This article is difficult to name properly but basically, you are here because you would like to sync your collection of photos in Lightroom with a certain (type of) page on your website and/or a gallery.
Quick Intro & Solutions
If you are not interested in technical details, or simply don’t understand them, let me share with you the 4 easiest ways to create dynamic galleries based on WP/LR Sync data.
- The WordPress Gallery. You don’t need any specific plugin for this to work. You can already visit the Galleries section under the WP/LR Sync menu in your WordPress, hover a gallery, copy the shortcode which is displayed, and paste it somewhere (in a post, for example). Depending on your theme, that WP Gallery will be more or less pretty, but you can find ways to make it look better.
- Meow Gallery. That’s the Meow Apps’ solution! It works nicely with the Native Galleries (WP Gallery). If you are using the Gutenberg Editor, it provides you with the Meow Gallery Block, in which you can directly pick the collection from WP/LR Sync.
- FooGallery. This plugin supports WP/LR Sync right away and you can pick collections right from it.
- Justified Grid + Real Media Library. This solution is a bit more complex as it requires you not only to install those two plugins, but also WP/LR Sync Folders (which keeps the data in WP/LR Sync and RML synchronized). Please note that WP/LR Sync Folders is maintained by RML.
If you would like another gallery to support WP/LR Sync, that’s actually not very complicated for them to do, they just need to be willing to! And I will be glad to help. For this, please contact them directly.
How WP/LR Sync works
First, let’s recap what the plugin does. WP/LR Sync uploads and keeps your photos synchronized with the Media Library. This is its main function. The plugin uses WordPress naturally, without hacking it, in order to be 100% compatible with all the WordPress processes.
WP/LR Sync does two more things, a bit less obvious:
- it keeps the hierarchy of folders and collections in its own database in your WordPress, and make it accessible to developers. Therefore, if any plugin or theme wants to get this info, it can.
- it shares with other plugins/themes events about the synchronization. For instance, such events are: a folder is created, a collection is added to it, an image is added (or updated) to a certain collection, another one being deleted, etc. Any other plugin or theme can react based on those events.
Now, you can link a collection with a gallery shortcode or you can link through a clever process all this data to your WordPress through WP/LR Sync Extensions. Or maybe you are using one of the Gallery Systems available.
Standard WP Gallery
The standard WP Gallery is the one using the shortcode “gallery” and included with WordPress from the start. To use it with WP/LR Sync, it is very simple. Visit the menu called “Collections & Keywords” under WP/LR Sync in your WordPress. By hovering with your mouse over your collections and keywords, the plugin will generate a little shortcode on the right side. You can simply copy/paste it and insert it somewhere on your website.
Don’t worry if the WordPress Post Editor can’t display the images right away in the preview. It does it when the page is generated, so visit it directly. Any images added to your collection in Lightroom will be automatically part of this without any updated required (except maybe caching).
WP/LR Sync adds the following new parameters to the WP Gallery shortcode:
This process is totally natural to WordPress and a gallery such as the Meow Gallery can make it even prettier.
WP/LR Sync Extensions
This kind of page should be called a post-type. A post-type can be a post (standard), a page (standard), a portfolio, an album or whatever else. Those pages are defined by your theme, sometimes by other plugins. The way they exactly work is only known by that theme or plugin.
Between WP/LR Sync and your Theme
You probably now understand that there is no direct natural link between a collection and a page on your website. They have nothing in common. But WP/LR Sync has data (and events) that can be used to sync more things on your website. Of course, WP/LR Sync can’t guess how the data should be used or what should be done since all the themes are different.
This glue between WP/LR Sync and Themes is made through the WP/LR Extensions. You can check on the subject here.
Developers or Theme Developers can make their own extension for WP/LR Sync. That would be the easiest for the users, but they often don’t know WP/LR Sync yet or don’t have any time to allow to make one.
I made a generic extension called Post Types that covers most of the themes. It basically works with all the themes handling galleries, portfolios, posts or other post-types in a natural WordPress way. You can check the information and tutorial about it here: Post Types Extension.
3. Gallery Systems
There are many gallery systems available, more or less old and more or less using WordPress naturally. Prefer systems which are using the Media Gallery in a natural way, to avoid issues in the future. Also, absolutely avoid old/heavy plugins which tends to also lock you in.