How to Create a Photo Gallery Website – The Fast, Friendly, and Free Way to a Custom Photo Website

Move Over Photo Sharing Websites, I’m going Solo

There’s a time and place for community-centered-photo-service-websites for the masses (whew!). But sometimes you need something all your own — you know what I mean?  If you’ve found that it’s time that your photography skills and photos are worthy of a dedicated website of their own, read on to discover one of the most painless ways to create a stunning photo gallery website.   You’ll find that it’s a lot easier than you think!  With a little web programming knowledge and motivation, you can even build your photo website in one day or less, if you really wanted to.

How to Create a Photo Gallery Website In Less Than One Day

Now you don’t have to build your website in one day — I’m just saying it’s possible, if you really, really wanted to (by all means take your time!)

I’ll let you in on a little known secret to the world of building websites.  Most major sites you see on the internet today were not made from scratch.  Rather they are built on top of something called a content management system, or CMS for short.  What that really means is when you set out to build a website, you can install a content management system (most are absolutely free) and then tweak everything to make it look and function the way you want it.  You can use this technique to quickly and easily build your photo gallery website in less than a day without sacrificing anything.

A Content Management System, The Blueprint To Your Photo Website

A CMS is to a website just like a blueprint is to a house — it lays the foundation for the owner to build and customize. 

Just like a blueprint for a house, a content management system lays the foundation of your website, but you are free to change, modify, and tweak features within reason.  You will be able to choose what goes where, what colors to use, what features to enable and what to turn off.  Most of the hard work is done for you.  All you have to worry about is the personalized tweaks that you want to make.    

Sound interesting? Let’s see dive into the specifics of using a CMS to create your photo gallery website.

Joomla — The General Purpose Content Management System

If you did an internet search for “content management system,” you’ll quickly find that one named Joomla is one of the most popular CMS’s around — if not THE most popular.  There are many reasons why this is so, and here are the highlights:

Joomla is free

Joomla is easy to use, with an easy learning curve

Joomla is compatible with most webhosting companies

Joomla has a wide range of plugins

Joomla has an active community

I’m not here to sell Joomla — it’s free for crying out loud!  If you want to learn more about Joomla and it’s awesomeness just do a little searching.  Meanwhile I’ll outline the steps you need to take in order to use Joomla to create your photo gallery website. 

Using Joomla For Your Photo Gallery Website

Here’s a quick run down on how to build a photo gallery website using the Joomla content mangement system

  1. Register a domain name.
  2. Sign up for a web hosting account.  Many sites offer domain registration for free if you sign up for web hosting with them.
  3. Download and install Joomla to your web hosting account.  Some web hosting companies offer an automatic install of Joomla.
  4. Install the RS Gallery Plugin for Joomla.  Installation is a matter of clicking two buttons
  5. Change your Joomla template and remove the example items from your Joomla installation
  6. Start uploading your photos!

Six steps is really all there is to it.  Definitely well within anyone’s capabilities.

How to Build a Photo Gallery Website

Photos are a big part of people’s lives. It’s the only way we are able to capture and take note of memories. From photo albums to digital photo frames, photo storage and sharing has grown massive. Today, the most popular way of sharing pictures is through photo galleries on websites and on social networking pages. But if that’s not enough for you we’ll give you a step by step guide on how to build a photo gallery website. It’s when you have a personal domain and web address with albums and pictures in. Why build a photo gallery website? First of all you get a chance to store all your beautiful images in your own personal space on the World Wide Web. You also get to improve your photos with easy to use editing features, and update your friends via RSS feed if ever you have uploaded new photos. A photo gallery website will also allow you to share your photos on other website, choose a theme for every group of photo depending on the event, and create photo slideshows to entertain your visitor.

How to build a photo gallery website is easy. With all the free software available online, you could get started in no time. But first you have to create a website. Here’s how you go about the whole thing:

1. Choose a domain – The domain name is your address on the web. It comes after www. and it ends with an official domain name extension such,.net, etc. This is what the people type on the web browser when they visit your site so it’s important to pick something easy to recognize and remember. Keep it short, simple and use a word or name that reflects your site’s general concept. You can find a domain name online such as Act Now Domains. You can register there and pay for it. They will assure you whether your chosen name has a duplicate or not.

2. Choose a web host – A web host serves up your website online so that when someone enters your domain name on the web browser your site appears. Go to iPower for example and get a less expensive plan for starters. The web host you choose should have good support.

3. Create the website – There are step by step website tutorials that you can follow or you could get a website builder from web hosts. There are also website software programs you could use to build the website by yourself. Keep your site simple and pleasing to the eye. Don’t place blaring music or slow loading graphics. After all this, you have to upload your website to your web host account.

4. Choose a photo gallery software – There are software tools you can get for free that automatically generate thumbnails and HTML code that display your image collections on your website. Such tools will optimize and resize your pictures and create web pages with photos, links and full-sized images. These programs also have customized features that will control appearance of web pages and allow other people to view them. And example of these tools would be the Java Album and Gallery wizard.

Now that you know how to build a photo gallery website, collect those photos and start sharing!

Ten WordPress Photo Gallery and Photo Plugins

A blog without images is like half a blog. Most people expect to see at least some images sprinkled around your blog. Then on some sites they want a gallery of pictures to give a variety of visual information, such as for photographers, artists, and quilters. Adding images to your WordPress blog can be simple with great photo and photo gallery plugins.

1. Featured Content Gallery is a photo gallery WordPress plugin. It allows you to create an automated, rotating image gallery on any post or page. It is very easy to integrate and you simply add a field where you want the gallery to display. Choose from dozens of options to customize according to your website.

2. NextGen Gallery is probably the most popular WordPress Photo Gallery plugin. Create a slide show, a media RSS feed and more. Easily move, copy, upload and delete images. You can even add a flash photo gallery.

3. WP Photo Album easily allows you to manage WordPress photo albums. Create albums and move photos to and from them. Upload and delete photos and add a bit of code to post your album where needed.

4. Flickr Gallery is a great photo plugin if you use Flickr. With their shortcodes system your pages and posts can quickly and easily have your Flickr images incorporated. You can turn on database caching for faster loading.

5. Lazyest Gallery with a name like that, how can you not like this WordPress plugin? It creates thumbs and slides automatically. Easily manage comments per image or folder. Arrange your images and folders as you wish and handle many other details as you see fit.

6. Shutter Reloaded is an image viewer but is minimal in size. It will resize large images, combine images in sets and pre-load images for faster display. You can customize background and color for captions, buttons and menu.

7. Lightbox 2 allows viewers to see a larger image in a unique format. Once an image is clicked it will pop up and the rest of the page will darken. Load times remain almost the same.

8. Shadowbox JS is similar to Lightbox 2 but works with various media formats as well as images. There is an option for commercial purposes.

9. Freebie Images quickly search through free stock images and photos to enhance your blog. These high quality images were created by professional photographers and illustrators and can be added to your blog with Drag and Drop functionality.

10. Thumbnail for Excerpts is a beautiful WordPress plugin that allows your images to appear on excepts from your blog. Your RSS Feed can then show images instead of just information.

With these various photo plugins you should find ones that work well with your needs and your WordPress theme.