Envira Gallery Blog

Digital Photography Tips, Tutorials and Resources

Say Hello to Envira

by Thomas Griffin on Jan 26, 2014

After many, many long months of development, Envira Gallery is finally here in full force.

One of my chief goals with Envira is to make sure that you have the absolute best experience around a product you have ever had in the WordPress ecosystem. From the time you land on the site until the time you purchase the plugin to the time you get your first WordPress gallery live, I want your experience to be memorable in the best way possible.

Since I first started selling SoliloquyΒ nearly 2 years ago, I have learned so much about building, selling and supporting plugins. I have dumped all that knowledge into Envira, giving you one of the best overall experiences with a plugin in WordPress. With a refined data structure and flexible API, Envira can be transformed to do nearly everything you ask it to.

Envira Gallery is a responsive WordPress gallery plugin that creates incredibly simple and easy workflows around building and managing galleries in WordPress.

Working with Envira is incredibly easy, and the setup process takes no time at all. You can manage galleries from nearly anywhere in your admin interface. Because Envira utilizes the independent/dependent philosophy of galleries, you can determine how best to create and manage your galleries. If it makes sense to create a gallery for a specific post, go right ahead. If it makes sense to create a gallery that can be used in multiple places, have at it. You can do as you please without confusing or interrupting your workflows.

As always, I am always looking out for WordPress site performance. Most (if not all) other gallery plugins for WordPress are incredibly bloated and really wreak havoc on your server, causing nightmarish performance issues. Envira is not like that. It is incredibly lightweight and fast. It is responsible in the way it loads assets, and it even utilizes the same dynamic asynchronous ajax preloading that makes Soliloquy so lightening fast. On top of this, advanced transient caching and query optimization is baked into every public method for retrieving galleries, so you never, ever have to worry about performance. It is lightening fast on both the front-end and back-end of the plugin.

One of the big things I learned from Soliloquy was to make APIs that were easy to use and understand both for myself and other developers. I have done this with Envira, so the API to create things like gallery and lightbox themes are incredibly simple. Things like making default settings and adding new tabs to the Envira management metabox are also very easy as well.

You should see a theme here. Everything about Envira is just plain easy. Easy to purchase, easy to install, easy to setup and easy to look incredible all at the same time.

I’m really excited about this product, and I hope that you are too. Got any questions? Feel free to ask me! I’d love to answer them as you start your journey with Envira.

Comments

  1. I love the simplicity and ability to create galleries quickly. The lightbox is beautiful.

    Do you have any plans to add shopping cart capabilities to Envira for photographers (i.e. ability to sell various sizes of prints via PayPal)? Ever since NextGen Gallery was bought out, I’ve been looking for a possible replacement for my photographers sites. Envira Gallery is a serious contender.

    I will be switching to Envira for the quick & simple galleries!

    1. Awesome, thanks for the kind words!

      That is the plan down the road to offer a fully integrated solution for client portals, proofing, purchasing and downloading of photos through Envira. It will not be implemented yet, but it is on the docket. πŸ™‚

      1. Would that be something that connects Envira to WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads, or is the plan to have Envira extensions that handle the entire process? Or maybe some of each? I’m excited to see where this is going.

        1. It would likely start as an Envira only type of thing, because it wouldn’t make sense to have all those other items running something that Envira is completely capable of. However, I think extensions for those platforms make sense down the road, especially for people who already have a lot of time and money invested in them.

  2. Very nice! I love your approach and love using Soliloquy. But I’ve also been hooked on the bloated plugins and wonder if Envira can achieve what they do better.

    Do you have plans for Addons which would enable:
    1. adding a category filter
    2. ability to style thumbnail hover transparency & colour and add icon / text
    3. varying image sizes to create masonry layouts

    4. Could the images link to CPT pages which could turn it into a portfolio?

    Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks!

      1. Yes. It is the Tags addon, and it should be released within the next couple of days.
      2. Yes. That type of customization will be available via documentation. Because there will be a variety of themes available, it will be best to style that separately with something like the CSS addon to avoid conflicts. I will make docs for it.
      3. It does that already by default. I simply have all the galleries cropped right now for speed, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The gallery layout utilizes Isotope.
      4. You are describing the Albums addon, which will be out in February. πŸ˜‰

      1. Great! Good to hear that you have thought of it all.

        2. Regarding the CSS addon, do you plan to use a live css editing function like the new csshero.org plugin or the wordpress customizer?

        4. Would you recommend a particular CPT plugin such as Types or Pods that could work well with Envira for a portfolio, or do you plan to offer individual pages like this through the Albums addon?

        I would also like to use this with Genesis + Dynamik child theme, do you see any issues there?

        Thanks.

        1. Live CSS editing would rock! I had not heard of that link before – will check it out. And I am already working with Scott from Pods to get integration with them, and an Albums addon is in the works that will allow you to create a collection of galleries and provide a gateway into viewing each one.

          1. Yes, it certainly would rock.

            I would love to work with your clean, fast product and to have it integrated with other items like Pods and Woocommerce would be great.

            One more question – have you looked at carousels? It shouldn’t be such a stretch to make some nice scrolling carousels using the same gallery technology and this would be really useful. Then it would match the functionality of other plugins such as Go – Responsive Portfolio for WP and Showbiz Pro.

            And if you do look at this – I personally love the mouse-hand-drag effect for scrolling and would love to see that on the carousels and your new Soliloquy πŸ™‚

          2. As for carousels, I believe I will leave that to Soliloquy, which will have some very good carousel functionality in v2. πŸ™‚

          3. I see. That begs the question of whether a Soliloquy carousel will be able to pull in the same items used in Envira? Will it have the ability to scroll posts, products or custom html?

          4. Yes – Soliloquy can already do that now with the Featured Content and Carousel addons, and it will be even better (faster, more robust and better functionality) in v2 of Soliloquy.

  3. Thomas,

    Use and love soliloquy. About to do a site with thousands of images and one thing the client wants is the ability to nest galleries within other galleries so the 2012 gallery would contain a gallery for each month, say. Any thought on Envira doing something like this?

      1. That is correct. There is an Albums addon in the works that will allow you to create and showcase collections of galleries (with cover images and such), and then each gallery has its own respective area to be viewed.

        1. You mean… i might be able to ditch NextGen?? (cheers). Will this be a basic or advanced add-on?

          One more thing… since there are so many images, I was also planning to use NextGen’s folder import – so I could import, say, 12 folders of images each of which was a given month of a year and have each folder create, on import, a gallery of the images within the folder. Possible? Out there?

          1. Albums will likely be an Advanced addon since it will perform some more advanced features. As for folder importing, I thinking through ways to make that happen. Envira virtualizes data, but I see the value of a folder based system. At least Envira is flexible enough to allow that, but I haven’t started building anything like it just yet.

          2. To be clear, I don’t actually care how the data’s stored once imported… but being able to point at a folder (or several) and say “walk through these and parse them, creating galleries to match the folder names and put the images in a folder into the matching gallery” would be *huge* for this project as there are over 24,000 images.

            I don’t want to take over your comments… but if I can help at all (testing, etc) feel free to email me. My email is just my name @gmail.com.

          3. Ahh, I understand. That sounds like a good idea to run with for importing. I will definitely be in touch for testing!

  4. Thomas, it looks great. I don’t think Envira meets my needs (yet) but I’d like to keep up with progress. My RSS reader finds no RSS feed though – expected? If you’re not offering one, what’s the best way to stay informed? Thanks.

  5. Really great job! Just picked up the platinum license and looking forward to using it a lot. Thanks for such a great gallery plugin!

  6. Love this new feature but my question has nothing to do with this post. How did you get those awesome looking social sharing buttons? I’ve been looking for weeks on documentation on how to add those to my site.

    1. Fred,

      The site is using the Floating Social Bar plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/floating-social-bar/

      Then to customize the styles, the CSS that Floating Social Bar was overridden in the theme.

      The icons are SVG icons from Font Awesome and the backgrounds behind the icons are just CSS. You can see the Floating Social Bar CSS changes by looking at the theme’s stylesheet (https://enviragallery.com/wp-content/themes/envira-gallery/style.css) starting around line 395

  7. This looks like a SUPER plugin! Do you have a newsletter or FB page where I can keep updated on news/announcements? I don’t have a need for this just yet, but likely will in the future.

  8. You kept this one quiet… As a Soliloquy user and fan I would have bought this months ago but you don’t seem to have emailed us…or maybe I am just not on your list.

    Anyway found this when looking for plugins… Think I will wait for my next client to need a gallery and then I will splash out on the platinum package!

  9. I have been using Envira on some of my sites (Gold license). I have a client who wants filmstrip galleries so I am tending towards using NextGEN for parts of that site but for other parts I may keep Envira as it appears easier to apply Custom CSS to individual galleries. Is filmstrip a style that you will add at some stage to Envira? If I have both Envira and NextGEN enabled will I have conflict problems?

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  11. love envira. very happy with my purchase. ( have also bought other gallery plug ins..but envira is best )
    i have soliloquy too.
    question: with albums…..how do i place navigation/menu….in order to get back to main album ( after clicking on one of the galleries?

  12. I am having problems getting the tags addon to work with multiple galleries on the same page – is this something it can do?

  13. Hi, I love this plugin, and the new tags add on is great. I’m having problems getting it to work with multiple galleries on the same page though – is that something that can done with tags?

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