Photography | NFT

Creating your own gallery

If you are a photographer and viewing this gallery triggers your interest in creating your own (similar) site, I would like to share some hints. You have in the internet many videos and posts explaining how you should proceed. Feel free to look your own information but you may benefit from the time I already spent on that.

There are a two general decisions that you should ask yourself at the very beginning as that will shape your options:

  1. Do you have a solid IT background? This does not mean that you need to be a pro but a normal Windows user will not be enough. If typing shell commands or editing html/css sounds far from your comfort zone we can assume that the answer is no.
  2. Do you consider the EXIF info (mainly data about the exposure, focal length, etc…) as something essential that you want to show together with your pictures?

There are basically two options to create your own gallery. First is to resort to some company that offers you a gallery service and second is to host your own website. Both of them will not be free, though the total bill may change significantly. If you are not willing to invest in any sort of paid service the options are very limited.

You may already have part of you work is some social media (Instagram, Facebook, etc…). Showing pictures is quite simple but the options that you have to customize how the site looks are quite limited, in addition to some other obvious restrictions as image size/resolution. The most simple approach is to resort to a similar type of service in which creating a gallery is some sort of drag & drop task, but more oriented to a professionals aiming a website, including photographers. They will offer you a nice catalogue of pre-built galleries. There are countless companies offering this and I have just tried a few. I was very impressed with Wix. It impressed me so much that I was very close to setup the site with them.


  • Very easy interface
  • Wonderful templates
  • You can figure out if it fits you for free


  • No obvious way to show EXIF info
  • The free service is quite limited: does not include a nice domain name (or even linking your own domain for free) and limited to 500MB of storage and 500 MB of bandwidth. Believe me that this bandwidth limit is clearly insufficient nowadays.

A realistic cost (Feb 2018) starts in 12$/month.

The alternative to these services is to host your own site. If your answer to the first question was NO you should better forget about this. You may setup the basics using video tutorials but problems will come and it will bring you frustration. Hosting means:

  • Buy your own domain (not really essential)
  • Hire a company offering hosting services (hundreds of them)
  • Setup WordPress. Yes, without WordPress the task becomes impossible. Most hosting companies makes this very easy.
  • Choose a theme (or build your own one). In general you will not need a paid theme. This website uses the Hitchcock free theme that is available in the WordPress repositories.
  • Buy a plugin to create a photo gallery. This site uses Web-Dorado Photo gallery plugin.
  • Create your content.

As you can see this options does not come for free either but at least you can do a lot of the tests in your own computer. For that purpose I advise you to install Wamp server locally. It is very easy and you can use it as a test bench and you have similar options in Mac and Linux.

The key thing is choosing the right plugin. Again setting up the site with a free plugin or no plugin at all will limit a lot your options. That is the way it is … Once that is said there are again many plugins doing the job, most of them will have a free version that will allow you to get a glimpse of the functionalities and look. As I said this site uses Web Dorado Photo gallery, which is really great value for money (starts as a one-off payment of 30$). Customization and visual look is great. The main lack is the EXIF support, which is quite limited and if you want to show the items you want you will need to get your hands dirty with MySQL tables. Feel free to drop me a message if you want to know how to do it.

As you can see EXIF support is still quite difficult, though the Envira plugin family seems to make it easy for about 69$.

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