What is Piwigo and why did I select it?
Piwigo is a freely available photo gallery web application for setting up a website with a photo gallery. Your photos can be made available to the public or only for users having access rights. Piwigo is actively being developed by an active community and has many free plugins and themes available. You can install Piwigo on your own server (for example on a QNAP nas) or at a hosting provider.
I tried and used many photo galleries in the past 10 years, but lot of them were after few years not maintained anymore or became very expensive. Since 2017 I use Piwigo as I required at that time a site to share photos made by members of the local school orchestra of a trip from The Netherlands to Canada. Purpose was to let every member upload the photos he/she made, so other members could download these. To protect the privacy only school orchestra members are allowed to download the photos. Piwigo was the only gallery available at that time which was free (opensource) and still maintained.
Still, every year I screen the web if new photo gallery software is available or existing packages suddenly got new updates. So far the most flexible is Piwigo. The best thing is I can publish my photos straight from Adobe Lightroom, including the metadata I added to my photos.
Some features of Piwigo
- Upload photos on the Piwigo sit, via FTP client or desktop application such as digiKam, Lightroom, Shotwell, iPhoto, Aperture. iPhone/Android applications.
- Setup albums, including unlimited depth of sub albums.
- Uploaded photos can be displayed in multiple sizes to suit different devices + speeding up load times.
- Free themes and plugins can be used.
- Albums and/or photos can be made private and only be visible for certain users and/or user groups.
- Visitors can post comments, give ratings, mark photos as favorite, perform searches, create their own or public collections
- Automatic slideshow.
- Use of EXIF/IPTC metadata to fill photo properties such as title and tags.
- Show photos on a map if GPS coordinates are available.
- Predefined photo collections such as best rated, most seen, random or most recent.
- Search features.
- Administrators can create users, groups, manage permissions and send notifications. Several administrators can work at the same time.
- Multilingual – 54 languages supported
I was not happy with the themes provided, but out of the box it was the best photo gallery software there was. In 2020, while we needed to stay more at home due to the Corona virus, I dived into tweaking an existing theme. As there is not a clear manual available it was somewhat a puzzle, but with help of the Piwigo development documents available, the Piwigo forum and playing around with the Piwigo theme templates I managed to get a theme which fulfills my requirements.
The things I discovered are made available to others via multiple articles here on this site.