Nextgen galleries or Photocrati for your website?
Chances are when you build a photo site you’re going to add some galleries. So you’ll have to choose a tool to make them. I had to. When you build your site with WordPress, there’s a bunch of free gallery plugins you can choose from. Check here to see a few of them. However, the one that seems to have won the popularity contest is the Nextgen gallery plugin. It’s amazingly diverse, easy to use and it comes with a truckload of options. One option I liked in particular was that Nextgen lets you edit gallery thumbnails. Like that you won’t end up with a pare of feet or a beheaded model in your gallery overview. So Nextgen comes highly recommended. You can easily download it from your wordpress dashboard.
There’s a ‘but’, however, and a big one if you ask me. When you build your galleries with Nextgen your photographs won’t be picked up by Google very easily. This is an old problem that seems to be difficult to solve. Allegedly the latest nextgen versions are fully compatible with the Google search engine. Especially if you use the Yoast SEO to make your website’s sitemap. But I tried all that and didn’t get very excited by the results. After several months only very few of my pictures got picked up by Google.
When I got tired of fiddling with file titles, descriptions and photo tags, I decided it was time for something new. And after a short search on the net I ended up on the Photocrati site. They offer a set of 15 templates for your wordpress site that also includes a gallery tool. I got interested because the site stated their gallleries were compatible with Google. That was exactly what I was looking for. Would it really work? Only one way to find out and that is to purchase the template package. I did and reworked my site with one of their templates. It took me around two days and I have to say that the results are great. Only one month after the makeover all of my photographs now get picked up by Google. That’s really a big difference. Buying Photocrati sets you back 89$, but it’s really worth it. There’s a little downside though. The Photocrati gallery tool offers less customising options as Nextgen. It doesn’t let you edit the gallery thumbnails. But what’s more important? Customisation or outreach? Right, I thought so. If you’re interested in Photocrati, check it out here. highly recommended stuff.