wordpress: photo galleries
NextGen settings allow you to change many things about how slideshows work. Under the Gallery tab, look for the Options button. Notice that there are several tabs at the top of the window. Many of the settings are self-explanatory. We're going to skip those and concentrate on the ones you really need.
Gallery Path: We set this up earlier. If you ever want to change where photos are stored, this is where you do it.
Delete image files: Should be on by default. If you want photos to be deleted manually, make sure it is unchecked.
Activate Permalinks: This creates permalinks for individual photos in a gallery. Off by default but worth turning on.
Activate Media RSS: Always good to give access to your content.
Activate PicLens/Cooliris: This lets you use some third part slide show tools but they can direct traffic away from your site. I recommend leaving it unchecked.
The thumbnail settings give you control over the size and quality of every thumbnail that gets generated when new photos are loaded into a gallery. The Set fix dimension makes sure that all your thumbnails are identically sized.
Resize images: Nextgen will automatically shrink photos proportionally to fit into your content area. For example, a vertical photo will shrink to a height of 450 pixels with the above settings.
Image quality: A high setting will ensure photos are not over compressed but means file size will be larger. Experiment to see which setting works best for you.
Back up original images: If you plan on keeping an archive of your photos offline (and you should), you can leave this setting unchecked.
Automatically resize: Unchecked by default. Must be checked for resizing to work.
Cache single pictures: This creates a cache for WordPress so that it can build pages faster. Not essential for small sites but can really help as you grow. Check this box.
The gallery settings are very powerful but it's important to know that many of the settings only apply to new galleries made after changes have been saved. This prevents unwanted changes in pre-existing galleries.
Deactivate Gallery Page link: Applies only to albums
Integrate slideshow: This is checked by default and provides a link at the top of the gallery to view the auto-scrolling slide show we saw earlier. You can edit the link text in the provided fields.
Unchecking the box provides a click through slideshow called the ImageBrowser (shown below) when a user clicks a thumbnail. It automatically resizes to fit the content area and shows the side bar for additional ad placement and it reloads the page for each new click.
Show first: If you choose to turn on the Integrated slideshow, you can choose whether you want to show a slideshow or thumbnail gallery first.
Show ImageBrowser: Checking this will overwrite any effects you have selected on the next tab and replace the effect with the ImageBrowser.
Sort options: This sets the default sorting options for galleries. You can change the order of individual galleries without affecting the defaults.
The two default effects can change the look of your slideshows. When a user click on a thumbnail image the see these effects instead of the ImageBrowser. Users can click through but page views are not refreshed. Both filters will display the description text. For these to work, the Show ImageBrowser gallery setting must be unchecked. Pick one from the dropdown list.
You can set a default image or text watermark for your photos to protect your copyright. The watermarks are turned on/off on individual galleries and cannot be undone because they permanently alter the image.
The slideshow options are pretty self-explanitory. Just be careful not to get carried away with the transitions. There are addition setting on this pane but the defaults should work just fine.
Whew. That was a lot. Now lets look at some plugins that work with NextGen to provide additional functionality.