Hi Slickr Flickr Users,
This is the first in a series of monthly updates on news with Slickr Flickr. It covers what happened in the month just ending and what is in the pipeline for next month.
New Dedicated Slickr Flickr Website
At the start of May I set up the Slickr-Flickr sub-domain of my DIY Webmastery membership site as a dedicated resource for Slickr Flickr users. This site contains information on how to download, install, configure and use the WordPress Slickr Flickr plugin. It has plenty of examples and is a vehicle to get help.
Slickr Flickr Activities
Three weeks ago there was a flurry of updates as I implemented a few new features:
- the slideshow/gallery combo (a.k.a, galleria) – see Simple Slideshow-Gallery Combo
- adding a clickable link for the slideshow – see Clickable Flickr Slideshows
- multiple tag selection (a.k.a. tagmode) see Making a Flickr Gallery or Slideshow With More Than One Tag
- an autoplay option for the lightbox
- ordering of slides by date, title or description – see How To Sort Your Flickr Slideshow Photos
- attribution links – see Featuring Photos from Other Flickr Photographers
- links to Flickr – use link immediately above
- slide descriptions
- fixed number of photos per row in the gallery
- gallery captions
Flickr RSS Caching Issues Resolved
One of the most common issues with Slickr Flickr was to do with caching. You would update Flickr but it would take what seemed at age before those changes appeared in your Slickr Flickr gallery or slideshow on WordPress. This was down to WordPress caching the Flickr RSS feed. The cache could take up to 12 hours to expire which meant that it could be up to 12 hours before your WordPress site reflected your latest photos, titles and descriptions.
Two weeks ago I released Slickr Flickr version 1.7 with a button on the Admin settings page which clears the RSS cache. This means that WordPress can be updated with the changes on Flickr as soon as they are available via RSS. However the Flickr RSS feed is not updated the instant you update the photos on Flickr. I believe Flickr updates its RSS feeds every 15 minutes or so. In other words you may still have to wait a little while but at least it is now only 15 minutes and not 12 hours!
Note that you do need to clear the RSS cache manually; the feature is not automatic. So, if your slideshow or gallery is out of date, then go to Slickr Flickr Admin Settings and click the Clear RSS cache button then refresh your page.
Below is a demonstration that shows the caching problem and how to resolve it.
Slickr Flickr Video Tutorials
Last week I started creating some Slickr Flickr Video Tutorials. These enlightening lessons have my soft Scottish accent explaining my thoughts as I go about demonstrating some of the new features of Slickr Flickr: the first three videos cover sorting photos, featuring other photographers work and creating slideshows or galleries from photos with different tags. I hope you find them useful. The videos are delivered though the free membership site. (My paid job is creating membership sites for people who want to sell information products)
Slickr Flickr Plans
Next month’s release will address an issue that has cropped up with a few users – that is compatibility with other Lightboxes. Version 1.7 supports a standard LightBox and a LightBox with an automatic slideshow. The new release will allow you to use ThickBox, ShadowBox or FancyBox or Shutter; the last two both require separate plugins. To select your lightbox all you need to do is go to Slickr Flickr Admin settings and choose the LightBox from the dropdown. I did spend some time trying to make it work with LightBox 2 but I could not get it to behave properly so abandoned this idea.
The other new feature is in response to the question on using larger thumbnails in the Flickr Gallery. Rather than use the default of ‘square’ thumbnails you will be able to choose to use larger ones. But please note the thumbnails will be either portrait or landscape so you should try and ensure that all your photos in the show are of the same orientation for best results.
That’s it for now. Last thing to note is that the new release will be on Monday 7th June
Happy Slickr Flickring