Share Your Photos > Custom Photo Galleries

Custom Photo Galleries

Get your gallery looking just the way you want

Are you a control freak? Then this is the right place for you. Don't get me wrong — this is a good kind of control.

This page is for the person who really wants to manage the display of their online photo gallery. The problem with online photo sharing provided by companies is that you have little or no control over how your gallery looks and functions.

You are stuck with their look for the gallery pages, and you can't really customize too much. If the look of your galleries is not all that important to you, then read no further. This information will just make you scratch you head in wonder at how picky some people can be.

For all my fellow control freaks...read on!

Creating Galleries By Hand

I did this a lot in the past. There were two reasons: the first is that there was minimal gallery software and the second is that I just wanted to customize too much. Every automated program I used did not produce the results I was hoping for.

Just in case you are considering this route, I do not really recommend it. It is slow, laborious and painful. The term mind-numbing is appropriate.

If you're not familiar with the process, here is the basic outline. You start out with the images that you want to make into a gallery. First, you have to reduce the size of the photos and optimize them for the web (so that it doesn't take 30 minutes for each one to display). Then you have to create thumbnails (tiny versions of each image) so that you can create a gallery page.

A gallery page consists of all of the thumbnails arranged side-by-side and linked to the larger photos. Each large photo needs its own page to display. I typically create one page that looks exactly the way I want, and then make as many copies as I need (renaming as I go) for each individual photo.

This process is not too intense if you are creating a gallery of 25 images. Mostly, you will be doing a lot of copying and pasting. Imagine trying to do the same thing for 500 photographs. Tedium doesn't even begin to describe it.

Creating Galleries With Programs

Given the repetitive nature of creating gallery pages, it makes sense that this is something ideally suited for a computer program. Once you create a custom template to display each image, the program can use that template and make hundreds of copies for you all at once. It's much simpler than doing it yourself.

For a long time, this didn't work very well. Like the online gallery providers, you just couldn't customize the gallery enough. For example, "customize" meant that you could change the background color of the page and the size of the photos. Not a whole lot, is it?

Times have changed, and so has the software. Now you can customize to your heart's content. The only catch is that you need the right software to do it.

Since I am economically-minded and wanted to create my own galleries, I went on a search for software that doesn't break the bank and that produces galleries that will make the control freak jump for joy.

Here's what I found...