Announcing Automated Print Fulfillment for WordPress

It’s here! After years in development, we’re happy to announce the arrival of automatic print fulfillment for WordPress.

This marks the first time automatic print fulfillment is available to the WordPress.org community! The new print service will be available to all NextGEN Pro users. You just need to have an active license and update.

NextGEN Pro’s ecommerce system has always supported the sale of manual prints and digital downloads. Now, print orders can be fulfilled and shipped automatically to customers through White House Custom Colour, one of the leading print labs in the United States.

We think this is big news not just for us, but for WordPress more broadly. Many photographers and visual artists continue to run multiple websites - a main site or blog on WordPress, and a separate non-WordPress website for print sales. This is because automated print fulfillment has not been available to WordPress users.

That’s now changed. Photographers can now do everything they need on WordPress. And that means Imagely, NextGEN Gallery, and the broader WordPress ecosystem can now fully compete with traditional photo website services like SmugMug, ShootProof, Zenfolio, Pixieset, and others.

How Automatic Print Fulfillment Works

We want to provide a quick overview of how the service works. When you set up NextGEN Pro ecommerce, you’ll create a pricelist based on WHCC’s print catalog. That catalog will show the wholesale cost of prints, and you can set your own retail price with a markup on that cost. You’ll then associate that priceless with a gallery, and display that gallery on your site.

A visitor can then visit that gallery and order prints. When they do, we’ll automatically send the resulting order to WHCC. They will print your order, and ship it to your customer in a white-labeled package.

In order to use the service, you’ll need an active NextGEN Pro license. You’ll also need to keep a credit card on file (stored at Stripe) that we can bill for the cost of your print order.

That’s about it. If you’d like more detail, watch our 3-minute ecommerce set up video, or look at our infographic on print lab integration.

A guided walkthrough of NextGEN Pro's automated lab fulfillment.

What Else is Included

This is our biggest update to NextGEN Pro since it was originally launched in 2014. In addition to WHCC integration and print fulfillment, we’ve added a huge range of new features and improvements.

  • Automated Sales Tax. We’ve integrated with TaxJar to allow automatic calculation and collection of sales tax. Sales tax can be very complicated. TaxJar takes the uncertainty out. It will collect exactly the right amount of tax, only when necessary.
  • Ecommerce Setup Wizard. We’ve added an ecommerce setup wizard to walk users through the setup process for ecommerce. Starting from scratch, you can have a fully working print sales gallery up and running in about 2-3 minutes.
  • Improved Pricelist Management. We’ve improved both the functionality and interface for adding pricelists - including automatically fulfilled prints, but also manual prints and digital downloads.
  • Improved Currency Conversion Handling. We’ve improve currency handling and other aspects of international sales.
  • New Tiled Gallery Display. We’ve added a new tiled gallery display that we think will rapidly become the favorite display for NextGEN Pro users. It’s beautiful.
  • Improved Performance. We’ve made numerous performance improvements. These improvements build on the dramatic NextGEN Gallery performance improvements we’ve made over the last few years. (If you haven’t notice, NextGEN Galleries now load faster any competing WordPress gallery plugins.)
  • Overwhelming Attention to Backward Compatibility. While introducing all this functionality, we’ve bent over backward to ensure backward compatibility for existing users.

US & Canada Shipments Only

The initial release of our print fulfillment service only allows shipping to the US and Canada.

This is, in part, a limitation of the API for working with White House Custom Colour. If you are outside the US, you can still configure print lab fulfillment, but only buyers in the US or Canada will be able to complete an order. If you have buyers outside the US and Canada, you can continue to sell manually fulfilled prints and digital downloads.

How to Get Started

If you’re an active NextGEN Pro user, just update and run through the ecommerce set up wizard (during the wizard, you can skip steps you’ve already done).

If you’re not active NextGEN Pro user, just buy NextGEN Pro, install, and run the ecommerce wizard (if you don’t yet have galleries, the Wizard will help you with that, too). We have a 30-day no-questions refund - so feel free to give it a try even if you’re uncertain.

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This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Ah, you had me excited … until you said it was US/ Canada only. What about “Loxley Color” or “One Vision Imaging” in UK who also use the ROES ordering system ?

    1. All in due time. If you had to pick one of those two labs, which would it be? For the record, WHCC has their own API so integrating with ROES wasn’t needed.

  2. Is there an option for the customer to put in their credit card for that specific order? I have no interest in having my own credit card on file and having a ton of charges per day on my credit card. What an accounting mess that’s going to be.

    1. Your credit card must be on file with our Stripe gateway in order for us to bill you for the cost of goods. You have the option of collecting your marked-up charges from Stripe (credit card) or PayPal or Check.

  3. I would like to see Bays Photo Lab integrated as a print option in the future. I love their options and quality.

    1. I would love to see BayPhoto as well. After we get a few non-USA based labs, we’ll be revisiting additional US labs to add. For the record, though, they offer the same products as WHCC 🙂

  4. Alright cool, so just to make sure I understand you correctly: There is an option to use Stripe and PayPal to accept credit cards, meaning that the customer enters in their own credit card info via Stripe or PayPal when checking out on my site?

    1. Your customer can pay you, using any of the gateways available to you: PayPal, Stripe or Check.

      But we must store your (photographer) credit card in the Stripe system for Imagely so that we (Imagely) can bill you (the photographer) for the cost of goods from WHCC or future print labs.

      I hope that helped clear it up 🙂

      PS. We also have a great inforgraphic about this here: https://www.imagely.com/docs/printlab-overview/

      1. Rats. Are there plans to change this so that we don’t have to keep our own credit card on file? I’d really love to escape the FotoMoto service that I’m paying for but that’s a pretty big hurdle for me unfortunately. 🙁

        1. Not in the immediate future, but it’s something we’re exploring. To do true print lab integration for WordPress, it’s not as simple as it is for a SAAS platform.

          1. Makes sense, I guess I offer that as a feature request for the future then. Thanks!

  5. Last question on my mind: How are the original resolution photos accessed by WHCC in order to print them? I ask because currently I only have small a web-sized version of my photos being hosted on my site.

    1. We explain that in our Docs, but to sum it up – NextGEN Gallery has the option to backup original uploads and then resize versions for the front end. The originals are secured and those are what is sent to the lab.

      1. Ok cool. Sounds like I’ll need to re-upload all of my images to my site. No big deal, whatever I need to do to give this e-commerce solution a spin.

  6. how distant are the plans to have an Australian lab?

    1. No ETA at the moment, but we’re exploring the options. What lab is your favorite in Australia?

  7. Looking forward to seeing this in the UK. I have no experience of any labs as currently I print my own images, but would happily move over to an automated service when it becomes available.

  8. Nice! But please bring this to Europe, too. I was all excited and ready to implement it until I read US/Canada only…

  9. Will there be a “no crop” option, which is particularly useful for panoramic photos? By that I mean the longest edge of photo and print are matched and surrounding white space for the short dimension.

    1. That’s something we’re exploring, but we’d have to integrate with a lab that offers custom-sized prints for panoramas. One lab we’re considering is Artistic Photo Canvas / Luxe Prints

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