OK. Background first.
On lots of websites there are situations where you're going to display a whole bunch of pieces of content at once (whether images or blocks of text), and possibly have the same content displayed in various ways on multiple pages.
We'll call this: Dynamic Content Display.
Dynamic because how you want it displayed changes.
And dynamic because what the content is changes.
For example . . .
You're likely familiar with this with blogs. In most CMSs, you may:
- You have 100 blog posts. Each blog is a unique page/post in your CMS
- You have a blog "home" page, which displays previews of the latest 10 blogs
- You have a "recent posts" widget in your website footer
- On many pages, you show how many blog posts you've published each month or each year
ALL of those displays are based on the core collection of blog posts. And this is super helpful because it means you don't have to re-write ANY portion of those blog posts on all the various pages where the info shows up.
You publish blog posts in ONE place, and the info shows up in MANY places.
Squarespace has the same setup with its 'Blog' function. and . . .
Squarespace ALSO accomplishes dynamic content display for VISUAL content (images) with GALLERIES.
(Sidebar: and similarly for series of events with EVENTS.)
Create a new page in Squarespace and you'll see at the bottom: Blog, Events, Gallery.
Whenever you're displaying an array of images, a GALLERY is in most cases preferred.
You'll notice in the in-page WYSIWYG editor that you can create a Gallery right there . . .
And when you click any of those options, you'll see you can
or you can switch to the tab
[Use Existing Gallery]
where you'd select an existing Gallery of images to display in this section of your page.
here, that's what I'll call a "LOCAL" GALLERY.
I call it a Local Gallery because that gallery is accessible ONLY on that page. It's "local" to that spot. It's not GLOBAL to your whole website.
SO . . .
A 'local' gallery is OK if the images aren't going to change AND if you WON'T use this same collection of images ANYWHERE ELSE on your site.
The better option, again, is make a (GLOBAL) gallery . . .
And when you have a spot on a page you want to display contents from that gallery, select "Use Existing Gallery."
Manage Your Gallery
The Gallery "Collection" vs the Gallery "Display"
Every template is going to be a little different, but all templates have the core Gallery function which I'll call the Gallery Collection. The Collection is where you put all the assets. The template's setting of how that Collection looks when access directly may not be to your liking, so while you'll go to the Collection to add and edit content, you'll have another page, your Gallery Display, which you'll actually show and link to publicly because that's what you want people to see.
Example: an actual Gallery Collection Page
Example: A Gallery Display Page
To wrap this COLLECTION vs DISPLAY idea up . . .
Whenever you're making changes to the CONTENT in a gallery, look for the Gallery "Collection" with the Gallery function icon in your Squarespace Pages list.
When you want to make changes to how your content is displayed, go to the page with the gallery display you want to change.
- Upload a thumbnail.
- Upload the asset.
- Link to the asset.
- Choose a basic title format.
- Choose a basic description format.
- Set Tags and Categories.
[ 1 ] Upload a thumbnail.
In the ANYA template, if a single image is the entirety of your gallery/portfolio asset, then that image can serve as your thumbnail. If that's the case, upload the image for your thumbnail and skip [ 2 ] and [ 3 ].
The thumbnail is what will show up in the display. It's the image people will click on to make it big and give them access to more information.
Think of it like a book or album cover.
To add a thumbnail, click the upload arrow [ A ] or the + sign [ B ]
To change a thumbnail, hover over the thumbnail and click the gear [ C ]
To edit the thumbnail image, hover over and click the pencil [ D ]
NOTE: The order (left to right, top to bottom) of thumbnails here IS the order in how things will be displayed on your site. To reorder, simply drag and drop.
[ 2 ] Upload the asset.
Say your portfolio piece is a book or a PDF. You can't display all the pages of your PDF or the entirety of the book in the thumbnail.
In the ANYA template, the way to make the full asset accessible is link some text in the description to your asset.
Write some text in the description, highlight it, and then press the link button.
In the window that pops up, click the middle tab [Files], then [New File] then [Add a file]
Use the navigation window for your OS that pops up to locate the file and click [Open] or whatever button will initiate the upload.
After the upload finishes, you're done with this step.
This file will now be available under [ Existing File ] on ANY page in the Squarespace website where you uploaded it.
[ 3 ] Link to the asset.
Now, click on the name of the file you just uploaded and check [ Open in a New Window ].
If the file name you want is bolded, click outside this box into the empty space in the description box and the link will stick.
If you need to adjust the text that you highlighted to make it what you want, do that now.
[ 4 ] Choose a basic title format.
The title is important if you plan to display it anywhere (you may not).
If you plan to display many titles at once, consider using a standard format for pieces that are related.
You don't need to repeat tag/category/descriptive words in titles (and shouldn't to save space) because you can apply a Tag or a Category (lower left corner) to each content piece in a Gallery, and then filter to display just those pieces and label a Gallery Display with that tag/category.
If you're a photographer, don't put "Jake & Hannah (Wedding)", "Sarah & Tom (Wedding)", "Avonte & Anna (Wedding)", "The Johnsons (Family)" as your titles. Put the names as the titles, and then create a tag for Weddings and a tag for Familys (or categories).
How to organized categories and tags? However you want. Typically, people have fewer categories and they are more encompassing, whereas the list of tags could go on forever.
[ 5 ] Choose a basic description format.
Like titles, the description matters only if you plan to display it anywhere on your site. The descriptions piece by piece don't have to mirror each other, but consider it could be weird if in some descriptions you link to the underlying asset at the top, and in others in the middle, and in others at the bottom. It would also be weird if some we super long and others were super short.
For related pieces (such as having the same tag or category), plan how to have some consistency in the description.
[ 6 ] Set Tags and Categories.
That's Tags and Categories with capitals because Tags and Categories are specific functions in Squarespace.
As mentioned earlier, think of Tags as an infinite list of descriptors. And think of Categories as a limited set of topics that all things on your website can be grouped into.
How you set up your Tags and Categories for your website is up to you. Each 'collection' (a Blog, a Gallery, an Events group) has its OWN set of categories and tags. Your blog tags will not automatically be available in your galleries, and vice verse.
For a Gallery, consider whether and how you'll want to display portions or segments of the Gallery.
If you're a writer, you may have 100 different writings in your gallery. Say 25 are journal entries, 25 are short stories, 25 are essays, 5 are novels and 20 are ghost-written pieces.
Boom, there are 5 categories:
- Short Stories
You'd create and use these Categories because in one part of your website you might say, "Here are my short stories . . . " and then display only the items from that gallery with the Category "Short Stories."
Again, only make categories in ways that will be useful for how you plan to display items on your website.
For tags, I wouldn't go crazy listing every option. Try to use tags that will actually be useful for you and website visitors to find what they are looking for.
[ 7 ] Save your work.
When you've got the thumbnail you want, the title and the description down, the asset uploaded (if you have one) and linked to, and you've set tags and categories . . .
Then decide if you want to turn Comments On or Off, then click [ SAVE ] or [ SAVE & PUBLISH ] or schedule it for publication at a later time.
. . . and that's it!