I wrote a month ago about why I don’t, or can’t, use Flickr. Since then, I’ve done some restructuring of my photo gallery and, while I like the way it looks and functions better, I discovered something very important about Smoothgallery that I hadn’t thought of before. First, my last theme displayed 15 images on a page and, after you had viewed those 15 images, you needed to go to the next page. Second, Smoothgallery loads all of the images in a gallery at once so you can smoothly transition from one to the other.
The first statement impacts Smoothgallery by limiting gallery sizes to 15; if there were more than 15 images in a gallery, they wouldn’t be displayed. That’s easy enough to fix by increasing that limit, but then I run into issues where every image is loaded at the same time. I have a gallery with over 400 images, so when I gave this a try, it immediately overloaded my server because it tried to load all 400+ pictures simultaneously.
My conclusion is that, first, I want to keep Smoothgallery. It’s so much nicer than Lightbox, and I don’t want to change the way the gallery looks again. Therefore, I need to reorganize my albums. All of them.
I’m currently at 60 albums with well over 3000 images, and now I need to go through and break them down further into smaller categories. For example, I’m currently in Orlando, Florida at Educause and have subsequently been taking a lot of pictures of the conference and surrounding area. Instead of just creating one giant album, or even albums according to the day I took the picture on (like I have now), I could organize them according to location or event: Exhibition Hall, Conference Hall, Disney, Hotel, Orlando, Airport, etc.
It’s going to be a lot of organizational work, but I think the end result will be significantly better than what I have now. It will also, hopefully, decrease bandwidth usage and speed up gallery loading. I’m just not sure when I can do this; I get back to Springfield on Friday night, and Saturday marks the start of NaNoWriMo. But it’s still something that needs to be done, and sooner rather than later.