As we rolled into 2018, we learned that Envira Gallery, one of the most popular WordPress photo gallery plugins, was sold. Previously owned by Awesome Motive, the new owner is Nathan Singh, an experienced entrepreneur who is new to the WordPress plugin space.
Shortly after the sale, I reached out to Nathan with some questions. As an Envira user, and Envira affiliate1, I was curious what we’d see in the path forward as photography and WordPress both continue to grow. Here’s what I learned.
My first question was around Nathan’s background. Knowing that he was new to the WordPress ecosystem, I wanted to know about his experience and what he was bringing to the platform. In his words:
I started my career as engineer working on mission critical software systems for the Department of Defense and the space program. I did that for about 15 years. This technical experience has helped me understand what it takes to build quality software that folks depend on.
I’ve been a tech entrepreneur for about 8 years now, serving as CEO of Inkless Ideas, creator of the first movie screenwriting app Scripts Pro for the iPhone and iPad. Scripts Pro was recognized by Apple as “Best New App” and has been used by writers from Dreamworks, NBC and MGM studios. I was also CEO of OrdersIn, which provides white-label e-commerce platforms for local entrepreneurs, restaurants and delivery providers. OrdersIn powers menus all around the world.
I believe this blend of technical, operations and business development experience will continue to help make Envira Gallery a better solution for photographers. I’ve always run companies with a user driven product development model with a focus on adding features our customers really care about.
Most importantly, I have a stellar team which transitioned from the previous ownership that will continue to provide amazing development and customer support.
That last point was an important one for me… I know some folks that worked as part of the Envira team under the previous ownership, and I was pleased to hear that they’re continuing on board under Nathan.
Envira is faster than other galleries. WPBeginner did an article on boosting WordPress speed and performance where they conducted a speed test against other galleries. Envira Gallery’s load time was the fastest even while loading larger pages.
In addition to being more intuitive and user-friendly Envira is well coded which makes for a much better user experience. Our customer reviews are proof of this.
What’s ahead? I asked about what’s next for Envira, including how the upcoming introduction of the Gutenberg editor might affect the plugin. On Gutenberg, he responds:
The improved UX and standardization will definitely be welcomed and makes our jobs easier. I believe Envira will work well with Guttenberg, we’re certainly going to do our best to make the experience seamless for our customers
What else? It sounds like things are a bit up in the air at the moment. I wasn’t able to gather any specifics, with Nathan only being willing to say “We’re still nailing down our product roadmap for this year. However, I can tell you it will be driven by feedback from our users and packed with features photographers have requested and will love.”
Nathan did confirm that there are no plans to make any changes in the pricing of Envira Gallery.
One ongoing area of growth that has yet to be really fulfilled is a WordPress gallery and sales system that rivals the pro lab integration offered by platforms such as SmugMug, Zenfolio, or Photoshelter. I wrote about this missing bit of WordPress photo commerce three years ago, and while some progress has been made, I can’t yet set up a WordPress photo gallery that integrates with labs such as WHCC, Bay Photo, or Miller’s. Nathan’s response, when asked if this is in the plans?
Yes, absolutely. I’d like to make Envira Gallery a one stop shop for photographers and adding integration with print labs is a key part of this.
Sounds good… but talk is cheap, and we’ll see if Envira can pull off something that hasn’t yet come to fruition from other vendors. Hopefully Nathan’s background with previous ecommerce ventures will prove itself fruitful.
When asked if there’s anything else he’d like to share, Nathan said he’d love to connect with photographers on how Envira can help them. He also noted that they’re looking to sponsor and promote talented photographers using Envira. Reach out to Nathan via Twitter (@enviragallery) or on Facebook.
Do you use Envira? Are you curious? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.
- This article contains affiliate links for Envira and other products. ↩