Lightroom: Smugmug Publishing Plug-in
One of the least used feature, but very powerful feature of Lightroom, is the
Publish function. Basically, Lightroom will export the photo to the destination if there's any â€œimportantâ€ change to the photo. The important change could be the description/caption, the title, the keywords, the
I use Smugmug for my photo â€œback-end.â€ I chose Smugmug over Zenfolio because Smugmug is integrated in Lightroom (I didn't know then, what I know now.)
- I'm not saying that Smugmug is better than Zenfolio. It's your personal choice. Each one has its good, its bad and its ugly.
- I knew that there was a plug-in for Zenfolio, but it wasn't the one that came with Lightroom. It turns out that the Smugmug plug-in is not from Adobe either, but it's from the Smugmug people and it's not the current version of the plug-in.
I bought my yearly subscription of Smugmug Pro. The price was reasonable and I started using it by uploading a few photos, then some more and moreâ€¦ That's when I started having problems. I used their forums and their email support, very nice people and quick responses:
- I needed to upgrade the Smugmug plug-in, it was an old version. I did.
- I still had problems. Most of the problems where related to updating the photos after any change like keywords, descriptionsâ€¦ I had as many as 10 copies of the same photo on Smugmug.
- The Smugmug people were nice, I even spoke (actually email) with the guy that wrote/maintains the plug-in. It helped a little bit but I kept on having occasional problem.
One day, I decided to try Jeffrey Freidl's Smugmug/Lightroom plug-in at: http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/smugmug. What a difference.
- It works.
- If there's a problem or a bug, I've contacted him directly, so far twice, and the bug fixes came within a couple of days.
- Frequent updates, a few features here and there with bug fixes, usually on a monthly basis.
- It's not as simple to make it run â€œproperly.â€ The defaults are OK but with a little bit of work it's possible to include, in the SmugMug description, the headlines, the titleâ€¦ Here's an example at: http://photos.foto-biz.com/People/Photographers/16543273_ND7Jp#!i=1676340775&k=x7BxZ6C. This includes a â€œheader1â€, the description/caption, the filename and a link back to my websiteâ€¦ This improves both the user experience and the SEO.
- It's not free, you can try it for 6 weeks, then you have to pay. It's not free, but you can pay whatever you want, Please see Jeffrey Friedl's comment at the end of the blog post.
My experience is with Friedl's Smugmug plug-in but from talking (email) to other people, it's the same for his Facebook and Flickr plug-in. He has many other plug-ins like Picassa, Zenfolio, Twitterâ€¦
Just after writing this review, Smugmug published a new version of their plug-in. It's not just an update but a significant version upgrade. â€œTheyâ€ have closed the gap with Friedl's plug-in by have having a 2 way communication by updating the Lightroom publishing collection as part of the regular process without using a special step.
Looks like they have done some bug fixes too.
It's available at: http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/121321-lightroom-plugin-update on step #2: â€œDownload the latest version of the plug-in hereâ€
- The Smugmug plugin has been dropped by Adobe from Lightroom 4. The Smugmug plug-in becomes just another plug-in like Zenfolio, Photoshelterâ€¦ This means that you will have to go Smugmug's website and download it.
- Friedl's plug-in works with Lightroom 4 Beta.
- Smugmug has promised that they will update/upgrade their own plug-in to support Lightroom 4 by the time it goes to release.
- Only the Facebook and Flickr plug-ins are installed in the Publish Services panel by default in Lightroom 4 Beta,
Comment from Jeffrey Friedl: 2-Feb-2012
I appreciate your kind words about my plugins, but I'd like to correct your mention that they are not free. PayPal takes a fee to create a transaction if you want to register, but as I say on the registration page, if one can't (or doesn't want to) use PayPal, an email to me gets you a registration code; they they are truly free if one wants. It's faster to just generate a 1-cent transaction at PayPal, so I guess that's a "convenience fee" one might choose, but somehow I feel it's important that the plugins are free... no one has to give me anything for them.