to make a smaller version of it and adding a watermark image on top. It simply did not know how to handle advanced or custom color profiles and would often get colors plain wrong. Hours upon hours upon hours of researching, trying to save images in specific ways, fighting with the hosting company on settings of the image processor and ultimately images still never looked any better.
Having the best representation of how prints would actually look when the client received them was of the utmost importance to us. So this was a huge issue and one of the driving forces behind the decision to start Sunshine.
With Sunshine, we do create the thumbnail image on a gallery page dynamically via the server. However, click to an individual image and that is not server processed – that is the image you have uploaded via FTP. The result means you have significantly greater control over the quality of that image and what your client sees.
If you want to add a watermark to the image, you can absolutely do so via a simple batch process from Photoshop which will maintain the high quality you want to show your clients that a web server cannot match. We plan on putting out a tutorial on how to add a watermark and maybe even a simple action to run for your images. Stay tuned.
Also, this does not mean we will never build this feature in for those who are OK with the web server quality. But for 1.0 this feature is not available.