WordPress NextGEN Gallery Tips and Tricks

My son Jakob Barnard recommended the NextGEN plugin for WordPress. If you’re pressed for time in learning to use it, I recommend you find a tutorial via Google. I found

The WordPress Ninja tutorial gave me a great overview of what the workflow is in setting up a gallery. The video tutorial was well worth the additional 12 minutes. The author takes the time to generate errors and show how you see what is going wrong. Very helpful!

Having just put up my own first NextGEN gallery, I have additional tips for you.

Fix For NextGEN Gallery Slide Show Not Working

A google search showed numerous complains that the Slide Show feature was not working. Answers included conflicting plugins and Go Daddy hosting. My solution was quite simple: Work your way through all of the NextGEN settings! I’ve gotten spoiled by all the great plugins out there and have begun to expect everything to work well enough “out of the box.” Wrong answer!

Go to Gallery / Options / Slide Show. You need the “JW Image Rotator.” Follow the instructions, upload and activate it. Then the slide show works!

There is a “Search Now” button. It didn’t work for me. I added the path manually. In my case, /wp-content/uploads/imagerotator/imagerotator.swf went in to the text box.

Galleries Take Time

In my opinion, photos deserve captions. The titles and captions are especially important on a genealogy site! It took me quite a while to add titles, captions, and tags for every individual photo. But that will help google help people find the photos they seek. I only have to do it once, so I might as well do it right!

Back Up Your Database

The NextGEN gallery’s web interface is both a blessing and a weakness. This means that the ONLY copy of all your descriptions, tags, titles, etc., is in the WordPress database on your server. If you took an hour or more to get that gallery just right, take the five minutes to collect a backup of your WordPress database!

Or, better yet, double-check your automated daily database backups. Do you have a local copy in case your server crashes? I just checked my local copy, it was automatically downloaded at 12:01 am this morning, and does contain recent WordPress posts.