When you order a print on my website, it sends a little bit of metadata to my PayPal account letting me know which image you purchased. I am using the Photocrati theme for WordPress, and it’s pretty nice in every other respect — except how it talks to PayPal.

So, you visit my site, you click on a wonderful image that captures your soul, you gleefully fill out your payment info and anxiously await the image in a few days. Everything’s great on your side, but here’s what I see:

What the heck did you just buy?

Outside of this website, the phrase “artifacts – 04.jpg” is totally meaningless. You don’t see it when you look around, you don’t dream of “artifacts – 04” to arrive on your doorstep, and I don’t write that anywhere on the print. In order to find out what you bought, I have to browse my own website and fish out exactly which image that is.

When I add images to the site, I have been quite meticulous about ensuring that each image has the right title:

There it is!

The number “04” in the file name is only relevant because it’s the fourth one in that gallery — but for some galleries, even that isn’t true. The Photocrati theme allows me to re-order the images how ever I like. Heck, I might get a wild hair and end up putting image “04” as the 17th one in the gallery, but imagine how much more confusion I would be causing myself by actually using the site for its intended purpose.

I have contacted Photocrati support about using the actual Title of the image in the PayPal receipt, but they insist that it’s impossible at the moment: “Unfortunately at this time its not possible to adjust the data sent to paypal automatically – we may include this as an adjustable feature in a future release, and I do apologize for any inconvenience.”

You know what else is impossible — renaming the file. I will have to delete it and upload a properly-named file.

Until either the Photocrati folks update the theme to add the title to the data they send to PayPal, or I work up the gumption to remove and re-upload every single photo on my site, each order will incur a slight delay due to me re-reading my site and doing research on what PayPal is telling me what you just bought. (But it will increase the number of hits on my site, maybe that’s a good thing!)