I have previously talked about using my favorite webhosting service for hosting Coppermine galleries for your fansite or collections of photos. Today I want to talk about an alternate type of gallery you can load that is really easy to use and does not require any database programming.
How to set up a gallery
- Sign up for an account on a webhosting site- click on the banner above to get 1.5 GB of free space from 000webhost.com
- Download the web-album application J-Album from http://j-album.net/
- Organize your photos on your hard drive into folders as you would like to display them in an album
- Open j-album , pick a layout theme and start to build an album. Once you have all of your photos in the order you like in folders and you have added any links you would like in the settings area, click on the make album link. This will generate all of the html you need to link your photos into a nice album that is ready to publish to the web. I recommend choosing the option to copy originals so that all photos are in your album file for easy loading purposes. This is also helpful later. MAKE SURE THAT YOU NEVER CHOOSE TO REMOVE a folder from your album projects- just exclude them as one of the quirks of J-album is that it will remove your files from your harddrive erasing your photos!
- Once the album is made, you can choose to publish it directly from your J-album interface. It will first try to publish to the j-album site- you want to make sure you select the option to publish to an alternate site. At this point enter your ftp info. You will be asked if you want to load to the main directory- if your site is to be used just as an album- say ok and proceed. The program will run until your album is loaded. You can add additional photos later by updating your album project and adding more pics, then repeating the publishing protocol. You can load a j-album with up to about 500 HQ photos to your free 000webhost.com account without any problems. You can load many more photos if they are not HQs. To conserve space- I recommend not making slides and using intermediate pictures, just link the thumbs directly to your originals. This will speed up the time taken to make the album and publish it both.
That is it! Photo albums in a jiff! Make sure you register with J-album and get an account there. You can add your albums to your account and add counters and stats using thier album gadgets once your album has been published.
You can check out my most recent webalbum which has a collection of HQ promo photos for the defunct CBS vampire series Moonlight as an example:
You can access the album direct as well without the navigation panel
If you have more photos– you can use your paid hosting service and publish your albums to directories. To do this, instead of using the j-album publishing tool, use a ftp tool ( I recommend filezilla) and open your album project. You will see a variet of files, you want the album files. Open the album files up and then load all of the files in the folder to your hard drive in the directory you want to have your album appear on. That is it. Nothing else to do.
One tip for making a gallery with any application- make sure your photo and gallery names are not too long. Many hosting companies have limits on file names. Also- make sure your photos are sized to fit on your host. Usually I try to have my photos under 4MB in size. You can use a program like Easy Thumbnails or VSO Image Resizer to shrink the size of your UHQ images to ones more hosting friendly with ease.