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Today we’re pushing out another free auto-update with new features for ProPhoto 6. Included in this update is:

  • Create ProPhoto galleries from post/page editor
  • Collapse blocks in customizer screen
  • Set image alt attribute for image widgets
  • Prevent drag/drop of protected images

Create Galleries from Post Page

To simplify a common workflow, in this release we’ve made it really easy to create a ProPhoto gallery while you’re creating a blog post or WordPress page. Any time you’re working in the WordPress media modal screen, you can now select a group of images and create a ProPhoto gallery:

Galleries that are created will have a title based on the post/page title you’re working on, and will embed in the default template-specific embed style :

 

You can click from the placeholder to further edit the gallery or it’s title, and you can also edit the embed to use any different gallery style, just like any other gallery placeholder.

We also added a new button allowing you to get straight to creating a gallery from the black ProPhoto media dropdown menu:

This will greatly simplify a common workflow of uploading a group of images for a blog post that you want to display as a gallery.  You can do it all from the screen where you are creating your blog post now.

Collapsible Blocks in the Customizer Screen

Also new in this release is the ability to collapse, or minimize blocks in the customizer admin screen.  To collapse a block, click the icon shown here:

The block will then move into collapsed mode, as shown here:

ProPhoto will remember which blocks you have customized, between templates, and sessions — so this should be pretty useful getting blocks out of your way that you rarely edit, so that you can focus on the parts you’re working on, as shown here:

Image Widget Alt Attributes

Also in 6.17.0, you can now specify image alt attribute text for image widgets:

And More…

Also, we included in this release the prevention of drag-drop saving images for most browsers. This new feature will automatically be enabled if you have ProPhoto’s image protection set to either “disable left and right clicks” or “disable clicks and add watermark”, as shown here:

As always, there’s more details and links to Github issues on our changelog, so head over there if you want more details.

Also, we updated our roadmap with a more precise view of the next pile of things we’re working on, so if you haven’t checked that out yet, it’s definitely worth a quick perusal.

Today we’re pushing out pretty big free feature update to ProPhoto, version 6.16.0. This feature release was driven in great part by our reviewing the most up-voted issues on our public issue and feature request tracker. This release includes:

  • WooCommerce support
  • Revised & improved free designs
  • Constraining of gallery height
  • Inserting galleries as fullsize images
  • Facebook blog posts page preview image
  • Facebook preview meta override
  • Several significant gallery performance optimizations
  • Bugfixes

WooCommerce Support

ProPhoto 6 now supports the popular e-commerce plugin WooCommerce. WooCommerce is built on WordPress custom post types, which ProPhoto 6 supports natively for template assignments and overrides. This means that you can easily create custom ProPhoto templates for the various parts of your WooCommerce store, cart, checkout, and even individual products. We think ProPhoto 6 might be one of the most flexible themes to support WooCommerce for those looking to truly customize and tailor their e-commerce experience without being a programmer. We’re excited to hear what you think of the new integration.

Updated Included Designs

Two of our free designs, Sunny and Square, got some significant love in this release also, adding new templates, leveraging more recently released features, adding usability enhancements, and updating the look and feel. Checkout the demos here and here. Big thanks to Matt Hudson from La Lune for the updates!

Gallery Height Constraint

Another feature in this release is the ability to constrain the max height of a ProPhoto gallery to a percentage of the full window height. Lots of you have asked for this ability, so we’re really pleased to make this a possibility.

You can find the new controls in the gallery style editor in the Customizer screen, as shown below:

Insert Galleries as Fullsize Images

We added a new feature for galleries in this release as well. Now, if you want to insert a gallery into a post or page, you have a new option. Besides the normal option of embedding a gallery using any one of your ProPhoto gallery styles, you can also insert the gallery as full-size images, as shown here:

Inserting this way adds a normal placeholder into your post or page, indicating that the gallery will be displayed as fullsize images:

When the post or page is rendered, all of the gallery’s images will be displayed in a group, as if you had inserted them all individually. Then, if you ever update, re-order, add or delete images from that gallery, the post where you embedded the images in this way will automatically stay up to date with the source gallery.

Facebook Preview Controls

This release adds a new upload area in your ProPhoto Settings screen allowing you to designate a default preview image used by Facebook when you or anyone else shares a link specifically to your blog posts page on Facebook. ProPhoto 6 has always supported designated preview images for individual posts and pages.

It also adds a control to completely disable ProPhoto’s Facebook preview meta tags. Check this if you want to use a plugin to handle your Facebook sharing settings. This will prevent ProPhoto and your plugin from clashing and adding duplicate meta information, causing Facebook errors.

And more…

We also spent quite a bit of time working on performance and animation improvements for our galleries in this release. Plus, there are a load of small enhancements and bugfixes included as well. If you’re interested in all the details, as always, you can head over to the changelog.

Today we’re really pleased to announce that we’ve completely relaunched our website for the new year. If you haven’t seen it yet, click around and check it out! We also switched our domain name from prophoto.com to pro.photo.

A huge shout-out to Matt Hudson from La Lune Creative for being our designer for the project. He’s got a bunch of great designs in our design store, too, if you like his work, and his website is built with ProPhoto 6 as well. We also got some critical input early in the process from Jane Johnson.

Built with ProPhoto 6

In January of 2016, when we released ProPhoto 6 to the public, we started talking internally about how badly we wanted to rebuild our own website using ProPhoto 6 as the theme. We decided to wait through most of 2016 to work on that project so we could add more features and refinements to P6 first, but this fall we started re-designing and re-building our website from scratch using ProPhoto 6, and it’s been a blast. We think our site is also a great example of what’s possible with ProPhoto 6.

We built a custom plugin to handle our new purchase/cart flow, the user account system (see below for more on that), and the premium design store. The rest of what you see is just ProPhoto 6.

User accounts

One of our main goals in rebuilding our site was to offer user accounts for our customers. The idea here was to allow our customers a secure login where they could see their entire purchase history, download products, manage their email addresses, manage promo codes, and more.

We’ve got a few more things we’re going to add, but the new account system is live — if you’ve ever purchased anything from us in the past, you can log in to your account by using the email address you purchased with. Check it out by heading over to your account page now at https://pro.photo/me.

Upgrading to P6

If you still haven’t upgraded to P6, now is a great time. We’ve created a page dedicated to showing you around P6. Or, you can checkout our some customer example sites here.

If you think you might want some inspiration or a head-start on re-designing your site for the new year, be sure to checkout out our P6 included designs, and we’ve got tons more gorgeous options in our premium design store.

Or, you can watch our new upgrade promo video below:

What’s next?

Next up, we’re going to be turning our attention back to building more features and refinements to send out as free auto-updates to P6. As 2016 drew to a close, we took a bit of time off from releasing new features for P6 to rebuild and rebrand, but we’ll be picking up right where we left off after finalizing a few last things on our new website. So keep an eye out on this blog for news about new features and updates.

Let us know in the comments below what you think of our new site!

It’s with some sadness that I take this opportunity to announce that we’ve decided to discontinue our Proofing Plugin product.

Here’s the TL;DR version — Proofing is no longer for sale, as of today, December 26, 2016. We will continue to support the Proofing plugin for both ProPhoto 5 and ProPhoto version 6 until those versions of ProPhoto are no longer supported (until P7 and P8 are released, respectively). As a gesture of good-will, we’re going to be granting those who purchased proofing a one-time use discount code for $50 off their next ProPhoto purchase of any type. Plus, we’re going to be seeking to negotiate some conversion discounts through some other proofing solutions, to help ease the transition.

If you want more of the backstory and explanation, read on.

Our Decision

I know that for those of you out there who are using the Proofing plugin and have made it a significant part of your business, this will not be welcome news. Let me assure you the decision was not made hastily, or without regard to how it might affect you. I’ve been personally weighing this decision for several months, and have only reluctantly come to believe that this is the best course of action I can see to take. I know that for some of you, this represents a significant inconvenience, as you hoped to stick with our Proofing solution for years to come. To all of you who feel let down, I am truly sorry.

Why are we discontinuing proofing?

The simplest way to answer that is that it has proved, over the last 2 years, to earn us far less revenue than the development and support time it required.

What’s more, the time we spent pouring into Proofing ended up significantly delaying the release of ProPhoto version 6, which was detrimental to our entire customer base.

Why not invest more into it and keep trying?

A handful of people have already asked this question, and it’s likely that some of you, our proofing customers, would like to ask it as well. You might well urge: why not spend some more time, add some more features, and make it even better? Then possibly it would prove to be a more profitable product.

It’s a good question. There are several reasons why, but the simplest answer is that it feels wisest for us to stay focused on our core product, ProPhoto.

Plus, we’ve learned a bunch of things in the last 2 years building and supporting Proofing in it’s current form.

First, we’ve found by experience that doing proofing/ordering well in the universe of WordPress + shared hosting is very hard. In fact, I don’t know of anyone successfully doing what we tried to do: build a business-grade, professional proofing/ordering solution that ran on WordPress and worked with all varieties of cheap, shared hosting. There’s a reason why every other proofing/ordering vendor insists that their platform be run on their own servers, infrastructure, hardware, technical specifications, etc.

The type of loads and stresses placed on web-servers when trying to quickly and professionally serve and process the huge batches of thousands of high-resolution images that are normal for large-scale professional photography shoots are extremely difficult to handle on the inexpensive or even mid-grade hosting plans which most of our customers use. We knew this was a big concern going in, and to even ship our 1.0 version, we built a distributed cloud platform to offload the most resource-intensive aspects of the proofing plugin. That system has been expensive to maintain, and we’ve found an ongoing stream of interoperability problems keeping it communicating correctly with shared hosts, as each shared host is constantly shifting caching strategies, security and firewall settings, and more.

What’s more, the inherent complexities of proofing and ordering are immense. The variety of products, variations, workflows, integrations, tax needs, pricing concerns, device support, digital download needs, security, discount codes, promotions, plus various legal and tax issues, etc, multiplied by the fact that we have customers in many different countries, make this a truly large and complex problem with a huge amount of surface area.

That’s not to say that those issues aren’t manageable, but we would likely need to double our development staff at least to truly give all of those concerns the time and attention they deserve. And, so far, the initial indications of market demand are not encouraging for us to take such a big leap of faith.

What’s more, as I mentioned briefly above, the time we’ve devoted to Proofing in the last few years has taken away considerably from what we might have devoted to ProPhoto itself. So, as I weigh the possible disappointment from our Proofing users, I keep reminding myself that there is a much larger group of ProPhoto users who have been, and will be affected should we keep working on Proofing. In hindsight, I think it would have been better for us to not tackle proofing, and work on getting the fully responsive version of ProPhoto, (P6) out the door faster.

Where do we go from here?

We’re going to do our best not to leave any of you in a lurch. I hope you guys have enough of a sense of who we are as a company to know that we care a lot about managing this transition with integrity and consideration.

First of all, for any one who recently purchased the Proofing plugin, if you want to bail and go a different direction, I totally understand. Contact us and we’ll get you a 110% refund, if you don’t want to use Proofing.

For anyone already invested in Proofing to a degree, don’t worry, we’re going to keep supporting it for a long time, so you can keep using it, possibly for as long as several years. It’s always been our policy to continue support for two versions of ProPhoto at a time, so we are currently supporting both ProPhoto 5 and 6. Since the Proofing plugin works for both versions, we’ll continue supporting proofing for the normal support lifetime of each product. That means if you’re using P5 and Proofing, we’ll be doing bugfixes and critical updates until P7 is released. And, if you’re using the P6 version of Proofing, you can stick with P6 and Proofing until P8 is released, which is likely several years away.

During these windows of ongoing support, bugfixes and critical WordPress compatibility and security fixes will continue to go out at regular intervals. However, no new major features will be added.

Some help with your transitions

As a gesture of good-will, we’re going to be issuing an individual one-time-usage discount code good for $50 off any ProPhoto product to any non-refunded Proofing purchaser. You can expect to receive an email with your individual promo code within 1-2 months — we’ve got a busy couple weeks ahead of us with our new site launching, so we won’t be actually issuing those codes for a few weeks, until after the dust settles.

Plus, that window will give us some more time to explore whether we can’t also help any of you transition to other proofing/ordering solutions, by negotiating a transition discount or some other means of helping you guys smoothly land your proofing/ordering needs with another vendor. We’ll let you know what we come up with in the email you receive in a few weeks.

Comments welcome

Please feel free to let us know how you’re feeling about this in the comments below. I’ll make sure to check them regularly, so I can follow up and respond individually to any concerns or questions you have. Thanks in advance for your understanding.

                  Pro.Photo @pro.photo

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