Koken sale update

It’s been a month since our for-sale sign was placed in the window, so we thought we'd provide everyone with an update on what all has been happening behind the scenes.

We’ve had numerous, extended conversations with third parties of all shapes and sizes, including sole proprietors, small design studios, venture capitalists, as well as established software companies. A few are people we reached-out to directly prior to the announcement, others are people that came across the news and contacted us shortly thereafter.

If there’s one thing we’ve come to appreciate during this time, this is a slow, methodical process that not only involves two parties discussing finances, terms and details, but also getting to know each other. Everyone has different ideas, plans and projections for how Koken would fit with their existing business, and part of our job is sorting through which opportunities make the most sense in the long term for ourselves, our community and the product itself. It's hard to hit all three targets, but we're trying our best.

In general we're very positive and optimistic that Koken will indeed find a new home. We're trying to move quickly, while at the same time allowing enough time for the process to play itself out. People continue to come out of the woodwork expressing interest, and we're giving each and every opportunity the attention it deserves. As soon as we have more information to share, we will.

After considerable reflection and discussion, we've decided the time has come for us to step aside and seek new owners for Koken. As much as we'd like to stay, all of us have decided to pursue new professional opportunities that will prevent us from being able to support and develop the platform going forward. This was a painful, difficult decision, but we feel it's ultimately the best for Koken and our community. Koken deserves new leadership and a new home.

To reach audiences outside of the Koken community we've published a lengthy Medium post explaining the decision in detail, along with a number of interesting statistics and financial details.

To everyone who installed, used, and spread the word about Koken these past few years, we thank you. Rest assured this announcement will not affect your Koken installation or your web site. You may continue to use the system, download items from the store, and carry-on as you have been. Once we hear anything new regarding Koken's ownership we'll let you now.

For some time, two feature requests have dominated the Koken discussion forum and our inboxes: password protection and contact forms. We resolved the first request with the release of Koken 0.20 and the Password Protect plugin last month, allowing users to lock down their entire site or particular albums. And today, with the release of Koken 0.21, we're fulfilling the second request. Contact forms are now built-in to Koken!

A long time coming

While contact forms may appear to be a straightforward feature on the surface, we had to balance the needs of thousands of Koken users. Contact forms may have completely different requirements from user to user, so we tried several iterations over the last several months until we arrived at the flexible solution included in 0.21.

You can add a contact form to any page via the Text screen in the Koken console.

The plugin includes sensible defaults, but you can customize what fields to display, what order they display in, how to label those fields, even what message is shown to the user after the form has successfully sent.

Once you have your form configured, Koken takes care of the rest. Form validation, sending the email, and showing the user a message after the form has been submitted are all handled by Koken internally, regardless of what theme you are using.

For more information on how to add contact forms to your site, consult the documentation.

Supported in all themes

All Koken themes have been updated to ensure that your new contact forms blend right into your Koken site's existing style. Go to Store > Updates to update your themes once you have updated to Koken 0.21.

Email Endpoints

Contact forms are of no use if the emails sent from them disappear into thin air. Often, shared hosting providers do not properly configure outgoing email for PHP, meaning contact form emails and other Koken system emails may never arrive in your inbox. To resolve this, we've released a new free plugin to the Koken Store: Email Endpoints.

The Email Endpoints plugin allows you to send all your Koken email through Mandrill, a third party transactional email service that offers dependable, rock-solid email delivery. Best of all, Mandrill is free for up to 12,000 emails a month, which should be more than enough for your Koken contact form. Alternatively, you can also use your own outgoing SMTP server (Gmail, for example) instead of Mandrill. See all the details by reading the usage guide for the plugin.

Also new in Koken 0.21 is a dedicated look at your server's email configuration. Visit Settings > Email to see how email is configured for your Koken install. You can also send a test email from that screen to ensure that email sending and delivery are working properly.

Two new updates are available today for Koken users. First, we've released Koken 0.20.4 with a few important fixes. See a full list of the updates at the release notes page.

Also, there's a new update for our recently released Password Protect plugin. Early users of the Password Protect plugin asked if their password protected albums and sets could be made discoverable through their public site. In response, we've added the ability to add a custom albums index to display just the password protected albums in your Library:

Once added, the list of protected albums will be visible to any user who visits your site. They will only be prompted for a password when they click an album to view its content. With this in place, you can send any client a link to your site and they can find their album, then enter the password you've provided them.

For instructions on how to publish a page of protected collections, check out the plugin's guide. You'll find a detailed walkthrough at the end of the article.

If you are a new Koken user and need help upgrading, check out our updating instructions for both Koken itself and Store plugins.

We've just released Koken 0.20.3, which includes several minor fixes for issues our fine users have reported in the last several days. It also includes a notable fix for users of our Lightroom Publish Services plugin.

For some time, a portion of our Lightroom users have reported odd, intermittent behavior when uploading from the Lightroom plugin. Some uploads would work while others would not, accompanied by cryptic error messages. Further complicating matters was the fact that our team was unable to duplicate the issue on any of our numerous test installations.

Thanks to Koken user Jonathan Levy, we were finally able to get a reproducible form of the issue late last week. After some investigation, we traced the issue to something known as 'keep-alive' connections. When a server was using keep-alive connections, the first upload would work, but subsequent uploads would often fail due to how the connection was shared from the previous upload request. So, as of Koken 0.20.3, we now explicitly close the connection after each upload, which negates the effect of keep-alive connections and in turn resolves this problem.

For those of you who have been experiencing this issue, thank you for your patience. This is one of the challenges of self-hosted software, as it is often difficult to track down server specific issues like this one. We're glad to have this one behind us!

After a few weeks of beta testing and previews, we're happy to announce that the Password Protect plugin for Koken is now available to all via the Koken Store. Like all of our themes and plugins, it can be installed without ever leaving your browser, meaning you can purchase the plugin and enable password protection for your Koken site in a matter of minutes.

Ready to get started? Then head over to the Koken Store product page for the Password Protect plugin to purchase and install the plugin. If you want a little more info on what the plugin does, read on.

Protect your entire site, or just parts of it

The plugin works in one of two ways. First, you can protect your entire Koken site. In this mode, any visitor attempting to access any page of your site – an album, an essay, anything – will need to enter the password before they can enter. This is useful for family sites or other scenarios where you are sharing content with a select group of people. Or, you may want to password protect your entire site while you are initially getting setup, then disable the password protection only when you are ready to open your site to the general public.

For those who need selective password protection, you can instead choose to assign passwords to individual albums and sets in the Library. You may also setup a "master password" that works like a skeleton key for viewing any password protected album or set. Adding a password to an album or set is simple, it's built right into the Library's inspector.

Supported by any Koken theme  

You can begin using the plugin right away, no theme changes are required. The plugin includes a simple, clean login template that will work with any Koken theme. Our premium themes – Axis 2, Madison 2, and Regale 2 – have been updated with custom login templates to match their unique style.

Summary

So that's Password Protect. You can purchase it today at the Koken Store for only $35, which includes free technical support and upgrades.

Today we're happy to announce a new major update as well as give you a sneak peek of our upcoming Password Protect plugin.

Koken 0.20

First, let's talk about what's new in 0.20. The most notable change is an update to album visibility that brings it in line with how content visibility already works. You can now mark albums as "Private". Those albums will only be viewable inside of your console. Or, perhaps you could share them with other people with a password. If there was only a plugin for such a thing. More on that in a minute.

Other than album visibility, the changes are mostly under the hood. The plugin system has been overhauled to be faster and allow for deeper connections to the core functionality of Koken, which will allow for more interesting plugin development in the future. Several performance bottlenecks were also identified and resolved, resulting in improved page load times when viewing your published site.

The 0.20 update is available now for all installs. If this is your first time upgrading, you can find instructions here. You can find a summary of all the changes here. Please note that this is the first update that enforces our new requirement of PHP 5.3 or higher. If you are running 5.2, the update will not proceed until you have worked with your host to upgrade PHP. If you need more info on the PHP 5.2 phaseout, see our dedicated article on that topic.

Password Protect plugin coming soon

As Koken has matured over the last year, one yet-to-be-realized feature has floated to the top of most user's wish list: Password protection. In fact, some of you have been wondering if you'll ever see such a feature at all.

Well, good news Bradlyn. The answer is zero. Zero more years.

We're happy to report that in the next few weeks, the Password Protect plugin for Koken will be landing in the Koken Store. We think it's pretty great, so much so that we couldn't wait to give you a little preview.

Protects your entire site

Want to lock down your entire site? With this plugin, you can. Any page accessed by a site visitor will display a password page for them to enter your assigned password.

Protects private albums and sets

For those who need selective password protection, this plugin also allows passwords to be assigned to individual albums and sets in the Library. You may also setup a "master password" that works like a skeleton key for viewing any password protected album or set.

Perfect for clients, family and colleagues

Password Protect fits right into the workflow of photographers and designers who need a single web site to display their public work plus private content accessible only to clients and close contacts.

Supported by any Koken theme

Every Koken theme supports this plugin by displaying a unique login template provided by the theme itself, or a simple, clean password submission page provided by the plugin as a fallback. No matter which theme you choose, it's compatible. Our premium themes – Axis 2, Madison 2, and Regale 2 – will be updated with unique login layouts that match their respective designs.

We're putting the final touches on the plugin and it should be available soon. Be sure to update to 0.20 and stay tuned!

Hot off the press, a new version of Koken is now available. This release, version 0.19, includes notable improvements in two key areas: content sorting and links.

Content sorting

To say we've "improved" content sorting is an understatement. We've redesigned sorting from top-to-bottom to more effectively meet your needs.

View any album, set, or even the root list of public albums in the Library, and you'll now see this:

Library sorting

The "Sort" button has been relocated from the top of the Library interface to the bottom and expanded to reflect the sort criteria currently assigned. The old "Sort" button only affected your current view (for editorial purposes). The new button does the same but also changes site order.

You may also now sort collections individually. For example, one album may be sorted by "date captured", another by drag-and-drop, and so on. This allows you to select whatever sort criteria is most appropriate for the content each collection contains.

Will the new sorting affect my current site?

If your site is published with sort filters assigned to index templates like Albums, Sets, etc, the automatic sort you've assigned there will be transferred over and applied to the source Library content. For example, if your Albums page is currently sorted by "Title", then after this upgrade your albums in the Library will also be sorted "Title". That way sorting preferences applied in Site aren't lost as part of the transition.

Content link editing

Content links -- or more specifically, their "slugs" -- are now editable in Koken 0.19.

These slimy little suckers are generated automatically by Koken using content titles or filenames when new content is published. These slug assignments were permanent, and could not be edited thereafter without deleting and recreating content with different titles.

Koken 0.19 makes this a thing of the past by allowing slug editing for images, videos, albums, sets, essays and pages. You'll now find an "edit" link under site links, as shown below:

Click edit and a panel will appear for you to input your new slug.

All links on your site will then use the new slug. If a page with an edited slug is requested using its old link, the content will still load, but an invisible canonical link will be inserted into the page's markup to alert search engines that a newer, preferred URL should be indexed instead.

Summary

We know that many Koken users were waiting for both of these improvements, and greatly appreciate everyone's patience and feedback. If you have any questions or issues with this release, don't hesitate to get in touch. If this is your first time updating Koken, you may find instructions for doing so here.

Our latest Koken update - v.0.18 - is out and ready for download. This release includes a few notable improvements that are worth pointing out.

Design facelift for HiDPI/Retina screens

Koken's entire interface has been updated with SVGs for all icons and buttons plus higher resolution images to support HiDPI / Retina displays. This makes the interface super sharp and smooth, even on standard resolution displays. A number of icons had to be completely redrawn from scratch in order to make the transition, but it was absolutely worth the effort. Koken users with late-model MacBook Pros should see a big difference.

While the hood was open we also took the opportunity to make subtle style improvements throughout the interface. All of the loading icons have been redesigned to use the "O" in our logo, gradients have been flattened, and drop shadows have been dropped. We also killed the extra footer row at the bottom of the UI to create more vertical room for content.

Tag deletion

As the old song says, it's been a long time coming, but tags can now finally be deleted. You've always been able to remove tags from content, but until now there wasn't a way to permanently delete tags from the database.

To delete a tag, simply edit any piece of content containing the tag, then click the delete link to its right. The tag will be removed from any/all images, videos, albums, sets or essays and then deleted from the back-end.

Discard draft theme settings

We've updated the theme settings panel to include a new Discard edits button. The button appears anytime a theme's draft has unpublished settings edits. Click it and the draft reverts to the live version of your site. Makes it easy to test and discard edits without worrying about screwing up your site.

ICC profile optimizations

In case you didn't know, Koken maintains the appearance of your original images by copying and applying their ICC color profiles to all duplicate images generated from them. For example, this allows an sRGB image to stay sRGB, no matter the size. While important, this step had a drawback in that it could cause slowness in image publishing; especially with large images. So we went back and improved the ICC profile process to be less intensive and faster, which helps make image publishing faster overall. This new profile retention setup will apply to all new images you import using Koken 0.18 and will also be applied to any older images in your Library that are regenerated and cached.

More

This release also includes the usual round of small bug fixes and optimizations, which you can read about in our release notes. For newer users who are upgrading for the first time, here's how.

Pillar is a JavaScript library we developed for publishing mosaic grid page layouts in Koken themes. We've been using it internally for our own premium themes including Axis, Madison and Regale, and have been steadily improving and enhancing its functionality throughout the year. Today we're pleased to share new documentation to help designers and developers use Pillar in their own custom Koken themes.

Why we developed Pillar

There are a number of awesome JavaScript libraries out there for accomplishing similar results including Masonry, Wookmark and others. Pillar however is different for it's designed especially for responsive page layouts. It's super lightweight and positions elements naturally within columns instead of relying on intensive math to position elements absolutely within a container. You can also easily set breakpoints to control the number of columns displayed across any range of mobile, tablet and desktop screen sizes.

Get going

Pillar is built-into every installation of Koken, so there's nothing for you to setup or install. Simply follow along with our documentation to integrate it into your custom theme. If you have any questions or feedback about Pillar, we'd love to hear it, and encourage you to get in touch.

Categories: Themes, Tips, Updates

We wanted to give you advance notice of a key change to Koken's server requirements that will take effect at the beginning of next year. As of January 1st, 2015, we will no longer provide support for PHP 5.2.

Since the first private beta release (nearly 2 years ago now), we've provided support for any web host running PHP 5.2 or greater. While this allowed us to reach a broader audience, it has also hampered support efforts as time has gone by. PHP 5.2 was last updated in January of 2011, and no longer receives bugfixes or security updates. Furthermore, newer versions of PHP are both faster and more efficient, resulting in a better overall experience for Koken users.

Beginning in Koken 0.17.4 (which was released today), users who are still using PHP 5.2 will be notified by a warning modal and a message in Settings > System when they are signed in to the administrative console. If you are running PHP 5.2, we suggest you contact your host sooner rather than later to see what options they have for upgrading PHP. They may already have a way to update to a later version. Koken supports all the maintained, stable versions of PHP, which currently includes PHP 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, and the newly released 5.6.

If you have not updated to PHP 5.3 or higher by January 1st, your installation will continue to work. However you will no longer be able to update Koken to new versions or receive technical support regarding server issues until PHP is upgraded. 

For more information on this change, see our dedicated help article on the PHP 5.2 phaseoutIf you have any questions, please contact us and we'll be glad to help.

At Koken we're always working to ensure you can setup our CMS at your web hosting provider of choice. Sadly, not all hosting providers are created equal, and it's frustrating and confusing (especially for us) when Koken runs slowly on one host compared to another.

To that end, we've published a list of recommended web hosts for some time. These hosts are known to be compatible with Koken and perform well. We regularly test installations at each provider and evaluate Koken's performance before every major release.

Enter DigitalOcean

Today, we're adding a new entry to our recommended hosts: DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean is a hosting provider geared-towards web developers that provides high-performance virtual machines (DigitalOcean calls them droplets) at remarkably low prices. The $5/mo plan – which gives you a 512MB / 1 CPU droplet – is more than enough power to run most Koken sites, and it's really fast. All DigitalOcean droplets are equipped with SSD hard drives, which are ideal for file-heavy applications like Koken.

To help you get started with DigitalOcean we've created an official Docker image that allows you to boot up a DigitalOcean droplet and begin using Koken with a single command. If you're a web developer comfortable working with SSH and basic server administration, read on.

What's Docker?

Docker bills itself as "an open platform for distributed applications for developers and sysadmins". What this means is that you can create consistent, fine-tuned environments for any Linux server that runs Docker. This allowed us to create a Docker image that is specifically tuned for Koken, providing the best possible experience on DigitalOcean or any other host that supports Docker. Our Docker image employs Ubuntu, nginx, MySQL, and the latest version of PHP 5 for optimum performance.

Interested in learning more? We've written up a full walkthrough on how to get get started. Also, the Docker image is open source and published at GitHub if you'd like to see how it's built. If you have a suggestion, feel free to open a pull request!

Categories: Tips

New theme: Axis 2

Since the beginning of the Koken public beta, Axis has been one of our most popular themes. It's a quiet, intentionally simple theme that combines center-aligned content with ample amounts of whitespace. It turns down the volume, and attempts to focus the viewer's attention on each and every image; similar to the experience of browsing a photo book or viewing a gallery exhibit.

Today we're excited to offer Axis 2, a completely revised version of the original Axis that maintains everything people loved about the original while extending and enhancing its design and customization options.

Here are a few of the new features included in Axis 2.

Grid layout control

Grids on content pages are now editable, allowing you to control the number of columns across all screen sizes, spacing, and the relative width of each column.

Redesigned mobile navigation

Visitors on smartphones may now browse your site through a persistent scroll-down menu that appears when clicking a button at the top. Mobile navigation also includes pagination buttons to scroll back to top or down to the next published item from anywhere in the page.

This menu appears automatically when a smartphone views your site, but you have the option of making this your primary navigation across all screens (as illustrated above) should you want even more whitespace and simplicity in your site design.

Daily snapshots

In addition to grid, list and slideshow layouts you also have the option of displaying your latest images, favorites, essays and timeline content as daily snapshots. This allows web site visitors to step through content one item at a time by day to help focus a viewer's attention.

Dynamic pagination, image heights

A common request from users of the original Axis was to help keep images from extending "beyond the fold" and allow pagination across pages without reloading the entire page (and then having to scroll down again). Axis 2 resolves both of these requests with images that scale automatically so they're never taller than a viewer's browser window and pagination links load neighboring content dynamically without page reloads.

More templates

Axis 2 adds additional templates for publishing a timeline, tags index, categories index, tag archive, category archive, and an alternate version of the home page slideshow that displays (and links to) featured albums instead of featured content.

Summary

Those are all the major new features you'll find in Axis 2. This is a premium theme priced at $60, which includes free technical support and upgrades. Check out the Axis 2 live demo to get an up close look at the new theme.

For users of the original Axis you may continue using the free theme for as long as you like, and we'll continue to update the theme with bug fixes and any necessary template improvements to reflect changes made to our Lens markup language.

Categories: Store, Themes, Updates

Koken's built-in slideshow player - "Pulse" - now has the ability to scroll through content when swiped on smartphones and tablets. Simply touch a slideshow and swipe left or right to move the slideshow forward or backward. We think you'll agree it provides a more natural browsing experience that feels like a native app. View the front page our free Axis theme on your mobile device to see it in action.

Swiping is automatically turned-on for slideshows in most templates as well as all slideshows embedded in essays and pages. This applies to both new and existing slideshows on your site, and there's nothing for you to configure or change. Enable swiping today by signing-in to your Koken installation and upgrading to the latest release (0.16).

Also in this release we've optimized our responsive image publishing so replacement images are only requested if an element's size increases. The existing (larger) image is now re-used and downscaled if a parent element's size decreases instead of requesting a separate, smaller image. This saves bandwidth and avoids unnecessary image requests.

We've also added a setting that allows you to change your image processing software. This was added for users who install Koken on servers where multiple image processing software options are available and would rather use a different processor than the one Koken automatically selects at installation. You can find this new setting in Settings > Image Publishing.

This release also includes the usual round of bug fixes and optimizations, which you can read about in our release notes.

We've released an update for our Lightroom Publish Service plugin that addresses a few problems users have reported recently. Specifically, it resolves a bug that caused a recordPublishedPhotoUrl: must be called after recordPublishedPhotoId error to be shown inside of Lightroom. Also, we've improved how images that are members of more than one album are handled.

Head over to the Koken Store to download the update.

Categories: Plugins, Updates

In publishing and in life, telling half a story is usually better. Koken's new "read more" links (now available in version 0.15) allow you to breakup essays into previews and full posts. Simply press return anywhere in an essay, click, then select the ellipsis.

Inserting read more link

When published your site's essays index and archive pages display everything up to your break point. Readers may then click a "read more" link to read the full post.

Read more link in essay

The more link's label is editable and contextual with each essay, so your call-to-action can reflect your own tone, voice and personality.

Start using 'read more' links today by updating your Koken installation to 0.15. Then if you're using one our themes, click on Store inside Koken and hit the updates page to bring your theme up-to-date. If using your own theme, here's the new template tag you'll need to support this.

Categories: Updates

Our premium Regale 2 theme has been updated to include a new cover image option for albums, sets, essays and pages. Here's a preview of what it looks like.

Cover image and title for an album

When enabled for albums or sets the collection's primary cover image is used for a background that scales to fill the browser's viewport. The collection's title, description, topics, categories, tags and social media share links are layered on-top. Site visitors may then view a collection's content by scrolling down manually or automatically by clicking the collection's title or down arrow.

When enabled for essays or pages the article's featured image is displayed along with similar text and links (title, excerpt, etc). If an essay or page doesn't have a featured image a cover isn't displayed.

Titles

The title of the collection, essay or page that appears on top of the image automatically downscales and upscales to point sizes that are appropriate for mobile devices, tablets and desktops. Regale's settings includes sliders (see below) that control the title's minimum and maximum point size should you want to make changes.

Minimum and maximum point size sliders for cover title

Background color

Another bit of creative control Regale offers is a background layer that sits between the cover image and text. The layer is completely transparent by default, but may be modified to use a color and custom alpha value for semi-opaque background images.

Configurable background color and transparency

Responsive scaling

Covers automatically scale to the height of the browser's viewport across all screen sizes from the largest desktop to the smallest mobile device. Like every other image on your site, Koken provides smaller cover background images that are optimized for smaller screen sizes. Need to adjust the cover image's crop? You can do so easily by assigning a focal point in the Library.

Summary

Covers are included in the latest version of Regale 2, which existing users may download through the integrated Store. Cover images are turned off for backwards compatibility but may be turned on through the Template area of the theme settings panel.

Categories: Themes, Updates

Visibility allows you to control the appearance of images, videos, albums and sets on your Koken site. It's a feature that's been around since the beginning of the beta, but we decided it needed a bit more polish to help clarify its purpose and make it easier to use.

How does visibility work?

In a nutshell, every image, video, album and set in Koken's library includes an editable visibility property.

Public (default) content can be seen on your public web site by anyone, including search engines.

Unlisted content is not visible to the general public or search engines and can only be viewed on your site through a secret URL.

Private (images/videos only) content is not published anywhere on your site and visible only to you inside the library.

Redesigned Library interface

The left column in Koken's Library has been updated with new options (and icons by our good friend Jon Hicks) to help differentiate which content is public, unlisted and private.

Content displays all your published images and videos. These are items with Public visibility. Images/videos are (now) published in the same order (Date Published) as the calendar-based templates on your site.

Unlisted displays all images and videos with Unlisted visibility. You can drag-and-drop images and videos here to immediately change their visibility to Unlisted.

Private displays all images and videos with Private visibility. Like Unlisted you can drag-and-drop items here too.

Importing new images/videos

One of the biggest improvements in this release is how newly imported images/videos are handled. Import an image or video directly to an unlisted album and the content's visibility matches its parent album (Unlisted).

We've also added a global visibility setting for newly created albums and sets so you may choose whether collections are created as Public or Unlisted.

Together, these additions allow albums of unlisted content to be created and published together at the same time, which should prove especially useful for those using our Lightroom publish service plugin.

Album visibility improvements

We've also improved how content is handled when changing an album from Public to Unlisted or vice versa. Change an album to Unlisted and Koken will ask if you'd also like to change all content to Unlisted as well. The same happens in reverse when changing an album to Public.

This change will make site publishing faster and easier so you may publish an entire collection of unlisted content quickly.

Summary

We hope these changes make publishing unlisted collections of content easier and more intuitive. As usual, thank you to all our beta testers who provided feedback and suggestions concerning visibility. Your contribution helped us develop a better, more well-rounded solution for all.

Categories: Updates

Jumpstarter.io is a new provider that takes a different approach to website hosting and publishing. You sign-up for a free or paid account, create a project, pick which content management system you'd like to use, and go. And starting today, Koken is available for any Jumpstarter project.

Their pricing is comparatively higher, but Jumpstarter's service is all about convenience. They setup your server, database, and all the other important bits for you. Pick Koken for your project, enter the database details they provide, and you're up and running quickly without ever touching an FTP client. 

One of the nice features they offer is a free plan (with limited page views) so anyone can setup Koken (or any other CMS) and have a look around at no cost with relatively little hassle.

Jumpstarter isn't of course your only option. Koken can be self-installed at most web hosting providers, of which we've had great results with InMotion, MediaTemple, Dreamhost and GoDaddy. All are comparatively less with more disk space, but setup is your responsibility.

No matter where you choose to setup Koken and publish a site there are plenty of options to choose from!

About a week ago we published proposed changes to unlisted content to improve usability. We asked for feedback, and in the days that followed received a lot of great suggestions and real-world examples of how our proposed changes would help (and in some cases hurt) workflow. So we went back to the drawing board.

Here's our new plan:

Continue to allow public content in unlisted albums

Nothing would change here. You would still be able to mix public and unlisted content together in an unlisted album. You'll also be able to continue mixing public and unlisted content in public albums as well (which we weren't planning on changing).

Public images/videos will become unlisted when added to unlisted albums only if they are new

If an image or video is imported directly to an unlisted album through either your browser or the Lightroom plugin, that image / video will be assigned unlisted visibility to match its parent album. You may then change the image/video visibility to public thereafter, should you choose to do so, and the image/video will stay in the album.

If one or more (already imported) public images/videos are added to an unlisted album, Koken will ask if you'd like to change their visibility to match. If not, the images/videos will be added. If yes, the images/videos will be added and changed to unlisted.

Changing an album from public to unlisted

Koken will check to see if the album contains public images/videos. If it does, Koken will ask if you'd like to assign unlisted visibility to all content in the album as well. If not, that's okay. The album will change to unlisted and the images/videos inside will be left alone.

New "Unlisted" view in the Library

Collections have this already, but not content. We're going to add an "Unlisted" view to the Library's left column that -- when selected -- displays all unlisted images/videos. This will also allow us to change the default sort of "All content" to "Date published" (instead of "Date captured") so that what you see in the Library matches the "Date published" order of your site's contents (aka photostream) page and timeline.

Extend global visibility setting to albums

Inside Settings > Importing is a setting that controls default visibility. This setting (currently) applies to imported images/videos only. As part of this update we're going to extend this setting to cover albums as well. That way, if a publisher changed this setting to unlisted and published a new album of images from Lightroom, the album and all the images contained therein would be unlisted from the get-go.

Summary

We feel this approach still accomplishes the goals we set out originally, but does so in a manner that doesn't conflict with anyone's current workflow and maintains Koken's flexibility in regard to content management in the library. If you have any feedback or questions feel free to get in touch. Our plan is for these changes to be rolled into Koken 0.14, our next console update.


Categories: Updates