Updated Flora Gallery, How To Display Better Looking Images In Wordress.com

Vivid Budding RedChristmas Budding Poinsettia In Vivid Red

I am currently in the process of updating my photo galleries. WordPress.com’s image display options are pretty poor, and my previous configuration does not respond very well with changes in website themes. At least, the flora gallery is finally up. I’m still in the slow process of curating and adding images, such as the above which was just added tonight. 🙂 But I’ll also like to take an opportunity to talk about the limitations of WordPress.com’s image display features.

Let me be precise, I am only speaking about WordPress.com, not the WordPress web hosting software platform. We also have to be fair. I chose to use a managed hosting portal instead of hosting my own website, and picked a pretty cheapskate plan 😛 . It is totally reasonable that there will be limitations if I am not paying for more feature-rich plans which enable me to install a variety of WordPress plugins that makes my website management easier. You get what you pay for!

But if you are not getting those convenient plugins, then your options for image display are quite poor. Here is what a WordPress.com gallery display might look like:

Doesn’t look inspiring at all. How about this?

Better but your images may get dynamically sized in haphazard and ugly ways depending on the number of images. Try this other display format?

Now that’s just ugly. There are also other formats such as square and circle, which I dislike. In fact there is no display format offered by WordPress.com that I am satisfied with.

There are other big issues. First, WordPress.com only uses one version of your picture, so your image gallery is actually displayed with browser-scaled versions of the images you uploaded. As I explained before, this makes your work look ugly!

Second, the WordPress.com media library offers no organizational tool for the files you drop in there. No way to group your media files in sets or collections. It’s just a simple repository dump with a flat hierarchy. Good luck if you want to re-display an image you dropped in there six months ago!

The answers for a cheapskate like me are simple: Use another free photography site that has better organizational features and properly scaled images. Then write my own HTML and link to those hosted images to display a better-looking gallery. Like this:

Vivid Budding Red Explosion Of Youth
Tiny Blossoms Colourful Aloe
Little vain magenta

Way better! Each image gets its own space regardless of whether or not they are in portrait of landscape orientation. They all fit together in a clean manner. These images are all hosted on Flickr and use properly-sized versions of the original image for display. I also hacked out some javascript to help me auto-generate the required HTML whenever I change or add a picture. Pretty happy with the results!

Of course this requires that you understand HTML and writing code! If you want to take a look at the code, just select your browser’s “view source” option. My preferred gallery display is probably the only

element in the HTML source that is fully written in HTML. The other galleries should be generated via javascript. Have fun! – WY

2 comments

  1. Au, thanks for this. It’s a problem I face constantly, even though I am not using wordpress.com but a really outstanding hosting provider (SiteGround). Incidentally, I share the hosting cost by hosting several client accounts under the same plan.

    For photos, I’ve found that most hosted WordPress gallery plugins are just too limited or obscurely documented to do what I often want. So I have a cheap plan on SmugMug that gives me unlimited uploading and reasonable design options. If I want to display photos in WordPress posts, I simply embed them as you are doing. Or I build the page with PootlePress Pagebuilder, which is kind of like creating tables with slick sizing options, etc.

    At any rate, I like how my photos look in SmugMug, and the organizational options are far, far, FAR better than Google Photos which assumes that it knows what I want, but never actually does. Here’s a typical SmugMug gallery from last weekend’s shoot of a play, “Land of Golden Sunshine.” http://bit.ly/2qOBHGT.

    Liked by 1 person

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