Creating your own website with Backlight

Image courtesy The Turning Gate

Regular readers know how much I love the Lightroom Web Module plugins made by The Turning Gate. My entire website, other than the Newsletter archives, has been constructed using tools from The Turning Gate. I really like the ability to control my entire photographic workflow, from ingestion to web publishing, all in Lightroom.

But I admit that as the plug-ins got better and better with more functionality and modern features, that the process of creating web sites became more complicated. The thing is, Lightroom was just never made to create websites and the Web Module was never designed to do more than output simple galleries. And Adobe was showing no signs of increasing the role of the Web Module. But Matt and Ben at The Turning Gate bent Lightroom to their will and when Lightroom couldn’t do what TTG customers were requesting, they created new, server-side functionality.

With this new functionality came more and more requirements for photographers to get their hands a little dirty with the installation, configuration, and update processes. For some it was no big deal. For others it was just over complicated.

And now there is Backlight. Backlight is the latest product from The Turning Gate. The response has been amazing. The overwhelming verdict from users is that designing and updating a site is tremendously easier and faster than it ever was when having to work in Lightroom’s Web Module.

Now, the only part Lightroom plays is in publishing image albums to the website. Everything else is done in the Backlight web application.

If you’ve ever used WordPress, it’s sort of like that. In WordPress, everything is done online. Log in to WordPress and create pages and blog posts. Upload images to add to posts or image galleries, add text, change your site settings. It’s all done on line.

Backlight is similar. Only Backlight, not being a full-fledged content management system like WordPress, is a lot easier to use.

There are several parts to the interface, but it’s not Byzantine so things aren’t hard to find.

It’s easy to design in one Browser tab and view the site in another tab or window. In fact, if you have two monitors you can design in one and instantly see the results in the other. This instant feedback really makes the design process go quickly.

I’ve written before on why every serious photographer should have a website. Now it's even easier to do.

If you want to get a feel for Backlight, checkout the Backlight documentation and take a look at my Backlight demo/test site to get an idea of some layout options.

And if you’re coming to any of my workshops or tours this year, I’ll be happy to give you a demonstration.

(Disclaimer: I have no financial affiliation with The Turning Gate. I've been a satisfied customer and am also a beta tester and support forum moderator)

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