Images & Attachments
ShoutCMS manages images and attachments (e.g. PDF reports) using 1) the File and Image manager (for resources accessible from any page on the site), and 2) the Page Gallery (for images that can only be accessed from the page that owns the Gallery. Managing your images is extremely important. Failing to control you images may result in broken links or make it difficult locate images (large sites).
About Your Images
An “image” refers to a photo or graphic that is used by your site in zero, one or more pages. Images can be created using a number of tools including Adobe Photoshop, MS Paint, and a number of free online tools. Some image formats support animation however, streaming content (video) is managed separately by ShoutCMS.
Note: ShoutCMS navigation services use “Featured Images”. The recommended aspect ratio of these images is 5x3 with the exception of images that are uses in the Main Header Graphic or Carousel content. The size of Featured Images (pixels wide) should be consistent as you upload images to your site. You may upload the same image in different sizes and aspect ratios when they are used differently on your site.
One good strategy for managing your images is to sort them by how they are used (e.g. Featured Content, Site Banners, Carousel), and then implement a folder and naming convention to group them within sections of your site. This is only a guideline as large sites with 100’s of images may require a different strategy that fits with a large number of products or pages.
Standard Aspect Ratios
ShoutCMS is optimized to use several aspect ratios when displaying images on your website. Uploaded images will work best if they are created using the same aspect ratio as when they are displayed. The size of uploaded images (number of horizontal and vertical pixels) may also be important as ShoutCMS sometimes reduces image to fit into the space allocated on the page. To avoid "rastoring" ideally, images should be created in the same size as they will be displayed, or built using vector graphics. The following Aspect ratios are used by ShoutCMS:
Horizontal: 16 x 9, 5 x 3, 4 x 3, 3 x 2
Vertical: 3 x 5, 3 x 4, 2 x 3
The File and Image Manager
The File and Image manager is used to manage resources that can be accessed from multiple places on your website; resources include graphic files, videos, photos, and attachments (e.g. PDF documents). The Page Gallery (see below) is similar to the File and Image manager except the materials placed in the Gallery are directly associated to the page and cannot be accessed from other parts of your website. There are advantages to using both the Gallery or File and Image manager in different situations:
- Use the File and Image manager when resources will be reused on multiple pages or when used in banners, backgrounds, or other non-page placements on your website. Images and files must be manually deleted (they are not removed when links or pages are deleted as your website is modified).
- Use The Gallery for images that will be used only by the page they are uploaded to. This includes Featured Images, product images, Carousel, and the Photo Gallery. Note that the images are conveniently deleted when the page is removed from your website.
The Page Gallery
Using the Page Gallery reduces the number of images in the global File and Image manager. The Gallery also simplifies adding/modifying/deleting images using drag-and-drop or copy/paste from your workstation.
Folders in the File and Image Manager
The ShoutCMS File & Image Manager is used to upload and link images and files (e.g. PDF documents) used by your website. It is best to create a folder structure to manage your images and documents. The number of folders and sub-folders will depend on the number of images. Too many folders, or too many files in one folder, will make it difficult to locate your images. Ideally 20 to 100 files per folder is a good balance though there are cases where you may have many more (related) files in a single folder.
When deleting images in the File and Image Manager, we recommend going to site checks and run the broken link utility. This utility will crawl through your site looking for broken links. This is very useful to find pages that need to be refreshed due to changes to your images. Avoid changing the names of resources in the File and Image manager as this will break the links that have been embedded in your pages (one reason why using the Gallery is preferred in some situations).
A naming convention for your images and documents is recommended. A good naming convention will make it easier to identify the right photo or document when managing links. One challenge is knowing when to update or remove a file; names that fully describe the file are very useful when making site changes many months later.
Image Management Tools
There are a number of image management tools available. Adobe Illustrator is a common tool used by designers. For casual use, there are a number of free tools that are available on the internet. The list below is a group of tools that ShoutCMS users have used in the past: