Using A WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin For Client Proofing

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.

As I  mentioned, to set up the proofing gallery, all you need to do is:

  1. Install NextGEN Gallery
  2. Install NextGEN Download Gallery
  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.


  1. Tricia October 19, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    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?


  2. Khürt Williams October 20, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    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.

    • Scott Wyden Kivowitz October 23, 2012 at 10:25 am #

      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. Peter Adams November 7, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    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:


    • Scott Wyden Kivowitz November 7, 2012 at 8:10 am #

      Hi Peter, NextGEN Gallery has full metadata support coming in an update.

  4. Paul G. January 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    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?

    • Scott Wyden Kivowitz January 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      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. Shiv February 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    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,


    • Scott Wyden Kivowitz February 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

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

  6. Yazmin May 28, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    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. Antaress D June 5, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    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.

    • Scott June 6, 2013 at 7:27 am #

      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.

      • Antaress D June 6, 2013 at 8:12 am #

        ah yes of course.
        Thanks for the swift response.

  8. Rachel January 9, 2014 at 6:21 am #

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

    • Scott January 9, 2014 at 7:37 am #

      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. Jesse March 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    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.


    • Scott March 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

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

  10. Lee July 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    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

    • Scott July 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

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

  11. Lee September 8, 2014 at 11:28 am #

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

    • Scott September 8, 2014 at 11:38 am #

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

New Jersey Photographer

Thank you for reading the Scott Wyden Imagery blog. I am a Manalapan, New Jersey Photographer sharing my passion for photography any way I can. I am also the Community & Blog Wrangler at Photocrati, teaching other photographers on how to increase business with their website.

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