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Easy ways for clients to edit image galleries/slideshows

Posted in on 13 April 2010

I have been working on a website where one of the requirements is a JavaScript slideshow and/or an image gallery that the website owner or client could update. It is possible to do this via content management systems like Wordpress or Perch (and many others) but in this case, for various reasons, we had an HTML website, without database, to work with. At the same time, the system had to be really simple. So simple in fact, that all the client has to do is upload images (via FTP perhaps1) into the correct folder on the server.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop you writing your own code to do this. However, I was lazy (!) and looked around the web for JavaScript and PHP solutions. I didn’t find a whole lot but here are a couple of methods:

Kevin Dubois uses PHP to create a list of images from a folder and jQuery and the CrossSlide plugin for his rotating images slideshow. The method uses JavaScript to get the string of images that the PHP function found in the images folder. So far in our testing, this method has worked really well. Now all we have to do is get images from the client ;-)

Secondly, David Walsh has written a blog post about automatically generating a photo gallery from a directory of images. The PHP script gets the images from the folder/directory, checks to see if a thumbnail exists, creates one if required, and outputs the HTML. Smoothbox is used for the gallery but other lightbox scripts could also be used.

Both these methods avoid the client/website owner having to edit any code or WYSIWYG edit an image gallery/slideshow (can cause problems in my experience). They might still have to crop/resize an image but after that they just upload to the folder on the server.

1 In our case, the client has used FTP before so this was familiar. However, most clients will be able to use Windows Explorer or a dedicated FTP programme to upload the images with a few minutes instruction or a crib sheet.

Update: Pagemap ImageWall (in German but Readme file in English) is a single file PHP script that also reads images from a directory and creates a slideshow automatically.

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Comments

  1. David Wheatley

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been looking for a simple solution for clients to upload their own images onto a HTML site because previously I have installed Wordpress just for the image upload facility.

    This is a quick and simple solution, perfect for some of the smaller sites that I work on.

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