Extensions are the glue between WP/LR Sync and gallery plugins or the themes. However, you don’t need those extensions if you are only synchronizing with the Media Library. Make sure you also read the introduction on the main page of WP/LR Sync before reading this.
How it works
The extensions are actually exactly like plugins. They are available from the WordPress repository and are tagged using wplr-extension. They can also be built by yourself, your developer, or your theme/plugin developer. They use the API built in WP/LR Sync. Here is the Extensions screen:
An extension can add a menu to your WP/LR Sync menu so make sure you check it out. In the case of the Theme Assistant extension (which is the most powerful and used one), there is a new menu. Check the options for it. There is also a little presentation of this extension here.
Every action in WP/LR Sync will be shared with the extensions. If you just install a new extension, and would like to play every WP/LR Sync events again (like creating a folder, a collection, adding an image to it, etc), you can simply click on Resync with Extensions.
If you delete an extension and would like everything which was created by it to be removed as well, you can use the Reset with Extensions button. This reset will be run on all running extensions, so if you plan to remove one particular extension (or update its settings), make sure it’s activated but not the others. When it’s finished, you can activate the extensions you actually want to use and remove the one you don’t need (or update its settings). Switching between themes follow the same logic.
Once you are happy with the extensions, just forget about WP/LR Sync. It will keep your WordPress synchronized with your Lightroom naturally.
WP/LR Theme Assistant
This extension allows you to link and sync:
- an LR collection to a WP post type (for example post, page, product, gallery, portfolio, etc…)
- an LR folder/set to a WP taxonomy (for example category, tag, album, product type, etc…)
- an LR keyword to a WP taxonomy
With this extension, you will be basically able to sync most themes’ post types and taxonomies automatically. Folders and collections from LR can create those post types and taxonomies and even re-use existing ones. It’s a very powerful extension so there is a special tutorial about it here: Post Types Extension.
Real Media Library
Maybe you know the Real Media Library plugin, it is similar but better looking to WP Media Folder: it adds a way to browse the photos in a nicer way in the Media Library. For it to work magically with WP/LR Sync, you will need the WP/LR Sync Folders extension, it is available on the WordPress repository.
I don’t keep track of all external extensions but some people sometimes ask me for those. Also, I can’t provide support on this personally, so you need the help of a developer or of the original plugin maker.
- WP Media Folder: This plugin is used to browse your photos more easily. It basically creates virtual folders and let you organize your Media Library. The plugin is on Joomunited.com. The extension is available on GitHub.
- NextGen: Popular (but really ancient / not recommended) gallery plugin. The extension is available on GitHub. Since NextGen is a bit specific (~= old) and doesn’t use WordPress either naturally or properly, the extension might break at any time. I don’t recommend using it but feel free to give it a try (some of my users are actually using it).
- Photo Gallery: I am not sure the extension is working but the code for it is on GitHub. Feel free to hack on it.
A few more things
You can create your own extension based on those previous ones. If you are a developer, it can be a lot of fun :)
I like to collaborate with other developers to make things even more compatible. Today, WP/LR Sync is very mature and perfectly stable but of course, there is always room for improvement. Let me know if anything crosses your mind. I’ll be always here to help and make things better.