Speeding up dotPhoto

There are ways to speed up dotPhoto, and there are issues that are systemic on the web. 

We think a lot about speed, and an independent company monitors dotPhoto’s load speed. Among photo companies, which as a group have fairly “heavy” pages because of the graphics, dotPhoto is in the top 5% for speed.  dotPhoto senses your connection speed and sometimes changes the way we serve up data;  for instance, if you have a dial-up connection, we’ll serve smaller images to the dotPhoto Show so that they get there faster. If your broadband connection speed is very slow, you may see the same behavior when watching dotPhoto Shows.

If your overall access seems slow, you might want to test your connection speed, which you can do at the free “Speakeasy” link below.  dotPhoto servers are in Sunnyvale, California, so the San Francisco server is the best choice to test.


Upon completion of the test, you see a screen like this:

On my home cable connection, I’m getting 595 Kbps on download and 347 Kbps on upload to the San Francisco test server.  Verizon’s new fiber optic FIOS service claims up to 10 Mbps download (their web site says 5, but their operator says 10MB) and 2 Mbps for $29.95 per month for the first year, which would be a savings for me, so I may try it out. FIOS is not available everywhere, but you can learn more by clicking here for FIOS link.

Certain times of day are slower for cable users and especially for DSL users.  For instance, right after dinner can be slower because everyone is doing homework, shopping or reading home email. Unforeseen events can also slow down the entire Internet.  I remember being frustrated in my attempt to connect one evening only to discover that much of the world was trying to connect to the Mars Rover.

You can also speed up dotPhoto by changing your album displays to a list display, and by reducing the number of thumbnails that you display in an album.  Since most of us look mainly at our most recent photos, these are easy changes to live with

Changing your album display to a list display

On the album page, click on this icon.  You can change back to thumbnails by clicking the same spot again:

Reducing the number of thumbnails displayed in albums

A congressman recently explained the Internet as “a series of tubes,” which has been a source of amusement for late-night comics. It’s true, though, that the tubes get slower when they have more data to push through — and that’s what happens to an album page when more thumbnails are displayed. You can see as few as 3 photos per row on 3 rows or 9 images per page, and as many as 6 photos per row and 12 rows or 72 images per page. You’ll see 9 photos much faster than 72, which can take a moment or two load. 

To reduce the number of thumbnails displayed, click on “Display Settings” and then set the numbers of images per row and rows per pages that are comfortable for you:

Author: dotphoto

Glenn Paul is President and Co-Founder of dotPhoto, which began life in 2000 as a photo printing service and now also distributes user-generated media in Flash, video and on cell phones.

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