1-Slot 2-Slot Boomarklet

Joyous days of coding – not!

It was an innocent enough request that the creative side of my brain made of the logical side: I want to be able to easily-peasily-squeezily make an animation of the product views (aka in-situs) to be found on Zazzle’s product pages.

An example of a 1-slot square animation of the product views for a thermal tumbler
As used on Product Page media upload
click to see (opens in new tab)
  • a single click to get the whole thing started
  • a simple choice for the animation’s layout
  • gives a default animation
    – with title, description and link for optional copying and pasting
  • more optional choices to fine-tune the animation
  • the animations must be ok on major social media
    (Pinterest, Facebook, X/Twitter, Instagram etc)
  • can be used by Zazzle’s Product Media Manager for a new “in-situ” product view

Seems simple enough – pretty straightforward…

Oh how the unwary are taken in by “simple” requests – you’d think I’d know by now . You wouldn’t believe the problems that I had to overcome on the way!

Formats / layouts

option 4 – horizontal layout with animation on the right

Coding for the different layouts was easy, relatively speaking. 2-slot horizontal and vertical? No worries. 1-slot square? Piece of cake. Text placement and font selection? Eyes-closed coding 😉

a 2-slot vertical animation of a clipboard design. Text has been added in the middle of the animation saying "spook is as" "spooky does"
option 2 – vertical with animation at the bottom

Getting and working with images from Zazzle?

Aaaaargh 🤪

Why that reaction? It’s because after initial coding, testing and release, occasionally images would misbehave.

On digging deeper I found that sometimes the product view images on a product page would take on a weird url format instead of the more usual name-and-some-numeric-stuff.jpg (or .webp) and that broke things.

Try as I might I couldn’t work out whether some product types just did that or whether something else was going on. Eventually, after much head-scratching and many cups of tea, I tracked it down. It only took a day!

It was this: Clicking on any of the product view images (as you would if you wanted to see that view on center stage) caused all their urls to jump into that weird format. The same would happen if you clicked on any of the product options to, say, change the size of roll (gift-wrap) or size (eg on business cards).

Got it. Coded for it. Was that all? Not on your nelly!


Un-animated gifs

Aaaaargh 🤪

Weirdness. If you make a pin with an animated gif as the image using any of Pinterest’s pin buttons or its pin creation api (application programming interface):

  • the gif animates on the pin
  • the pin goes into your Saved section
  • Pinterest gives pins in your Saved section only a small amount of exposure. Ack!

If you create a pin manually with an animated gif:

  • it doesn’t animate
  • the pin goes into your Created section
  • Pinterest gives pins in your Created section a ton of exposure – maybe a hundred times more than those in the Saved section – Yaay!

So it’s obvious… convert the gif to an mp4 movie instead. It didn’t work. Huh? 🤯

Unplayable mp4 movies

More Pinterest weirdness. This was a real head scratcher. Again, after a lot of puzzling over it, experimenting, having cups of tea, more head scratching, more experimenting, I got to the bottom of it (this was a two-day head scratch!).

If the mp4 movie had only a few frames, then even though the video controls were present on the pin (you know, play, pause etc) they didn’t work. But once beyond about 30 frames, they’d play.

So there was some more unexpected coding (isn’t there always?) to increase the number of frames – by duplicating the product view images. It’s a balance between keeping the size in MB of the gifs low while keeping the number of frames high.

The reason for the balancing act is that X/Twitter won’t accept images bigger than 15M. It doesn’t always work – some 2-slot gifs with enough frames for Pinterest (once converted to mp4, of course) go above the 15MB X/Twitter limit.

The solution is to convert to mp4 and use that for X/Twitter. The size of the mp4 is reduced hugely in comparison to the gif but it’s one extra step in the process.

Speed-Sharer for promoting from the Zazzle ShowMe Forum

Newly released tool from the Nifty stable – promoting from the Zazzle Show Me Forum is now easier and quicker than ever.

annotated screenshot highlighting the major features
tool’s handy extras highlighted

Affiliate Benefits

  • Saves you time – the Nifty approach is quicker and easier
  • Makes it easy to get at the products / collections shared in the Show Me forum
  • Restrict to store lets you get only shares from your favourite store
  • Share to Twitter and Facebook and pin on Pinterest at the click of a button
  • As more designers find out about the tool, the more they’ll put into the ShowMe forum for us – and they’ll be organised by topic – nice!
  • Your referral id and tracking code are used as normal – if you’ve got a Nifty Promoter Program subscription, you’ll get clean links
  • Pinterest doesn’t like it when different people share the same image. Get round this by using image frames – then chances of that happening become very remote.

Find the new tool in the Nifty Promo Control Panel in Step 2 under Share individual products with Speed-Sharers

Designer Benefits

  • Now it’s so easy for Nifty-ers to share from the Show Me forum, it’s another way to get in front of real affiliates
  • More of your great designs / collections will be promoted when you post to an appropriate topic (aka thread) there
  • Posting to very specific topics will help you help affiliates even more
  • You can use the Speed Sharer as well
    • advance to a 50/50 referral split when you put in your referral id
    • stay on top of things by seeing what products / collections you’ve already shared by using the ‘Restrict to store’ feature

So what are you waiting for? Here’s a link to the Speed-Sharer for promoting from the Zazzle ShowMe Forum


  • Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest buttons for easy sharing / pinning there
  • To help you see where your successes come from, your chosen tracking code automatically has the date appended and is prefixed by whatever button you click:
    • twt_ for Twitter
    • fbk_ for Facebook
    • pntrst_ for Pinterest
  • Topic Lister
  • Promote from a specific topic (message id)
  • Lots of help for each feature
  • Filtering by the date a topic was created:
    • today
    • since yesterday
    • last seven days
    • this month
    • since last month
    • all time
  • ‘Restrict to store’ lets you see only products / collections from the given store
  • Handy link to Zazzle’s community search page
  • Link given to the topic for the displayed product / collection
  • Image frames for Pinterest to help keep your pins unique

We’d love to hear what you think, so drop off a comment and let us know! Thanks 😎

Affiliate tool earns blogging income from Zazzle

gold bar respresenting a gold standardgold bar respresenting a gold standard

this gold-standard affiliate tool turns on income from your blog like water from a tap

The one proviso is that you must already be getting a goodly number of visitors. This affiliate tool is for monetizing your blog, not for getting you footfall.

The earnings come from you illustrating your blog posts with products from Zazzle’s vast storehouse. When we say vast, we truly mean it!

Zazzle has millions on millions of product / design combinations from tens – hundreds – of thousands of dedicated independent artists. Since they cover every subject niche imaginable, there’s bound to be at least one for your blog!

Why this affiliate tool?

We’ll list the things that makes NiftyGridZPro the right one for you and then cover them off as we go, or expand on them later on in the article. So keep reading!

  • It’s the best in class: responsive design and styling you can change to suit your blog theme
  • So easy to use “out of the box”, with sensible defaults for every option
  • Unique: it has fallback grids so you’re always earning, even if Zazzle has issues (like any provider does occasionally)
  • Unique: live promo messages / home-grown ad injection / Google ad injection
  • Unique: option to use a visitor’s local Zazzle domain for increased revenue

Why Zazzle?

Official Zazzle logo

Apart from the vast storehouse mentioned above, Zazzle gives:

  • 15% referral commission
  • 45-day cookie

Zazzle has already, and continues to spend millions of dollars raising brand awareness. You can be sure a goodly proprtion of your visitors will already  perceive them as a trusted brand in their own right.

And anything that smooths the flow of see-click-purchase is a boost!

Examples for your niche blog

A travel blog

If yours is a travel blog, you’ll be pleased to know that Zazzle has postcards and souvenirs for every place of interest on the planet. A simple shortcode and search term will give you a pretty grid of 1, 2 or more products right there in your post. Like this one:

[niftygridzpro search_term="machu picchu postcard" page_size=2]

Fashionista’s blog

If you’re a bit of a fashionista, then Zazzle has all the trending hotness you can imagine. Elle Magazine has “red” for the trending fall color (at the time of writing), so that’s what we’ve used for the grid shown. We used more shortcode options to draw out the most popular red fall wedding items on Zazzle right now – yes, at the time you’re reading this post! We’ll give you the shortcode we used in a moment but let’s continue first with the idea.

So you write an article about, let’s say, planning for and having a wedding this fall (ok, it’s a bit late for that but you get the picture). When the time is right, drop in a grid. Like in this paragraph. Note we’ve taken the precaution of setting the maximum size of the grid cells small enough so that it still looks good on mobile. To make it work nicely, embedded in the paragraph like it is, we did this. We switched off the product titles (by the cunning move of setting their size to 0) and we switched off the description text by setting its length to 0.

To get that, just include the shortcode option paragraph_embed="R". It’s what we used above:

[niftygridzpro paragraph_embed="R" page_size=2 search_term="red fall wedding" cell_max_width=140px cell_border_color=#992222 product_background_color=#ffffff description_length=0 title_font_size=0px]

Affiliate tool must-haves:

An affiliate tool needs to:

display products perfectly matching your article subject:
✅ as well as search terms, there’s shortcode options for types of product, selecting work from a given artist, even displaying collections curated by artists themselves

reach the widest target audience:
✅ NiftyGridZPro’s product grids are equally at home on tablet, mobile or desktop

track your sales:
✅ you give made-up tracking codes for different types of post and the successful ones are reported against the Referral History report in your Zazzle affiliate account

be SEO optimized:
✅ uses php so search engines see the content; all images have alt and title text; links all use rel=”nofollow”

rise to every challenge you set:
✅ you can switch on grid navigation and an inbuilt search form independently; for total grid control we even have how-tos on “roll your own” pages

Promo / Ad injection with A/B testing

Part of keeping a visitor engaged and making your site appealing is for you to speak to your visitor from within the content. Sure, you communicate special offers and make announcements in your header, sidebar or footer – but everyone does that.

screenshot of a grid with a home-grown promotion
grid with a home-grown promotion

When such communication speaks from within your content, you can get even more engagement. This affiliate tool lets you do just that! When you use the injection options, one slot / cell within each product grid is chosen at random to display your message / ad.

NiftyGridZPro lets you control the injection of your own home-grown ads or promotions, or even Google ads. You control it all in real time from your admin settings panel, where you also set up ad rotations and priorities.

screenshot of grid with Google Ad
grid with Google Ad

With it being in real time, you get tremendous communicating power. You set a new promotion message and link (with its own tracking code), hit the save button and all grids across your entire site will start displaying it to visitors – right away.

A/B testing was never easier!

Local domains

🇬🇧 🇩🇪 🇪🇸 🇫🇷 🇵🇹 🇸🇪 🇳🇱 🇦🇹 🇨🇭 🇧🇪 🇦🇺 🇳🇿 🇯🇵 🇧🇷

As well as its main .com site, Zazzle has a domain for many major countries. Visitors to those domains see everything in the local language, with prices in the local currency. As a result, visitors from those countries are much more likely to buy from their local domain. Zazzle and the various country tax systems encourage that behaviour.

There’s a barrier to earning here but we have an answer! The barrier? If an affiliate refers someone to the .com domain but they end up buying from their local domain, no referral is earned. To compound it, not all products (esp. edible ones) aren’t available outside the US.

So to banish those barriers, uniquely amongst Zazzle affiliate tools, NiftyGridZPro gives you the option to switch on local domains. It’s a bit time consuming interrogating Zazzle for product availability, so the feature is auto-limited to grids with fewer than 10 items.

Here’s how it works. NiftyGridZPro determines the geographical location where a visitor is browsing from and looks up the Zazzle domain for that country. It then swaps in the local country domain for all Zazzle links.

Now you will get any referral commision due 🙂

Comprehensive help

There’s lots of how-tos, FAQs and tutorial videos to help you with any aspect of using NiftyGridZPro.

There’s one last thing for you to do:

Get Your Premium License Now!

Affiliate tool for Zazzle - NiftyGridZPro