Integrating PhotoShelter and WordPress – an update

Originally, I wrote up my experiences and thoughts about integrating PhotoShelter with WordPress in a fairly long article on this page. I, however, recently moved away from PhotoShelter after using them for ten years. As a result, I felt that it would be appropriate to delete my write-up. Additionally, I removed the possibility to download the various PhotoShelter widgets that I developed in the past. I will provide them upon request though.

PhotoShelter unfortunately no longer offers the customisation and SEO features that I want. I might come back to that decision once PhotoShelter completes the development roadmap that they embarked upon about a year ago. This site now uses WordPress and WooCommerce, in combination with a bunch of plugins that allow me to sell both prints and licences.

If you have questions, feel free to ask! Cheers πŸ™‚


31 thoughts on “Integrating PhotoShelter and WordPress – an update

  1. Isabella says:

    Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a
    totally different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

  2. Olivier P.Beroud says:

    Hello Mr Johan!
    I’m beginner, so be kind!!! I try to follow your excellents advices for integrating GPP/WP with PS but what about the so called “BEAM” is it possible or we must stick on the ”clasic”

    I have hard time… but I’ll work hard till the end!
    Many thanks. ( POS: I’m in Les Diablerets, in case!

    Best Regards


    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Hi Olivier,

      My apologies for the late reply! With Beam you have much less possibilities. It really is very different technology and as a result much harder to integrate with WP. It is possible to include a blog page in Beam, but to be honest I have not tested it myself yet …

      Just let me know if you want to know m ore πŸ™‚

      Best regards,

  3. Dozza says:

    In the quest for responsive commerce CMS for photography, I’ve been looking at this solution as an option. I called photoshelter today and they are developing natively responsive themes that will eventually negate the Graph Paper/WP integration.

    There’s a beta program underway at

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Hi Dozza,

      Thanks for commenting. I am actually one of the beta-testers. So far I am very happy with where things are going with these responsive themes! πŸ™‚


  4. kintarasan says:

    Thanks for writing up the PhotoShelter + GPP integration. It’s been very helpful in helping me decide if it’s worth moving from Zenfolio and my own customised WP installation to this.

    So two years on from this post, any further thoughts on what’s improved and what your top 7 wish list items are? Also, any advice about migrating to PhotoShelter?

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Hi Sam,

      I was actually planning to write an update to this post in the coming weeks as there have been quite a few improvements and still a few to come πŸ™‚

      Key improvements:
      > Much better back-end to manage images, galleries and collection
      > A lot more options for print fulfillment
      > Higher quality jpg’s (which obviously also has a downside)
      > The plugin for including images in Wordpress posts had improved a lot

      My wish list: main thing for me are html5 slideshows. It has been confirmed though that they will be coming soon!


  5. Margarita says:

    Hi Johan,

    What an awesome post! Thank you for explaining this in such clear manner. Exactly what I was looking for!

    I have one question: Is is necessary to use a Graph Paper Press theme to integrate Photo Shelter into Wordpress? I quite like my Wordpress theme and I am keen to keep it, but I can’t deny the benefits of being able to take the potential clients straight to the PhotoShelter’s ordering page from my website. Just wondering how theme-limited that option is.

    Thanks again for the awesome post!
    Margarita Steinhardt

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Hi Margarita,

      In principle, it is possible to integrate any Wordpress theme with PhotoShelter. What it boils down to is that you need to copy relevant parts of the header and footer of the Wordpress theme to the PhotoShelter master templates, include links to your style sheets in there and then complement these with styles for PhotoShelter classes and id’s.

      It does mean that you need to know what you are doing and to be a bit hands on with html and css styling.


  6. Michael says:

    I’m curious, what is meant by “Photo Shelter integration” in the GPP themes that offer this feature?

    Do you know of any other (non-GPP) themes that offer this capability? I just wonder because of the thousands of Wordpress Themes out there it seems unfortunate to be limited to 9 themes (that require reoccurring cost).

    Obiviously, as exhibited by your beautiful site, these are capable and nice looking themes. I would just like to know if there are any alternatives to investigate before beginning.

    Please and Thank You,


    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks for the compliment Michael!
      With this option you can integrate your image galleries as hosted on PhotoShelter seamlessly in the Wordpress theme. You would need to have an account at PhotoShelter obviously πŸ™‚
      I don’t think that there are other Wordpress themes that offer the same option.
      Re the costs: you can just go for a 3-month subscription, select your theme and build your site with it and then drop the subscription. The themes usually keep working when there are upgrades of Wordpress.

  7. Cees Maas says:

    Hi Johan,
    Thanks very much for the excellent article! I bought a Photoshelter subscrition yesterday, using Wordpress for years now and gonna try the integration with GPP as you described.
    Your website is by far the most beautiful and functional one I met on the net.

  8. Hans says:

    I have a photo site that I am developing, and we have been using the GPP/PhotoShelter combo for some time now. Recently with the security update on the timthumb.php script we have found that the site is broken because we were depending on PhotoShelter to provide the thumbnails. Looking at your site I see that you are uploading the images into the posts. I have trouble with the idea of updating 400+ posts and uploading a photo per post to make this all work again. Do you have any suggestions?

    Also does your plug-in have the same security issues because it uses the timthumb.php script?

    Lastly, you have some very breathtaking shots.


    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Hi Hans,
      I started uploading featured images for each post wen I moved to version 2.9.4 of modularity last year. I did that to enable me to also include a featured image in my RSS feed and not so much for timthumb. Glad I did that as it avoids the isue you have when I upgrade to a newer version.
      Apparently my plugin also had the security issue as it uses timthumb in the background. There is a new version of timthumb available without those issues and I have just tested that with my plugin yesterday and all seems fine. I will be making an updated version of the plugin available in the coming days.
      Lastly, thanks so much for the compliment on the images. It all is still a work in progress (and hopefully always will be), so the feedback is appreciated!
      Cheers, Johan

  9. Julieta Baison says:

    Hey would you mind letting me know which web host you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a honest price? Cheers, I appreciate it!

  10. Jay Daviot says:

    Super impressed with your clean, crisp layout… I am currently setting my site up and only wish I found this post earlier! Would have saved me a heap of time. Cheers.

  11. John Corson says:

    Love your site design! I am working on a partial redesign of my site as well, and just signed up and started integrating with Photoshelter last night. I was wondering how you got the small zoom button on your images that pops up a larger preview of the image. Is that a photoshelter option or did you have to do some customizing for that? I couldn’t seem to find it in the PS backend.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Hi John,
      Thanks for the compliment! The small zoom icon is one of the less well-known PhotoShelter options. You can set in in the widget for the image. Good luck with the integration!

  12. Harald Walker says:

    Two downsides of a tight integration between a Wordpress blog and Photoshelter are vendor lock-in and handling Photoshelter downtime (usually several hours during deployment of updates, which happens ca. 4 times a year).

    I’ve been regularly using my images, hosted by Photoshelter in blog posts. That helped to increase the amount of images indexed by Google but it also makes me very dependent on Photoshelter and the availability of their service. When they update the services the image servers should continue working as long as possible, preferably without interruption.

    Regarding image compression and resizing by Photoshelter you also have to consider file sizes. Many Photoshelter powered pages (like those using their photo wall feature) are too heavy, increasing loading time (esp. bad on mobile devices), which also leads to a lower SEO ranking.

    What I am missing is a good, complete and fully documented API as we know it from other internet companies in the web 2.0 world. The current API is too limited and makes development of plug-ins too complicated or even impossible.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks for the feedback Harald.
      I agree with your point on dependency. Personally I am not bothered with the downtime however, as it is like you say only a couple of times a year and it’s communicated well ahead. Regarding file sizes I would definitely like to have the option when I need it. In some case I could live with a longer load time.
      Cheers, Johan

  13. Sam Soares says:

    Great article! just recently i’ve transferred my site from full flash (don’t ask) to a fusion of photoshelter and gpp, best thing i could’ve done! Thanks for the plugins, very useful list!

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