Total Synchronization

So now, what about all those hundreds of thousands photos in your WordPress that are not linked with your Lightroom? Well, you can link them using the “Total Synchronization” features! Let’s do it: this module is accessible under the menu “Library > Plug-in Extras”.


There are two ways of linking your WP photos and with your LR’s ones. I suggest you to start with the automatic matching first, then finish-up with the manual matching if you have any not-linked photos left.

Automatic Matching

The automatic matching attempts to match the photos between WordPress and Lightroom. This matching is done by comparing the metadata, and, if not available, by using perceptual hashing. This hashing is slower and generally less accurate but provide perfect results if the photos are actually similar in your WP and LR.

The module is accessible through Library Menu > Plug-In Extra > Total Synchronization.

Starting the process is very easy. Make sure the WordPress website is selected (on the left) and that enough photos are selected on the Lightroom (on the right, you can work with a selection of photos or all of them). Click Start! Then you might want to go to bed. Depending on the number of photos and the need of hashes, that will take some time.

Many requests will be performed to your WordPress server. This is usually fine, however, a few hosting services might terminate those requests abruptly. If you get the “Got an error from WP” message, please check the FAQ.

As new matches are found, they are added to the screen. When the whole process ends, you will be able to use the actions at the bottom.

  • CLEAR. Remove this match from the screen. It does nothing to your LR or WP. Basically that is just to clear your dashboard from the matches you are done with.
  • LINK. The actual linking is done through this button. The LR image will be moved to the Publish Service (as a “New Photo to Publish”) and the image on WordPress will be marked as linked.
  • LINK + NEXT. Same as above. Then it moves to the next match! You might especially want to use that button since it is convenient. If you make a mistake, the “Unlink” button will rescue you.
  • UNLINK. Did you link two images by mistake? No worries. You can use this button to un-link them.
  • IGNORE. You might have external images, logos, icons and so on in your WordPress. By ignoring them, you will never see them again in WP/LR Sync.

Once you are done with all your matches, you can Publish the changes. Fresh images will be applied to your WP Media Library.

Manual Matching

The same photo might sometimes looks very different between your WP and LR because of post-processing, cropping, rotation, etc. In that case, the automatic matching might not work and you will need to do it manually. That’s where the “Advanced” tab comes in.


Start with Get / Refresh Statistics. The number of Hashes and IDs will be updated. We don’t care about the hashes here but we do need all your photos to have IDs.

The ID is an unique reference to a photo in your LR. Since those IDs are not accessible normally, you need to click on Create LR IDs  (very fast) then it will be available in the Metadata, like below, in LR ID. I suggest you to switch to the “WP/LR Sync” preset that shows all the information you might need.


The manual matching has to be done on Lightroom and WordPress. When the photo is not yet linked to LR, its status (in the Media Library) is marked as “Unknown” and a text box can be found below. You can copy/paste the LR ID you got from LR in here and click Link.


Then, immediately, you need to drag & drop the photo in the Publish Service’s folder Photos.


Those two photos are now linked! During the next “Publish”, the photo will be replaced with a fresh one using your export settings.

You can also check your Settings -> Media to enable the WP/LR Tools then you will get a WP/LR Dashboard in the Media menu. With this dashboard, you can directly see and work with the Unlinked Photos and Duplicates.


I would love to make this tutorial better so if you have any remarks, corrections or questions please contact me. Thank you 🙂

  • Andreas Sebald

    Hi Jordy, yesterday I installed the WP/LR-Plugin trial and started the Total Synchronization. This morning I did part of the the matching and closed the dialog box afterwards. Unfortunately, I didn’t do the manual matching in the advanced part.
    When opening the Total Synchronization dialog box in LR again, everything is greyed out and I have no idea how to create the LR IDs and complete the work.
    Is this because of the trial version or did I do something wrong?


    • Hello Andreas 🙂 I am not sure; did you try to login/logout in the settings of the plugin? That will tell you if something is wrong with the trial. Also, maybe an error happened, but in both case, normally, you would get a message.

      • Andreas Sebald

        Hi Jordy, the logout/login actually helped. Thanks a lot!
        Is there any chance to have an overview of all the images that I marked with “ignore” after completing the total synchronization? That could be helpful to find out if I did something wrong or to be able to change this status afterwards.
        Apart from that, great and very helpful plugin! Within the next days, I will come back for a license 🙂

        • You mean filter by “ignored”? No, I mean, you can see that information in the Media Library but you can’t get the list, though I could add that in the Media Tools (in WP/LR Sync menu).

          • Andreas Sebald

            That would be great! Particularly if paired with a function to unignore”. This would provide the chance to undo markings that were unintended.Just in case that I want to link an image that I marked as “ignore” earlier. What do you think?

          • I added that feature in the latest version of the plugin, did you see? 🙂

          • Andreas Sebald

            Salut Jordy, I did see it, yes! And I love it, as it provides me an good overview and also the possibility to link later on. Thanks for your great work! As you might have seen, I do have a license now 😉

          • Thank you so much! 🙂 And also don’t hesitate to write a little review here: It always helps a lot 🙂 Cheers! Enjoy the plugin.

  • Andrew Rowell

    Just tried to buy WPLRSync an I get a Bad request error on the store page

  • Barrie Spence

    First impressions on the total sync … updating the running count of EXIF LR xxxxx / 131787 is probably just as much work as the necessary internals … and at this point I’m matching 1/75 images on my first site (hoping this isn’t repeated for each match). If displaying that count costs .5ms per update (wild guess), that’s still an extra minute elapsed on my catalog.

    I’m very please to see that the hashing restarts … though I think I need to find a way to work on a subset of images for the matches rather than the whole catalog (130k hashes are going to take too long).

    I’m so looking forward to being able to use this!

    • You can work on a subset on images on the Lightroom side, by making a selection of photos before starting Total Sync 🙂 On the WordPress side, it would be too tricky to do.

      • Barrie Spence

        Yeah, unfortunately, I suspect that in the end I’ll need to let it hash the whole catalogue (e.g. almost everything I publish has been a PS edit so that’s an obvious selection to start … but it’s not 100% so it’s probably back to a whole catalogue match to get all of them).

  • Jörg Wartini

    Hi Jordy, I just installed WP/LR Sync and basic sync is working fine! Really looks good, But when I try Total Synchronization according to the tutorial, I don’t find ” Library Menu > Plug-In Extra > Total Synchronization” for Automatic Sync of the existing pictures in the WP Library. There is no Plu-In Extra. Any idea what is wrong with my installation or my doing? Thanks a lot, Jörg

  • Hello! Are you using Windows? Actually I am not sure but LR choose the menu where this is added. On OSX, it’s definitely there, like on this screenshot.
    You can also have a look in the File > Plug-In Extra. It’s definitely somewhere 🙂

    • Jörg Wartini

      Hi Jordy, thanks a lot for your hint! I don’t know where I had my eyes, but I was looking in the WP Media-Library not in the LR Library! Maybe because I’m using the german frontend of LR, where library is “Bibliothek”. Everthing is now working excellent, I like the WP/LR Sync very much! Thanks again and sorry for my misunderstanding and my stupid question!
      Cheers, Jörg

  • Barrie Spence

    Scaleability is definitely an issue. 275 images to match from WP, 134k images in the catalog (and all the hashes pre-generated). 5 hours later it has worked through 32 images in the match screen (this is the stage before I can hit match/ignore/etc).

    Matching against a smaller set of images isn’t really feasible (because there is no specific subset that would cover them all) and maybe the web host could be faster, but this is the real world we’re in (and it’s far from ideal).

    I’d be happy to help optimize this.

    • Hi Barrie. Unfortunately, that’s a time-consuming process, so there is no way to speed it. 275 photos is not much though and you could go for manual linking, that might be faster (maybe it would take you 3 to 4 hours), that’s what I would personally do.

      134,000 is a huge number of photos to analyze, creating the hashes for all those will take time – the alternative is to use a local web server to generate the hashes, the hashes and store in the Lightroom DB, then switch to your normal server, and start the matching process. You can actually do this too. But to be honest, for 275 photos, I wouldn’t bother, I would just go for manual.

  • vmala

    I love the concept and the idea of being able to upload and change the pictures directly from Lightroom, BUT, no matter what I do it doesn’t work after I uploaded all the pictures. When I make a modification to a file and try to publish I get this message in Lightroom.
    Any help is appreciated.
    Thank you!

  • Angela Bombangela

    Hi, I’m just trying this out now but thought that I could use it to sync the photos from my existing WP website to edit in Lightroom before syncing back to WordPress. So far it goes through the matching process but doesn’t download anything. Am I misunderstanding what this plugin does or am I doing something wrong please? I was very excited to find it 🙂

    • Hi Angela. I am sorry if the tutorial here is not clear but the Total Sync means that the plugin will match the photos between your WP and your LR to add them properly into your WP/LR Sync Publish Service. So they need to already be part of your LR. They will not be downloaded from your WordPress.

      The advantage of this plugin is to be able to sync and re-sync, to work again on the photos, to re-sync with higher resolutions or different watermark, etc, so if we were downloaded from WP to LR there would be no much point in fact 🙂

I recommend you to use WPEngine or SiteGround. They are both excellent hosting services and work perfectly with all my plugins.