Symbiostock Vendors Is Now Available!

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Product Launch: Symbiostock Vendors

Transform your website into a multi-vendor platform.

Symbiostock Vendors is finally here! This much awaited professional plugin allows you to transform your store into a multi-vendor platform. Perfect for businesses that are comprised of multiple artists who want to work together as one entity.

How Symbiostock Vendors Works

Symbiostock Vendors allows you to set up a single Symbiostock website with multiple sub ‘Symbiostock Contributor’ accounts. There is one central administrative account (basically like the parent account) that is responsible for the overall operation of the site. And just like a normal Symbiostock website, this admin account controls Symbiostock Settings, the website’s appearance, plugins, Woocommerce settings, etc. It is from this administrative account that sub Symbiostock Contributors are created. Whilst simple to use, the system is advanced and scalable so contributor accounts can be added or removed as required.

Tools Accessible to your Symbiostock Contributors

Each of your Symbiostock Contributors has access to their own WP dashboard and their own Symbiostock FTP folder, from which they upload and manage their individual media products. Contributors cannot see the products that belong to other individuals and are unable to access the main website’s admin settings. Contributors can only upload their digital media via FTP and once uploaded and processed, contributors can edit metadata, publish and manage their products as one normally would when using Symbiostock Pro. Published products all show up in the one central website’s shop listings.

Technical insight into how to use Symbiostock Vendors can found in this user guide.

Compatible with Symbiostock Premium Plugins

Premium Symbiostock plugins including Symbiostock Video and Symbiostock Submitter are compatible with Symbiostock Vendors and these can be added through the administrative account. So if you’re using Symbiostock Video, for example, your contributors will be able to add video media to your store. And with Symbiostock Submitter,  the administrative account can submit media to third party agencies.

Symzio Integration

Symbiostock Vendors is compatible with Symzio. To have your media files included in Symzio, just like a normal Symbiostock powered website, all you need to do is meet the eligibility criteria and apply. The integration process is exactly the same as it is for regular Symbiostock sites. Once connected, your website integrates into Symzio as one business. This means the combined pool of published media is piped through only one single Symzio account.

A Unique Business Opportunity

Symbiostock Vendors is designed for business professionals or entrepreneurs who want to unite, connect and grow a unique online marketplace with other individuals as a collective. With the ability to have unlimited contributors uploading their digital media onto one central store, you have the opportunity establish a hub very much like a mini microstock agency. There is so much room for implementing inspired ideas with Symbiostock Vendors, for instance:

  • Teaming up with photographers who focus on similar niches, or radically varied subject matter, to establish a large online portfolio.
  • For digital illustrators, establishing a vector art business collaboratively.
  • Creating a collective of photographers, vector artists and videographers specializing in one theme.

Symbiostock Vendors is a commercial grade plugin that provides a new way of diversifying your revenue prospects. The cost of the plugin is $199 and as with all of our premium plugins, Symbiostock Vendors comes with lifetime updates. If you have any queries about about Symbiostock Vendors please post your questions in this forum thread.

Purchase Symbiostock Vendors >>

50% Off Symbiostock Hosting Packages

Offer available until the end of August 2017.

A reminder to anyone interested in getting on board with Symbiostock Hosting – grab a massive discount by signing up before the end of August. This special offer is only available to new users and provides 50% off the first term of hosting. This means that if you sign up for a monthly plan, your first month will be 50% off. But if you sign up on an annual plan, which is where this offer is ridiculously good, you will receive 50% off the entire first year of hosting. So for example, if you sign up annually on our ‘Economy’ plan, normally $143.99, with this offer you can get it for only $72 for the whole first year!

We made this offer to celebrate the launch of Symbiostock.org’s new look, which occurred late late month. In order to claim this special discount, please use the coupon code ‘NEWSYMBIO’.

View all Symbiostock Hosting packages here >>

This offer is only available for people who have not signed up with Symbiostock Hosting before.

An Exciting New Look!

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Welcome to our new site!

Symbiostock.org, home of the Symbiostock project, has had a makeover!

Over the past few months the Symbiostock team has been quietly and carefully re-designing Symbiostock.org in an effort to create a more effective, flowing and user friendly website. One of the main goals with the re-design was to make information about Symbiostock and our software more readily available and easier to understand, especially for new users. Previously we had found that it was hard for newcomers to quickly and easily access details about what Symbiostock provides and what our community is about. We are confident that the new layout presents information about the project in a more user friendly and inviting manner.

We invite you to check out our new site and we hope you love it as much as we do!

50% Symbiostock Hosting Offer

To celebrate the launch of the new Symbiostock.org, we have a special Symbiostock Hosting offer for new users. Till the end of August, new users who sign up with Symbiostock Hosting can get 50% off their first term of hosting. This is an awesome deal that offers massive savings if you sign up on an annual plan. Our most popular plan, the ‘Super’ package, which provides 50 GB of storage and 500 GB of bandwidth is usually $405.99 on an annual plan, can be purchased for only $202.99! If you sign up annually for our most budget ‘Economy’ plan, normally $143.99, with this offer you can get it for cheap as chips: only $72 for an entire year!

View all Symbiostock Hosting packages here >>

In order to receive the discount, please use the coupon code ‘NEWSYMBIO’.

This offer is only available for people who have not signed up with Symbiostock Hosting before.

Symzio Artist Directory Replaces Symbiostock Artist Network

When it comes to making improvements, it can be like changing seasons and sometimes we need to remove certain things in order to make room for new growth. The Symbiostock Artists Network was introduced when the new Symbiostock was born and whilst the goals and intentions behind it were noble and promising, over the course of time as the Symbiostock project has grown and evolved, the Artist Network hit somewhat of a standstill. And with the introduction of the Symzio Link Exchange Widget late last year, the artist network became quite redundant. As a result, we have retired the original Symbiostock Artist Network and replaced it with a new Symzio Artist Directory.

The Symzio Artist Directory runs dynamically off the Symzio Link Exchange Widget. The directory contains information and links to independent websites and portfolios of artists who proactively contribute towards raising awareness about Symzio and their fellow Symzio artists. In order to have your website and details appear on the Symzio Artist Directory, you need to be a Symzio contributor and you must endorse Symzio by one of two ways (or both!):

  1. By using the Link Exchange Widget on your Symbiostock website
  2. By using the Symzio Widget on your Symbiostock website

Seeing as the Symzio Artist Network page is created using the Symzio Link Exchange Widget, the directory auto-updates and only shows contributors who are using Symzio widgets. Therefore if someone stops displaying Symzio widgets, their site will be automatically removed from the directory. This keeps things fair so that those individuals who believe in our project enough to mention us and their fellow independent contributors on their own websites are the people who benefit from receive some extra exposure via the Symzio Artist Directory. Every page on our website links to the Symzio Artist Directory, so naturally anyone who is listed will benefit from extra organic traffic and possibly receive additional ‘link juice’ from search engines. So if you’re not already using the widget, get on board to benefit from this bonus incentive!

Learn more about the Symzio Link Exchange Widget and how to use it here.

Symbiostock 4.0 Is Here

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It’s been a little while since our core Symbiostock system received a major update. Symbiostock 4.0 is a massive update and it’s available now!

Remember, our updates are completely free, just like Symbiostock Pro, so there’s no reason to think twice about keeping your site up to date with the latest version.

There are two large developments that come with this release:

  • Symbiostock 4.0 is compatible with Woocommerce 3.0.7 – this is the very latest version of Woocommerce. Woocommerce 3.0 was released last month and was a key update that added a variety of improvements and additions to Woocommerce. Once you have updated to Symbiostock 4.0, you can update your Woocommerce install by manually uninstalling then reinstalling Woocommerce (this will not affect your products).
  • Symbiostock 4.0 is compatible with PHP 7.1.

Other practical improvements to note:

  • Max image size default increased to 200MB from 100MB
  • Downloading of original media tweaked for large files
  • Fallback resolution for unspecified licenses changed to 5000 pixels from 6000 pixels

Symbiostock 4.0 also has a variety of systemic and security improvements, adding to the robustness of the software.

Download Symbiostock Pro >>

 

Maps

Sale: Grab Symbiostock Maps for half price!

To celebrate the Symbiostock 4.0 update, we’re temporarily marking down Symbiostock Maps to $25 (normally $49).

Symbiostock Maps was released six months ago and it’s a fantastic way of sprucing up your website with an interactive element for your visitors. Symbiostock Maps reads GPS information from your images and uses the Google Maps API to create an interactive, clickable map which showcases the locations of your media products. You can also manually add GPS data to your vectors and videos by editing individual product pages, to include these media files on your map. Maps is a cool optional plugin and highly customizable in appearance to match the design of your website.

Take a look at our live demos to see Symbiostock Maps in action:

Demo 1     Demo 2     Demo 3

The sale price is only for the next week, so grab it while it’s hot!

Symbiostock Maps >>

Improvements & The Top 4 Benefits of Choosing Symbiostock Hosting

Our Symbiostock Hosting platform has undergone a number improvements over the last few months and continues to run smoothly. We have also increased email limits and the number of domains that can be hosted on all of the Professional Hosting Plans. The new limits are as follows:

Economy Plan – 5 websites (previously 1); 15 email accounts (previously 3)

Business Plan – 10 websites (previously 5); 30 email accounts (previously 15)

Super Plan – 15 websites (previously 10); 45 email accounts (previously 30)

For full details see our Hosting Plans >

Not only do these upgrades apply to new registrants, these increased limits are also applied for our existing hosting clients to benefit from.

If you are new to Symbiostock and are thinking about starting your own online digital store, here are some of the top reasons to consider jumping onto our hosting platform:

Hosting

1) PERFORMANCE – We provide higher dedicated CPU and RAM (memory) resources to to meet the processing demands for high resolution image/EPS conversions.

2) VIRTUAL SYSTEM – Experience the benefits of a virtual private server (VPS) environment within a shared hosting platform. We provide resources of a VPS without the complications.

3) 1-CLICK INSTALLS – Simplified CPanel interface with a one-click WordPress installer means you don’t need to manually install databases or configure PHP settings.

4) SCALABLE – Expand your resources as your business grows. Fully automated upgrades allows you to increase your storage space seamlessly without hassle.

When you’re ready to make the switch to Symbiostock Hosting, keep in mind that we offer a Free Migration Service to make the transition easier for you!

February 2017: News & Updates

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Problems Downloading Symbiostock Pro & Plugins?

We recently discovered an intermittent problem whereby some users were unable to download Symbiostock Pro and other plugins from the Symbiostock Store during December and January. This technical issue has been fixed now and everyone should be able to download our plugins without concern.

We extend our sincerest apologies to anyone, especially new users, who were inconvenienced by this problem. If you missed out on downloading our software, please visit our plugins page and grab what you need. Remember, Symbiostock Pro is packed with features specifically for selling digital media online and is completely FREE to use!

Download Symbiostock Pro >>

Legacy Importer Deadline Extended

In light of the plugin download issue, the Legacy Importer / Exporter will remain online until the end of February. The Legacy Importer is a free media transfer tool for migrating your images from the old Legacy Symbiostock system to Symbiostock as efficiently as possible. Our team will provide requested assistance with transitions up until February 28th, after which the importer will permanently be deactivated.

We encourage legacy users to make the most of this opportunity – it is significantly easier and time saving to transfer your media using the importer than to manually complete this arduous task.

Legacy Importer – Free Download >>

Symbiostock Artist Highlight

In an effort to raise awareness about the talented people who make up our Symbiostock community, we will soon be introducing various independent artists in a regular blog feature called the ‘Symbiostock Artist Highlight’.

In these feature articles we will place the spotlight on individual artists, their professional backgrounds and some of their work in an interview style format. For further information, including details on how you can become a featured artists, please read this forum post >>

Coming Soon: Symbiostock Vendors Plugin

We announced a new Symbiostock Vendors plugin at the beginning of the year. Symbiostock Vendors allows groups of artists who wish to work together as one entity, to establish a single core Symbiostock site whilst at the same time provisioning each artist with the tools needed to control their individual media products, without affecting the media of other users. This large scale plugin is still under testing & development and we hope to have it ready for release very soon!

Learn more about the Vendors Plugin here >>

Reflections, Our Next Stage & Some Announcements

Reflecting Upon Our Progress As We Look Forward to 2017

It has been said that sometimes you have to look back in order to realise how far you’ve come. Reflecting back on both 2015 – with our monumental beginning – and 2016, it’s clear that Symbiostock has come a long way and a robust foundation has been established. These last two years have encompassed a firm focus on research, development and implementation of new technology. This intense process has involved listening to and identifying the needs of our community and creating solutions to meet those important requirements. We started out in April of 2015 with only a handful of Symbiostock supporters and we’ve grown to now having over 500 active installs of the base Symbiostock plugin. Symbiostock is no longer a small device, it’s a fully-fledged engine comprising of many arms. Let’s take a quick look at the large areas of technological development that has taken place:

  • The core plugin, Symbiostock Pro, has developed into an advanced software technology unlike any other available for digital media professionals (photographers, vector artists & videographers). With so many features and plugin extensions available, we rarely receive requests for new additions. Plugin extensions include the Symbiostock Submitter, Symbiostock Video, Symbiostock Maps and Symbiostock Anytype.
  • Symbiostock Hosting was created to alleviate the server side troubles experienced by so many Symbiostock users. This solution has greatly reduced the occurrence of server related issues and simplified the process for new users to setup their independent site.
  • We launched Symzio, the first contributor centric stock agency. Symzio works in a revolutionary way by connecting directly to independent contributor websites and allows artists to set their own RF prices and retain the bulk of sales profit. We also created the free Symzio Link Exchange Widget to assist the community reach their SEO objectives.

These powerfully interconnected elements have received deep dedication from our small team of developers, to a point where we believe all the technological development made has setup a solid foundation from which we can now shift gears into the next big task for our community: marketing and promotion. Now that all the big tools we needed to be armed with as independent artists are here, we can move forward and confidently place our efforts towards jumping over the marketing hurdles that exist. There are numerous unhappy microstock contributors who are not aware that an option outside of the mainstream exists for them. The more contributors learn about Symbiostock and join the movement, the more pull we will have in attracting digital media consumers. Whilst marketing is its own beast to conquer, we’re excited and committed to this next challenging phase. Symbiostock is ready to strive into 2017 with goals of expanding our community’s footprint and influence. In other words, we’ve made a solid ship and we’re ready to set sail! From the team here at Symbiostock, we thank our wonderful community of artists for your continued support and we look forward to working alongside you towards the opportunities that lay ahead.

Coming Soon: Symbiostock Vendors Plugin

We will soon be introducing Symbiostock Vendors – a formidable new plugin designed to allow businesses that are comprised of multiple individuals to set up a single Symbiostock website with multiple sub Symbiostock contributor accounts to cater for each person. The plugin facilities a system where each individual user has with their own WP dashboard and their own Symbiostock FTP folder, from which they upload and manage their individual media products. Sub accounts are unable to access the main website’s admin settings, which only the parent admin account has access to. This advanced system is scalable and contributor accounts can be added or removed as required.

Symbiostock Vendors

Symbiostock Vendors allows groups of artists who wish to work together as one entity, to establish their core Symbiostock site whilst at the same time provisioning each artist with the tools needed to control their media products, without affecting the media of other users – you can only see and edit your own uploads through the backend. On the frontend, everyone’s media appears on the one website. The website also integrates into Symzio as one business. This means the combined pool of published media is piped through only one single Symzio account.

Symbiostock Vendors is currently in its testing phase and further information about the mechanics of the plugin will be provided closer to its release date – which we anticipate to be later this January.

Retirement of the Legacy Symbiostock Importer/Exporter

Over the last two years we have assisted and ensured that Legacy Symbiostock users who wanted to progress forward with our technology had a means of migrating to Symbiostock as efficiently as possible. Our Legacy Symbiostock Importer/ Exporter made this a significantly seamless process compared to the task of manually transitioning media over to a new system.

The volume of usage of the importer has reduced now to a point where it is not resource worthy to maintain its upkeep. As a result, the Legacy Importer/Exporter will be officially retired on the 31st of January, 2017. This gives ample time for anyone who may still be using the legacy system to migrate over to Symbiostock. Our team will provide requested assistance with transitions only up until the deadline, after which the importer will permanently be deactivated.

Now Available: Symbiostock Maps & Symzio Link Exchange Widget

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Just released: Symbiostock Maps & Symzio Link Exchange Widget

Our two new exciting tools are now available for our Symbiostock community to make use of. Symbiostock Maps will add a significant expansion to both the aesthetics and media advertising potential of your websites. And the Symzio Link Exchange Widget is a fantastic SEO opportunity to connect with other contributor sites and exchange ‘link juice’. Let’s go over each tool and what they provide in a more detail:

Symbiostock Maps

Symbiostock Maps is an impressive, optional plugin for Symbiostock Pro. Symbiostock Maps reads GPS information from your product pages and uses the Google Maps API to create an interactive, clickable map which showcases the locations of your media products. Perfect for those of you who have portfolios with travel locations, images of architecture and buildings from around the world, or collections highlighting natural wonders.

Symbiostock Maps is highly customizable, as we previously demonstrated with very differently set live demos:

Symbiostock Maps Demo 1 – In this demo we have images displayed all over a global map. This demo shows the default ‘terrain’ map type.

Symbiostock Maps Demo 2 – Here the map location has been set to Sydney and we’ve chosen the number of images to be displayed to only 4. As a result, Symbiostock Maps identifies which four images are closest to Sydney and only displays those thumbnails in a zoomed in view. If there were only three images geotagged nearby Sydney and the next closest image was geotagged to Melbourne, the map would automatically be more zoomed out to include that forth image’s location. The map type here is set to ‘hybrid’ and we’ve added a cyan-blue colored hue.

Symbiostock Maps Demo 3 – In this example, instead of showing image thumbnails, we’re using geotag markers. Geotag markers are clickable and just like the thumbnails they open up a larger image preview. The map type used here is ‘roadmap’.

As you can see, multiple maps can be created and inserted into different pages of your website and each individual map can be customized to focus on a specific region of the world. Customizable elements include map size, color, brightness, thumbnail size, popup preview size, popup text size and you can also add an optional title and associate a custom class to each map. With so many aesthetically geared settings you have complete freedom to play around and integrate Symbiostock Maps into the design of your unique website.

There are two ways of adding Symbiostock Maps to your Symbiostock site – as a widget or shortcode. The widget method is easier, but is dependent on your theme’s implementation of widget areas. Shortcodes can require a bit more if you want it customized, but are more dynamic and can be placed in any post and on any page. Our Symbiostock Maps Help Guide explains how to set shortcode parameters and contains useful tips using Symbiostock Maps .

Symbiostock Maps can be purchased from our store for $49. As with all our software and premium plugins, this includes lifetime updates.

Symzio Link Exchange Widget

Link Exchange Widget

The Symzio Link Exchange Widget is a fully automated link exchange system that is bundled with the the latest version of Symbiostock Pro – simply update your Symbiostock Pro install to the newly released version to access to widget.

Establishing link exchange partnerships with targeted, related websites is a long established way of giving your website’s SEO a boost. By working together and setting up a link exchange network with fellow Symzio contributors, we can essentially increase our marketing efforts and online presence by letting search engines know that although we are independent entities, we’re are also a collective – and if there’s anything to be learned from advent of social media, it is that modern search engines appreciate sites that are interconnected and communal. Link exchange partnerships also provide a good means of exchanging direct traffic.

The Symzio Link Exchange Widget is an intelligent tool which removes the regular burdens that come with link exchange partnerships. You don’t need to check for dead links, or worry about partnered sites maintaining reciprocal links. Any sites that stop working, or stop using the widget are automatically removed from the link list.

FEATURES INCLUDE:

  • Auto checking contributor sites to make sure they are online. Sites that go offline are automatically excluded so that there are no ‘dead’ links.
  • Only includes sites that also display the widget.
  • Dynamically altering the rank order in which sites are displayed sites based on how much each individual site contributes to the link exchange program. The widget uses advanced mechanisms to calculate how much each site is promoting the Symzio Link Exchange Widget – sites providing greater support are listed higher on the page and this is automatically updated.
  • The widget does not output Javascript; it outputs HTML which can be indexed by search engines and contains hard coded links to encourage SEO.
  • Will only display contributors who have been with Symzio for at least 1 month.
  • Ability to set how many contributors you want to list (minimum of 5 required).
  • Can be added to your WordPress site as a widget or shortcode.
  • Automatically uses styles that are defined in your websites theme. You can also add a custom css class to the widget and apply stylizes using your theme’s custom css area.
  • Ability to add a custom title to your link exchange area.

Information for each contributor listing is sourced directly from their Symzio public profile, including:

  • The contributor’s business name
  • Link to their independent website
  • Link to their Symzio contributor profile
  • Links to Facebook & Twitter pages
  • Description: Displaying contributor descriptions is optional. You can set the widget to display no descriptions to show short/full descriptions.
  • Thumbnail: A thumbnail is shown if the contributor has uploaded an image for their Symzio profile page. Displaying thumbnails is optional.

The more information you supply about yourself through your Symzio contributor profile, the more information can be displayed through the link widget. So it’s a good idea to fill in your Symzio profile as much as you can, including links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Below is a screen shot of how the Symzio Link Exchange Widget outputs data and you can see that some listings contain more details than others:

symzio-link-exchange-widget-sample

The widget is extremely easy to set up and can be accessed by navigating to WP Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets. It will appear in the list of available widgets as Symzio Link Exchange. You can then add this to any widget area. Once added, you can open it to access all the settings. For details on how to implement the widget using shortcodes, see this Help Guide.

The widget is released today with the Symbiostock Pro update. We encourage all Symzio contributors to get on board and implement the Link Exchange Widget on your independent sites. And if you haven’t already joined Symzio, take this opportunity to do so. By working together and supporting each other in this growing community, we continue to feed our movement towards empowering ourselves as independent artists. So let’s make the most of this opportunity and keep our momentum flowing!

Join Symzio

Coming Soon: Symbiostock Maps & Symzio Link Exchange Widget

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Announcing the coming of two powerful new tools to get you excited towards the end of the year:

Symbiostock Maps

Coming soon is a powerful new addon called Symbiostock Maps. Symbiostock Maps will allow you to display multiple photos and media on an interactive world map. This optional addon for Symbiostock Pro uses the Google Maps API to insert a customizable map anywhere on your website. If your media is geotagged (i.e. assigned with a geographical location), Symbiostock Maps will use that information to present the location of the image on a Google map.

Multiple maps can be created to focus on different regions of the world. You can choose how many images you want shown; whether the images show up as thumbnails or location markers; customize colors; thumbnail proportions and more. When a thumbnail/location marker is clicked, a popup opens up showing a larger preview of the image – which if clicked takes the customer to the actual product page.

Take a look at a live example of Symbiostock Maps in action:

Symbiostock Maps Demo 1

To illustrate how customizable this addon is, here is another example which displays the map in ‘Hybrid’ mode and with completely different visual settings:

Symbiostock Maps Demo 2

Symbiostock Maps is perfect for artists who capture travel locations, architectural marvels and natural wonders, whether it be via photography, video or illustrations.

Further details on how to make the most of Symbiostock Maps will become available with the release of this exciting new addon.

Symzio Link Exchange Widget

Symbiostock Maps

In the recent months Symbiostock Forums have been buzzing with independent artists trying to collaborate and brainstorm ways of supporting each other through mutually beneficial link exchange agreements. Creating niche specific link exchange partnerships can be a valuable way of attracting visitors to sites, both through direct traffic exchange and by triggering search engines.

However, creating a link exchange system isn’t always easy to keep track of and requires ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Tasks such as checking your partnered sites to ensure that your links are still there, or checking whether the sites you’re linking to are still online and implementing updates are ongoing aspects of link exchanges that are time consuming and not much fun to do – because most of us would rather spend that energy working on our creative projects.

And so we decided to create the Symzio Link Exchange Widget – a fully automated link exchange system that effortlessly sets up a link exchange area on any page, or section, of your website. Some of the advanced features of the widget include:

  • Auto checking contributor sites to make sure they are online. Sites that go offline are automatically excluded so that there are no ‘dead’ links.
  • Only includes sites that also display the widget.
  • Dynamically altering the rank order in which sites are displayed sites based on how much each individual site contributes to the link exchange program. The widget uses advanced mechanisms to calculate how much each site is promoting the Symzio Link Exchange Widget – sites providing greater support are listed higher on the page and this is automatically updated.
  • The widget does not output Javascript; it outputs HTML which can be indexed by search engines and contains hard coded links to encourage SEO.
  • Will only display contributors who have been with Symzio for at least 1 month.

Each contributor’s listing will source information directly from their Symzio public profile, including:

  • The contributor’s business name
  • Description with their profile image
  • Link to their independent website
  • Link to their Symzio contributor profile
  • Links to Facebook & Twitter pages

Although there will be a default minimum number of listings displayed, you will be able to set how many contributors you want to list on your link exchange area.

The Symzio Link Exchange Widget will become available soon and will be bundled with the base Symbiostock Pro plugin.

As we continue to band together as a proactive community of independent artists, the greater our opportunity for success becomes. And with innovative tools such as this new widget we can easily keep up our momentum up and further growth of our movement!

Symbiostock Anytype: Sell RAW Files Alongside JPEGS & more!

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Symbiostock Anytype is now available from the Symbiostock Store!

What is Symbiostock Anytype?
Symbiostock Anytype is an optional addon for Symbiostock Pro. Symbiostock Anytype requires Symbiostock Pro 3.3 and is not compatible with older versions of Pro.

What does Symbiostock Anytype do?
Symbiostock Anytype permits you to upload a file that you can associate to any product within Symbiostock to be served to customers upon purchase instead of the original uploaded media file. The file is sold through the same individual product page as the corresponding Symbioctock media product. The associated file can be any type of file, for example: RAW, ZIP, PDF and DOC files.

Why use Symbiostock Anytype?
Have you ever thought about selling a ZIP bundle that contains an image file and a model release document? Or a ZIP bundle with a vector file and a JPEG? How about selling RAW versions of your images? What a revolutionary idea?! These are just some of the most useful ways of utilizing Symbiostock Anytype.

You can also be creative and make image packs – create a four pack of Christmas pictures and sell them during the upcoming holiday season. And if you really want to think outside of the box, you could even sell PDF tutorials on how you created a particular image – of course you may not want to give away such trade secrets! But the point is, Symbiostock Anytype allows you to customize the downloads for each product listing in powerful new way.

What media product types can Symbiostock Anytype be used with?
You can use Symbiostock Anytype with any media type, be it videos, images, or vectors.

Symbiostock Anytype

How do you use Symbiostock Anytype?
For a detailed guide on how to use Symbiostock Anytype to create downloadable RAW files / a Packaged ZIP file for a vector / Image Packs, please see our documentation.

As a brief overview, the way to use Symbiostock Anytype starts with creating a new license using the usual license creation steps. Once you have the new license set up, you are required to specify an arbitrary ‘postfix’ in the ‘Arbitrate download’ field. This postfix is then used in naming the file that you which to serve (there is a specific syntax formula that must be used). Symbiostock Anytype looks for files with the specified postfix and associates it to the correlating product using the syntax formula. Once associated to a product and updated by the cron processor, the new license shows up on the product’s license options.

When the license is purchased, a download for the associated file is served to customers.

Is there a limit to the number of arbitrary download licenses you can create with Symbiostock Anytype?
No. You can have as many arbitrary download licenses as you want, even more than one per image.

How much does Symbiostock Anytype cost?
$29. This includes lifetime updates. You can grab Symbiostock Anytype from the Symbiostock Store.

Announcing Symbiostock Anytype

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We’ve had a number of users ask about whether or not Symbiostock provides the option of serving non-standard downloadable files alongside regular Symbiostock products. For example, for any given media product, to provide your customer the option of purchasing a RAW version of the image on the same product page. Or the option of providing a ZIP bundle on the same product page. Currently, Symbiostock does not have any such facility.

BUT…

But, as long standing users probably know by now, our development team is a highly progressive one. So it follows suit that we try to provide high demand tools for our growing community to make your lives as independent artists that much easier. And with that being said, the good news is that very soon you’ll be able to grab Symbiostock Anytype – a new Symbiostock Pro addon that will allow you to do exactly what was described above. You’ll be able to sell RAW files through the same individual product page as the corresponding Symbiostock media product. Or sell a ZIP bundle that contains both an image file and a model release PDF file. Or a ZIP containing a vector file and a JPEG. You could even create image packs whereby you bundle as many images as you want within a single ZIP and sell it as a special offer. There are many possibilities.

Sept10-blog2b

Symbiostock Anytype will permit you to have as many arbitrary download licenses as you want, even more than one per media product. You will be able to use this with any media type, be it videos, images, or vectors.

Symbiostock Anytype will be part of a line of purchasable ‘addons’ created for Symbiostock Pro. Addon software such as this allows you to choose how extensive your Symbiostock Pro install becomes, and only extend features based on if/when you need it. Paid addons will also help to fund Symbiostock development and growth.

Symbiostock Anytype will be released on October 13th and will be available through the Symbiostock Store for $29.

Symbiostock 3.3 Delivers Ease for Vector Artists & Various Improvements For All

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Symbiostock 3.3 update is out now!
This update contains various additions to make your lives easier and a major addition for our vector artists. Firstly, let’s go over some of significant additions that applies to everyone:

NEW: Customizable checkout notice for customers
You can add a custom message that will show up to customers on the ‘Checkout’ page and again on the ‘Order Received’ page after they have completed placing their order. This handy mechanism provides a great way to quickly and clearly inform your customers of what to expect next after placing an order. We’ve added default text that reads:

‘Please note that it may take a few minutes for your download to get processed. You will receive a download notification via e-mail when everything is ready.’

But you can change this to say whatever you like. Plus we provide a custom css class that you can use to stylize the way the message appears.

Your Checkout Message can be edited through Symbiostock Settings > Downloads

NEW: Increased security feature for CRON processor
We’ve added the ability for you to reset your secret cron processor code. This as an added security measure for unfortunate circumstances whereby you suspect your cron code is breached. This is a significant security upgrade to the previous version where you only had one permanent cron code.

‘Reset Cron Code’ can be found through Symbiostock Settings > System

IMPROVEMENT: Optimized Symbiostock variable checking
A number of systematic checking operations have been optimized to run more efficiently, bringing speed improvements to certain Symbiostock processors.

IMPROVEMENT: Easier setup for new users
We’ve disabled the Woocommerce startup wizard to make the Symbiostock installation process easier and more seamless. Store pages are now automatically generated behind the scenes.

NEW: Option for improved WP Emailing
A new option which delivers minor improvements to the way WordPress handles and delivers emails sent through it. This setting ensures that all mail sent via WordPress has a valid return-path in the headers, thereby reducing the chance of your mail being viewed as spam. This setting is also necessary for advanced server mail routing.

This setting is called ‘Add Return-Path fix for all emailing through WordPress’ and can be enabled/disabled through Symbiostock Settings > System

MAJOR ADDITIONS FOR VECTOR ARTISTS:
1) Batch Processing of Alternate JPEGs
Vector artist can now batch upload vector files with corresponding JPEG files, and Symbiostock Pro will automatically associate that JPEG and add it as the Alternate JPEG for that vector. Previously, vector artists had to manually upload Alternate JPEG’s one-by-one for each product – a tedious and time consuming process. Now you can FTP all your files and Symbiostock Pro takes care of it. Time saving efficiency!

2) Alternate JPEG Metadata Population
You can also set Symbiostock Pro to write and read metadata to/from Alternate JPEG’s. So if your Alternate JPEGs have metadata embedded, Symbiostock Pro will use that information to populate your vector product information such as title/description/keywords/GPS. The feature allows vector artists to, like photographers, do all their prep work before hand and just upload media for a one-step solution to getting all their stuff online and ready for sale.

Alternate JPEG settings can be enabled/disabled through Symbiostock Settings > Media

Remember, detailed guides on how to use all aspects of Symbiostock Pro are available through Symbiostock Documentation.

 

Love Symbiostock and all the amazing free software provided? Show your support by writing a review on WordPress about how Symbiostock benefits you. Or you can even buy a coffee for our wonderful development team!

Updated Docs, Smooth Hosting and Great News for Vector Artists!

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It’s been almost 2 months since we launched Symbiostock Hosting and the overall consensus has been resoundingly positive. We’ve received encouraging feedback from users complimenting the simplicity and ease of the setup process, and many are impressed with the noticeably better speeds at which images are processed compared to other webhosts. If you’re thinking about trying out Symbiostock Hosting, checkout our free hosting migration offer and our 10% off coupon, usable on any hosting package:

Free Migrations

Coupon Code

We’ve rolled out some massive developments to Symbiostock plugins over the last several months. As a result of all the improvements and additions, all of our documentation pages have been updated to ensure you have an accurate reference guide in order to use Symbiostock plugins to their full capabilities:

Documentation

If we’ve missed something, be sure to let us know through our Forums.

And now onto some very good news for our vector artists!

If you’re a vector artist, very soon you will be able batch upload JPEG files associated with your corresponding vector files and Symbiostock Pro will automatically associate that JPEG and add it as the Alternate JPEG for that vector. This means you no longer have to manually upload Alternate JPEG’s on a product by product basis, you can simply FTP all your files and you’re done. Furthermore, you will be able to set Symbiostock Pro to use metadata from the Alternate JPEG to populate your original vector product’s information. Too easy! We will be releasing this new feature very soon, so stay tuned.

Symbiostock Hosting Launch!

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www.symbiostock.com

After much anticipation and hard work the team here at Symbiostock are proud to announce the launch of our new Symbiostock Hosting platform! Time and time again we have found the number one cause of problems for Symbiostock users to be server side issues whereby web hosting providers fail to meet the technical needs of Symbiostock powered websites. Which is why we decided it was necessary for us to create a hosting solution to cater to the requirements of Symbiostock users. Symbiostock Hosting is a unique shared hosting environment that operates more like a VPS (virtual private server) provisioned with high CPU and memory resources necessary for the operation of standard Symbiostock sites.

Key Features of Symbiostock Hosting:

Quick Setup
Simplified CPanel Interface
ImageMagick
One-Click WordPress Installation
High CPU & Memory Allocation
Free SSL Certificates

Symbiostock Hosting is completely different to our previous hosting service and provides a true hosting environment whereby clients have full access to cPanel and FTP capabilities for website building. This means that although we’ve created Symbiostock Hosting for Symbiostock users, anyone can register a hosting account with us and host non-Symbiostock sites.

Symbiostock Hosting offers five different packages aimed to cater for the average small to reasonably large sized digital media stores, with the Economy plan starting at $8.99/mth USD. Packages are available on monthly or discounted yearly pricing plans and we currently offer a 10% off coupon that can be applied to any plan.

It is important for prospective hosting clients to understand that Symbiostock Hosting has a Limited Support Policy and does not provide free support for software related issues. Symbiostock Hosting places emphasis and resources towards providing a robust hosting platform and our support obligations revolve around maintaining the performance and integrity of our server hardware. We have created a Hosting Support Forum within Symbiostock Forums for hosting clients to post questions in order to receive community support and additionally offer a paid Support Request Service for software related issues.

Symbiostock Video + Submitter – now available to all Symbiostock users!

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Two invaluable tools which were only available on Symbiostock PLUS, are now available to all Symbiostock users:

Symbiostock Submitter

With the Symbiostock Submitter you can streamline the tedious task of uploading stock media to multiple agencies from the central hub of your Symbiostock WordPress install. Using FTP, the Symbiostock Submitter allows you to automatically (or manually) submit images, vectors and videos to third party agencies. You can submit stock to as many agencies as you need, so long as the agency supports FTP uploads. This plugin truly eliminates the extra work required for managing multiple submissions. In conjunction with Symbiostock’s meta editing features, you can create a setup where all you need to do is upload your media to Symbistock, add meta data information, click publish and that’s it – not only is your image/vector/video live on your independent site, it’s automatically sent to your third party agencies.

Symbiostock Video
Symbiostock Video is a revolutionary plugin that allows anyone to start selling stock footage through their independent Symbiostock site. If you’re a stock video producer, this means you no longer have to rely on stock agencies as the sole means of selling your videos. Once installed, Symbiostock Video permits you to upload a myriad of different video types that will all get processed and added to your Symbiostock store exactly as images do. Your customers will be able to view demo videos, complete with custom watermark protection and instant downloads upon payment! Additionally, a large bonus element of the plugin is that it supports videos that are longer than 1 minute in run time. As this is something that most agencies don’t currently offer, you can use this as a unique marketing angle for your independent site. Symbiostock Video is compatible with the Symbiostock Submitter, so you can just as easily submit videos to agencies directly from your Symbiostock site.

These plugins are available for purchase through the Symbiostock store. If you’re after both of the plugins, we also provide a heavily discounted bundled option.

Symzio Launch!

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www.symzio.com

Symzio spawned from a deep desire to stimulate some balance within the microstock agency, in the favor of contributors. As microstock contributors ourselves, we are all too well aware of how unrewarding it feels to generate $0.25 from an image that took so much more than twenty-five cents in time value to create. Yet day-in-day-out such earnings make up the majority of monthly royalty earnings for most stock contributors.

But contributors are not the only ones hurting. Consumers are also unhappy with the lack of choices available and are funneled into spending more than they’d like with costly subscription packages.

Which is why we created Symzio. The first completely contributor controlled agency that charges customers less and pays contributors more. With a heavy focus on One Time Use licenses to attract customers who are looking for exactly that – unique one off stock media for that one blog article, or one advert, or one website banner, or one brochure. Individuals who don’t need subscriptions or RF licenses but who end up having no other choice. And the benefits for contributors are just as great – your images don’t get filed into royalty free storage folders for a mere twenty-five cents to your pocket.

Symzio is radical with a massive potential for progress and we want you, our fellow contributors, to be a part of it.

Some key aspects of Symzio include:

– No approval process for stock media. Symzio contributors simply upload media to Symbiostock & manually select what you want to include or auto-include to Symzio (Symbiostock 2.1+ required).
– Contributors retain 70% of their sales earnings.
– Symzio Affiliate Program provides affiliates 10% of every sale referred to us by them.
– Bonus opportunity for contributors to retain 90% sales earnings if a customer purchases the contributor’s own image through their own referral.
– The minimum a Symzio contributor will earn on a single sale is $1.40 (for a medium One Time Use JPG).
– Consumer pricing schedule that heavily targets One Time Use customers, whilst at the same time offering a fair compensation royalty-free option

We encourage you to peruse the new Symzio site, read the info pages and TOS to become familiar with how Symzio operates. We are currently taking contributor applications and details on how to apply can be found here.

Additionally, as Symzio is launched as a Beta, we will be utilizing this phase as a period for tweaking aspects that we may find need improvements as we move forward.

Migrations, Support Requests and More

1) Some good news for current and future Symbiostock users – we have now opened our support request system. If you need direct or quick help from the Symbiostock team, you can now submit a support request to us. We have nominal fees attached to some of the tasks in order to make it a sustainable ticket system.

Some services include server debugging, fresh installs, migrations from legacy, and custom work. This system is meant to provide easy solutions to individuals and organizations that want quick fixes or tweaks that they are otherwise unable to implement themselves. There are various terms associated to these support requests which you can find on the request page.

2) We are now permanently going to be using in-house or paid images from users within the Symzio network for all our blogs and emails. Our budget for these one time uses is $5, so price accordingly if you want to be included.

3) We are going to be rolling out the next stage of the Symzio network by providing a central search engine at symzio.com which will permit visitors to search the network in one quick manner.

Symbiostock 2.0: It’s here

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Launched only a few months ago, Symbiostock has grown dramatically in just a short while. Based on the WordPress platform, Symbiostock has evolved into a feature rich media management and sales system that does so much more than just offer you a storefront for your images.

By being streamlined and  non-intrusive, it has proven to be highly compatible with just about any theme, allowing an eclectic mix of different looking sites power themselves with its code. In fact, there are so many different variations that aside from a few unique elements, even our developers sometimes have a hard time knowing if the Symbiostock engine is running in the background.

Initially conceived and developed years ago, Legacy Symbiostock was a dramatic idea – provide independent artists a way to monetize their images so that any reliance on third party corporations was minimized. It was embraced by the community. And though it ultimately did not achieve the throughput intended, the simple drive towards independence is still alive and strong in the microstock community.

 

Symbiostock 2.0 is now the realization of a revolutionary
new way to achieve that independence.

 

By improving nearly every single aspect of the plugin, from the processor to watermarks to licensing and security, it most importantly introduces us to the Symzio Network Widget. Now, users can integrate beautiful and seamless search results from across the network on their WordPress pages. The key to this system is immediate and relevant results; each Symbiostock site will now operate as a node, contributing a portion of its traffic every day to the whole network. It is through the well integrated implementation of the Symzio widget that we can now operate as a cohesive collective while still maintaining an absolutely independent and fully controlled distribution system for our own images.

The grandiose number of features, fixes and upgrades that are coming with Symbiostock 2.0 is nothing to sneeze at; we now have really relevant related products (probably superior, even, to the built in WordPress search system). We have complete video support on our PLUS servers – just upload any video, and within a couple of minutes it’s available for sale, fully protected with a watermark and secured downloads for your customers. You can even submit your uploaded videos to agencies like Shutterstock and Fotolia, absolutely free with our PLUS service. We have tonnes of localization upgrades – change the way licenses show up on your storefront and even translate some of the phrases that show up throughout the customer experience.

We have quick editing for professional stock photographers who want to upload hundreds of images and keyword them quickly and efficiently (title, tab, description, tab, keywords, tab, enter – saved, including metadata writing!). We have geodata parsing – customers can now see a beautiful Google map on the product page relating to the image itself.

There are too many things to list. And though you will certainly want to familiarize yourself with the upgrades and new features, the real purpose of all of this is to make it easier for you to get your images up there, ready to be sold, and to maximize the number of sales you get for all your hard work.

We truly believe this is a big step in that direction.

Documentation relating to the new features will begin to be populated in the next few weeks, so be aware that some guides may be slightly different than the way Symbiostock now works.

If you’re already a Symbiostock user, you should go and sign up for Symzio before even upgrading so that your account is activated sooner rather than later. This way you can join the network along with everyone else at the same time. Once we get an influx of signups, it will take more time to process them, and accordingly, delays will ensue.

As always, post any queries and comments in our forum. Take care Symbiostockers!

Warning: Woocommerce 2.4.X Not Compatible with Symbiostock

Woocommerce has released a new update and unfortunately, the new Woocommerce 2.4.X version has components that are not completely compatible with Symbiostock. All of our current Symbiostock users are warned not to upgrade your Woocommerce plugin to the newest version as it is likely to cause issues for your Symbiostock site. Woocommerce 2.4.X may also make changes to your database that could be difficult to revert.

For new Symbstock users, please use Woocommerce 2.3.13 available here:

WooCommerce 2.3.13 (Download)

Additional Features: Final Symbiostock 2.0 Preview

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This is our final preview teaser for the upcoming Symbiostock 2.0. We’ve already shown you previews some of the larger features to come – Symzio, video support (for PLUS), geotagging and improved related product tabs. But Symbiostock 2.0 will also have a host of other important additions, improvements and upgrades. Some of these include:

– The capacity to sell non-Symbiostock products through your store.
– Improved SEO features to assist with search engine exposure.
– Greatly enhanced Quick Edits to make meta-data editing and key-wording faster and more efficient.
– The ability to personalize license description from ‘Commercial’.
– Advanced CMYK color correction option if you experience thumbnail color variation and have a server that supports it.
– Custom translations for Symbiostock controlled titles and terms.

These are just a handful of the awesome features we’ve bundled into Symbiostock 2.0. The update is scheduled to be released within the next few weeks. We can’t wait for you to dig into it!

Related Products Preview

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A particular issue with the existing Woocommerce system is its inefficiency with how it selects ‘Related Products’ that are displayed on individual product pages. For example, a stock photo of a red apple could show ‘related’ images of people rather than shots of other apples. This was a great concern for Symbiostockers and some of you voiced your requests for a better solution on our forums.

And we absolutely agree about the necessity for displaying accurate related product links.

This is why Symbiostock 2.0 completely takes care of this problem. Start looking forward to seeing related products that are indeed related! The addition of this feature uplifts and transforms product pages, increasing exposure for your images and making upsells a lot more effective.

GPS Geotagging with Symbiostock 2.0 Preview!

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When you upload an image that has GPS information (usually automatically signed with enabled cameras) Symbiostock 2.0 will read this information and provide your customers an interactive Google Map. It will point to the exact location the picture was taken.

This localization is often useful for people looking for images from specific areas or countries and is a great visual tool that will help you increase your sales, especially if you are a traveler.

Again, this system will be integrated right into Symbiostock and will work to add a new tab on your product page, totally compatible with any WooCommerce theme. It can be enabled or disabled globally, on a product basis, and the GPS data can even be manually edited if you want to correct or specify something.

Symbiostock PLUS Video Support Preview

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If you’re a stock videographer, this is the good news you’ve been waiting for. Video support is on its way to Symbiostock PLUS. This means you will have the ability to sell your stock footage directly from your own independent store. Your customers will be able to view demo videos, complete with custom watermark protection and instant downloads upon payment!

But wait, there is indeed more.

We’ve also developed the facility for you to distribute your videos to stock agencies in an identical manner to our agency image submitter. Upload your videos ONCE to your Symbiostock PLUS site and then proceed to uploading the videos to AS MANY AGENCIES as you want AS MANY TIMES as you want. For those of you with capped internet limits, this translates to saving a great deal of time and bandwidth.

The video functionality on PLUS will not be available for standalone users due to the specialized technical framework required to process them. At the current time, there is no reliable way to bundle this with the plugin.

Symzio Network Widget Preview

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As you may be aware, Symzio has been quietly under development. Symzio is a means for Symbiostock users to gain greater exposure for their images and to promote the growing network of independent Symbiostock artists. The first component of Symzio, the Symzio Network Widget, is to be released with the forthcoming Symbiostock 2.0 update. The Network Widget will alter the landscape of Symbiostock sites, enabling contributors to syndicate each others images through their own sites seamlessly.

A key feature of the Symzio Network Widget is its versatility and ease of use. You can control how and where the widget appears on your website. You can insert the widget into your site’s theme just as you would any other WP widget, or use shortcodes to embed it into sections of your site. The idea behind this is to ensure you maintain control over the appearance of your site.

Not only this, but the Symzio Network Widget is intelligent. It will provide images that relate to whatever it sees on your page, whether it be a post, product or a search query. It will provide your visitors relevant images from across the network, creating a rich browsing experience.

The good news is that if you are already a Symbiostock user, you can sign up for the Symzio network now so that when it is launched your images will be some of the first to be syndicated across the network. This is just the first step towards a prosperous independent community of media contributors.

 

Symzio-widget-preview

Over 100 Happy Symbiostockers!

After only about a month since release, the Symbiostock family of artists, photographers and illustrators now numbers in at over a hundred.

This is a great milestone for every contributor that wants to sell their media direct to customers, and hints at an even larger community for the future.

With our latest release, the plugin is now available to even more users, and we expect Symbiostock to continue giving a growing number of artists an independent avenue for monetizing their artistic endeavors.

Symbiostock 1.3: The Compatibility Update

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By popular request, we have now enhanced Symbiostock to work with systems that do not have Imagick installed. This is extremely good news for individuals who desire to use Symbiostock, but have been unable to due to the limitations of their web host providers. As well, if you don’t have shell access through PHP, Symbiostock will also read metatags.

While most features of Symbiostock will now work without Imagick and shell access, certain enhanced features of Symbiostock will be limited without them:

– only JPEG files can be supported without Imagick
– meta data will be imported but meta data changes made through WordPress cannot be saved to images.

Some features, such as vector processing will not work without Imagick, but for all you photographers, this is a huge opportunity. You can set up your Symbiostock powered image store very quickly and easily by following our 3 Minute Guide to Launching your Store.

Download Symbiostock today and give it a go!

Symbiostock 1.2 Released

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This release is a relatively large one. The largest changes involve minimizing memory and CPU usage for the processor which has been retooled to evade most of WordPress’s heaviest built in functions. Along with this are a number of bug fixes that rectify a host of minor issues all relating to WooCommerce integration.

It also adds a big feature missing from WordPress which is the inclusion of keywords/tags in the search engine. This has not only been added, but implemented in a manner that is approximately 85% faster than most third party plugins.

This release signifies a significantly large stride forward in providing a truly stable digital media distribution system.

Speed, Tag Searching and Metadata Writing

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Metadata Writing

Symbiostock 1.1, released about half a week after 1.0, introduced metadata writing. With this powerful feature, you can now save your WordPress edits directly to your images. This only works on images that readily support metadata, such as JPEGs.

What’s this good for?

Well, now you can use Symbiostock as a full-fledged metadata editor. Anyone who is a professional stock image producer knows that metadata editing is never that easy, and now being able to both manage your store and tweak your titles, descriptions and keywords, not just in your store, but right in the core of your images.

But again, what’s this good for?

Simple. If you download this image, submit it to an agency, or even sell it, all that data is stored in it. You don’t have to manually repopulate titles, descriptions or keywords with agencies, which is in itself a large and tedious task. Do all your editing in one place. Thanks to WordPress’s great tagging system, duplicates are automatically removed. So you can just keep typing relevant words, click save, and you’ve got an image ready to go. Couple this with our PLUS hosting system, and you can even automatically submit your images to agencies. This means that as a PLUS customer, once you upload your image to Symbiostock, you never have to do anything else. Edit it there, update it there, and submit it to agencies there.

Massive Search Speed Boost + Tag Searching

Speed? Speed. You may or may not know this, but neither WordPress nor WooCommerce search tags in their search engine. Don’t believe me? Try it out on your own site. Add a tag to a product or article, do a search, and it won’t show up. This is a known shortcoming and isn’t easy to overcome. Why? Because tag searching adds a lot of overhead, and if you have thousands of articles or products, you’re looking at a 1-2 second delay on every search query.

Well, not anymore. In Symbiostock’s next release, the search engine has been revamped to include built in tag searching.

The best part?

We’re talking 0.2 seconds overhead. We’ve cut it down by up to 90% using the Symbiostock engine. In fact, the more images you have, the more tags you have, the more you will see a massive difference between this and third party plugins that provide similar functionality.

This is just one of the many fantastic new developments that are going to keep coming with Symbiostock. And soon, even the Symzio project will come online – a wonderful, community driven search engine that takes all your beautiful images, and presents them to customers in one cohesive and speedy interface. Exclusive to Symbiostock users like you.

Promote Symbiostock for Free – Get Premium Stuff!

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As a burgeoning new open-source enterprise, Symbiostock is off to a great start. We’ve got a nearly zero error rate with the official plugin, our hosting service is streamlined and likewise bug free, and we’re getting great feedback all across the board in regards to the direction we’re taking.

All that being said, we still need your help! The internet has become a giant social machine and amidst all the noise, we want artists all around the world to learn about Symbiostock. The more people that use it, the more development we can invest in, and the more powerful it’s going to get.

Symbiostock was born out of a need to be in control of our media – to sell it at our rates, in our environment. I wanted to be able to sell any image I took that I felt held artistic merit – not just the ones some person a thousand miles away deemed worthy!

But Symbiostock is just the first step. We need artists, artists exactly like you, to come on board. You see, the more artists that choose to sell independently, the more we, as a group, compete with the larger agencies. In doing so, we force all concerned to take us seriously and even out the playing field. That means more artistic freedom, more profits, and more control in the digital media marketplace.

Here are two cool, totally free ways in which you can help Symbiostock now:

1) Give us a glowing review on WordPress.org:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/symbiostock/

WordPress is where we distribute and update Symbiostock. Great reviews allow people to really understand how the plugin can help them, and are the bread and butter of any good plugin.

2) Submit your site to the Artist Network

http://www.symbiostock.org/artist-network/

Showcasing your site in the Artist Network is a fantastic way to both promote Symbiostock and your site. Visitors will be able to find you and visit your store, and artists can see your different sites to envision how theirs might look. It’s totally free, and a great networking tool.

And, if you help promote Symbiostock in these two ways, let us know, and we’ll give you a complimentary two-months of free hosting with PLUS, or if you prefer, 50% off any of our premium themes.

This is open to both new and current users. Just let us know via private message once you’ve supported the project in both those ways.

And remember – even if you don’t need hosting or themes, taking five minutes to help us out would be a really fantastic way to spend those five minutes – we’d love you for it.

Symbiostock PLUS: Your All-in-One Solution

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We haven’t talked much about Symbiostock PLUS yet, so this will be our formal introduction to it.

Symbiostock PLUS is the service that the makers of Symbiostock have created for users that need or want an easy hosting solution for their media. It is an economical, fully supported hosting system that does not require any technical expertise to get started with.

As soon as you sign up with PLUS, you log right into a WordPress install with everything ready to go. You have access to a myriad of specially chosen plugins that you can use to enhance your store, from EU VAT tax, to Search Engine Optimization.

Our most economical plan, at only $5 a month, permits you to host all your images in one central location, have your own fully automated ecommerce store, and even allows you to distribute your images to stock agencies as you add them.

Yes, one of our newest features is meant to bridge that gap, allowing you to earn on your media through third party agencies and through your own ecommerce store. Our distributor service automatically uploads your media to designated agencies depending on their media type. It even auto-generates JPEGs for your vectors if you want, and submits them with the vectors. It keeps track of all your submissions so there are no duplicates, and allows you to exclude any images you want from being distributed, or re-uploading ones you want.

This, along with a variety of other services, is completely free with every PLUS account.

Our goal with PLUS is to be able to provide a service at a cost that pales in comparison to the plethora of rich features you, as an artist, can use to further fund and monetize your talents.

Click here to find out more about the features PLUS has to offer.

Symbiostock is here!

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Symbiostock is now released!

You can download it directly from your WordPress install by going to Plugins > Add New and searching for Symbiostock.

Offering a fully featured FTP/web uploading system, thumbnail and watermark generation and re-generation, and a robust but simple licensing system that permits you to customize your media sales in any way you see fit.

Fully integrated with WooCommerce, Symbiostock offers a secure and automated way for customers to buy your media, receive download links, all without you having to do anything.

Decide on the sizes and set the price for the downloadable image. Upload your own watermark. Globally change pricing and licenses at the click of a button.

Use any WordPress theme to customize your store. Change your theme at the drop of a hat.

Compatible with every plugin WordPress has to offer, from search engine optimization to marketing and analytics, you can now take your media store to the next level.

Be one of the first to try out this powerful new tool: Download it through your WordPress install or download it here!

Symbiostock Artist Network

Introducing the Symbiostock Artist Network feature!

We want to showcase and promote artists who use Symbiostock to bring their digital media store to life, which is why we’ve created the Symbiostock Artist Network. This is an optional perk only available to Symbiostock users and it’s completely free to join.

Artists who are part of the network will have a their website listed and linked to from the Symbiostock Artist Network page AND their site will be randomly spotlighted on our homepage. Demo samples are currently populating our homepage and network page to show you exactly how artists will be featured. Links are always randomly rotating upon refreshing the page to ensure everyone gets equal visibility – and it’s pretty fun to see!

To promote the network we will be providing optional sleek badges for network artists to use on their website as a means of linking back to the network page. Our Symbiostock Express demo site already has an example of the badge which you can see in the footer section. For full details on how to join, checkout our submissions page.

We’re looking forward to meeting new artists!

To Switch or not to Switch

The new Symbiostock is right around the corner. It looks great, but how will it affect my sales?

Here we will analyze the pros and cons of upgrading to Symbiostock. If you’re a new user, or don’t have a site currently operational, then there’s no need to read on – Symbiostock is an awesome, beautifully free opportunity to monetize your images. You should be all over it!

However, if you’re an avid photographer, illustrator, or vector artist, and you currently have your own media site that you sell through, you need to decide what’s best for your continued success.

There are only two questions you need to ask yourself: a) Am I making money on my independent site? and b) How am I making money on my independent site?

We’ve been getting questions about the networking aspect of the new Symbiostock. As the legacy version had networking built right into it, users were able to find other Symbiostock users’ sites relatively easily. But legacy users have had mixed results with this feature – do you get sales through it?

If the answer is ‘no’, then upgrading can only help increase your revenue. Your hard work in regards to SEO, keywording and tagging can all be preserved when you upgrade. It will take some elbow grease, but once switched over, you will have a much better experience, whether it be tweaking your site or uploading media. The new Symbiostock has a plethora of features and usability upgrades that make the entire process very fun and pleasant. Not to mention compatibility with any theme you prefer.

If the answer is ‘yes, I make lots of money through my legacy site, specifically through the networking features’, then you are one of the unique legacy Symbiostock users that has to carefully assess how you proceed with the upgrade. As Symzio, the massive search engine system that is the next step of the Symbiostock project, is still under development, if you were to upgrade immediately you would lose the networking feature that is gathering revenue for you.

Our suggestions, therefore, can be summarized as follows:

  1. If you do not currently have an updated, fully operational independent media sales platform, using Symbiostock is an awesome opportunity to monetize your digital art.
  2. If you currently do have a fully operational site, but find that it garners little to no sales, upgrading to Symbiostock can only help increase your sales and throughput through its ease of use, flexibility, and advanced features.
  3. If you currently have a profitable site that generates most of its revenue through your own hard work, whether it be SEO, marketing, or other mechanisms of promotion, then upgrading can likewise only help your sales as long as you take the time to do it right.
  4. If you currently have a profitable site that generates most of its revenue through the networking feature of a legacy Symbiostock site, then it may be best to install the new Symbiostock on a separate server, or go with one of our hosting options, and slowly start integrating your media with the new site, then slowly switch over as Symzio comes closer and closer to release.

If you have a current site, it is very important to take into account all the pros and cons of moving over, ensuring that all your hard work is preserved and amplified when you upgrade to the new Symbiostock. Once Symbiostock is released, our forums will be buzzing with upgrade related matters, so get involved there if you also want to make sure that your upgrade goes smoothly and painlessly.

The Symbiostock Demo is Live!

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A long time coming, the Symbiostock engine is now almost ready to be released. Along with Symbiostock, we will be releasing Symbiostock Express, a custom premium theme we’ve developed that is built on the wonderful GPL Virtue theme by Kadence.

Fully customizable, Symbiostock Express is catered specifically for people who want to sell their media, whether they be photographers, graphic designers, or vector artists. The demo site can be viewed here.

Soon, we will be doing final testing on Symbiostock and then plan a full release. Symbiostock itself is going to be 100% free, and always will be. You can download the plugin, along with all the necessary other free software (WooCommerce, WordPress) and launch your own digital media store.

Symbiostock will work with any theme. But that doesn’t mean it will look it’s best unless you have a chance to personalize it, or buy one that fits your needs perfectly. Symbiostock Express is an optional theme you can buy that has been built specifically for Symbiostock. It does not add any features you cannot customize yourself with a little elbow grease and some coding expertise, but is still a simple way to get going easily and quickly.

For those of you that don’t want to setup your own server, install all your own software, and debug any possible issues, we have good news for you. Along with releasing the standalone, we are going to be offering the Symbiostock hosting service. With our hosting service, you will be able to sign up and log directly into a fully functional Symbiostock install and begin uploading immediately. No more database issues, no more PHP issues, no more directory permissions or fatal errors; we will manage all of that so you can just sell your media. As an added bonus, Symbiostock Express will be free for all hosting clients. This service is going to be the primary way we fund Symbiostock’s development.

Although not complete, below you will find a list of some of the features Symbiostock has to offer. We anticipate a release date in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Theme Compatibility
– Compatible with any WordPress/WooCommerce theme
– Optimal with Symbiostock specific themes
– Theme can be switched any time without affecting Symbiostock

Front End Features
– Mark certain media to be featured in compatible themes
– Front end completely controlled by WooCommerce (no Symbiostock interference)
– Unlimited categories with category thumbnails
– Full store-front experience: search, categories, product page, add to cart, cart, checkout and more.
– Depending on theme, fully responsive design with animated sliders, large images, image centric.

Media Processing
– Upload via web or FTP
– All meta keywords, titles and descriptions are automatically extracted from media
– Process media automatically or manually
– Customizable processor – choose how many images to process in one go
– Support for most image types, including GIF, JPEG, PNG, EPS, TIFF.
– Auto-publish media with meta-data

Media Licensing
– Create as many global licenses as you need.
– Each license can be fully customized, from image size to title, description, and default price.
– Global licenses can be applied to any media in your store.
– Apply licenses to all the media in your store automatically
– Apply licenses based on media type (raster, vector etc.)
– Apply license changes (price, size etc.) to all products automatically.
– Create JPEG licenses for vector images and set the size of the rendered file.

Individual Media
– Apply as many licenses as you need to each media file
– Customize the price to override global settings
– Mark media as editorial for non-commercial media
– Mark media with model or property releases
– Disable or re-enable media as you need to
– Mass edit image descriptions, titles, categories etc.
– Media can be included in multiple categories

Sales
– Fully WooCommerce integrated
– Automatic, customizable emails to customers on signup, purchase etc.
– Customers can purchase as guests or with accounts
– Media locations are protected when provided to customers for download
– Globally set the number of days a customer has to download item
– Globally set the maximum number of times a purchased item can be downloaded
– Increase/decrease the number of downloads/days a customer has on an order by order basis

Watermarking
– Customizable watermark
– Decide on size and opacity of watermark
– Watermarks include diagonal lines to corners of media
– Customizable thumbnail size
– Thumbnail/watermark changes will trigger system to automatically regenerate them over time

Currencies and Tax
– Multiple currencies supported
– Support for VAT, GST, custom rates etc.

Payment Methods
– Hundreds of payment gateways
– PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Payments, ANZ, Authorize.net, eWay, BrainTree etc.

SEO and Marketing
– Compatible with any 3rd party WordPress plugin
– Compatible with Yoast SEO, SEO Ultimate, etc.
– Image information auto-populates page title
– Customize URLs en masse or individually

 

If you have questions about any of these features, or don’t see something here that you would like to, let us know in the forums.

Legacy Symbiostock Updates – Don’t do it!

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If you’re a wonderful legacy Symbiostock user and are eagerly awaiting the new release, don’t jump the gun when you see an update available for your website. We no longer have control over the update feature connected to the legacy Symbiostock software which departed with a previous developer.

To keep up to date with the new release, subscribe to our forums or keep track of everything through our blog.

Beta-testing is about a Week Away

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Want pre-release access to Symbiostock? Volunteer to be a beta tester.

We’re going to be rolling out the hosting solution along with the standalone release as well as the Symbiostock Express theme. But prior to that we’re going to be running a closed beta for a few days. You won’t need to download anything or set anything up – as a beta tester, you will have an account created for you where you can log right in and put your media for sale in just a few clicks.

Our motto is: Break it!

We want this to be a robust plugin that is coded tough and ready for abuse. We’ve developed it from the ground up to be seamlessly integrated and easily removed. It is, however, such a powerful plugin that you shouldn’t expect to be using your Symbiostock install for much more than selling media. Perhaps a blog here and there.

Back to the point – as a beta tester, you will be tasked with the job of breaking Symbiostock. Upload weird files. Put in weird settings. Of course, you can easily break your install by deleting pre-configured settings – our goal is to stretch the limits of normal use. And we’re confident you can help us with that.

The Symbiostock Forum

The closed beta will be run within our coding forum. We want to not only hear about bugs, but your thoughts on the system – what you like, and what can be improved.

Welcome to Symbiostock.org

Welcome!

A new refit to go along with a spectacular new plugin. The new fully Open-Source Symbiostock plugin is almost ready to go. With beta-testing only a week or so away, we’re going to be launching what we hope is an indispensable tool that gives contributors and artists a means of showcasing and selling their wonderful creations online.

Almost there…

Development was a bit rocky with changes and transitions, not to mention an intense couple of weeks of wrestling with both WordPress and WooCommerce! But as with most experiences where you weather the storm, the end result is always more satisfying.

All the colors.

Speaking of beautiful media, we’re going to couple each one of our blog posts with a fantastic, interesting or fun image. Stay informed by frequenting our forums and checking out our blog. We’ll be rolling out some exciting stuff in the next short while. If you have an image you want to throw us, we’d love to showcase it!

It’s all you.

Endless thanks to all the supporters and contributors who have cherished and backed up the project all these years.