FooGallery Plugin for WordPress: First Look

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The demise of the once unrivalled NextGen Gallery plugin for WordPress has nudged me to look for a replacement for several clients’ WordPress Web sites.

My criteria for replacement candidates are simple:

  • Light weight.
  • Intuitive.
  • Utilizes the native WordPress Media Library.
  • Includes a utility for importing NextGen Gallery galleries.
  • Affordable.

I think I’ve found it: FooGallery (free at WordPress.org).

(Hat-tip to the Facebook WordPress Plugin Suggestions group where a fellow named Luke Cavanagh recommended FooGallery.)

Insofar as I started playing with FooGallery only yesterday, this writeup must be considered a first look. I’m not pretending it’s a full-blown review, and I’m not sure I’ll ever do one. So here’s my first look.

What I Don’t So Much Like about FooGallery

  1. A Tad Proprietary
    Out of the box, FooGallery does not support any lightbox plugins These are what make thumbnails enlarge in modal windows other than its own, FooBox. There’s a free version (FooBox FREE, which I installed) that can be set up at the click of a couple buttons, but you need to upgrade (read Pay Money) for extended lightbox functionality. This annoys me just in principle. Beyond principle, there’s the fact that Responsive Lightbox by dFactory, which has become my standard lightbox plugin, comes (FREE) with all sorts of features that FooBox FREE lacks, such as, most notably, video support. (But read on…)
  2. Nothing else yet.

What I Like about FooGallery

  1. It’s light weight.
  2. It’s intuitive — end users should have no problem hitting the ground running with it.
  3. It utilizes the native WordPress Media Library.
  4. It includes a simple and intuitive utility for importing NextGen Gallery galleries.
  5. It’s free.
  6. I really like the Masonry Image Gallery template (see screen shot below), which is one of the standards, for the way it handles thumbnails of varying aspect ratios.
  7. In addition to being intuitive, it’s also designed with developers in mind. Namely, it comes with a customizable templating system and many action and filter hooks.

On that last point: I was able to make Responsive Lightbox by dFactory work with FooGallery by hooking into one of FooGallery’s filters with just a few lines of code in the functions file in my mu-pligins folder:

function add_foogallery_link_rel($attr, $args, $attachment) {
	$attr['data-rel'] = 'lightbox';
	return $attr;
}
add_filter('foogallery_attachment_html_link_attributes', 'add_foogallery_link_rel', 10, 3);

(It bears mentioning that this solution was offered by one of the authors of the FooGallery plugin in their WordPress dot org support forum.)

Screen Shot of Masonry Image Gallery

FooGallery masonry-template

Next Steps

A first look is exactly that. I’ll be diving deeper into FooGallery in the coming days. If I discover features or bugs worth noting, I may post again. Meanwhile, I’m very interested in what others use for WordPress photo gallery plugins. Please feel free to reply below with your comments and questions.

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About JeffCohan.com

The nSiteful Tech Blog (the official blog of nSiteful Web Builders, Inc. since January of 2013) is where I (Jeff Cohan) and (occasionally) associates will be posting articles of potential interest to like-minded techies, nSiteful clients who are playing active roles in the maintenance of their own Web sites and blogs, and pretty much anyone interested in how Web strategies and tools can help them reach their goals.

This entry was posted in First Looks and tagged , , by Jeff Cohan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jeff Cohan

Jeff and his wife, Margie, are the proud parents of Sarah and Jake. Jeff is the founder, president and chief cook and bottle washer of nSiteful Web Builders, Inc., a Web development and Internet Consulting firm. In his spare time, Jeff builds Web sites and Web applications, plays guitar, putters around in his basement woodworking shop, mercilessly spoils his grandchildren, and creates videos from more than two decades of home movies. His current video project is an extended montage of people (mainly family members) asking him to stop filming them.

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