Using A WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin For Client Proofing

Updated 9/18/19 – I now used NextGEN Pro to proof and sell my photos as it does everything I need, and has automated print fullfilment.

I’m using a WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin for client proofing on my website.  I was originally using Zenfolio but switched to SmugMug.  After SmugMug announced it’s price hike, I decided to switch to host my proofing galleries internally.

I wound up creating this feature because although I know that NextGEN Gallery Pro is going to contain a proofing option, I needed something more immediate.

Below is a video showing how I set up my client proofing gallery using NextGEN Gallery, the best WordPress gallery plugin available.

To set up the proofing gallery, all you need to do is:

  1. Install NextGEN Gallery
  2. Install NextGEN Pro
  3. Use the template=download option in your shortcode
If you would like to set up your proofing gallery like I did, you would need to:
  1. Create a custom post type
  2. Create a custom post type page template
  3. Install NextGEN Gallery
  4. Install NextGEN Download Gallery
  5. Use the template=download option in your shortcode

If you are using the WordPress Plugin, WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast, you can easily hide individual proofing galleries from search engines.  However, if you are using a custom post type, you can easily hide them all and not think about it in the future.

Feel free to comment below with your questions.

This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Hi Scott – This looks great! I would love to implement it but I am not sure how to get started creating a custom post type. Can you recommend a resource for this? Or is it built in to the Next Gen plugins?


      1. Thank you Scott! Very helpful as always!

  2. I’m a little lost about how best to use the plugin. I get these tiny thumbails images for the gallery page and the slideshow.

    1. There are a lot of options and one of the things Photocrati is doing for 2.0 is simplifying it all. I am happy to show you all about the plugin if you want to grab coffee one of these days.

  3. Hi Scott –

    NexGen is a great option but there are some other neat ways to use custom image taxonomies to make galleries. The upside to using this method is that you can drive the galleries from meta-data embedded in the image by Lightroom of other DAMs. I use this technique a lot on my public and private sites and have an ebook about it here in case you are interested:


  4. do you sell your images internally as well? i’m using photocrati now in testing and wondered how you do things like packages with your images of if you do them at all?

    1. I sell prints to random visitors/customers using the Photocrati theme’s eCommerce gallery. When needed, I create an eCommerce gallery for a customers just photographed for. For packages, I sell offline. Photocrati does have an improved eCommerce system in the works that will have the ability to create packages.

  5. Hi Scott,

    That was a really awesome tutorial to implement a proofing solution to implement using NGG. What more excites me is that this is a part of the NGG Pro which you mentioned that its coming out soon. Is there a way you can let us know if there is a tentative date or timeframe when this will be released even if its not an exact date atleast something like few weeks or few months etc ?

    Thanks a lot for your inputs,


    1. Unfortunately there is no ETA I can share, because of how much work is involved. Announcements will be made as progress continues.

  6. Thank you Scott! This was exactly what I needed. Much easier to point friends to private galleries than sending large files through email. I appreciate it!

  7. Hi Scott,

    Thank you for this great way to setup proofing gallery.
    Would you be willing to share the code of this gallery:

    For some reason I can’t “reproduce” your layout. The select button disappear when using ‘template=download’
    and the selectAll is inactive.

    Thanks a lot.

    1. The gallery would look different with a different WordPress theme and styling. I also had to make a custom template to combine the download and voting options.

      1. ah yes of course.
        Thanks for the swift response.

  8. Has NextGen updated their version to include this feature now? I am not computer savvy so looking for a simple client login

    1. Hi Rachel,

      The official feature is estimated to be completed and in the hands of NextGEN Pro users for beta testing in February. Fingers crossed!

  9. Any word on the proofing feature? I run an art licensing agency and need a simple way for clients to select images from various albums and then email the list to themselves and our company.


    1. It’s in development. The team hopes to have it done in about a month. Fingers crossed.

  10. Hey Scott

    I’ve been looking for a way to create a proofing page for my clients and came across this post – thanks so much for doing this, it’s a huge help.

    I’m trying to decide if I should go with NEXTGEN PRO or the PLUS version. I have a download method for files and a payment method already in place, so what I’m really after is client proofing gallery page where they can view the images, select the ones they want and then this information will be sent back to me. Does the NEXTGEN PLUS option offer a client proofing method like this that I can use?

    Thanks for your help

    1. NextGEN Pro includes Ecommerce and proofing is complete and set to be included in the next update.

  11. Has this update happened yet? Is it only available through e commerce?

    1. The ETA is by the end of this month. The 1st stage of proofing is completed, but has to be styled still.

  12. Hi Scott,
    I have other plugins that make my site incompatible with client Nextgen gallery. am looking for another option, would really like to hear from anybody on this thread that has tried something else successfully?

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