Robust Photo Album Solution Needed

Looking for a decent photo album app or stack, for a change. All those I’ve tried thus far that garner accolades for how great they are, just don’t cut it.

It has to be very easy to add one or more photos to the album at once time. Just like in Facebook or Airbnb and countless other websites.

It has to allow the page owner (my client) the capability to upload or delete images at will. Easily. Without going through hoops, via a built-in CMS system.

The solution has to automatically adjust the resolution and image quality of each image, to optimize it for the site, just like Facebook does. The settings must be user-selectable. User = owner of the site. If the owner submits a full resolution image straight out of his camera, at 6000px, I do not want it to take 30 minutes to render on the screen for site visitors.

As a bonus, the solution has to allow even visitors to submit their own photos, just like in TripAdvisor. The owner must have full administrative capabilities on those images, such as email notification for each upload, and of course, to reject/approve them, or even delete them later.

For navigation, a lot (50+) of different, cool transition effects myst be available. Not to choose just one from the list, but several, randomly selected for each image. For example, from, say, 50 transition effects, let me, the designer, select 15 of them, and have those effects only randomly play throughout the slideshow.

For every solution, good quality thumbnails MUST be available, even as an option, I should have the option to choose their position relative tot he image, and it has to be clear which one is active at any given time.

Of course, the auto-slideshow option must be available.

Is there anything like that for Rapidweaver?

Not to my knowledge. With respect, Rapidweaver is a really good Honda. You’re looking for a Ferrari.

The sites you mention - Facebook, Air BnB - are enormous enterprises with enormous budgets, not a £200.00 piece of software (including Stacks and other addons).

I’m sure there are various ways of getting some of the things on your wishlist, but getting everything? I think you’re being unrealistic.

I look forward - seriously - to being proven wrong.

Best wishes,



I would gladly pay $100 for an app or stack that does all this. :slight_smile:

What should this website be about at all? Who is creating content, where others are able to upload photos to?

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I’m not aware of anything in the RW world that offers all these features in one package.

This sounds like the kind of thing you could spend a lot of time and money on. As Rob says the sites where you tend to see this sort of functionality tend to be backed up by teams of full time developers.

Short of spending a lot of money on asking a developer (and I don’t mean another RW user here) to build you something I would tend to look for something that gets you as far as possible toward your objective but which also offers the extensibility to get you the rest of the way there by engaging a dev to build out the capabilities/features required.

Have you seen Juicebox Pro?

Something like that would get you several clicks closer to the goal. If you are serious about it, then you could ask an advanced practioner, like Will Woodgate, to set it up for you, and perhaps quote you for the additional features (which from a quick look at the Pro version) look quite achievable. I’m referring specifically to things like:

  • CMS Uploads or named folders for content.
  • Some sort of event driven (on new file upload) pre-processor for images.
  • Customised email driven workflows (probably leveraging the Juicebox APIs).

Just be careful though, I mean you could spend a lot of money integrating 52 different transitions along with a randomizer to hit your stated requirement and (to me) that sounds like a complete turn-off. My advice is forget the 50+ transition effects and target maybe 2 or three that actually enhance the user experience and visual refinement. Pay for those…

Good luck


I think this is the type of thing you need, if you want to build the next Instagram or Flickr or Facebook:

Have a read of what it can do and look at some of the examples.

Download and install it on your web server. The install process is not much more different to Wordpress.

Theme it however you want, change the configuration in the settings panel or install extra extensions if needed.

It is open source software, and is therefore a free download for the self hosted version. So it falls well within your $100 budget.

Completely hackable. Build anything you want with it, if you have the time and skills needed.


Minus the 50 random transition effect, you have described what I’ve built in Total CMS 2. We are still a few months away from a public beta though.

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Great news, Joe! If not 50, just how many transition effects then? And will they be at random, or would I have to select one of them for the entire slideshow?

Thank you!

Will Woodgate sells the RefinedSlider stack that incorporates several effects, and they are, in fact, random. You don’t have to pick just one for your slideshow. Every image carries its own transition effect. It also has a decent thumbnail presentation. An older stack by some other developer, RefinedSlidr, was terrible with thumbnails, if you had more than 5-6 images in your slideshow. The thumbs were so small, they were unreadable, plus they were spaced out far from each other.

I am not sure what the cost of these effects was to Will, but to me, that was an affordable stack. of course, it lacks the full functionality I am looking for. :slight_smile:

Thank you, Will. I’ll take a look, but it sounds more like something you or another developer would use as a basis for a stack, not something I’d be comfortable messing with.

BTW, I am not looking for the next Instagram, Facebook or Flickr. I’ve lost most of my business to and Airbnb and am trying not to lose my remaining clients because of the limited functionality I am currently able to offer.

It seems that the last 10 or so years, there have been great advances in web technology, and firms like Booking, Expedia, Airbnb and the like have been able to offer DIY presentations to property owners, making my offerings to my clients completely obsolete. Rapidweaver, regrettably, has not been able to keep up, and consequently, neither have I.

This is for portals for specific locations, such as, for example, my native island of Milos. Every destination here in Greece has one or more individuals like myself who manage portals for it. I’d imagine there is a similar situation in several other countries in the world.

So, I have such a portal where my hotel clients advertise. My clients should be able to upload their own text, photos and videos, and perhaps 360º virtual tours, the same way they have been doing it with Booking, Expedia, Airbnb, etc., for years.

Also, for my clients’ own websites. Everybody wants this functionality, and have been clamoring about it for more than a decade. I’ve lost several clients because I have not been able to offer it. Currently, they have to send me their content, and I have to upload it myself, something that takes a tremendous amount of my time, limiting my ability to work on other projects or pursue more clients.

A solution that does not automatically adjust the resolution and quality of images would mean that my clients would upload images directly from their (or their photographers’) cameras, resulting in unusuably heavy (slow) photo album pages.

This kind of solution is so much in demand, that I cannot believe no one has come up with a practical solution yet.

Hello, I tested Piwigo and it was OK, although a cluttered interface, but recently I found Zenphoto ( which is much … much better (and free !) and after several and all sucessful tests, I changed definitively from Piwigo to Zenphoto.
Zenphoto is very powerful for photo albums management, it has plenty of options, and also support external plugin. And on top, Zenphoto is also, using an additional plugin (zenpage), a CMS managing blogs & pages perfectly !


By app, I really meant a Rapidweaver plugin. :slight_smile:

Not all of what you want, but a lot of it. I use the Armadillo CMS stack along with Gallery 3. They work great together and Gallery 3 offers lots of options. It’s simple for my client to add/delete photos as needed. Hope this helps.

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