Backlight 3 is now available!
We are very excited to share with you the latest version of Backlight. It’s been a long time in the making. We have already sent messages to Backlight 2 owners about upgrades; if you didn’t see that message, please check your inbox, or contact me to discuss your upgrade.
The New Backlight Microsite
The new Backlight microsite is live at https://backlight.me, and will be your go-to place for Backlight documentation and purchasing.
Documentation has been updated for Backlight 3, and reorganized. The new format is also easier for us to maintain, and hopefully easier for you to navigate, being less cluttered and easier on the eyes.
New Features in Backlight 3
Here’s a rundown of what’s new in Backlight 3.
- Improved performance through additional caching. The album pages themselves should load in half the time. Better performance equals a better customer experience, and contributes to better site ranking.
- Embolden your albums with Hero Images when using pangolin-album.
- With the new lazy-loading throttle, set the number of images to load immediately, then lazy-load the rest of your album as the visitor scrolls.
- Custom permalinks allow you to create personalized URLs for your customers that route to albums on your site.
- Copy/Move Images in Backlight’s publisher.
- Descriptions for pages and top-level sets, for better search-engine optimization.
- RSS Feeds for the site overall, as well as for individual albums, will allow visitors to follow the parts of your site that most interest them.
- For those inclined to code, the new JSON API opens new possibilities for pulling Backlight-managed collections into other places, as well as for customizing Backlight.
- Use Font Awesome 5 Pro icons to dress up your content, or simply enjoy the UI improvement they bring to your site. Loads of new possibilities for site iconography!
- Visitors will be able to opt-out of Google Analytics tracking, a great privacy consideration for those conducting business in the EU.
- With the Reassign templates function, for a given template, assign a new template for all of the given template’s child albums/sets/pages
use cases for Backlight, and gives you a solid headstart on crafting policy for your website. Of course, this can be personalized as any other page in Backlight. This is now a default page in every new Backlight install. For preexisting
sites, create a new page, “Privacy”, then copy-and-paste the template from here.
- Automatic reprocessing of metadata for images uploaded through Backlight admin. Any change to metadata settings in Designer will be immediately reflected upon next album view.
- Dual support for Google’s reCAPTCHA v2 and reCAPTCHA v3 spam protection for forms.
- Further improvements to Backlight’s online Publisher module, include options to hide albums or photos from search results, and improved ways to manage templates.
Beyond this, there are myriad smaller changes, tweaks and improvements, all contributing to making Backlight 3 the very best Backlight yet. And we already have plans to roll out additional features over the lifespan of Backlight 3.
Purchasing Backlight 3
Backlight 3 is $135 USD, same as previous versions. Purchase Backlight 3 here.
Upgrading from Backlight 2
Upgrading from Backlight 2 is the easiest upgrade we’ve ever done, and the most affordable.
- Those upgrading from Backlight 2 receive a $35 discount on Backlight 3.
- When you upgrade to Backlight 3, your Backlight 2 add-ons come along for the ride, at no additional cost. I repeat, there are no upgrade fees for add-ons!
Separate mailings have already been sent containing discount codes for Backlight 2 owners. Please check your inbox or filters for that message. Contact me if your discount has not arrived, and I will sort you out just quick as I can.
Upgrading from Backlight 1
For Backlight 1 owners, we are extending the same discounts previously available for Backlight 2 and its add-ons. Please contact me directly to receive those discounts; you may reply to this newsletter.
How to Upgrade
To perform the upgrade from Backlight 2:
- Purchase Backlight 3 from our shop. You will NOT need to download files.
- Log in to your Backlight 2 admin area.
- Perform the upgrade as any other update.
- Following successful installation of Backlight 3, walk your site! Click through your pages and albums, checking to ensure things are as you’d expect.
- If using the Publish Services plugin for Lightroom Classic, visit the Backlight Modules page, download the latest version, and replace the one you have installed. Restart Lightroom.
The biggest gotcha you may find, if you’ve implemented many Font Awesome icons, is that some icons might be missing. If so, check the updated Font Awesome options in your page template. You will find them under Advanced Setup => Iconography when editing your page template. Icon names may have changes in Font Awesome 5, or you may need to specify an icon style (not all icons exist in every style).
For any other issues that may arise, we’ll be keeping a closer eye on the forums than usual, and the forum is your best option for getting a quick response, as we operate in different time-zones.
For steps for upgrading from Backlight 1, see documentation.
Thank you! Please Buy Backlight 3!
Backlight 3 is made possible by the continued support of The Turning Gate’s fans and customers. It’s a lot of effort and time that goes into developing the software, and we’re very keen to bring everyone along with us to the new version. Backlight
is more than the sum of its bullet-points, as I think anyone that’s kept up with us will tell you.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again:
The Turning Gate is scrappy and independent. We do not have investors, we do not have funding; we’re two guys, making software at home. Our cashflow is entirely dependent on selling Backlight, and we answer only to our customers. In that way,
our software business runs very much like a photography business.
Our refusal to adopt a predatory model of recurring subscriptions makes upgrades incredibly important to sustaining the business.
And so, help yourself while helping us to continue to help you. UPGRADE!
See you on the otherside of install, folks. Thank you!