Guest blogger: Kim Bruce
This is the third and final post in my Essential WordPress Plugins for Artists series for Art Biz Blog. The first one was on Security and the second focused on Search Engine Optimization.
I saved my all time favorite plugin for the final installation of my top choices for WordPress plugins: NextGEN Gallery. There is so much that you can do with NextGEN Gallery, the least of which is managing and organizing your work into separate distinct galleries.
For large bodies of work or yearly archives you can group your portfolio using albums. Any number of galleries can be added to an album, which is available in two formats: 1) the compact version with only a thumbnail representing the galleries inside or 2) the expanded version, which has a description of the galleries inside.
You can easily upload batches of images via a standard WordPress-style uploader, zip file, or FTP. NextGEN automatically imports your images’ meta data and completes the image description and title boxes for you – IF you add the meta data to your images using photo-editing software before uploading.
NextGEN Gallery allows you to do more than the default WordPress gallery, including:
- Copy or move images between galleries
- Create multiple albums to organize galleries
- Chose the size of your thumbnails and whether or not to maintain the aspect ratio
- Crop a new thumbnail if the head is cut of your figure painting
- Change the size of your thumbnails
- Add alternative text and titles for your images
- Tag images
- Add html to your descriptions
- Exclude image from showing on your site without having to delete it
- Insert single images via the WordPress insert media button
- Rotate images
- Resize images (in pixel size only, this is not an optimizing tool like Photoshop) – I share how to do this in my SEO for Artists and Resizing Images (in Photoshop) tutorials
- Reorder images by drag and drop
- Watermark images
- Back up the original image upon upload and restore it later if need be
- Paginate gallery images
NextGen displays your images in a lightbox or a slideshow format and lets site visitors toggle between the two. There are 2 lightbox type effects that come with NextGen; Thickbox (my fav) or Shutter.
“Thickbox” is an effect that opens the larger image on a screen overlay, graying out the background, but making it visible enough that people know they are still on your site. It opens full size on a large screen, but adjusts to fit smaller screens as well. Brilliant! No scrolling!
Best of all, NextGEN teamed up with WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast to enable sitemap generation for NextGen images. This means that the images in NextGEN Gallery are indexed by the search engines if you use WordPress SEO plugin.
Organizing images is one of the most daunting tasks for artists. NextGEN Gallery makes image management a whole lot less stressful.
What’s your experience with image management on WordPress?
About Our Guest Blogger
Kim Bruce is a working artist who runs Artbiz, where she creates websites for artists. She also teaches how to watermark images with NextGen Gallery at The WordPress for Artists School. Kim works out of her office/studio located in the foothills of Alberta just outside of Calgary.