Follow these tips to get started with the Sycamore site.
These questions are ordered by how common they are - most common at the top. Please note the question numbers may change since I am constantly updating this section.
Your XML file is probably malformed, meaning there is a typo/mistake in it somewhere that is stopping the web browser from reading it correctly. It is most likely a very simple fix - you just need to find where you made the error. An easy way to do that is to navigate to your XML file in your web browser. For example, if your site is named "yoursite.com" then navigate to this URL:
In Firefox, the page will say something like:
This page contains the following errors:
error on line 1 at column 5: error parsing attribute name
Usually that will give you enough info to locate your error. If you still have trouble, post a question in the forums and I can help you.
No. Upgrading is very simple. Keep all of your XML files and images the same. Simply delete your old "sycamore.swf" file and replace it with the new "sycamore.swf" file from the purchased version. That's it!
This is due to a security restriction in the Flash Player when loading XML files locally. Read more about it here, here and here if you want a technical explanation, otherwise just follow the below steps:
If you don't own Dreamweaver or any other HTML editor then I recommend downloading and using Notepad++ to edit the XML files. It's free and I've heard good things about it.
Project images can be any size, but for each project you will probably want all of the images that go along with it to be the same size so it looks nicer, but it's not necessary.
In "portfolio.xml" the following sets the image size:
<images width="540" height="304">
Basically that size will determine the size of the image background that the images load on top of. It also controls the vertical spacing between projects so everything is spaced correctly before the images load.
Open up "settings.xml" and set "hasOwnLogo" to "true". Save your logo file as a PNG file, name it "logo.png" and place it in the images folder.
The preloader color is set at the top of the "index.html" file. Look for the following line:
flashvars.preloaderColor = "0xff4400";
It's not in "settings.xml" because the preloader needs to be displayed before "settings.xml" is loaded.
The initial background color is set at the top of the "index.html" file. Look for the following line:
The page title is set at the top of "index.html" between the "title" tags.
Be careful of adding any extra line breaks when you are entering text in the XML files. Pay careful attention to sections that have the CDATA part like the following:
Putting a line break after the CDATA[ part will add an extra line break. Also be careful of adding tab indents. Flash is pretty finicky about XML files so pay special attention to all your line breaks and tabs and you should be fine.
Open up "contact.php" and follow the commented instructions. Basically you just need to change the email address (in two places) and site name to your own. The form will need to uploaded to a server that supports PHP in order for it to send the email. Everything in the deploy/demo folder needs to be uploaded for everything to work properly. If the form does not work on your server (if you get the "server error" message), then your server does not support PHP. Please contact your web hosting company and inquire about PHP support (most web hosts should support PHP).
Note: It's come to my attention that some servers will not allow an email to be sent to an email address on a different domain than the domain the contact form is on. For example if your site is "yoursite.com", you might have to setup an email address at that domain like "email@example.com". You can always set that email to forward to a different email you use. Contact your webhost on how to set something like that up.
GoDaddy users: If you use GoDaddy for your hosting or if for some reason you are still having trouble with the contact form sending, download this form. Edit the 3 lines at the top and replace it with your old form.
Update: I've heard from several customers who have had problems with the form sending correctly even though their web host supports PHP. This is one more thing to try if your host is giving you problems. Open up "contact.php" and locate line 18:
$headers .= "Reply-To: " . $senderEmail . "\n\n";
Try removing one of the newline characters (\n) at the end of line 18 so it looks like the below:
$headers .= "Reply-To: " . $senderEmail . "\n";
Apparently the extra newline can cause an error on some web servers. Changing that should fix the issue - I apologize to anyone who had issues with that.
How fast your site loads depends on 3 things:
The actual site itself (not including any portfolio images) is a rather small file size. If you are loading lots of large, high quality images the site will take longer to load then if you are using small, web optimized images. To optimize your images for a faster loading time, open them in Photoshop and go to File > Save for Web and save them out at a lower quality.
Unfortunately this doesn't come with a built-in video player - if you want to add video your best bet would be to have the "Launch Project" button link to the video in a new window.
Make sure you check the email account that your PayPal account is linked to - it might be different than the email you regularly use. Also check your junk mail folder to make sure it's not in there. If you still have problems email me at and I can resend you the download link.
If you are seeing this message that means you haven't uploaded all of the required files. Everything in the demo/deploy folder needs to be uploaded in order for everything to work. Double check that the folder named "js" is uploaded to the root directory of your site. A lot of times people experience this problem because they haven't unzipped the files correctly. On a Mac you just double click the zip file to unzip. On a PC depending on your operating system you may need an unzip utility. See here for more info on opening zip files.
1) Open up the "index.html" file from the root folder of your site in your favorite text editor. Scroll down and edit the HTML content. Basically change the name from "Isabel Designostrom" to your own and edit the email address and links and add whatever other content you want. This is the content that users will see who don't have the Flash plugin installed, although iPhone/iPad/iPod touch users won't see this and will be automatically forwarded to the mobile version described in step 2 below.
2) Open up the folder named "mobile". This contains the iPhone/iPad/iPod touch/non-Flash/mobile version of your site. There is another "index.html" file in here that you will want to edit and add your content to. Also you will want to change the images in the "images" folder.
3) You'll notice there is an image called "iphone_icon_57x57.png" in the "mobile" folder. This is the icon that is displayed if a user adds a link to your site from the home screen on their iPhone/iPad (sort of like a fav icon). To change this image you'll want to create a PNG sized 57x57. You don't need to create any rounded corners or the shine effect - those are added automatically by the iPhone. If you don't want a custom icon you can just delete that image and open "index.html" and delete this line at the top:
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="iphone_icon_57x57.png" />
After that you should be all set with your new mobile site!
Yes, you can download the files you need here, then follow these simple instructions:
1) From the ZIP file you just downloaded, drag the folder named "mobile" into your demo/deploy folder (the one that contains all the SWF files and "index.html").
2) Rename your current "index.html" file to "index_old.html".
3) Drag the correct HTML file from the ZIP file to where your "index.html" file was and rename it "index.html". For example if you are using the Aspen template, drag over the file named "aspen.html" and rename it "index.html".
4) Open up your new "index.html" file and the "index.html" from the mobile folder in your favorite text editor and edit the content and you should be good to go. For additional tips see the question above.
The "m.yourdomain.com" setup seems to becoming the standard way of delivering a mobile site. To set something like that up you'll need to create a new subdomain on your webserver named "m". Contact your web host for instructions on how to do this. It's fairly easy but varies from host to host. After that you will want to change the URL that the site forwards to. Do this by opening up the "index.html" file in your root folder and make the following edits:
Look for this line at the top:
document.location = "mobile/";
And change it to the following:
document.location = "http://m.yourdomain.com";
Then look for this line towards the bottom:
<a href="mobile/">Visit a non-Flash version of my website</a>
And change it to the following:
<a href="http://m.yourdomain.com">Visit a non-Flash version of my website</a>
Please post in the forums and I'll answer any other questions you might have.