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Online Photo Galleries
The modern web is more focused on multimedia than ever, with the exploding popularity of video, podcasts, and more. The research shows that images get more social media shares, comments, and engagement in general than just plain text. With that in mind, it makes sense that photo gallery websites are more popular than ever.
Your Photo Gallery Website
Whether you’re a photographer who wants to create an online portfolio, an entrepreneur planning a niche image sharing site, or you just want to share your wedding album with your family and friends, creating your own website photo gallery is a professional way to share your images while maintaining control over the look of your gallery and the use of your images.
Sharing your photos on social media might be an easy way to send them to friends and family, but if you dig deep into their terms of service, you’ll find that by uploading your photos, you’re giving up a lot of control over how they’re used.
If you want to maintain control over your images but still share them online, creating your own photo gallery website is a great way to do that.
But creating your own image gallery is a little more involved than uploading them to your social media accounts. You have a lot of options to consider when it comes to what software you’ll use to display those photos on your site.
Popular Photo Gallery Software Applications
To create a photo gallery website, you can use specialized software called a CMS (content management system) to manage your website. Some popular photo gallery CMSes include:
- Gallery: Gallery was one of the first open-source photo album organizer software applications. It has plenty of features like slideshows, zooming, keyword tagging, watermarks, comments, and the ability to enable your website visitors to upload their own images. Gallery is no longer actively maintained by the developers as of 2014, but it still has a very active community.
- Coppermine: Coppermine Photo Gallery is another open-source photo gallery application. In contrast to Gallery, it’s aimed more towards developers or users with some coding knowledge who want to create a highly customized gallery, rather than casual users who want to quickly create a simple gallery.
- 4images: 4images is also a powerful photo gallery application that can support large customized sites. It has many features including a comment system, password protection, user registration, and a template system for easy customization of your website’s look and layout.
- Zenphoto: Zenphoto is an all-in-one multimedia CMS that you can use to share audio and video as well as photos. Zenphoto has a ton of features and is also extendable via a plugin system.
- TinyWebGallery: TinyWebGallery is a free photo gallery website application that’s appropriate for both personal and business use. While it does use PHP like other photo gallery CMSes, it doesn’t use a database, but stores all your data in XML files.
- Xpoze: Xpoze is a photo gallery application that’s geared towards stock photo websites, or others who want to sell their photos online. It has a batch upload feature that allows you to upload hundreds of files at a time, as well as many other advanced features that make it easy to manage a huge gallery website.
However, one of the most popular ways to display photo galleries on the modern web is by using WordPress, a popular blogging platform and content management system. WordPress is extendable with plugins, and there are many free and premium plugins available for adding photo galleries to your WordPress-run blog or website.
Which is right for you: a photo gallery CMS, or WordPress with a photo gallery plugin? It depends on your goals for your gallery, and what specific features you’re looking for.
If you only want a photo gallery, with no other content on your site, you might want to browse the photo gallery CMSes to find one that fits your needs. Look closely at the available features to find one that’s a good match for your gallery.
If you think you might expand your website to include a blog and other features, WordPress might be the better option for you. WordPress is a very popular CMS with a large community and many themes and plugins available, so you can easily customize your website and find support for any issues you encounter.
Finding the Right Photo Gallery Web Hosting
Once you decide on what software you’ll use to create your photo gallery, you can begin to search for a web hosting plan that supports that software. Most web hosts support the minimum requirements for WordPress, and many even specialize in the software or offer easy one-click installations.
If you've decided to use another photo gallery CMS, be sure to check that your chosen hosting plan supports the software's minimum requirements before you purchase.