One of the website I have been working on lately is for my sister’s jewelry that she makes, Rogue Maille. As she makes custom chain maille jewelry, she has the need for photo galleries to display her pieces. So I looked at some plugins, and was thinking about trying to integrate with Flickr, but then I came across a plugin called NextGEN Gallery and found what I was looking for.
What NextGEN Gallery does is allow you to create photo galleries and upload multiple photos into them. This is different than built in WordPress Media Gallery. NextGEN gallery allows you to organize your photos by a gallery, then using a shortcode on a page, you can pull in a photo album of the pictures from the gallery. It allows you to customize the order, as well as add in picture titles and descriptions. When you click on a photo, it pops out of the website, giving you the description as well as arrows to navigate through the photos. You can also use the shortcode to setup a slide show on a page or post, or there is also a handy widget to embed a slide show in the side bar.
One of the other things I like about NextGEN Gallery, is the ability to also tag your photos, much like you tag posts in WordPress. You can then use the shortcode and create an album on a post or page that from the tag, that can pull photos across many galleries.
Let’s take look at a couple of quick examples of the shortcode. Let’s assume we have created two photo galleries, Gallery 1 and Gallery 2. And that in both galleries we have tagged some of our photos from our trip to Mexico with a tag of mexico.
To display a simple photo display of Gallery 1, the shortcode [ nggallery id=1 ] would display all the photos from Gallery 1, as well as show a link for an optional slide show. The same could be done for Gallery 2 by using the shortcode [ nggallery id=2 ]. Now if we want to use the mexico tag and show photos from both galleries that we tagged with mexico we could use the following shortcode, [ nggtags album=mexico ]. And if we just want a slide show of one of Gallery 1 on a page, the short code would be [slideshow id=1]. More information on the shortcodes can be found on the NextGEN plugin site, but it took me some digging to find the slideshow shortcode as it was not in their documentation.
So if you are looking for a nice, integrated way to do photo albums in your WordPress site, I would highly recommend using NextGEN Gallery. It has done everything I have wanted it to do and more. Not only is it simple to use, but it has some versatility too. However if you are interested in using a photo web service like Flickr or Picasa, those are good options too, but with NextGEN you can keep your photos in your site.