Whether you want to set up a full-blown gallery or simply display a few holiday photos, there are numerous free ways to showcase your images on your website. Here are our top picks:
If you’re looking for an adaptable and attractive solution, Lightbox is a good choice. It doesn’t matter what (if any) content management system or blogging software you use as it’s compatible with any type of website. Once you’ve installed the software, simply add an image to your page and then click it to see a larger version with your page background darkened out and the ability to click through your photos.You can choose to group photos with a slideshow-type effect or show them individually.
Low-maintenance and easy to install, Lightbox 2 is ideal for those who don’t want a full-scale gallery solution. Check out the website for live examples and installation instructions. You can also combine Lightbox with your existing CMS or blogging platform for commenting functionality.
Flickr is a very straightforward solution if you want to host your images externally and share/promote them easily. Just go to Flickr.com and sign up for a free account. Flickr features geotagging, group functionality and cross-posting, contacts, commenting and the community feel you’d expect from a social networking website. There’s also the advantage of not having to manage the software yourself.
However, free Flickr accounts are limited; you’ll need to pay for a premium account ($24.95/year) if you want to upload more than 2 videos and 100MB of photos in a calendar month. You can bring your Flickr photos to your WordPress website thanks to the various plugins available, such as Flickr Gallery.
Google’s online photo album tool doesn’t have the community benefits of Flickr but benefits from solid privacy tools so you can create private galleries without requiring your viewers to register. With dynamically scaled images to fit your screen, geotagging, image editing and photo and gift ordering. Picasa is a good solution for personal photo collections.
Picasa Web Albums comes with 1GB of storage and can be downloaded for free. For more information on Picasa, click here.
A versatile and easily customisable choice, Coppermine Gallery is one of our one-click installs so you can enjoy a quick, hassle-free set up from your eXtend control panel. You can upload documents and audio files as well as images, making it perfect for use as a centralised business resource, for stock image collections or to showcase past projects. Archive functionality allows you to separate out older or unused files, and you can choose to display a selection of random images and most recent additions. Coppermine Gallery also boasts a star rating system, view counts, user profiles and commenting functionality for added interaction.
If you don’t like the default look, design your own theme or search the web for premade themes. You can also customise your installation with a range of plugins, including a panorama viewer, an FLV player and remote video support. Click here for a full list. You can download Coppermine Gallery here. You can also see Coppermine Gallery in action with this demo.
Similarly to Coppermine Gallery, the simply-named Gallery is a free software installation suitable for hundreds or thousands of images. Gallery is highly customisable with free themes available, and supports multiple photo albums, user profiles, view counts, commenting and RSS publishing in addition to many other features.
To download Gallery, click here.
This comprehensive WordPress plugin is a good choice for those wanting to utilise both gallery and individual image functionality whilst maintaining consistency. The NextGen plugin also features a Flash slideshow, an AJAX-based thumbnail generator and customisable templates. Find out more here.
As with all WordPress plugins, the gallery can be installed with minimal effort and edited via your admin panel. If the NextGen Gallery isn’t for you, you might want to check out the hundreds of other image plugins that WordPress has to offer.
What do you use to display your site’s images? What did we leave out? Let us know in the comments!