It’s a new year and Imagely has released a great new Lightroom gallery plugin to make our lives easier. If you run your own photography website on WordPress, like countless other photographers, then you have probably come across Imagely and NextGEN Gallery.
Imagely provides WordPress themes and hosting, focused specifically on photographers. They have terrific support, and will make your life much easier when it comes to hosting a website. They are a service that I consistently recommend to photographers looking to create new professional websites.
The NextGEN Lightroom Plugin
Even if you already have a theme or WordPress service that you enjoy, like me, Imagely provides a gallery plugin called NextGEN Gallery. This gives you a variety of options to display your photography. After a significant amount of research on the right gallery plugin, NextGEN Gallery won me over. Both the free and paid (NextGEN Pro) versions provide you with a wealth of visual options for your gallery and make the management, proofing, and selling of your work a breeze.
But now they have added a new Lightroom plugin, which makes their offering even more enticing. Enter the Imagely NextGEN Lightroom plugin, which syncs your Lightroom catalog directly to your NextGEN Galleries. Suddenly, you can add or remove photographs and alter your albums without leaving Lightroom.
The NextGEN Lightroom plugin allows you to create new galleries or albums directly in the plugin. You can upload images directly to these galleries, edit the filename and file information, which can help with SEO, as well as specify the image size, format, quality, color space, and sharpening. The convenience cannot be overstated. What used to take five steps, exporting the file to your computer, logging into your website, selecting the correct gallery, uploading the new version of the photo, and editing the photo information – now takes only one step.
The plugin can be downloaded here and is simple (5 minutes) to install. Here is the full documentation to get it up and running, but after installing it all you need to do are four steps.
Under the Library panel, navigate to Publish Services, then Imagely and select “Set Up”.
Add the description for the website you are uploading to and the WordPress settings (your website address, username, and password).
Under FTP Settings, navigate to edit under the preset menu, then enter your FTP or SFTP credentials given to you by your hosting company.
Click the Browse button, navigate to your /wp-content/ folder, and save. Click OK to close the module an then click “Fetch from WordPress” under FTP Settings.
As you would regularly export your images using Lightroom, select the correct settings for the images that you would like to upload to the gallery. This includes color space, size and resolution, sharpening, metadata, and the watermark.
Gallery and Album Creation
Creating galleries and albums through the plugin is a breeze. The first step is to right click on Imagely under Publish Service and select Collection or Collection Set. Collection will create a new NextGen gallery while Collection Set will create a new NextGen album. Collection Sets can hold other Collection Sets and Collections, while Collections can only hold images.
Add images to a Collection and select “Publish” to add the gallery or album and to add the new images into them. Already published photos will be displayed in the “Published Photos” section while new photos will be under the “New Photos to Publish” section. In addition to adding new photos, you can also modify and delete them through the plugin. Clicking publish after you make these changes will sync them with your website.
There is a lot to be said about how advances like this can make our lives easier as photographers. But the ability to see and alter our website galleries directly in Lightroom, where most photographers do most of their work, is an incredible advantage, both in helping us to figure out the correct sequencing of our portfolios as well as to make it as simple and streamlined as possible to edit these galleries.
Have you tried out this plugin? If you have a WP site what’s your workflow? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.