Build a Joomla photo gallery website by yourself
Currently, the number of templates designed for Joomla gallery websites has increased significantly in the market.
Considering this fact, I'd like to share with you some experience in building a photo gallery website from scratch based on Joomla 3.x
The aim of this article is to help you build a Joomla gallery on version 3.x in the most cost-effective way. Therefore, I prefer free templates and extensions (under GNU/GPL license). The only cost you have to pay is hiring a hosting service and buying a domain name.
By following the steps below, you can build a Joomla gallery website by yourself.
Step 1: Choosing a template
You can choose a free template from various sources such as blogtemplate4u.com, joomla24.com and themesbase.com. Many developers have been submitting their work to these places for free.
If you are using older version such as 1.x template, take a look at the article that I wrote for Joomla Magazine a quite long time ago - Free Joomla! Templates for Joomla! Community. Glance around and choose a template for your need. But I will recommend you update your Joomla site as soon as possible!
In this article, I will introduce to you JSN Tendo 2 Free Edition and JSN Vintage 2 Free Edition which were developed by JoomlaShine Team- one of the top Joomla templates & extension supplier in the market.
These templates are geared for photo gallery website so it possesses appropriate looks and features.You can see right on the homepage an eye-catching flash gallery called JSN ImageShow. This extension is also developed by JoomlaShine and available for free..
Please notice that the detailed documentation - The configuration manual for JSN Tendo 2 and JSN Vintage 2 are included in the Free File Download.
Step 2: Choosing suitable extensions
Choosing suitable Joomla extensions for your photo gallery website is as important as looking for the best template. According to my web-development experience, a gallery page requires specific components. Here are some extensions that I suggest, all of which are under GNU/GPL license.
A Gallery Component is inevitable in any image website. This is the key component used to display your Joomla gallery website.
While you are using JSN ImageShow for the homepage showcase, you can also use it for the Gallery section. The most interesting thing is that JSN ImageShow allows you to connect your account on Flickr, Picasa, Instagram... You can easily present your images from these sources on JSN ImageShow by using the API. Besides, I recommend another cool Joomla gallery extension which has been widely used by many photographers: Phoca Gallery
It is easy to categorize your images and show them neatly in groups like a portfolio or an album. You can change the parameters of the folders according to your liking. Also, viewers can make comments and give ratings, and you can set access and user rights and so on.
While JSN ImageShow specializes in stunning flash slideshows, Phoca Gallery differentiates itself by displaying every single photo. Phoca Gallery permits users to do quite a lot of configuration and management in its control panel. Meanwhile, JSN ImageShow is much simpler with seemingly automatic functions.
The most exciting thing is that JSN ImageShow is capable of displaying images from Phoca Gallery easily. I think the combination is necessary when you want to showcase your latest albums on the site's front page.
Each component has its own advantages and you may want to try both. I think that JSN ImageShow will stand out from the crowd if it is used to showcase a flash gallery on the homepage or on a single page.
JSN ImageShow is perfect for effects and transitions.
In the meantime, Phoca Gallery will be ideal for a Joomla gallery collection, which contains a lot of different work under various categories. You can also view every images' information in detail and download it with Phoca Gallery.
Here is an example of how JSN ImageShow and Phoca Gallery can combine with each other perfectly. Take a look!
Your viewers might want to leave you a message, so they can get in touch with you through the Contact module. My recommendation is JSN Uniform.This is another amazing extension from Joomlashine team which offers you up to three forms for Free.
This extension will help you to create any kind of form to connect with your visitors easily. You are not required to know any technical knowledge and coding skills. All you need to do is just drag & drop pre-built elements to make friendly forms and focus on conversion rates optimization.
Remember that you are required to register and log in before downloading.
More and more photographers and designers have developed a great demand for sharing their thoughts and experiences with viewers on their websites.
For a Blog Component, I recommend K2 - the best free extension for blogs.
K2 can create powerful content for sites with integrated comment and social bookmarking functions. K2 has its own dashboard which is separate from that of Joomla.
Therefore, it is also convenient for you to control the weblog by setting up user groups, authors, articles, tags and comments from viewers.
A Search Component will save viewers' time to locate certain photos when you have different categories and galleries on your gallery website. I suggest you try ACE Search Basic component, which is free and easy to use.
As I'm introducing you a cost-effective way of building a web gallery, all components are non-commercial. For ACE Search, they also have commercial editions which include more advanced features. If you find it necessary to use those features, you may consider the commercial editions of ACE Search.
Building a photo gallery website is simpler than other types. The major component is the gallery extension that displays your galleries or portfolios well. It should be in the most eye-catching way.
This article has shown you the main steps along with the necessary components to build a Joomla photo gallery website on version 3.x based on JSN Tendo 2 & JSN Vintage 2. Try out with your first gallery website and leave us your comments. Good luck!