Where are photos stored with Piwigo ?

Looking for an online solution to manage your photo library, someone recommended Piwigo, but you don’t really understand how it works, and where your photos will be hosted? Don’t worry, you will find everything you need to know in this blog post!

Piwigo.org or Piwigo.com ?

Firstly, you will need to understand the difference between the two options available, this difference could be confusing for some :

  • On the one hand you can download the open source Piwigo software on piwigo.org;
  • Or on the other you can create an account on piwigo.com.

1 – You host Piwigo by yourself

If you choose the first option, you will download files for free from piwigo.org, which you will have to install on a server. You will have to subscribe to an offer from a web hosting service and deploy your Piwigo yourself before you can upload your photos and organize them.

Manual installation of Piwigo

In this case, your photos will be stored on the server that hosts the application. Thus, if you install Piwigo on a shared hosting, at Gandi for example, your photos will be saved on the storage system associated with this hosting.

To find out more, check with your host to find out exactly where this storage system is located because it can be “remote”.

2 – You choose Piwigo.com

If you choose the second option, and sign up with piwigo.com, your Piwigo library will be created directly on our platform.

Sign up form on Piwigo.com
Sign up form on Piwigo.com

In this case, your library will be hosted on dedicated servers (which means that they are not shared with other sites). Piwigo rents these servers from OVH, a french host. Our servers are located in France at the Roubaix, Strasbourg and Gravelines data centers. Your data is stored on the hard drives of these servers, i.e. exactly where the Piwigo app runs.

To answer the question many users might ask, especially public administrations, we do not use the services of Amazon (AWS), Google (Cloud Platform) or Microsoft (Azure). We do not use them for two main reasons:

  • Firstly, we do not want to entrust them with our customers’ data;
  • Secondly, these services are very expensive, which would in all logic increase the price of our offers.

What guarantees for you data safety ?

If you choose to host your Piwigo yourself, it is up to you to make sure that your hosting provider has done what it takes to ensure that your data is safe. You are also solely responsible for backing up your data and files.

But if you choose one of our offers on Piwigo.com, we take care of everything: let’s see how we ensure that your data will not be lost.

Piwigo.com’s technical infrastructure is based on coupled servers. Each “main” server is duplicated by a “secondary” server that serves as backup system.

A Piwigo.com account is hosted on a main server (photos and database). Every night, each main server is synchronized to its secondary server. And every night, we make a copy of each database, and we keep at least the last 30 days. This allows us to restore your photo library in case of handling errors. To make it simple, we can restore an album that you deleted by mistake.

backup server
Every night, each main server is synchronized to its secondary server.

In addition to night-time synchronization, we have set up a backup system with finer granularity. Every 15 minutes, a script checks if there have been any changes on your Piwigo: add/edit/delete photo/album/tag/user/comment.

If any change is detected, your account is automatically synchronized on the secondary server. All these mechanics allow us, in the worst case scenario, to lose only the last 15 minutes of activity.

What if I want to switch hosting ?

One of Piwigo.com’s promises is to fight against “customer lockdown”.

We definitely don’t want to put a brake on you the day you want to switch to another hosting, or even to your own infrastructure. If you host your data on Piwigo.com, you can download your database and files at any time. You can move your Piwigo on to your own server if you wish, keeping your photo library exactly the same.

You will not lose the many hours spent organizing your content, visit history or user comments. All these operations are documented, just follow the guide!

But you can also decide to move your Piwigo from your server to Piwigo.com. We regularly carry out this operation for our customers. We take care of everything: data transfer, database import, Piwigo updates and extensions. This transaction is not billed as we consider it to be part of the services associated with the Piwigo.com offer.

To sum things up :

Piwigo offers two different ways to use its photo library management software and therefore, two different ways to store your files:

  • On the server of your choice if you choose the free download on piwigo.org
  • On our dedicated servers if you choose one of our piwigo.com offers.

Both solutions are used by thousands of individuals and professionals, and might fit your needs. It is up to you to decide which one is best for you!

Piwigo.com technical infrastructure

Today we publish a new page on Piwigo.com presentation website: Infrastructure. You will learn where and how your photos are hosted. You will also learn which measures we have implemented to make Piwigo.com a safe place for your photos.

Piwigo.com technical infrastructure, where and how are your photos stored?

Piwigo.com technical infrastructure, where and how are your photos stored?

Special thanks to Tadjio for correcting the page.

Feel free to ask questions if you want to learn more about our infrastructure.

Robots and visit history

Piwigo 2.6 has introduced a geolocation feature for your visitors. Now you know where your visitors come from and you may have discovered that you often receive visits from Redmond (Washington, USA)  and Mountain View (California, USA). Don’t panic, this is not an attack: they are just robots of Bing (Microsoft search engine) and Google.

Visit history, Bing is visiting your Piwigo (Redmond, USA)

Visit history, Bing is visiting your Piwigo (Redmond, USA)

Their visits are useful because they make you “findable” in search engines. But maybe you don’t want to see all this noise in your visit history. Activate the new plugin No Stats for Robots if you want to see only real human visitors. Of course, this plugin won’t stop search engines, it just avoid registering their visits.

Import from Flickr to Piwigo

Plugin Flickr2Piwigo lets you import your albums (sets) and photos from Flickr, directly into your Piwigo gallery. Here is the procedure to follow.

1) activate plugin Flickr2Piwigo

2) open page [Administration > menu Plugins > sub-menu Flickr2Piwigo > tab Configuration]. We’re going to follow the steps described on this page.

3) click on the flickr.com link and login to your Flickr account

4) from the Flickr2Piwigo configuration page, click on the “API keys page” link, click on the “Get another key” button, and click on the “Apply for a non-commercial key” button

5) describe your application (name, description, checkboxes) and submit

Create an app in Flickr

Create an app in Flickr

6) get your Key and Secret and copy them into Flickr2Piwigo configuration page

Get your app keys on Flickr

Get your app keys on Flickr…

... and copy Key/Secret on Piwigo

… and copy Key/Secret on Piwigo

7) on the Flickr page, click on the “Edit auth flow for this app” link and copy your Callback URL, provided on Flickr2Piwigo configuration page.

8) back to Piwigo, go to the “Import” tab of Flickr2Piwigo and click on the “Login” button

Flickr2Piwigo login

Flickr2Piwigo login

9) Import your photos. You can select photos with a specific batch manager or you can import your whole Flickr structure.

Flickr2Piwigo select photos and start import

Flickr2Piwigo select photos and start import

New plugin Birthdate

Plugin Birthdate gives people age on each photo. Since Piwigo knows the date of the photo and if you tag the photo with people name, Piwigo only needs to know the people birthdate to display their age on photo. Plugin Birthdate let you define the birthdate of any tag.

Plugin Birthdate: first step is to add birthdates

Plugin Birthdate: add a birthdate

Plugin Birthdate: on administration side you can see the list of defined birthdates

Plugin Birthdate: on administration side you can see the list of defined birthdates

Plugin Birthdate: on the page of the photo, next to each tag Piwigo displays the age

Plugin Birthdate: on the page of the photo, next to each tag Piwigo displays the age

Depending on the age, Piwigo will display seconds or minutes or hours… or years. If you have a family photo gallery, you will certainly appreciate to immediately know the age of kids on each photo!

Protect your photos against copy

One of the most frequently asked questions on Piwigo.com support is “how do I forbid copy on my photos ?”. Here is how Piwigo can help you.

Before listing tips and tricks it is important to understand that no protection against copy is 100% reliable, be it on Piwigo or anywhere else: as soon as a photo is visible on the web, it can be copied, one way or another. It is just “more or less” easy, depending on computer skills of the thief. If anyone says otherwise there is a good chance he is either naive or incompetent or simply a liar.

Which technical protections are available in Piwigo?

  1. plugin rightClick prevents from  right click on photos. Please note that it has no impact on administrator users.
  2. on screen [Administration > menu Users > sub-menu Manage], say “no” on option “high definition enabled” for all users
  3. on screen [Administration > menu Configuration > sub-menu Options > tab Display > section Photo Page], deactivate icon “Download this file”
  4. on screen [Administration > menu Configuration > sub-menu Options > tab Watermark], add your own watermark.

Piwigo 2.4 introduced the "watermark" feature. All your photos are automatically watermarked.

Piwigo 2.4 introduced the “watermark” feature. All your photos are automatically watermarked.

These are only “technical” protections, with a limited efficiency. In addition we recommend to highlight that “All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in whole or in part without prior written permission.”, for example. You can choose to display this message in several locations. For example:

  • in page banner
  • in a PWG Stuffs block, anywhere on the page
  • in a personalized menu with plugin Advanced Menu Manager
  • in page footer with plugin Perso Footer

Create a custom footer on all your pages with Piwigo plugin Perso Footer

Create a custom footer on all your pages with Piwigo plugin Perso Footer

 

Transfer your Piwigo Gallery to Piwigo.com

This question is frequently asked on Piwigo.com support: is it possible to transfer an existing Piwigo photo gallery to Piwigo.com? The answer is “yes”. We have done it several times from various hosting providers.

Our goal is not to host all Piwigo galleries on Piwigo.com, because we believe that the Web is and must remain “decentralized” but for some users, Piwigo.com is cheaper than their current hosting provider or simply offers a better quality of service while maintaining the same high level of freedom.

Before we proceed, you have to be aware that Piwigo on Piwigo.com is slightly different than Piwigo downloaded on Piwigo.org. A few features are missing:

  1. you can’t install any theme/plugin. There is a list of available extensions. We have tested and validated them all. If you want an extension that is not currently available, ask us and we will see what we can do.
  2. no FTP access. You can’t add photos with the synchronization method. If you already use the web form or pLoader to upload photos, you won’t feel the difference. If you current photos have been added with synchronization, we will manage the conversion into “virtual” albums.

Here is what we propose: test Piwigo on Piwigo.com with these differences in mind and if Piwigo.com fits your need then pay your 1-year subscription and we will manage the move to Piwigo.com, with no additional fee. You will keep all your photos and related info such as user comments, descriptions and so on.

Custom Page Footer

Until now, to add a personal message in the footer, we recommended to use the plugin LMT (license manager on your photos) because it features such an option. This plugin is very powerful and complete, so it might seem excessive for such a simple need. Now and for this specific purpose, we recommend instead plugin Perso Footer, whose sole mission is to add a message in the footer.

Custom Footer on your Piwigo photo gallery

Custom Footer on your Piwigo photo gallery

Perso Footer is compatible with all themes. The most frequent message we encounter looks like “Photos are copyrighted, ask before any use” but this is free text, you decide what you write.

Simple task = simple use: once plugin Perso Footer is activated on screen [Administration > Plugins > Manage], submit your text on screen [Administration > Plugins > Perso Footer] and you’re done.

Album description, fine-tuning

Among all features provided by plugin Extended Description, you will find the fine-tuning of the album description.

1. Default display

By default, the description of an album is displayed next to the album thumbnail on the albums page and the same description is displayed on the thumbnails page, above thumbnails.

Piwigo: default display of the album description on the albums page

Piwigo: default display of the album description on the albums page

Piwigo: default display of the album description on the thumbnails page

Piwigo: default display of the album description on the thumbnails page

2. Tag <!--more-->

start of description…<!--more-->… end of description

Only the start of description is displayed outside the album. On the album page, you will see start of description + end of description.

Piwigo with Extended Description, tag "more": display of album "start" description on albums page

Piwigo with Extended Description, tag "more": display of album "start" description on albums page

Piwigo with Extended Description, tag "more": display of album "start" description + "end" description on thumbnails page

Piwigo with Extended Description, tag "more": display of album "start" description + "end" description on thumbnails page

3. Tag <!--complete-->

short description <!--complete--> long description

Only the short description is displayed outside the album. On the album page, you will only see the long description, so you have 2 distinct descriptions.

Piwigo with Extended Description, tag "complete": display of album "short" description on albums page

Piwigo with Extended Description, tag "complete": display of album "short" description on albums page

Piwigo with Extended Description, tag "complete": display of album "long" description on thumbnails page

Piwigo with Extended Description, tag "complete": display of album "long" description on thumbnails page

4. Tag <!--up-down-->

top description <!--up-down--> bottom description

Only the top description is displayed outside the album. On the album page, the top description is displayed above the thumbnails, the bottom description is displayed below the thumbnails.

Piwigo with Extended Description, tag "up-down": display of album "up" description on albums page

Piwigo with Extended Description, tag "up-down": display of album "up" description on albums page

Piwigo with Extended Description, tag "up-down": display of album "up" description + "bottom" description on thumbnails page

Piwigo with Extended Description, tag "up-down": display of album "up" description + "bottom" description on thumbnails page

5. Let’s combine tags

It’s even possible to combine the tags described previously, for example:

short description <!–complete–> top long description <!–up-down–> bottom long description

Piwigo with Extended Description, tags combined: display of album "short" description on albums page

Piwigo with Extended Description, tags combined: display of album "short" description on albums page

Piwigo with Extended Description, tags combined: display of album "top long" description + "bottom long" description on thumbnails page

Piwigo with Extended Description, tags combined: display of album "top long" description + "bottom long" description on thumbnails page

Piwigo Application for iPhone/iPad and Android

Warning !

This blog post is no longer relevant. To learn more about Piwigo mobile applications for Android and iOS, read this September 2019 blog post instead !

Piwigo is now available on iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android. Actually, it’s the very same application for the two most popular smartphones and tablets.

Piwigo for iOS, upload photos in your Piwigo gallery from your iPhone

Piwigo for iOS, upload photos in your Piwigo gallery from your iPhone

The Piwigo application empowers you to connect to your Piwigo gallery, create some albums and upload several photos at once. The application was not designed to browse your gallery but to perform basic administration tasks, such as photo upload. Our goal is to create a simple and intuitive tool.

The application for mobile has been created by Patrice Gauchon, member of the Piwigo team.

 

Create your Home Page, Method 1

Updated on 2014, September 22nd: since Piwigo 2.4, we have made home page management simpler (tag [photo] and [slider], page model and plugin Extended Description).

The default home page of a Piwigo photo gallery is the list of root albums. If it doesn’t fit your need, you can create your own customized home page. There are 2 main methods: either you create an additional page or your create dynamic blocks. This blog post describes the first method.

Home Page on Piwigo.com Demo 1

Home Page on Piwigo.com Demo 1

The main idea is to create an home page with free content, such as the home page of demo1.

1) Install and activate plugin Additional Pages + Extended Description from screen [Administration > Plugins > Manage]

2) Create a new page on screen [Administration > Plugins > Additional Pages]

3) Select page model “Standalone homepage”

Create a home page in Piwigo, with plugin Additional Pages

Create a home page in Piwigo, with plugin Additional Pages

4) If plugin FCK Editor is activated, turn it off with a click on the bottom right of the the textarea

5) In the Content box, you can find [photo id=12345 …] : you have to change the 12345 with numeric identifier of the photo you want. So you have to add this photo in your Piwigo in any album (you can set this album as private if you want to hide it) then edit the photo to find its numeric identifier.

Do you prefer an automatic slideshow on your home page? Create an album, add your photos for the slideshow (max 10 or the page will be slow to load). The edit your album to get its numeric identifier. In your page content, instead of [photo id=12345 …], write [slider album=123 size=M elastic=yes] where 123 is the numeric identifier of your album.

6) Customize content: replace “by Piwigo.com” with “by John The Photographer”, for instance

7) Click on the “Set as Homepage” checkbox.

8) if you keep the “Contact” link, activate the Contact Form plugin.

A Random Photo For Your Home Page

The home page of demo1 is becoming quite popular. If you think that displaying always the same photo on your homepage may become boring, you can create a specific album with all photos you want on your home page. Then, in your home page content, instead of writing:

<img src=”http://…./photo.jpg”>

you can write…

[random album=32]

… where 32 is the numeric identifier of the album. Piwigo will randomly pick a photo from this album. You need the plugin Extended Description to be active.

Random photo on your Piwigo.com home page, new photo on each refresh

Random photo on your Piwigo.com home page, new photo on each refresh

  • Note 1: The [random album=32] trick works in a PWG Stuffs personal block as well.
  • Note 2: you can mark the album as private if you want to hide it from your gallery