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Author Topic: Your thoughts on how to handle lots of nesting categories please.  (Read 3799 times)

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PerformanceImagery

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Hello everyone,  I am starting to populate my site with my images from motorcycle and car races.  I'm running in to a bit of an issue on how to handle the category/album structure.

I currently use this structure layout...

Example.
Events> Event Type> Year> Race date> Race class> Racer Number

Real life example from my site.
Events> MRA> 2007> 12 August PMI> Amateur GTO> 119

As you can see, this is 6 levels that the view has to go through to get to the images they want to see.  Can anyone think of a way to cut this down so it is much shorter/easier for the viewer?  I do plan on incorporating keywords as the site progresses, but that will not work for all visitors to the site.

Thank you for your time and any insight you can provide,

Keith
« Last Edit: January 04, 2008, 09:06:58 am by Joachim Müller »
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Joachim Müller

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Re: Your thoughts on how to handle lots of nesting categories please.
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2008, 01:58:08 pm »

A golden rule says that site visitors should reach their target within 3 to 4 clicks, so you're miles away from that goal. There can be no general recommendation, as the amount of categories and sub-categories that you will need depends on the overall number of pics that you plan to add to your gallery. Huge sites suffer from the problem that you encounter: the site is so full-packed with information that it's hard for the visitor to actually find what s/he's looking for.
In your case, I suggest dropping the extra year category, as there will only be a limited number of race days, so the categories within  "MRA" should be "12 August 2007 PMI", "17 Dec 2007 Bob Day at PMI", "23 July 2007 PMI", "23 Sept 2007 PMI" and "3 Sept 2007 PMI" - this will reduce the number of clicks by one at least.
As you appear to be a pro race photographer I suggest sending your potential customers through a manually created portal page where you list all albums in a sort of sitemap. This sitemap should reside on a page above your gallery structure - ideally on the very start page, together with a news section that provides directly links to the most recent galleries. As you appear to use a CMS (Joomla I supposse) this should be dead easy.

You might even consider buying a separate domain for the racing stuff, where you can send the race event visitors to. The new domain could just be a redirector that points to http://performanceimagery.com/imagedb/ (not very search engine friendly btw, nor does that folder name attract human visitors).

Your site loads dead slow for me - I suggest looking into this in detail. If it happens frequently, talk to your webhost.

However, yours is not a technical question that closely relates to coppermine, but a generic "how can I improve my navigation" issue. There are many discussions on this subject lead elsewhere on the internet. In fact, this topic is something that even Jakob Nielsen (the usability guru) doesn't appear to be sure about.
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PerformanceImagery

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Re: Your thoughts on how to handle lots of nesting categories please.
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2008, 09:04:15 am »

Thanks for your thoughts.  I'm not sure I want to throw out the year category just yet.  Each year has 10 races give or take and about as many "other" race events.  I will not always cover all the other events, but with just 3 years worth of images and I'm well over 30+ albums in one group.

I do like your idea of a news section and I am using Joomla, so that should be real easy.  I could run that only during the current race season.  It would also be possible to have a higher level category for the current race season.  Better yet, one of the last race which would put them only 2 clicks from looking at their photos.  Then I could "archive" the images in to a year> race structure like I have now.

Thanks again for the comments.
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PerformanceImagery

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Re: Your thoughts on how to handle lots of nesting categories please.
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2008, 09:09:07 am »

Oh, what makes that url not friendly to search engines?  The site is slow at times do to my host having MySQL issues.  Hopefully they get it fixed soon or I'll have to move  :-[
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Joachim Müller

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Re: Your thoughts on how to handle lots of nesting categories please.
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2008, 09:12:14 am »

The folder name "imagedb" is not a lexical expression and never turns up as text on the page, that's why it isn't search engine friendly nor easy to memorize for human visitors. Why not name it "gallery" or "racing" instead?
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PerformanceImagery

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Re: Your thoughts on how to handle lots of nesting categories please.
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2008, 09:43:36 am »

Imagedb was a left over name from when I would looking at another gallery setup to help with securing the image files (albeit just slightly) from people navigating directly to the orginal files.  It really does not make much since to use it now.  Would I be able to just change the name of the folder or would I need to update the database and/or coppermine in some way?
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Joachim Müller

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Re: Your thoughts on how to handle lots of nesting categories please.
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2008, 10:22:36 am »

Renaming is pretty straightforward (and has been asked and answered pretty often already btw). Rename the folder (using your FTP app), then go to coppermine in your browser (using the new URL), log in as admin, go to coppermine's config and change "URL of your coppermine gallery folder" accordingly and you should be fine. You'll of course have to change outside links (from your Joomla pages) that point to coppermine as well. Not related to your initial question though - this thread has already suffered from a load of thread drift, so please keep the "one question per thread" policy in mind and start a new thread if you have issues related to renaming the folder coppermine resides in.
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PerformanceImagery

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Re: Your thoughts on how to handle lots of nesting categories please.
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2008, 01:17:25 pm »

Thanks.  I should be good to go now.
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