Some new toys for the new “Moments like these …” website

Anyone who visits this blog will know that I have another one – “Moments like these …” which is a website I’ve produced to showcase some of the images I’ve taken and processed, as well as show some quirky images often taken with my iPhone in a blog which have a commentary attached to them – hence the title of the site.

Just recently, the site has had a major make-over and I’ve been meaning to “tell the story” of that make-over – what I did, the new tools I’ve employed and some of the processes and workflows employed “behind the scenes”.

After the image has been imported into Lightroom [I have an Adobe Photography Creative Cloud subscription] on the desktop [I’ve written about this previously] I process the images as and if necessary and by labelling them with a colour-coding system, create Smart Collections which I will use for a number of purposes. In this post I introduced the fact that I was using a Lightroom Plugin to send images to Dropbox to enable the creation of an offline Portfolio on my iPad. Nothing has changed here. This plugin works really well and I’ve extended it’s use so that the Dropbox folder(s) are now used both as the source of screensaver images on my Mac, but also on my AppleTV. It works really well to create slideshows of my images on my devices.

The real change/addition at the Lightroom end has been the adoption of an amazing plugin to export images from Lightroom to a WordPress blog. This plugin – WP/LR Sync – also has a WordPress plugin which you need to install as well. When you’ve done that, any changes you make to the WP/LR Sync Publish folder in Lightroom will cause the change to be mirrored in the WordPress Media Folder – automaticlly. This is so neat!

In addition, the author – Jordy Meow – has produced a WP Media Folder plugin that allows you to organise your images into virtual folders in your WordPress Media Folder, as well as a plugin to link your uploaded images to the NextGen gallery plugin which has a load of neat transitions and effects for galleries and slideshows. This is when the fun started!

Up until just before Christmas I’d relied on using free themes for the WordPress blog and was generally very happy with what I’d achieved using the TwentyFourteen theme. However there were some security concerns about the Extended version I had been using so I thought it was about time to change, plus I’d been getting some hassle from smartphone users about how the site rendered on their devices.

That’s when I noticed that NextGen was now being handled by Photocrati and so I decided to take the plunge and purchase the Photocrati set of themes. They are magic. So customisable and, since the latest upgrade, fully integrated with NextGen.

The nuts and bolts I’ll not describe, they’re relatively straightforward. I now have a photo website with a blog all on the same platform and behaving responsively on smart devices. It’s quick as well through the optimisation applied in both the theme options, gallery plugin options and by using Cloudflare on the hosting site – 5quidhost.

I’ve mentioned this hosting company a few times before, and I will do so again. When I was having some problems getting WP/LR Sync to work due to some XML/RPC issues as the images were being uploaded, the team in Edinburgh (or St Andrews) really went the extra mile to get me the solution I required. They were excellent. I have written a review of this experience here.