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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.