Whatever ftp folder that corresponds to "www.mywebsite.net" is your web root. THAT folder should be marked as the web root. If you have multiple domains under your ftp root (www.anothersite.net, www.athirdsite.net etc), then THOSE folders should be marked as "web root". As you can only have one web root per ftp account profile, then you should create one ftp account profile per domain. The purpose of the "web root" notion in jAlbum is to help jAlbum create preview links for the galleries you upload.
I recall years ago that my jAlbum was placed at www.mywebset.net and thereby replaced my personal website stuff - this is what is causing me to be very cautious this time.
What is the jAlbum implication of my marking the Web Root at:
I have already put an album at www.mywebsite.net/albums/family/john just using my own FTP software and access is fine - however, I understand that the jAlbum upload manager has a significant advantage in being able to much more efficiently handle minor corrections to an album. My albums often have 500 photos.
Your web root is www.mywebsite.net. Trying to get fancy will just complicate things.
But when you first upload the john album, jAlbum will have no idea that you want to bury it two levels down from your web root, so its initial "guess" about the location will be incorrect. But at each stage of the uploading process, the upload manager tells you exactly where it's going to plant that album, and you have the opportunity to correct it. Don't just blow past the confirmation screens! Stop and look at what they're telling you. In this case, you'll want to show jAlbum where, in your site directory structure, you want to plant that album.
That information gets saved with the project, and on subsequent uploads (for updates, for example), the upload routine will choose the correct location. But still always a good idea to look at what it's telling you, and not just blindly click OK.
And yes, using the built-in uploader ends up being much better than using something like FileZilla. After the first upload, it will be many times faster, and it will also remove files that are no longer needed, which most FTP client packages won't do.
Jeff's answer very much covers it. Today, there aren't any real good reasons to letting www.mywebsite.net/albums/family be your "web root". The first reason is that www.mywebsite.net/albums/family actually isn't your true web root, www.mywebsite.net is, so keep it simple. Historically jAlbum would prevent you from uploading to folders not under the web root, so marking www.mywebsite.net/albums/family would have given you a level of protection, but we no longer prevent this. The reason is that too many people struggled to understand the concept of web root folders. The concept is clear to me though: The web root folder is whatever folder that maps to the root of your web site. IF you let www.mywebsite.net/albums for instance be your web root, then you can get preview links working if you also adjust the "Web address" field of your account profile from www.mywebsite.net to www.mywebsite.net/albums. Now, for each new project uploading to that account profile, jAlbum should propose the following folder: www.mywebsite.net/albums/<project name>. I don't see much advantage of this other than jAlbum automatically proposing a folder name under "/albums" though. jAlbum will NEVER by default propose to upload files straight under the web root folder, and it warns if you try to do so, so having jAlbum accidentally overwrite your main "index.html" file is rare.
Finally, having "www.mywebsite.net/albums/family" i.e. the folder of a specific album as your web root is very bad. This will effectively force you to have one account profile per album. Not manageable, and you'll also trigger jAlbum's warning about overwriting the "index.html" file of your web root on your 1:st upload attempt.
My upload and access are working well but I still am a little confused about this point:
"The purpose of the "web root" notion in jAlbum is to help jAlbum create preview links for the galleries you upload."
First of all, are the words "album", "project", and "gallery" synonymous in this context? It seems not. In my local jAlbum software, there is a gallery view of all my local projects and on the jAlbum website there is a gallery of a few of my projects-albums that I upload some time ago (by accident, I think). So, it seems that a gallery means a collection of albums (projects).
In the forum I see comments about "uploading galleries" where it's clear that some people are referring to a single album of photos. However, if gallery refers to a set of albums, then I don't understand how to upload a gallery?
If I go to my profile on the jAlbum website and change "site" to www.mywebsite.net, does this mean my list (gallery) of albums on mywebsite.net will appear on the jAlbum website in a public fashion?
Is there some way that jAlbum automatically "previews" my albums on mywebsite.net without me creating an "album of albums". It seems that the Web Root notion implies this?
Also, I have tried to find an explanation for all this in the help and tutorials but haven't found such. If there is, please point me there.
Album and gallery are synonyms, but the project is not synonymous with gallery/album. The project contains the source material + settings in order to make an album. Compare with making a cake: The project are your ingredients + recipe, the album is the cake. You can remake the cake at any time given the ingredients and recipe. You upload the album and not the project.
If you're signed into the jAlbum software, then jAlbum will add links on your jalbum.net profile page to the albums/galleries you publish to any site using jAlbum. If you don't want this, either "hide" or unlist these galleries from your profile page or sign out of jAlbum.
Yes, the sole purpose of the "web root" notion is for jAlbum to be able to know on what web site you've published a particular album. This location/web address is used when you click the preview button within jAlbum and when jAlbum adds links to your published galleries to your profile page.