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What is Gallery?
Gallery is an open-source, Linux-based photo organization application that enables you to create and host interactive photo galleries on your website. You’ve probably seen many sites that implement photo hosting, but Gallery is one of the originals and this web based photo album organizer has been installed on countless pages around the world over the years. The Gallery platform gives users a feature-filled and intuitive way to integrate photo management seamlessly into their own websites, regardless of what kind of site they happen to be running. It’s been used on small, personal websites all the way up to a large community type of sites.
Think for a second about a site like Facebook. Yes, it’s a social site, but it is mainly a photo sharing site. Gallery has inspired many sites and projects of their own. In a world where every family vacation is instantly uploaded to Facebook and every meal seems to be on Instagram before it’s had time to cool, it’s clear that images are one of the most powerful tools people use to share and connect with one another. Hosting a photo gallery on your website might not seem like an automatic win, but if you are looking to encourage customer interaction, social media sharing and build relationships, it might be one of the smartest moves you’ll make.
If you’re considering using Gallery for business purposes, you’re on the right track. Statistics show that nearly half of visitors actually vest the credibility of a site based on elements of a site’s design, including the visual elements that galleries can provide. It’s a bit of a natural instinct and you should integrate a product like Gallery wherever possible. When publishers implement graphics, it has been proven that traffic responds favorably, engagement goes up and visual content is the focus of that increase.
Gallery is Smart
That move looks like this – an easy, quick install of a powerful and flexible tool that delivers lots of features. Adding Gallery can practically any site the ability to host galleries. While it’s focused on pictures, there are a number of great user experience tools that you can selectively add to the experience like slideshows, zoom features, comment sections, interactive galleries, the ability to post and share their own photos and much more.
Some of Gallery’s feature-rich propositions are the support for social media sharing, slideshow viewing, user account management, indexed search by tag and keyword, active image tagging, and security features like watermarking and captcha (the image-verification technology used by many sites to prove visitors are human when they fill out a form or access a file. If you’ve ever had to type two random words or character sets like “Bol0gnA Hedg3hog” into a little red box to register an account or access a file, you’ve used a captcha).
Editors and administrators (i.e., you!) can set a theme for the gallery, create, modify and delete user accounts, and set up Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds to send your image stream to other sites and applications. Gallery does not, as yet, have an ecommerce module, so if part of your business plan for your site involves selling images as well as sharing them, you may need to look elsewhere.
The folks over at Gallery announced that after fourteen years of running the project, it was going ‘dormant’ for a while. However the community is still active and developments continue to get made on the platform altogether. You can also find lots of support there.
Gallery is freeware and to run it, be aware that it is Linux-based. That means a Gallery system has to be installed on a web server based on that powerful operating system. You also need to be sure that both the PHP Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) framework and MySQL (Structured Query Language) database management application tools are available on the web server. Again, these are rather common tools in hosting and on Linux systems.
As always, if you are working with a host, always check in with your host team’s support for details. It might be possible that you need to adjust your hosting plan if it turns out you require additional SQL databases or bandwidth to support the increased traffic brought by your new gallery.