This is a continuation of a series of posts about reworking my website into one that is entirely WordPress based. The series starts here:
Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday. I decided that I’d done enough messing around with Photocrati in my sandbox to have a pretty good idea that I could make it work for my main web site, so I put my head down and started to implement. You can see how far I’ve gotten here. That link will work for at least a week. By then I may have gone live at www.kasson.com with the new WordPress implementation.
One of the first issues that I had to deal with was which of the many NextGEN Pro gallery display formats I wanted to use. I settled on NextGEN Pro Mosaic, which dynamically re-scales images so that they fill up the page without cropping. The NextGEN grid methods crop, even when you tell them not do in the settings — there has to be something that I don’t understand about that. The Pro Mosaic display allows for captions and social media tools to be displayed when you mouse over an image. I would prefer the captions to be visible at all times under the image, but that’s not an option.
I tried many times, and failed every time, to make the album display feature work. No matter what I did, when I’d place an album into a page, I’d get an icon with a red X through it in the editing window, and nothing in the user’s view window. My workaround is to create a page with example images from each gallery, with the title of the gallery in the caption. Then I make the caption a hot link. I’d never tried to hot-link with a caption before, but it works just fine.
I ran into some interesting NextGEN gallery behavior while I was working around the album issue. After you’ve installed NextGEN, when you insert an image you have the option to insert it from a NextGEN gallery. Not only that, there’s an option to have the image scaled down. However, when it scales to the size that I want, it crops the image arbitrarily. So I created the thumbs in Lightroom.
There are some galleries that I haven’t yet implemented. I’m thinking about leaving the underwater pictures pretty much as is, and changing the menus to make getting back and forth from the WordPress part of the web site to be pretty seamless, although the look and feeel will be different. The reason is that each of the underwater pictures has a long caption, and, giving the fact that the latest picture there is more than ten years old, it’s probably not worth it for me to emulate that by hand in WordPress.
[Added 1:00 pm. I’ve now gotten enough confidence in the new main site that I’ve pointed the Home item in this blog’s top-level menu to it.]