Embedding BHQ portfolios in other sites

Feb 24, 2023

Embedding BHQ portfolios in other sites

Why embed a portfolio? What’s this about?

BHQ portfolios were designed to be easy to use. Upload photos and they’re
ready to be viewed. No web design skills are needed. However, you’re stuck
with the few layouts we’ve chosen. For most people, that’s perfectly
satisfactory. But for others, greater control is desired. When putting
together a balloon artist web site, you have your choice of building a site
from scratch and having to manage your photos yourself, or using a
portfolio that doesn’t match the rest of the look you’ve given your
business on the web.

This is all changing with custom portfolios that you can embed in your own
site. Expert web designers can use the power of the BHQ portfolio
management and database software while having enormous control of the
appearance of the portfolio. Your web site visitors will never know
they’re looking at a portfolio hosted elsewhere.

Example home page
Example home page
Note that the home page on the left and the portfolio page on the right
match in style. The portfolio uses the power of the BHQ database, but
doesn’t look like a BHQ page


Balloon HQ hosts portfolios and photos only. This means that you’ll still
need to have your own web site hosted elsewhere. In order to make use of
the code as it is currently written, you’re web host will need to support
PHP scripting within your web pages.

In theory, other dynamic web laguages, such as modperl, python, and ASP can
also be made to work. There are currently issues that need to be addressed
to make those languages useable with our system. If you have a need for
one of these, please contact us with your requirements. We’ll work with
you if we can.

Files needed within your web site

The system assumes that all files on your site used to describe the
portfolio are contained within one and only one directory (or folder).
Your web site should have a sub-folder containing these files.

The main portfolio index file needs to be named index.php

The page that displays a large photo must be named

Files called from BalloonHQ.com (setting and
calling procedure, with options)

You’ll use the PHP readfile() function call to read the
following URLs:

  • http://username.balloonhq.com/embed/thumbs.php
  • http://username.balloonhq.com/embed/catlist.php
  • http://username.balloonhq.com/embed/fullphoto.php

Where username is your BHQ user name. thumbs.php and catlist.php
will typically be called from your index.php. fullphoto.php will typically
be called from your local version of fullphoto.php.

Options can be passed via GET variables. That is, use the form

catlist.php: This lists all of the categories that your photos
appear in. You can list categories in two formats. You can have a
straight list of links to photos in each category or you can have a
pulldown list of categories to choose from. To control which form the list
appears in, set the variable pd to t or
f for “true” or “false”.


  • http://username.balloonhq.com/embed/catlist.php?pd=t
  • http://username.balloonhq.com/embed/catlist.php?pd=f
small thumbnail sample screenshot
Size and number of thumbnails on a page can be adjusted.

thumbs.php: You can control the number and size of thumbnails that
appear on a page.


  • http://username.balloonhq.com/embed/thumbs.php?perpage=15&thumbsize=largethumb&$getvars
  • http://username.balloonhq.com/embed/thumbs.php?perpage=100&thumbsize=smallthumb&$getvars


There are no options to this file. You’ll just call it within yoru own

Special requirements in all calls

Make sure all variables used to call your pages are also passed on. Do
this by including the following code near the start of your PHP files:

foreach($HTTP_GET_VARS as $key => $var)
$getvars .= "$key=$var&";

And make sure to pass $getvars on in your readfile() calls.

More details will appear here shortly. In the mean time, view the examples

Style sheets for greater control

All text and photo appearance can be controlled by cascading style sheets.
View the example style sheet to see the class names used.


At the current time, the calendar feature of BHQ portfolios cannot be
embedded in your site. We’re working on that.


Airigami.com is a full blown site that uses the embedded portfolio.
See how this can be used to great effect.