November 29, 2015 at 10:07 am #172202
I'm working on a redesign of my photography site using the Agency Pro theme and have come across some frustrations that I'm hoping other designers / photographers can point me in the right direction with:
1. Photo Galleries. A lot of the photo gallery plugins that I've tested out, both paid and unpaid, tend to just really lack "umph".
- NextGen Gallery Pro - I almost lost my Christian salvation over this nightmare experience
- Jetpack Tiled Galleries - Doesn't seem to work with my theme as it just shows blank placeholders
- Gallery - Just seemed too restrictive and didn't look professional
2. E-Commerce. I'd like to sell my prints online either using a home grown store or with integration with an outside company but on my webpage. I attempted to use NextGen for that but again.. it crashed my whole site and I had to start from scratch. Then when I finally got it working.. man was it ugly. Other than linking over to an Etsy or Amazon Handmade page that takes the customers away from my main site I don't know how to approach this. I've heard talk of people adding a shop subdomain to their pages (something like shop.website.com) and using WooCommerce but I don't know if I'm ready to tackle that technical hurdle yet or if WooCommerce support would help a customer do that.
3. Proofing. I'm still very much an avid hobbyist but I would like the ability to have an area for potential clients to go to a gallery of uploaded photos and then proof those photos to select the ones they would like me to edit and work on for them. I'm aware that i can password protect a page but would like to be able to just hand a client a card with a code for them to enter on a page that goes to their gallery for proofing and submission to me.
So right now those are my big three hurdles keeping me from getting this site up and going. Any ideas or experiences that any of you could share with me would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time!
J.http://www.timenarc.comNovember 29, 2015 at 10:19 am #172203jbfoxMember
I would certainly like to see the answer to #2 as well. I will be selling a service on my site and have not yet even approach this issue but will need to at some point.November 29, 2015 at 10:48 am #172204carasmoParticipant
Envira has all that you need.
November 29, 2015 at 11:00 am #172205
I see that it has a woocommerce integration but it's not baked into the gallery itself. Do you know of an example / demo of this anywhere so that I can see what the shopping experience is like?November 29, 2015 at 1:09 pm #172215carasmoParticipant
No demo, just a video: http://enviragallery.com/addons/woocommerce-addon/
They have a 100% 14 day money back deal. See the pricing page.
November 29, 2015 at 2:16 pm #172217
The scary thing to me about that demo is that it's very quick, as if they won't want you to see that it's not a complete turnkey solution. Just having a button to add a standard item I think I can do that for free with WPShoppingCart but I'm looking for something to setup a pricing listing for various options for a print such as size, mats, framing, etc...
They may be able to solve my gallery issue but I'm not convinced about the e-commerce portion.November 29, 2015 at 7:18 pm #172234
We've ended up writing custom functionality for proofing for most photography clients who desire it. Along for the ride always comes custom gallery stuff, as they want (and rightly so) the galleries and proofing integrated.
Each time we review proofing plugins and options we find them lacking in a few key areas that don't align to our Photography clients' goals and they have us write them something. These can then be integrated with eCommerce, but the majority of our clients are not selling prints, they are selling entire wedding packages, real estate and aerial drone / aerial photography where entire shoots are proofed, retouched, etc and don't really lend to eCommerce or commodity print selling of the product (i.e. there's often heavy retouching and post processing so each photo is unique and doesn't lend to a print style business).
Anyway, what we've written does align mostly with what you ask for, as the style of photog business mentioned above uses a menu / al carte style ordering concept with options for the retouching and proofing; often to each image level. It can certainly be done and done well. Note, it has been a few months since we reviewed plugins so something better may be out there now.
Another options is to use a hosted service for this instead of a WP site, many of our smaller / more simple photographer clients do this instead in the print as good style business, as the hosted proofing apps do that well.
Just lending our experience.
November 29, 2015 at 7:23 pm #172235
And how much does something like that run on the proofing / retouching custom gallery? I think I've given up on the E-Commerce and will just point to an Etsy store link or an Amazon Handmade link. Easier on me.
Do you have any examples or a demo site? I don't mind paying for something that looks professionally done and is easy to manage but remember that I'm a new photographer so I need a solution that won't break the bank.. lol.November 29, 2015 at 9:10 pm #172243
Probably in the thousands range; typically it is a very full featured / full app style scope. Apologies, I know that's probably not what you'd like to hear.
All of the sites we've done this for are behind customer portal logins, I can ask clients if they're willing to have you sign in and look though? Generally they're really closed about them because there's a lot of competition in the area and they love what we've done and don't want it replicated. Many have come from conversion of existing custom apps or moving off hosted solutions and find what we've written to perfectly fit their needs so they don't want it spreading. Sorry we don't have better news there. We've thought about writing our own plugin for it, but the selling point would be too high for the typical market to adsorb because they are really well featured systems.
I think the best bet is to look at the hosted app options for proofing; or if you'd like a more expanded discussion on features and scope to nail down a more targeted quote happy to speak to you about it. Most of the clients are large agencies handling large portfolios of photographers and clients so their needs are very detailed.
You'll find the trouble with the hosted apps; they start to balloon in costs as they take a cut per image / proof; but it is a good place to start and when your qty / volume grow you can look at custom apps. Envira may work as well, but it sounds like your options selection settings are not enough with the plugin.
This is a really tough nut to crack, because most Photogs need the expanded features but the budgets are tight (we understand) and so the bigger agencies are the ones that can absorb it with their large client and volumes.
November 29, 2015 at 9:47 pm #172244
Yeah I can't see that happening at my level.. lol.
I think for now my best option is to just utilize Envira for the showcasing of my work and the basic proofing portion on a password protected page. I could also just host the images on dropbox and let clients make their own comments / requests.
For the e-commerce thing eventually I could setup a sub-domain with Envira / woocommerce (shop.timenarc.com) and then try to do it from there but after thinking about it I think most folks would probably prefer to just pay through Amazon Handmade or Etsy since they are well-known versus paying through someone's personal site - which adds the costs of time and effort with getting SSL certificates, really securing the site and setting up payment gateways.
On a side note you may want to check your website... I'm getting a 404 error when I hit your link.November 29, 2015 at 9:50 pm #172245
Yeah, we understand, it is tough when starting out.
Thanks for the heads up on home page. The VPS company is shuffling things around in the data centre due to a fibre outage and we've just decided to wait it out versus failing over to backups!
November 30, 2015 at 7:36 am #172262wooninjasMember
Getting a customized solution is much better for the gallery. For your ecommerce issue, I think there is nothing that can't be done with WooCommerce. I am absolutely sure that there are a tons of themes and add-on plugins available to do just what you want.
November 30, 2015 at 7:53 pm #172307
And how much on average are we talking about a custom gallery plugin for wordpress?December 1, 2015 at 9:40 am #172353wooninjasMember
Honestly, I don't think there is a need to re-invent the wheel here. There are so many plugins out there. And it would be diffiult to provide an idea of how much it would cost without knowing which plugin it is. I will suggest you to choose a plugin that comes close to your needs (functionality wise) and then pick a design that you like (you can draw a rough sketch too), and then you may want to contact us for a quote.
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