One of the powerful new features available for Symbiostock users is the ability to distribute their uploaded media files to stock agencies such as Shutterstock, Fotolia and Dreamstime so that along with building your own independent store, you are able to easily keep earning through third parties as well. This is achieved through the use of the optional Symbiostock Submitter plugin.
The process is simple – add agencies to your Symbiostock > Settings > Symbiostock Submitter page, including their FTP servers, login information, and choose what types of media to distribute to them. You can send raster images (JPEG etc), videos or vectors (EPS). Once you decide on which types to upload, everything is done automatically.
When you upload a new image (or have current images) the background scheduler will automatically upload your media files to the designated agencies. You don’t have to do anything else.
Features include optionally auto-generating JPEGs with your vectors and uploading them at the same time with the same name, setting the accompanying JPEG width and height, and resubmitting any images you want to any agency.
In order to resubmit or check the status of the submissions, edit any of your media products by going to Symbiostock or the Media tab under Symbiostock, and editing a product. Scroll down and you will see a variety of tabs on your left. One will say ‘Stock Agencies’. When you click on that, you can see checkboxes pertaining to the submission status of that image to the agencies. Simply check or uncheck these if you want to arbitrate their submission status.
You can additionally disable submission on that image by selecting ‘No’ under ‘Include in Submissions’.
A few notes about the submission system:
- You can add as many or as few agencies as you’d like.
- If you add an agency after you have thousands of images, some already submitted to other agencies, the system will automatically submit them to the new one without creating any duplicates.
- If an upload fails for any reasons, the file will not be marked as submitted and the system will try again.
- If you delete an agency after submissions have been done, all records relating to the submission status of images to that agency will be permanently lost.
- The submission system only submits published images. This is a feature to prevent the auto-submission of newly processed images before you’ve had a chance to decide if you want to submit it or not.
- There is no limit to the number of images or agencies or re-submissions you can make.
PLUS! Symbiostock also acts as a metadata editor for all compliant images and videos. This means that once you upload your image to Symbiostock, you can change the metadata right within WordPress. Then, when it is submitted to agencies, all the new titles, descriptions and keywords will be submitted along with the image, making the submission process even easier.
If you have any issues with the agency uploading / distribution system, please post your query in our forums.
All your images’ and videos’ metadata can be exported via the CSV links at the bottom of the Symbiostock Submitter settings page. This is useful if an agency does not read metadata. Just import that data into your favorite spreadsheet editor and change the column titles to match whatever the target agency is.
Tips & Tricks
- If you have agencies that you want to submit to but they don’t have FTP upload capabilities, you can still use the submitter to organize and keep track of your submissions. In this case, rather than have your FTP server information for this new agency point to the agency itself, have it point to a directory on your own server, or an FTP server at home (http://www.xlightftpd.com/). This way, when you add a new file, and it gets uploaded to all the agencies, it will also store a copy of this in the directory you specified on your own server. Then, when you want to manually upload it to the agency, just submit everything in that directory then delete all the files. It will then get re-filled with all the new ones for the next time. A good method is to keep your directory structure organized, so have a parent directory called ‘manual_agencies’ and subdirectories for each agency, such as ‘manual_agencies/istock’. Then add that path to the ‘Remote directory’ field in that agency’s listing in the Symbiostock Submitter settings interface. Using this method, Symbiostock will keep track of all your submissions for you, and coupled with metadata writing, it makes the submission process quite streamlined for both FTP and non-FTP agencies.
- You can also use the FTP system to upload all your current and new files to any target. It does not have to be an agency. You can use it to keep a backup of all your media, or to send all your media to a third party on a one time basis. Just add the FTP credentials for the target, click submit, then wait for the processor to submit everything. Then, just delete the agency, and you will have easily transferred everything to the other location without downloading anything onto your own computer.
- If media is not being submitted, make sure the media is published, you have the correct media type checked for that agency under the Symbiostock Submitter settings, and most importantly, test the FTP connection status via your own FTP client (such as Filezilla) to confirm that your credentials work.
- If media is showing up in the agency, but there are duplicates or some are corrupted, this is because the transfer process got interrupted. This generally is because the agency’s FTP server is being glitchy, but it can also be your web server’s connection. Either way, it is not the submitter itself.