For many years now Lightroom has made it possible for you to create websites to showcase your images. The Web Module is an often overlooked part of the Lightroom experience. This may be so for any number of reasons.
The heavy hitting modules ( Library Module and Develop Module ) are where most photographers spend their time. The Web Module itself has always had more promise than delivery. Or, perhaps, users couldn't invest the time to learn how to manipulate the default Web Module assets. Whatever the cause, it has spawned more than a few third party plugins for Lightroom to make the Web Module easier to use.
Matthew Campagna, and the good folks at the Turning Gate, offer one of the best Web Module additions available. Core Elements version 4 (CE4) is now available and Matt was kind enough to send me a copy to play with.
The basics remain the same from CE3. You can get an idea of this from my previous article TTG CE3 Is Out Into The World. CE4 brings new power, flexibility, and nuance to the process.
There is ample documantation available on the Turning Gate site. Having already installed CE3 I tried my hand at the upgrade process. It was well documentated and easy to do! What's more, CE3 and CE4 play nicely together. I was able to install the CE4 components and publish a gallery in a very short time. That CE4 gallery was picked up by my existing CE3 generated site with absolutely zero friction or effort. Very nice!
And my site was already set up with a responsive design and worked well when viewed on my iPad and iPhone!
One word of caution; you will need some basics FTP skills to get everything installed. However, the documentation is very thorough and will walk you through step-by-step. But, there is some assembly required.
CE4 is extremely customizable. You can change colors, fonts, layouts, behaviors, and on an on. Responsive design is built in so your content will look great an any device with zero intervention on your part.
Support for all major social networks is included and easily added to your site.
CE4 allows you to keep your entire workflow within Lightroom. Galleries are easily added. There's no need to export images and go into another application to create your website. All of CE4's sites are search engine optimized as well.
Even though creating a site using CE4 is easy, don't be fooled. There is a lot of power under the hood. If you are a photographer with some geeky super abilities you can access the advanced customization hooks like PHPlugins, the integrated grid framework, Font Awesome icon support, and much more!
Every site is standards compliant using HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery. That means your site will work on pretty much every device and in any modern browser.
The Turning Gate has an active support community and is committed to seeing you through to launching your site!
I heartily recommend TTG CE4 if you want to leverage the Web Module and keep your workflow in Lightroom.