Running your own photo gallery

There are thousands of photo gallery scripts and tools out there. I played around with Piwigo, an open-source php-based solution that has been around for many years and is actively improved continously. My site runs on Piwigo version 2.10, which is the latest version at the time of writing this post.

Installation is easy: download the files and upload it to your web space, or use the installer scripts. Then the real work starts:


Choose a theme (in Menu “Configuration” – “Themes”) that suits your needs. I use the themes “stripped_responsive” for the standard site and “Smart Pocket” for the mobile site. There are many themes available and configurable with one-click right in the admin panel.

You can also add themes (and other extensions) directly from the Piwigo website: Just download the theme as zip-container, unzip it and upload it into the “themes” folder of your web space.
You can then adjust some themes slightly (depending on the theme), in the “Configuration” – “Themes” menu.

You should also check if you need additional plugins. I use the following plugins:

  • “Cookie Consent” to show the cookie message
  • “ShareThis” for some social media buttons
  • “Community” – see below
  • “Personal About” for an extension of the “About”-page; see below
  • “PWG Stuffs” – see below
  • and a few more


Piwigo is up and running very quickly, however, it’s hard to change the code directly (and not recommended). Luckily there are some plugins available which do most of the work:

  • “Personal About” let’s you extend the “About”-page with some customer HTML. I added a photo there, some CSS for the text etc. You can basically add any HTML in that block. On my site it looks quite structured now.
  • “PWG stuffs” is a very powerful plugin: You can add arbitrary HTML-blocks on your site. A “Personnal” (sic!) block is a container for any HTML and CSS. I use it for my actual header and intro, where I wanted a custom-made logo (which is not supported by all templates out of the box). The blocked marked in red below displays this “personnal block”:

Building a community is based on a community of photographers. The “Community” plugin offers exactly that: The capability to have different authors (contributors) to your site. In my case, I let users register themselves without any intervention by an administrator. Users can also upload photos; however, these photos have to be released by an administrator.

The “Admin Tool” plugin offers some administrative features; the most important one (for the community) is the “Give access to quick edit to photo owners even if they are not admin” option. This allows a registered user to edit his own (and only his own) photos.

This article was written by Frank

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