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Item images

Item images are saved on S3 and delivered using CloudFront, a CDN service by AWS. CDN is short for Content Delivery Network. CDN allows completely scalable delivery of item images. CDN makes it possible to only save the original image. A specified dimension of the original image is created when the image is displayed on screen. This dimension is then saved in the CloudFront CDN cache.

1. General settings

  1. Go to Setup » Item » Images » Settings.
    → The menu is divided into several areas.

  2. Carry out the settings in each area.

  3. Save () the settings.

1.1. Settings

This area relates to the import and export of item images.

Table 1. Settings for the import and export of item images
Setting Explanation

Export item image position

Select a position number from the drop-down list. This is the item image’s position number for the image export, for example to a market.
The position is defined in the item’s Images tab.

Image import using FTP

Should existing images be deleted before new images are imported? Choose your preference from the drop-down list.

  • Add imported images = New images will be imported. Existing images will be retained.

  • Delete existing images before import = First, existing images will be deleted. Second, new images will be imported.

Image names of FTP import

Will you upload images with an FTP server? Then your image file names will either need to contain the item ID or the variation number. Use the drop-down list to specify which identifier the image file names contain.

1.2. Placeholder images

This area relates to placeholder images. If an item does not have its own image, then the placeholder image will be displayed instead.

Table 2. Settings for placeholder images
Setting Explanation

URL of placeholder image

This placeholder image appears if item images cannot be displayed.

  1. Upload your preferred placeholder image in the menu CMS » Webspace.

  2. Then enter the URL for the placeholder image here.

URL of placeholder preview image

This placeholder image appears if preview images cannot be displayed.

  1. Upload your preferred placeholder image in the menu CMS » Webspace.

  2. Then enter the URL for the placeholder image here.

1.3. Attribute images

This area relates to attribute values that are displayed as images. For example, if customers should click on a red image to select the colour red.

Table 3. Settings for attribute images
Setting Explanation

Max. height in pixels

Enter the maximum height of the image in pixels.

Max. width in pixels

Enter the maximum width of the image in pixels.

Additional settings

Upload the necessary images and specify that you want the attributes to be displayed as images in the webshop. These settings are explained in further detail here.

1.4. Name

This area relates to image names. Specifically, you’ll decide which information should be included in the image names.

Table 4. Settings for image names
Setting Explanation

Original name;
Item ID;
Item No.;
Name 1 - Name 3;
Keywords;
Model;
Free text field 1 - Free text field 20

Select a position number for each desired parameter. This simultaneously specifies which parameters the image name should contain and which of these parameters should be displayed first, second, third, etc.

Technical specifications:

  • The parameters will be separated by hyphens in the image name.

  • You have to specify the item ID or the item number.

  • The image name is limited to a maximum of 32 characters.

Own prefix;
Prefix

You are not limited to the item parameters listed above. It is also possible to create your own prefix and add it to the image name.

  1. Enter your own prefix into the text field Prefix.

  2. Select a position number from the Own prefix drop-down list.

2. Defining image sizes

  1. Go to Setup » Item » Images » Sizes. The menu is divided into areas for four different image sizes:

    1. preview = Preview image

    2. secondPreview = Second preview image

    3. middle = Mid-sized image

    4. full = Full-sized image

  2. Carry out the settings for each image size. Note Table 5.

  3. Save () the settings.

Table 5. Setting the image sizes
Setting Explanation

Settings

Name

Enter an internal name for this image size.

Folder name

The folder name for this image size. The folder name cannot be changed and is part of the item image’s URL.

Maximum height in pixels

Enter the maximum height in pixels for images of this size. If your item image exceeds this size, then the displayed image will be scaled down. The aspect ratio will stay the same.

Maximum width in pixels

Enter the maximum width in pixels for images of this size. If your item image exceeds this size, then the displayed image will be scaled down. The aspect ratio will stay the same.

Max. lifetime of cache in days

How long should the images be saved in the CloudFront cache? Enter a number of days. The image’s lifetime begins once the image has been displayed on screen in this size, i.e. loaded into the cache.

Rotate the output image based on the EXIF Orientation tag

Select this option () if you want to retain the original image orientation (image rotation of 90, 180, 270°).

Retain meta data (EXIF, XMP, IPTC) of original image

Select this option () if you want to retain the meta data of the original image. Examples of meta data are description texts, geo data (GPS), date and time.

Tip: In some cases, e.g. for preview images, it makes sense not to retain metadata in order to optimise loading time and data volume.

Do not enlarge

Should original images be enlarged?

  • = If the original image is smaller than the maximum dimensions defined for this size, then the image will be enlarged to this size.

  • = The original image will not be enlarged.

Jpg

Quality

Use the slider to select a compression level between 0 and 9. Compression reduces load times and can help you achieve better page speed values.

Tip: Compressing images to 8 results in no visible loss of quality.

Progressive

Should images of this size be displayed immediately when the page is accessed?

  • = The image is available at low resolution as soon as the page is loaded. The quality of the image increases gradually during page load.

Png

Compression level (0-9)

Use the slider to select a compression level between 0 and 9. Compression reduces load times and can help you achieve better page speed values.

This is the compression level that will be used for PNG files. PNG is a loss-free format. As such, PNG images are always decompressed and shown at the original quality. However, if you select a higher compression level, the browser needs more time to decompress the image.

Progressive

Should images of this size be displayed immediately when the page is accessed?

  • = The image is available at low resolution as soon as the page is loaded. The quality of the image increases gradually during page load.

Invalidate CDN cache

After making changes in the menu Setup » Item » Images » Sizes, your images may still be displayed with the old settings because the changes are in the cache. In this case, click on Invalidate CDN cache to see the changes more quickly. The cache invalidation is done by CloudFront. After you invalidate the cache, each image size is created on the fly when the image is opened.

3. Personalising image URLs

By default, image URLs contain the domain name plentymarkets.com. But it’s possible to use your own domain and subdomain instead. Table 6 compares the default CDN domain and a custom CDN domain.

Table 6. Default domain vs. custom domain
Image URL with default domain Image URL with own domain

URL pattern

The URL of item images is created as follows:

  1. Subdomain CDN1, CDN2 or CDN3

  2. Domain plentymarkets.com

  3. Customer hash

  4. File path item/images

  5. Item ID

  6. Folder name of image size

  7. Name of image file with file extension

The own domain is specified instead of the default domain. The customer hash is not shown in the URL:

  1. Own subdomain.

  2. Domain of the client

  3. File path item/images

  4. Item ID

  5. Folder name of image size

  6. Name of image file with file extension

Example URL

https://cdn01.plentymarkets.com/1abcd2e3fghi/item/images/118/full/118-Chair-Rio.jpg

https://yoursubdomain.yourstore.co.uk/item/images/118/full/118-Chair-Rio.jpg

Limitations
  • A custom subdomain can only be saved for the main domain.

  • You can only save one custom subdomain per client.

  • The subdomain must not contain www.

  • The subdomain must not exist in the domain assistant.

3.1. Setting up your own CDN domain

Who hosts your domain? How you’ll proceed depends on whether your domain is hosted by plentymarkets or by an external provider.

3.1.1. A domain hosted by plentymarkets

  1. Go to Setup » Client » Select client » CDN-Domains.

  2. Click on Add ().
    → The New domain window opens.

  3. Carry out the settings. Note Table 7.

  4. Save () the settings.
    → The subdomain is created.
    → A SSL certificate is created for the subdomain.
    → A DNS record is created for the subdomain.
    → A CloudFront instance is created.
    Note: This process can take several hours. The process is complete when green checkmarks are shown in the columns SSL, DNS and Cloud status.

  5. Once all three checkmarks are shown, click on Activate in the Status column.
    → The domain is activated.

Table 7. Saving a subdomain for image URLs
Setting Explanation

Section

Select the type of subdomain from the drop-down list. Currently, only the type CDN1 is available.

Subdomain

Enter a custom subdomain. Valid characters are letters (a-z, A-Z), numbers (0-9), underscore (_) and hyphen (-). The first character of the subdomain must be either a letter or a number.

Domain

Select the domain from the drop-down list. You can only select the client’s main domain.

Activate the domain after the subdomain has been created

It can take several hours for the subdomain to be created. The creation process is complete when checkmarks are shown in all three columns, i.e. SSL, DNS and Cloud status. Once the subdomain is created, activate the domain.

3.1.2. A domain hosted by an external provider

If your domain is hosted by an external provider, then first you’ll generate DNS entries in plentymarkets. Then you’ll have 72 hours to save these DNS entries with your external domain provider.

You have 72 hours to save the DNS entries with the provider

The DNS entries that are generated in plentymarkets need to be saved with the external domain provider within 72 hours. Otherwise the DNS entries will be invalid once the time is up.

If you’ve created a CDN domain but you didn’t save the DNS entries with the provider on time, then you’ll be missing one of the three check marks in the back end and it will not be possible to activate the domain.

What is DNS?

DNS is short for Domain Name System. DNS makes it possible to enter the domain name instead of the numerical IP address of your online store.

Saving own domain for image URLs for an external domain:

  1. Go to Setup » Client » Select client » CDN-Domains.

  2. Click on Add ().
    → The New domain window opens.

  3. Carry out the settings. Note Table 8.

  4. Save () the settings.
    → A DNS record is created for the subdomain.

  5. In the row of the domain entry, click DNS info.
    → The DNS info window opens.
    → The DNS settings are shown.

  6. Log into the service area of your domain provider.

  7. Copy the DNS settings shown in plentymarkets into the relevant fields of the domain provider.
    → Check the documentation of the domain provider on how to do this.

  8. Save () the settings.
    → A SSL certificate is created for the subdomain.
    → A CloudFront instance is created.
    → The DNS settings are updated.

  9. When you open the menu Setup » Client » Select client » CDN-Domains, do you see green check marks displayed in the columns SSL, DNS and Cloud status? Then the process is complete. Once all three checkmarks are shown, click on Activate in the Status column.
    → The domain is activated.

Table 8. Saving a subdomain for image URLs
Setting Explanation

Section

Select the type of subdomain from the drop-down list. Currently, only the type CDN1 is available.

Subdomain

Enter a custom subdomain. Valid characters are letters (a-z, A-Z), numbers (0-9), underscore (_) and hyphen (-). The first character of the subdomain must be either a letter or a number.

Domain

Select the domain from the drop-down list. You can only select the client’s main domain.

4. Uploading images via FTP server

Every plentymarkets system has its own FTP server. This FTP server contains the folder upload_article_image_XXXX (XXXX = plentyID). You can upload item images into this folder. The folder is checked for changes every 60 minutes. New, correctly named images are assigned to the correct item automatically. In order to upload files, you’ll need an FTP program and your FTP login details.

4.1. Naming the files correctly

  1. Go to Setup » Item » Images » Settings.

  2. Use the option Image names of FTP import to specify whether the file names contain the item ID or the variation number.

  3. Depending on what you selected, you’ll either name the files with the item ID or the variation number.

Valid characters for file names

The following characters are supported for image file names:

  • Letters (a-z, A-Z) excluding umlauts

  • Numbers (0-9)

  • Underscores (_)

  • Hyphens (-)

Spaces and special characters are not permitted. When you upload images, spaces and special characters are replaced by hyphens (-).

Multiple images per item

You can upload up to 100 images per item. Number the image files as follows:

  1. Item ID or variation number

  2. Three hyphens ---

  3. Number from 0 to 99

Examples

You want to upload images for an item with item ID 4562 and the variation number AQ3957.

Table 9. Examples of FTP compliant naming of item images
Setting Naming 1 image per item Naming more than 1 image per item

Image names of FTP import = Item ID

  • 4562.jpg

  • 4562.png

  • 4562.gif

  • 4562.svg

  • 4652---0.jpg

  • 4652---1.jpg

  • 4652---2.gif

Image names of FTP import = Variation number

  • AQ3957.jpg

  • AQ3957.png

  • AQ3957.gif

  • AQ3957.svg

  • AQ3957---0.png

  • AQ3957---19.png

4.2. Importing images

  1. Copy the item images that you want to upload using FTP to a folder on your hard drive.

  2. Check the names of the image files and modify these names if needed.

  3. Select the target folder upload_article_image_XXXX (XXXX= plentyID) in your FTP program.

  4. Select the files in the upload area of your FTP program.

  5. Start the upload.
    → The images are assigned to the items and displayed in the online store after up to 60 minutes.

Take upload time into account

200 images are processed in each run, 2000 images if you have your own server. Depending on the data volume, the upload may take several hours, even if you have a powerful computer and a fast data connection. Therefore, schedule the file upload at a time when it will not interfere with your day-to-day business.

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