“Nobody” uses the Web module

Lightroom 4 is here, and Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski of KelbyMediaGroup are talking it up all over. They did an exclusive video for B&H Photo highlighting some of their favorite little-known tips. Around the 9:00 mark, Matt shows how to hide the modules you don't use, and at 9:10 or so he hides the Web module:

Matt: "You can uncheck any modules you want to hide. So I never use the Web module ..."

Scott: "Nobody does."

Matt: "... so I hide it."

Scott: "Oh, I'm sorry. Did I say that out loud?"

Yes, Scott, you did. And it's quite possibly the silliest thing I've ever heard anyone say about Lightroom. Ever. EVER.

I can understand someone choosing not to use it (Matt), but to dismiss it so callously (Scott) is just ... well, wrong.

Since 2007, The Turning Gate -- the Internet's only Lightroom-centric website to focus almost entirely on the Web module -- has enjoyed steady upward growth. Our front page enjoys 1,000 - 2,000 hits daily, and every day we have new users coming aboard with TTG plugins. While we serve only a small segment of Lightroom users, that segment is constantly growing and I hardly think my users are the only people to use the Web module. "Nobody" uses the Web module? Seriously?

So if you're reading this, chances are you -- like me -- are "nobody". Worldwide Creative Suite Design Evangelist for Adobe Systems, Inc. Terry White -- who uses TTG plugins to maintain his photography site -- is also apparently "nobody". Lee Varis, author of SKIN, consulting photographer for the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, who has blogged about his use of the Web module and TTG plugins is also "nobody".

"Nobody" is stacking up to be a good bunch of people. Myself being "nobody", I feel I'm in good company.

Admittedly, the Web module hasn't got much going for it out-of-the-box. But lay hands on a few good plugins from myself or from others, and you have a powerful tool at your disposal. And whatever Kelby's talking heads may think of it, there are some good reasons to use it.

First good reason, Scott Kelby has RC Conception at this beck and call; you do not. You get me instead, and whichever of my plugins you purchase or download. You can setup and maintain your entire website from within the Web module and, if you get stuck, you can hit up the community forum to get answers from me or any of our experienced and helpful members.

And anyway, have a look at both Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski's portfolio sites. And then look at them break on your mobile phone, where images get cutoff by the screen and only the first four or five images of any given photo gallery can be accessed.

First image of Scott Kelby's Travel gallery being cutoff by the iPhone screen because his gallery doesn't scale images to fit the display.

There are 28 images in this image gallery; on the iPhone, we get four.

No doubt these guys know their photography, and I don't really want to tear them down, but are these the guys you want to take Web advice from? Because they're paying Graph Paper Press either $99/year or a one-time fee of $299 for WordPress themes that just don't work on mobile phones. And then they're telling you not to use Lightroom's Web module, when really they probably ought to be using it themselves. Have you seen our galleries on mobile? They're awesome. And you can build an entire website for as little as $50, or just run with our image galleries for $25.

I could probably rest my case here, but I'll kick out just a few more of the many reasons the Web module is awesome, and made more awesome by TTG.

1. Use our Client Response Gallery to allow your clients to select images from their shoot. Then quickly isolate those images in your Lightroom Library with simple copy-and-paste from your email.

2. Use TTG CE2 Stage -- to be released later this week or early next -- to build a video portfolio, create Before-and-After retouch demonstrations. Browse our CE2 demonstrations here, or start using the previous CE version today.

3. Use TTG CE2 Auto Index to create a navigable index of pretty much anything you want: image galleries, videos, external links to websites, stuff you want to sell ... whatever.

4. Create galleries with e-commerce capabilities through Fotomoto.com or using our flexible, proprietary shopping cart system.

So, there's just some of what you can do with the Web module. Over the years, we've generated a lot of buzz, having appeared in books and magazines, on blogs, and with many speakers highlighting or outright teaching our plugins in workshops and seminars. Not because nobody uses the Web module or our plugins, but because people do use them, do enjoy them, do amazing things with them, and believe that more people should do the same.

And if either Scott Kelby or Matt Kloskowski would like to take the time, I would happily hook up with either one of them via email, telephone or whatever to take them through the paces and show them some of what they're missing out on.

32 Responses to ““Nobody” uses the Web module”

  1. Thomas Menath says:

    I completly agree with your article, Matt.
    In my workflow the web modul is very important, I have written some own plugins and use yours and others, and i have a solution for everything I need regarding photos and web publishing.
    If you have organised in Lightroom your photos, it is just the best tool, to send the photos to the web.

    Cheers thomas

    · March 6, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  2. Ben says:

    FANTASTIC post! Love that you speak your mind. Completely on point here.

    · March 6, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

  3. Matt says:

    Thanks guys!

    · March 6, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

  4. Pete says:

    I don’t use the Web module (yet) but even I can recognise screaming arrogance when I see it. Perhaps Kelby & Co would like to come down from their pedestals once in a while and see what the real world is like?

    · March 6, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  5. Ed says:

    I watched that today (before I found this post) and found it an irresponsible, unprofessional comment. I had the same EXACT response as you Matt. A big WDF? I had to back up and make sure I heard them correctly.

    Look; Every professional photographer has a wide variety of needs and web development is (should) be a big one. For one or two smart @ – – es, who think they know it all, to basically say that no self respecting photographer would use the web function is a testament to their photographic snobbery. Yea I saw their site and let me tell you, it doesn’t even come close to match their self important egos! Plus they didn’t even build it themselves. I bet they only press the shutter release while their assistants do all the hard work?!

    After searching high and low, contemplating Dreamweaver and a couple of others, I stumbled upon Lightroom 3 (which I never had a need for as I use PS for all my work). While working with the demo, I somehow (thankfully) came across your engines and let me say; It was exactly what I was looking for.
    Here’s why:
    My site was built and updated (still is for now) with Adobe GoLive 6 which gave me a site which was easy to build with minimal coding ( I am a photographer not a coder (I wish)). That was great for about a decade. But then all the mobile devices, HTML 5 and all the other improvements started taking over… The need for mobile friendly sites is imperative and your engines seem to be the answer.

    I am in the process of updating my already awesome site to fit in with today’s technology and am thankful to developers like you who can facilitate it for photographers like us. I will certainly spread the word about the Web Module and your engines because I am a professional photographer, not a professional snob! 😉

    Thank you Matt!


    · March 6, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

  6. Rod Barbee says:

    hell, the only reason I have galleries online now it because of TTG plugins. I can’t imagine why any photographer who wants to show his or her work would use Lightroom and NOT use the web module, especially with TTG plugins available.
    You could pay someone hundreds or thousands of dollars to build and maintain a site for you. Or you can get a few TTG plugins, take a little bit of time to learn how to use them (relatively no time when you consider how long it took to become proficient with your cameras) and create sites that look better than just about anything you can pay somebody else to design for you. It’s a no-brainer.
    The TTG plugins have saved me huge amounts of time in creating web galleries and pages for my workshops. And what about the WordPress Theme. Has anyone else thought of using Lightroom to create WordPress themes??
    Yeah, the web module is useless.

    · March 6, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

  7. Mark Hoffman says:

    Hit ’em again Matt. They’re still twitchin’.

    · March 6, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

  8. Brian Taylor says:

    That is why I don’t think much of Scott K. such a negative comment.
    It’s his own choice not to use it, He probably has someone else make and manage his website
    and doesn’t even look at it himself. I will always and forever be a TTG User.
    Thanks for all of your hard work it is appreciated.

    · March 6, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

  9. Kevin Cozma says:

    I’m a “nobody”, too. I have and love your Client Response Gallery. It is a wonderful tool. I just came to your site today to shop for some other plugins and found this post. I just wanted to say I think the web module is very useful, and incredibly useful once your plugins are installed.



    · March 7, 2012 @ 12:41 am

  10. Dick says:

    Yes, that’s really an annoying remark. Makes me wonder why B&H decided to go ahead an publish this ‘exclusive video’.
    I am another ‘nobody’. Who loves your plugins, and this great post!
    Thanks Matt.

    · March 7, 2012 @ 9:15 am

  11. Matt says:

    You’re all a savvy lot; you know what’s up. As always, I appreciate all of your support. Thanks all.

    · March 7, 2012 @ 9:20 am

  12. Elvis says:

    Those guys at Kelby are big time but they are wrong about the Web Module. Most people don’t use it but I will say that Lightroom 3 is now my preffered tool to edit and NOW showcase my work thanks to TTG. If it wasn’t for TTG, I would still have a cheesy site that was difficult to manage. Once you get up to speed, TTG makes Lightroom 3 what it should of been by Adobe, not by another innovative creative mind like Matt and Co.

    Adobe should offer a thanks or a royalty revenue and Matt and Scott are wrong. TTG has given me control, professional presentation that works on all platforms. I love TTG and will not be upgrading to LR4.

    Imagine some one comes up with a great product that infringes on the establishment were people spend $2-$3K for websites in flash, no one is interested in promoting that, for me TTG was a real blessing in finding a solution that I LOVE!!

    · March 7, 2012 @ 9:42 am

  13. terry says:

    add me to the “nobody” list. Both for development of my personal and professional website, the Web module is a critical piece of LR’s appeal. Thankfully Adobe has a different opinion!!

    · March 7, 2012 @ 9:47 am

  14. Nobody says:

    Kelby is a great business man and a good photographer but he’s always come across as a pompous douche bag in my mind. “Scott Kelby’s World Wide Photo Walk” for example. Again great marketing to slap his name on everything but if you’re so into the idea of having a world wide photo walk to get people out there shooting it doesn’t need your name plastered all over it, that’s just a publicity grab. Don’t even get me started on the products of software he and Kloskowski blindly endorse even when they’re crap. Money grubbing douche bags. He’s turned the idea of photography into a money machine. Good for him but I wouldn’t take anything he says too seriously and don’t recommend anyone else does either. Again, he (or his army) have some legit tips, tutorials, etc but…

    · March 7, 2012 @ 9:51 am

  15. Brandt says:

    I heard this guy interviewed on the Candid Frame (one of my favorite podcasts) and everytime I hear his name my stomach starts to hurt. It was like he snorted a few lines right before his rambling, never-ending speech. I started to wonder if this guy really was a photographer (which apparently he is). Anyway, good post.

    · March 7, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  16. David says:

    An inconsiderate comment from Scott as Lightroom is a flexible tool that will adapt and fit into just about any photographers work flow. Dismissing the web module stating that “nobody” uses it just because he doesn’t is a thoughtless statement. Websites, Blogs, and all other social media are just as important to photographers as their printers. Possibly even more important as they are often the first port of call for most potential clients.

    Scott, if you are reading this I advise you to spend some time in the Web Module and get to know the flexibility and ease the TTG plug-ins provide Lightroom users. There are a choice of plug-ins to fit what ever type of web site you wish for.

    · March 7, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  17. John McMahon says:

    Though I like Scott’s books on Lightroom and Photoshop, I get the sense that his focus is on what will mostly benefit Scott. Since he does not play in web space creation for profit, “nobody uses it” as far as he is concerned. I hope that Matt and his associates are not discouraged in anyway because of Scott’s misdirected comments.

    · March 9, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  18. Jason McKain says:

    I am fans of Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski but they totally missed the mark on this one. TTG Pages is awesome. I feel more empowered having control of my website. As a member of NAPP I will somehow, somewhere, place an objection on their site about there incorrect opinions.

    · March 11, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    • Jason McKain says:

      I just sent NAPP a message saying they dropped the ball and should check out The Turning Gate.

      · March 11, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

  19. Lisa L says:

    I use the web module every week for online proofing of business head shots. People tell me “this is really slick” as they are most impressed. When i do 30 at a time, it’s the most efficient way to proof. Unfortunately in my new Lightroom 4, the web upload is getting hung up and i haven’t been notified of a fix yet from Adobe.

    · March 14, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    • Matt says:

      You’d do well not to rely on Lightroom’s web upload, but instead to export to desktop, then upload using an FTP client. FTP clients are far more reliable, and I wouldn’t count on Adobe making improvements to their web upload functionality; it’s been pretty shaky since 1.0.

      · March 14, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

      • Lisa L says:

        Lightroom allows me to quickly sort, apply plugins like Portraiture, and upload proofs to private urls. It’s great, especially when i have large groups of people for business head shots. I’ve relied on it for three years, so why would they include this module if it wasn’t meant to be used. It hasn’t been shaky, it’s actually a real time saver. I agree with you that FTP is great and i use that for many other purposes.

        · March 21, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

  20. Shane E. says:

    I use the Web module to proof wedding album designs for clients. Since I maintain layered .psd files of each spread, I manage them in Lightroom and pop them open in Photoshop to make changes, and then upload a new watermarked Web module gallery and send the client a link.

    · June 13, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

  21. Mark says:

    I used the Web Module from Lightroom 3 and it is awful. The layout and all the rest is ok, creating is really fast and simple but the module scales pictures and makes them look like a disaster. I’m searching for a fix to this problem but if I don’t find any I’ll agree with Matt & Scott…

    · July 8, 2012 @ 3:58 am

    • Matt says:

      You are mistaken. The Web module is an excellent tool, and a wonderful addition to any social photo workflow. It’s the default gallery styles that are awful. And that’s why I make better ones.

      · July 8, 2012 @ 5:07 am

    • Ed says:

      It’s difficult to tell what you are referring to. Is it the default web module template output from Lightroom or TTG plugins? I would agree that Lightroom’s defaults are less than attractive, but that’s why we use Matt’s modules. First off ,why not try the free modules (SimpleViewer, AutoViewer, FlashNifities, PolaroidGallery) to create some galleries. Then “splurge” for TTG CE2 Pages and give a whole site a go.

      I must admit I abandoned Lightroom to try MUSE (which I did like the ease of use but there were too many bugs and a subscription fee? WDF?) but I ultimately came back to Lightroom & TTG.

      As for the scaling: That doesn’t sound right. I never had a problem with that in any of my galleries, but I never use the included templates, only TTG plugins.

      Try the free plugins and CE2 Pages. I think you will like them.

      FYI Matt & Scott had their heads up their ***es with that nonsensical comment. In retrospect I think they themselves would agree.

      · July 8, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  22. Brian says:

    I’m proud to be a nobody!

    I use a template I purchased a few years back to setup temporary sites for preferred clients and it has been an indispensable tool. Thank you for caring about the nobodies, Matt.

    · August 8, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

  23. Jay Frogel says:

    I always thought that LR’s web module was fine but very limited. As you wrote in one of your articles or tutorials, after awhile your website ends up with a large number of unlinked galleries. Learning of the TTG plugins a month or so ago has been a real eye opener. In the distant past I created my web site with front page but it was difficult to post more than a couple of dozen images without running out of steam. Now I am extremely satisfied with the look and simplicity of what I have been putting together with TTG stuff at a rock bottom price, no less. I find Kelby and company to be rather tiresome and on the pretentious side. After awhile his books on PS and LR seem rather condescending and not very deep. His humor doesn’t help. Now I rely on Martin Evening’s books and Real WOrld Photoshop series. More thorough and “adult” in presentation.

    · September 30, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

  24. Fred Marchee says:

    A while ago I did a Matt Kloskowski Lightroom Training. Everything he doesn’t use in Lightroom is useless and ridiculous and therefor he advises you not to use it. For instance I always put my pictures in folders by date. He doesn’t so he is telling never use dates because you can’t remember on what date you did what. But I do remember this and I like to put my pictures in date-folders, so he thinks I’m stupid! There is another very nice Lightroom guy: Chris Orwig, he has no opinion on Lightroom or Photoshop he just loves the programs as creative tools.

    · January 8, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

    • Matt says:

      Orwig sounds like my sort of guy. 😉

      · January 8, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

  25. Ralph says:

    I use the web module a lot. I often support client needs by offering a photo review service online. Takes 2 secs to cutomize for a particular client, press the button and go get a cup of tea. One of the many benefits is that I can watermark my photographs and keep control over where they go. LOVE THE WEB MODULE 🙂

    · February 17, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

  26. Sam says:

    I have no respect for the Kelby media machine.

    · April 18, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

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