So it’s been a long, busy, and stressful week but I am finally getting around to selecting a photo album plug in to test on Crankybunny before I install on Steady-As-She-Goes.
My requirements are:
- Good design/look to the pages
- A single image represents each album
- When an album is selected, all images are shown in thumbnail view
- When an image in an album is selected it is in it’s own window – no pop-ups, no flash slide shows, just my image and the caption (we’ll see about maps later)
- Easy to see Next/Prev buttons
- Easy to navigate back to main Photos page
- Relatively easy to install
- Hassle free photo upload to my servers
I was using a really pretty album using Photo Gallery Templates created by Stopdesign with MovableType that had many of these features, but it required a lot of tinkering with special export settings in Picasa to get things to work correctly. I also had to (and this is a MovableType quirk not a Photo Galleries quirk) create a separate blog in MT and jimmy rig the two together. This set of templates made for a very nice set of blog albums once everything is set up. I believe the guy who created them, Douglas Bowman was subsequently hired by Google sometime early last year (2006).
To find a plug-in I went to a WordPress plug-in directory called, oddly enough, WordPress Plugin Database. I did a search on albums (because I want to see albums not just photos or embedded photos) and reviewing the options. After filtering all of the plugins that referenced other sites like Flickr or broken links, I found about 8 that were of interest (in no particular order):
- http://randomfrequency.net/wordpress/qdig/ (uses QDig http://qdig.sourceforge.net/)
- http://geoffhutchison.net/blog/archives/2005/03/22/wp-gallery-032/ (uses Gallery http://gallery.menalto.com/)
I tried to find sample galleries for all so I could see the layout. For some of the plugins, galleries were not readily available, but with a little searching on the web I could see the plug in in action. These are some nice looking plugins. Some seem to have installation problems – according to all the comments and code on the pages, but others seem pretty easy.
So my choice? It will be ZenPhoto. This plugin has the simplest interface and seems to be simple to install.
If it doesn’t work…I think my back up will be QDig.
Wish me luck!