A Look Back at Backlight 2
I often get asked what's new in Backlight 2. The blog has all of that info laid out over time, but we haven't kept a single, consolidated list. So let's make one now!
Like stew in a crock pot, or a fine wine, Backlight 2 has only gotten better over time. It launched min-2018 with some game-changing improvements over the original Backlight, and has since continued to evolve, with new features and major improvements to existing features. At this point, whether on the first Backlight, or continuing to kick the CE plugins further down the road, upgrading to Backlight 2 should be a no-brainer.
Here's a roundup of major additions so far in Backlight 2.
- Automated Install and Updates
- In olden times, updates were difficult, requiring FTP, and folder swaps, and file replacements, and caution. With Backlight 2, updates are fully automated at the press of a button. Updating is incredibly easy, takes only a moment, and ensures there is just no reason to ever be running yesterday's version of Backlight.
- Lazy-loading Thumbnails in Albums
- Thumbnails in albums, and images in other areas of your site now lazy-load as they scroll into the viewport, ensuring faster page loads, and improved site performance and ranking. Lazy-loading also eliminates the need to break your albums into multiple pages.
- Web-based Publisher
- No Lightroom? No problem! Backlight 2 introduced the web-based publisher, allowing you to upload images, and create albums and album sets directly within Backlight itself. This allows you to use Capture One Pro, Luminar, ON1 Photo Raw, or whatever other software you like, while still managing your website with Backlight. Of course, the Lightroom plugin is still supported for those contentedly Lightrooming into the future.
- Drag-and-drop Image Reordering
- In Backlight's publisher, you can drag images into your preferred sequence. A big quality-of-life improvement for those not using Lightroom.
- Improved Image Downloads on Mobile Devices
- Because the latest Safari on iOS has a file-system!
- Easy HTTPS Setup
- An option to automatically redirect incoming traffic to the HTTPS version of your URL, after you've enabled SSL for your website. A small but significant feature, given the growing importance and impact of using secure protocols for your website.
- GDPR Support and Privacy Features
- New in Backlight 2, with ongoing improvements over time, we've added cookies and privacy notices, acceptance checkboxes, and messaging options to ensure compliance with the EU's GDPR regulations.
- Multi-language Support
- Backlight takes an organic and intuitive approach to creating multi-lingual content, simplifying the task of delivering your website in as many languages as you please.
- New and Improved Admin
- The admin was completely overhauled for Backlight 2, making it prettier and more intuitive to navigate and use.
- Centralized Client Management
- Client access control is no longer restricted to the Client Response add-on, and is now a part of Backlight’s core. Designate any typeof gallery as private, then allow access by assigning it to specific clients.
- Contact Inboxing
- Messages sent through your website are viewable in Backlight's admin, as well as being delivered to your email address, ensuring that even if an email fails to arrive or lands in spam, the message is not lost. Also works for client response feedback!
- Improved Backlight Admin Security
- Google Authenticator two-factor authentication, password reset, and stronger password encryption.
- Improved class-based PHPlugins
- PHPlugins have expanded significantly in Backlight 2, with access to albums, photos, and other types of internal data. If you code, you can essentially create your own image presentations now.
- Support for customizing IMG alt attribute in albums
- An under-the-hood type thing that allows you greater control for SEO tuning your albums.
- Cart Invoice Improvements
- Making invoices more informative for better recordkeeping and tax compliance.
- Supports the latest PHP 7.4
- Ensuring your website runs smoothly into the future.
That's a long list of total hotness! And still, there's more, including various and numerous improvements to album slideshows and single-image HTML pages, improvements to slideshows and image presentation in WordPress themes, functional improvements and referrer handling when embedding galleries into pages, improvements to site and image search, a new "Panorama" presentation in the Theater Add-on, and still there's more ...
Plus, the community continues to be strong and supportive, the documentation has been improving, the PHPlugins examples are more numerous and robust, and the whole of using Backlight 2 is getting better all the time.
Like that crock pot stew, Backlight 2 has gotten beefy! And like that wine, Backlight 2 has gotten deeper and richer in substance. Because it just keeps improving, there's never been a better time to start using Backlight 2. So, upgrade now to Backlight 2! And if you're already on Backlight 2, then you already know what I'm talking about, and rest assured your future is bright.