You know I did the necessary homework first. Since I took the paintaking task of installing MySQL, I wanted my gallery to be database driven. I compared just adding images to posts, versus using Pictorialis II versus using Coppermine.
I installed Pictorialis II first. Since it is based off of WordPress, installation was familiar and easy. Customizing was also easy since I have recently graduated to a WP Novice. The software did what it advertised, showed pictured in a gallery format, but I just felt like something was missing.
Then I did installed Coppermine in a separate test web. Installation almost seamless. First I had to install ImageMagick on my server which was a very straightforward process. From there, everything else was a breeze from setting up a new MySQL database that Coppermine will use to the installaing of the of the software. Installation is very similar to WordPress by the use of install.php. Once I ran Coppermine, I knew it was the software for me…. FEATURES OVERKILL! You can view as a slideshow, see the most recent posts, setup my favorites, etc… (see full features). I got Coppermine up and running on WIMP without issue.
The fun part came when I decided that I wanted an actual blog frontend to the photo gallery to serve as the mainpage. So I setup a custom WP install with the look and feel I wanted. This is my first WP custom site, simple but it came out exactly as I wanted it to be and still stayed XHTML 1.0 Transactional Valid! Within this blog I would call up pictures from Coppermine as “newly posted album” announcements. You can accomplish pulling pictures from Coppermine using a plugin called psnGallery 1.2.2 by IDahoCline. After going through another plugin-newbie hell for about a half hour, I got my Coppermine pictures displayed in the blog.
Finally, I had to customize Coppermine to look like my blog frontend. This is accomplished easily by choosing a theme that best suited my requirements and customizing it. You have to edit the style.css and the template.html in the theme. Those familiar with CSS will find this part a breeze. And VIOLA! Mission accomplished!
For those still interested, here is my coppermine photo site, a work in progress as you will see.
For those that don’t know.. WIMP is a (Windows-IIS-MySQL-PHP) installation
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