You may recall that a while back I reviewed the new 500px portfolios as a beta tester, and I had a few things that I wasn't impressed with. I had to be honest, otherwise I'd only be gushing. The truth is that I really liked the new features, but there were issues that really needed to be addressed.
The thing is, 500px have stepped up to the plate and knocked off a lot of stuff that was on my "Do not like" list. Let's review the stuff I wasn't too happy about:
This is the bad stuff:- You can right click on the images in the new Beta portfolios and save them. 500px's main site has a bit of script that prevents this from happening: you right click on the image and a little dialog box pops up and tells you "Hey! This image is Copyright Tim Lingley". It is a mild deterrent, but it is effective, and would be nice to see implemented on all of the beta portfolios. There really is no way to protect your images totally on the internet, but as the old saying goes: "A lock keeps an honest person out". This is especially important since the photos are displayed at a pretty high resolution.
You can't do this anymore. 500px addressed this issue about a week after I posted the original review, and disabled right-clicking, at least on any of the portfolio themes that I tested.
- Some of the themes do not translate well to different platforms. I customized and built my portfolio on my Macbook, then loaded it up on a windows machine, only to find that the nice, sleek scroll bar on my mac transformed into a hideous blocky nightmare on the windows screen. It gets worse: my port isn't really optimized at all for mobile devices. I can't view all of my portfolio images on my phone because I can't scroll. I'm not an advanced phone-operator, but neither is most of the rest of the world. I need my portfolio to be quick, accessible and easy to use.
There are still some big blocky sliders, but only if you need them in your theme. If you choose the Horizontal theme, for instance, you will wind up with a slider. If you go with the recently added "Cascade" theme, shown in the screen shot above, you likely won't need a slider.
- The high res images do take a bit of time to load. I understand that there are trade-offs, but if you go somewhere like Scott Kelby's Portfolio (powered by SmugMug) it loads lightning fast and it's pretty high-res. Let's see some of that efficiency on the 500px portfolios.
The photos load very quickly now, so whatever issue I was experiencing has been addressed.
- I was expecting more themes for beta. This will come in time, but I think the themes could use some more work.
500px have added a few new themes and updated the original ones as well. With more time and more attention, I'm fairly confident that 500px will continue to expand on the themes they already offer.
- I want to be able to use the mouse scroll wheel to scroll horizontally through my pictures. (this one is exclusive to the horizontal theme) It makes sense that you would be able to do this since the screen is only as tall as the native resolution, and doesn't have a scroll bar in the vertical direction.
To be honest, I simply changed themes to combat this issue. My current theme has a little more to click through initially, but makes a lot more sense to me.
They are coming. Two have been added since 500px Portfolios came out of Beta, and more will be on their way soon. The theme I'm using now is one of the most recent additions, and it works quite well.
The ability for the portfolio viewer to buy my photos as prints.
Again, this depends on your theme selection. when the user clicks on the photo now, they get the photo in full view, as well as some details about it, and the option to buy either a download or a print.
I want to be able to put a button(s) on every page of my portfolio that links to my twitter, google+, facebook and blog.
I still want to have this feature on the portfolio. It would be really cool if someone stumbled on a picture they really liked and could simply hit the "share on twitter" button.
Here's My Portfolio, created with the new 500px beta portfolios.