Gallery 2 and WPG

Gallery is a free, open source photo sharing web application which is a bit like saying a Ferrari Enzo is just another car. Gallery 2 pretty much lets the user set up a photo gallery from as simple as a couple pages of photos to as complex as dozen of albums and sub-albums, with dynamic keyword-based albums and other features thrown in for fun. It has options for password protected albums, RSS feeds, a commenting system, etc. There’s no feature I can think of that I really wanted that wasn’t already part of the core system or easily added on through a plugin.

Like WordPress, Gallery benefits from an active community of plugin developers who have extended the features of the software. One of the nicer features for WordPress users is the WPG2 plugin which integrates Gallery with WordPress so, for example, my Gallery pages use the same theme as my WordPress blog and appear to be simply pages under WordPress. Additionally, individual images can be easily inserted into WordPress pages or posts using a special WPG tag.

If you’ve got your own server, Gallery is a cheap and highly flexible way to host a medium to large photo site.

WP Super Cache

WordPressWP Super Cache is a fork of the popular WordPress plugin WP-Cache 2 that, apparently, does an even better job of caching than WP-Cache 2. According to the WP Super Cache site,

WP-Cache 2 caches the pages of your WordPress blog and delivers them without accessing the database. Unfortunately it still means loading the PHP engine to serve the cached files.

WP Super Cache gets around that. When it is installed, html files are generated and they are served without ever invoking a single line of PHP. How fast can your site serve graphic files? That’s (almost) as fast it will be able to serve these cached files. If your site is struggling to cope with the daily number of visitors, or if your site appears on Digg.com, Slashdot or any other popular site then this plugin is for you.

Given the spaghetti code that is WordPress, it is a bit mind boggling that something like this hasn’t been made part of the WP distro already. I know something like it is currently being planned, but WordPress can’t even withstand moderate traffic without noticeable performance hits if you’re not using some sort of caching plugin.

PhotoDropper WordPress Plugin

PhotoDropper is a WordPress plugin that integrates the writing screen with Flickr. Say you’re writing a post about NASA and need an image of the Space Shuttle. Type in “Space Shuttle” and PhotoDropper displays Flickr photos tagged “Space Shuttle” that are also licensed under Creative Commons. A couple clicks later, and the photo is inserted into your post. Nice.