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Integrating Photoshelter and WordPress — a quick guide

Integrating Photoshelter and WordPress — a quick guide

Integrating Photoshelter and WordPress — a quick guide

As a photographer and web designer, I’ve built my own photo sites and ones for other photographers, and I’ve always been frustrated, until I just combined Photoshelter with WordPress.

The problem is that photographers’ sites often need to combine both excellent photo handling and display, and also good handling of text-based pages.

Some photographers’ site solutions (especially Flash-based ones such as Evrium) don’t let you have more than the most basic amount of information about you — say 1 page of a bio, and 1 page of contact information.

But photographers might want to have a blog, details on the type of work they do, articles they’ve written . . . all kinds of stuff. This helps them differentiate themselves and do well in search engine listings.

But they also want great galleries, slideshows and if possible, the ability to sell prints or license their work right away.Here’s where the combination of Photoshelter and WordPress is a real winner — Photoshelter handles the images side brilliantly — from slick portfolios to full-on searchable and buyable archives — but it doesn’t do the text stuff so well — we’re back to the one About Page and a Contact form.

But a blogging tool like WordPress handles as much text-based content as you could throw at it. So it’s as easy to update the blog or other pages as it is to update the images. And with Photoshelter’s customization options, that’s what you can do.

Here’s my experience of the process, based on the work I’ve done on my own site (this one): http:/ . It’s still a work in progress, but I’ll outline how I did it, in case it’ll help other people.

I should repeat here that I’m a web developer by trade, so while this wasn’t a fiendishly difficult project for me, I’ve spent years creating custom WordPress-powered sites and generally messing with CSS and HTML, so YMMV.

1) Basic Approach

I had a WordPress installation on my own server (at, and used the CNAME functionality to rename my Standard Photoshelter account (you’ll need a Standard or Pro account to give the customization features) to

I then also chose all the settings and layout options I wanted using the admin panels for the Photoshelter theme I was going to base the site on (Induro — the lighter background option). This meant that when I need to mess with the templates, the layout and setting were at least what I wanted for the gallery and other photo-related options.

Then I tweaked one of the Photoshelter Themes (Induro) to be the basic template for both the WordPress and Photoshelter sides of the site. I adjusted the header code on the Photoshelter so the navigation options were consistent across both sides.

2) Handling style sheets

Skinning WordPress to look like the Photoshelter theme and working out where the the style sheets should reside are the two big issues. I copied the source of the pages and the css files from Photoshelter side and used them as the basis for my WordPress design.

I built 2 sample pages locally in Dreamweaver — the site’s homepage, and a basic 2-column subpage design that would work for the blog and the more static pages.

Then I backed those designs into my WordPress install — essentially slicing the header, footer and sidebar up into different .php files, and creating unique templates for the homepage, basic text page, single blog post page, and the first page in the blog section.

When I was done, my new style sheet (containing all the photoshelter code, plus some extra styles just for WordPress) resided in my WordPress install.

It would be great if the only thing you had to change on the Photoshelter side were the main navigation options (and uploading your own logo). However, the Induro theme I liked didn’t have room for all the navigation options I wanted — it butted them up against the logo. (The theme also uses unnecessary tables, which is pretty old-school — it would easily be possible to rewrite the HTML using just CSS for almost all the layout)

So I had to redesign that a little, which meant I had to use the updated styles in my WordPress install for the Photoshelter pages too. This also meant copying the page background image (in my case, the gray to white gradient) over to the images folder on my site.

I also had to copy some of the other smaller images over — ones for Next and Previous arrows, for example.

3) Result

I now have a consistent look and feel for my whole site. Static pages (like the About information) are run as Pages in WordPress, so I can assign parents and sibling relationships if I want more than one page in a section (like the About section, where I have a subpage for my gear). The blog is a straight WordPress blog under the hood, so keeping that updated is very straightforward.

The site homepage is a Page in WordPress with its own template, with the Photoshelter slideshow and the most recent blog posts displayed (and some less frequently-changed information). This means I can update that slideshow very quickly in Photoshelter, and the changes will be reflected on my site homepage, and the names of any new blog posts will be shown here too, keeping the front page fresh.

4) Suggestions for Photoshelter

In addition to removing as many tables as possible from the Photoshelter themes, it would a great help to customizers like myself if the themes had a navigation bar that could run the full width of the page by default (some of them may — I didn’t check all of them before I started).

Since you’re likely to be adding new links (in my case, to my blog, a home link, a contact page and a page on my Aperture consulting), the room to run more nav options across an existing design would mean minimal adjustments to the Photoshelter side of the house.

Copyright issues — I took the Induro template wholesale, and applied it to my WordPress blog, making some adjustments along the way. I’m not technically sure this is what the Photoshelter folks had in mind with their templates, but it’s easier to make the rest of your site look like a PS template than it is to make the PS side of things look like the rest of your site. I hope they’re fine with it, but a note in the customization help to let us know if that’s OK might put some minds at rest.

5) Conclusions

You need to be pretty comfortable messing around with the inside of WordPress templates, but it took me perhaps around six hours to do the first major work involved in merging my Photoshelter site with my WordPress site.

(I already had a custom WordPress install that was set up the way I wanted it — if you were starting from a default template, or wanted to make more substantial changes to the PS themes, it could easily take as long again or more).

Even though I’m not completely finished yet, I’m really happy with the result. It’s scalable, so I can keep adding photographs and blog postings to my heart’s content and the twin systems should cope.

Drop me a line if you have any questions, if you’re planning something similar and I’ll try to help you out.

Of course, if you’d like me to do the heavy lifting for you with a project like this, I’d also be happy to talk to you.

By David Moore on August 15, 2009.

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Exported from Medium on October 17, 2020.

Blog Moore Consulting Technology

Why I Pay for Content, and you should too

The idea that ‘information wants to be free’ is the driving force behind so much content delivery on the Internet. It sounds good, right — progressive and egalitarian? But it’s a tenet that’s bankrupting newspapers, impoverishing photographers and redrawing the media map. And if we don’t start paying for online content soon, we’ll all be the poorer.

My first job in the Internet industry was in 1995, when I went to work for fledgling web consultancy Nua. Gerry McGovern (or ‘guru Gerry’ as we called him not quite to his face), had this weird idea about ‘making free information pay’.

We created a bunch of free email newsletters about web stuff, and became very successful as a result. But for us, successful meant getting paying web development jobs.

This approach is still valid and valuable — you spend time blogging, tweeting and the rest to show how much you know, connect with people and (hopefully) get some paying gigs out of it. Professional content creators — individuals and organisations — can and should do some of this, too.

One traditional way to fund this give-away is by advertising, but since that’s never really balanced the books online, we need another plan. Which is why I unfashionably pay for content. I’ve worked as a journalist (freelancing for the Irish Times,, New Mexcio magazine and other publications), I’ve written a book (published by the Irish division of major UK publishing house Hodder Headline), and I’ve had photographs used by local and national publications and organisations.

Quality Costs

I know about being paid for producing creative works. But I’ve also worked in the Internet industry for 15 years, know my way around BitTorrent and read the New York Times online for free every morning.

So I can see it from both sides, but the crucial point is this: it’s hard and expensive to produce high-quality work. It takes the talent, experience, resources and time of a large team to get a book published or a magazine issue produced. Think of a book that hangs together across 80,000 words, with not a single typo or unnecessary sentence — every word pored over by people who do this stuff for a living.

You could go to and run one off yourself — and that’s cool — but when you buy a book, it’s not really the paper and binding you’re paying for — it’s the skill of the people who made the countless number of decisions that made it turn out so well.

Same with newspapers — getting the things printed and distributed every morning is a tough job, but not half as hard as having skilled people spend all day chasing leads, asking tough questions, editing flabby copy and checking facts.

There’s an argument that citizen journalists will rise up to fill the gaps left by the dying newspapers, and there are some areas where I could see that work — experts writing about topics they know intimately that don’t involve lots of daily legwork (or being shot at in war zones). But creating good journalism takes people who know what they’re doing and are paid for their time spent doing it. And it looks like we need a new plan for where that money’s going to come from.

A magazine doesn’t need to be between two glossy covers to be worth reading, and online delivery creates a new medium with new challenges and opportunities. But the question the publishing industry as a whole is struggling with is how the hell are we going to make enough money to keep doing this? I don’t know how the new business models will work — Jason Pontin has some ideas more concrete than the usual ‘the sky is falling’ analysis here — but I do know I’m happy to pay for people to do this stuff for me in one way or another.

Aggregating is not creating

The argument that Google somehow renders newspapers obsolete confuses me. Aggregating news and deciding on priorities based on algorithms is interesting and liberating, but there a couple of points here. One is that part of what I’m happy to pay for is for editors who know a lot more than I do to decide what’s important for me to know about. It’s subjective, sure — the UK model of many national newspapers with their biases known and trumpeted sounds fine to me — but it’s better than a simple popularity contest. What’s important or interesting (in absolute terms or just to me) is seldom what’s the most popular.

The other point here is that Google wouldn’t have much to aggregate if there weren’t news gatherers and creators all over the world putting stuff online. Google has many creative people, but not many hardened journalists and photographers.

So recently I’ve started subscribing to more print publications — Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, The Week, Wired, Macworld, Photo District News — and keeping up my online subscription to Salon. If I could pay for the New York Times online (and the BBC iPlayer shows I’m watching) I would.

I’m getting a subscription not because I think the print versions of these publications are the only way they can and should make money, but because it’s the best we have right now. I want these publications still to be around when we figure out how to pay for all this online in a way that works for people.

The Cable TV Model

The Kindle’s online subscription online (which includes print publications and interestingly, paying for blog feeds too) suggests one way forward. In these cases (and with buying books on the Kindle too), you’re more directly paying for the creative work, not the final physical production costs.

People have got very comfortable with this model for music downloads — you knew you were always paying for the songs, not the CD anyway, and so moving to mp3s doesn’t seem so weird.

As yet there’s no iTunes Store-style infrastructure to allow this to happen for print media — you shouldn’t have to pay the New York Times using one payment system and the Irish Times using another. And it seems to me that micropayments per article doesn’t make as much sense as a subscription model.

Having to pay for everything individually (however small the fee) will remind me that I’m paying for it, and discourage use. The Netflix on demand subscription approach seems better, following the cable TV subscriptions we’re all used to in the US. Pay a monthly fee to some large amount of access tailored to you (I don’t want Homes and Gardens, but I might want the Utne Reader), and let me read what I want.

And offer me channels of related content based on topic not just provider — so I can read everything about the elections in Iran, from any of the sources I’ve subscribed to. If I could also see related content from places I’ve not subscribed to yet, that would help me find other sources I like (and might be willing to pay for).

This sounds a bit like an RSS reader on steroids — something that could handle the monetary side as well as the delivery of text, images, video, audio and the interactive elements that would make it easy to comment, twitter, blog and refer others to the material.

But until that (or something like it) comes along, I’m going to give the publications money for their print versions. An economic stimulus package of my own.

Blog closed for business

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The personal blog here at is now suspended indefinitely.

I just had too many websites and not enough time, especially as my photography is taking up the bulk of the limited free time I get.

That said, the site will remain up with the blog archived, and also as a place to find all the articles I’ve written over the years. That section will still be updated as and when there’s something new to put up there.

But it’s not all bad news, there are still two main places to keep up with my doings:

Tech blog on the Moore Consulting site

Photoblog at Clearing the Vision



PS: Or there’s always the Flickr fun:

Posted by David in
Blog Santa Fe and New Mexico

Going Digital

Friday, March 16, 2007

Durango omelette, please

Back in September, I wrote about how the explosion in digital photography had created some bargains for film SLRs. I benefited from this myself, when my mother in law upgraded to a new Canon digital SLR, and gave me her old film camera.

This, together with the natural desire to take lots of pictures of my young daughter, rekindled my interest in real photography – after I’d been distracted for years by the ease of digital point-and-shoots. And I got some shots I was really happy with.

I was right – getting hold of cheap (or in my case, free) film SLR is a good way to start taking more pictures, and now is a great time to get hold of one. But I was also completely wrong, in ways I’ll now describe.

Cheap Camera, expensive running costs

The problem is that if you’re interested in photography, you want to take a lot of pictures, and film doesn’t really make that very easy.

Sure, you can send your films to Shutterfly or the like, and only pay to print the ones you like, but that takes a while, and there’s a hidden catch I wasn’t aware of immediately. I thought that if Shutterfly developed the film and put the digital versions online for you to see (which they do), then you could download the hi-res versions for no cost – since you’d paid for the developing.

In fact they show you a lo-res version that you can use to decide if you want prints or not, but the hi-res versions will cost you the price of an archive CD – in my case nearly $20 for 150 images or so.

Grass is always greener

Welcome to Santa FeThe other thing working against film is that the lenses on most SLRs are ‘cross-platform’ – working on that brand’s digital SLR bodies too. So the nice Canon 28-105mm USM I inherited would fit on the Canon digital bodies I soon started ogling. That meant it wasn’t going to cost as much as I thought if I wanted to go digital.

After a lot of research, and much pained inspection of my bank balance, I was the proud owner of a Canon 350D (or Digital Rebel XT, as they insist on calling it here in the US), bought without incident from Beach Camera.

So now I can shoot like a crazy person, and sort out the keepers later, without fussing with film and delays and all that. And I’ve greatly enjoyed the who experience – supporting it with a useful 4-class course at the local community college to fill in the gaps in my basic knowledge.

Birthday Photowalk

As the camera was technically a birthday present, I took some time on Tuesday to walk around town a bit (and take some shots of my subject, Finn). The results are here.

I’ll write more later about the learning curve, and about the search for software to help on the computer side of things.

Posted by David in • Santa Fe and New Mexico

Blog Life Santa Fe and New Mexico

Making a vow

Monday, January 08, 2007

OK, so it’s a resolution, but that’s just so, January, you know?

I’m going to ride the Santa Fe Century this year. The last couple of years I’ve sort of been meaning to do it, and then sort of meant to just do the 50, and then sort of didn’t do it all.

Which is no good. So I’m making it public in the hope that now it’s out there I have to do it.

I went to my first spinning class in a couple of weeks this morning, and feel like I got flattened by most of the Irish rugby union back row. Which is a pretty good reason for going more often.

Then, when the streets are finally clear of slushy icy cinder-brown piles of snow, I can get back out on the bike, which is currently buried behind house extension-related boxes in the garage.

I’ve done a couple of centuries (both in Ireland), and some other long day rides (starting with a 75 and then 50 around the Sonoma Valley in 2000), so hopefully the legs haven’t completely forgotten about those (or the 2000 miles in 2 months I notched up in 2001 and 2003 for the long trips, but that’s sort of a different thing).

Firstly, I need to flick through Marci’s cycling training books and build myself a plan.

Then I have to stick to it – basically, I’ll be trying to get all the necessary training by riding only two (or towards the end, three) times a week. Time is tight with work and my Fionnuala-minding duties, so the biggest problem will be just getting the necessary miles done.

But the benefits in terms of fitness, energy and general good humour should be good to see. I’ll keep you posted.

Blog Life Santa Fe and New Mexico

Getting dumped on

Saturday, December 30, 2006

crazy snow on our patioSo what did you do between Christmas and New Year? I stayed in and got stir crazy because we got 2 feet of snow in 36 hours.

The interstates were closed, which I always enjoy, because it seems so unlikely. Coming from Europe, the worst we get it is a couple of exits closed due to a jack-knifed truck, but here I-25 was closed from Albuquerque to the Colorado border (over 225 miles), and I-40 closed from Albuquerque to the Amarillo, TX (that’s 285 miles).

So, despite being the state capital, Santa Fe was completely cut off for most of the day.

Even though we weren’t planning on going anywhere, this makes you feel claustrophobic on a philosophical level. On a more physical scale, watching the snow climb up the windows has a similar effect.

One benefit has been that I now appreciate how several older men from the Mid-West die every year while shoveling snow. Making a vain attempt to clear our steep driveway proved a huge workout.

Marci had a better idea – she strapped on her cross-country skis and slid down the (uncleared) driveway and along our road to check out the situation.

The snow has stopped now, and we can finally see across town (although the mountains are still shrouded in cloud).

We’re going to brunch tomorrow if we have to use tennis rackets as snowshoes. Another day in this white prison, and we’ll end up like ‘The Shining’.

Arts reviews Blog Life

‘Studio 60’ – Smarter than your average show

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Aaron Sorkin’s new NBC show ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’ is hitting its stride, and showing there’s mercifully some room for intelligent primetime TV.

Amid the smart-talking and wisecracks, there are some heavyweight references. In recent weeks the show’s namechecked Pericles and Strindberg, and this week there was a sensitively-handled storyline involving the Hollywood blacklistings of the 1950s.

The return of pedeconferencing

An ensemble cast of clever characters walking down corridors having sharp conversations (“pedeconferencing”) was Sorkin’s stock in trade in ‘The West Wing’, but now his TV show is about a TV show (it’s set in a thinly-disguised “SNL”), he can explore the perils and opportunities facing his own medium now.

It’s a return to familiar ground for him – his first TV show was the lauded but overlooked ‘Sports Night’, set in the studio of an almost-ESPN.

Just as The West Wing’s Martin Sheen was the president many of us wished we could vote for, so Amanda Peet plays the head of a network we wish we could watch. She refuses to buy a reality TV show that subjects the competitors to media intrusion until they crack, and supports ‘Studio 60’ as it runs a sketch guaranteed to upset the Christian rIght.

In reality of course, no-one ever went bankrupt underestimating the public’s appetite for down-market TV, and the challenge facing both the show itself and the show-within-the-show is to prove that a smarter approach can also be a success.

Clever but flawed

One way to do this is to wear your learning lightly, and ‘Studio 60’ is careful not to take itself very seriously while making serious points.

The characters are clever, but they’re also endearingly flawed. Matthew Perry plays a version of Chandler (or is that Sorkin?), this time reborn as a neurotically talented head writer.  Bradley Whitford again gets to be a wry and loyal lieutenant. We’re in safe and crucially likeable hands here – and there’s good support from Nate Corddry and D L Hughley (who must be delighted finally to get a script worthy of his stand-up talents),

So, the characters feel real, and the plotting is tight and interwoven. But it’s the script itself that sparkles, without a word out of place. You know you’re watching something out of the ordinary, when the show finishes and you still hear the rhythms of the dialogue in your head.

A real imagined world

With The West Wing, Sorkin’s was an alternative reality that he could never make real. ‘With Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’, he’s imagining an alternate world of good TV, and creating a little bit of it for real at the same time.

Posted by David in • Arts reviewsLife

Blog Life

Another year, another disappointing England performance

Monday, July 03, 2006

I checked the blog entry I wrote after the European Championship a couple of years ago, and damn it’s happened again:

It seems my adult life has been punctuated by the England football team losing on penalties in important competitions. We think it suits us, that we’re dogged and sturdy, but I think it just lets us off the hook.

Its as if, if we really tried and went all out for a win, and believed we could do it, and then failed, that would be much worse. Because we’d put everything into winning, and come up short.

This time it was Rooney’s disgraceful sending off that let us be plucky losers – disgraceful because no professional footballer playing for his country in the World Cup has any excuse for losing the head and stamping on someone’s crown jewels.

But where was the real spirit when we had 11 men? And the lack of will and guts when it came to the penalty shoot-out was horrible to watch.

Hargreaves (the only one in a white jersey who looked like he cared) ran his legs off during the game and scored his penalty. But Lampard and Gerrard (anonymous during the game) bottled it from the spot.

I’m not sure what it is in English culture, or at least the culture of English football that creates a team of such potential that always fails to deliver.

At least in Spain and Brazil (where the same conversation is no doubt going on today), they can take comfort from the fact that they played some great football during the tournament and were beaten by a team playing very well.

Posted by David in • Life

Blog Life Santa Fe and New Mexico

Ride ‘em Cowboy

Saturday, July 01, 2006

So the last post was about a jazz concert by an Englishman. This time it’s something more local – the Rodeo de Santa Fe. Since Marci’s architectural education took place at a university with a big ag school component, and I lived 18 months in Kansas, it shouldn’t really have take so long for her to take me to the rodeo. But I guess we were a bit busy this time last year.

The rodeo sits in its own grounds out on what used to be the edge of town, but it’s now been overtaken by low brown sprawl. But once you’re sitting in the old-fashioned grandstand with some lemonade (with real lemons in it) and a quesadilla, you forget you’re in the 21st century.

There are more boots being worn by the audience than I’ve ever seen before – kids are wearing wranglers, stetsons, boots and spurs; and so are the dads. There’s a sub-group of aging hippie audience members (this is Santa Fe, after all), and a weird Footballers’ Wives meets All Creatures Great and Small thing going on in one of the boxes. Scantily clad young girls with Jackie O shades are in danger of getting a mouthful of dirt during the team roping event – who knows how they came to be here.

The pageantry was great – an arena full of horses being nonchalantly ridden one-handed is always worth seeing – and the Rodeo Queen did her cool gallop and salute thing, but what I’d forgotten about all this was that it’s a professional sporting event.

The guys trying to ride broncos or bring down the calf in four seconds flat are competing against each other for money, and the chance to go to bigger events in the rodeo world. This might be minor league stuff, but there’s a (hard) living to be made if you’ve got the talent and bravery to do it.

We’d just watched Brokeback Mountain, which put a slightly different spin on things, and you could just see Jack Twist scraping by at rodeos like this. But that aside, it gave me an insight into a different slice of Santa Fe life, away from the galleries and spiritualism and over-educated blow-ins like myself. The sponsors were a Dodge truck dealership, a ranchwear manufacturer, and a propane company – all things you need if you’re living out on a ranch, but not things that get a lot of attention in town.

Arts reviews Blog Santa Fe and New Mexico

Jamie Cullum in Santa Fe

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

(started this ages ago, and just found it in the blog’s back-end, which has a better memory than me, being open-source and not sleep-deprived).

Like many new parents, we don’t get out much (but the fortnightly babysitter-enabled date nights are definitely promising), but when we saw that ridiculously talented floppy-haired young English jazz man Jamie Cullum was coming to Santa Fe, we snaffled up a couple of tickets.

Jamie’s huge in England, but fortunately not so well known here, so he was playing in the small and funky open-air theatre, the Paolo Soleri. The evening came round, and with Memorial Day weekend and all, no one could be found to watch Finn. So she came too – Santa Fe is supremely kid friendly, and no-one batted an eye as we walked in with her in the Baby Bjorn.

It was a great show – Jamie has a great voice, some hot piano chops and a likeable way about him, and soon we were all very happy (and Finn was asleep). Depending on how you look at it, he’s either an MOR crooner and sell-out who pretends to be a jazz musician but is actually after the suburban audience, or he’s the very model of a modern relevant jazz dude, throwing in Doves and Radiohead covers with the standards.

I tend more towards the latter view, and he certainly gave us a good night – it was his last show before heading off on holiday, and the band had an end-of-term feel about them.

The sun set over the Indian School, Jamie said his goodbyes, and I was left wondering what the hell a guy from London made of the whole thing. He was complimentary about the weather and the location, and he certainly liked it more than Phoenix the night before (which wouldn’t be hard), but as he headed off for Hawaii, it just brought home to me how far from home I am here in my new home.

Another couple of audience members have posted their reviews of the show on Jamie’s site (complete with the set list – nice idea, by the way, for any musician’s site)