Over the past few years, I’ve experimented with three different PHP photogalleries: Coppermine, Gallery, and some of the various PHP plugins available for WordPress. Each of them has strong points, but weakness that make them problematic.
Coppermine is poor at uploads, while Gallery has more features, including an appropriate tool to upload stuff (but it’s a bugger to configure in an attractive way). I don’t like the WordPress plugins because most of them have very limited features on the other hand, they’re fine for a blog, but nothing more. They certainly can’t handle larger photo websites… Enter a new PHP image and photo gallery script – Gallarific.
I’ve been trying out the demo at their website and it is very snappy by comparison with some of my experiments before. Though there are few themes yet, I suspect that the software will easily manage themes. There is even a simple PHP script to check that your server can run the software.
If you have an existing blog or website, you should find integration relatively straightforward, using the in-built template editor. Given the efficiency of the scripts, any uploaded photos will be resized for three views: thumbnail, medium view and large view. This should ensure that your gallery loads much faster as images will be saved in more appropriate sizes.
Additional features will include zipping larger numbers of photos, tags, search function, gallery stats, slideshows, commenting (a la WordPress) with approval, visitor albums, and registered accounts, so that other users may share the upload and access of your website.
It is not Opensource, nor free, but if you are looking for an efficient alternative, and you don’t worry so much about the financial side of running your website (perhaps your website revenue supports such a purchase), then this might be an appropriate way to run a larger photo gallery on a shared server.
This post has been brought to you by Gallarific.com.