WordPress’s Mediocre Image Support

I’m unimpressed with WordPress’s image support.

With my old DasBlog blog, I authored my posts with FrontPage. Not only did this give me a rich editor, photo management was a snap. I could resize and adjust images that I dragged and dropped into the blog post without external tools. Transferring the blog post into DasBlog was simple.

I can’t find anything similar in WordPress. Despite many image plugins, image management is a stupid, cumbersome, multi-step process.

The best option appears to be integration with Gallery2 with the WPG2 and Gallery Image Chooser plugins. However, even this option has drawbacks:

  • No resize. Gallery2 is limited to a fixed-size thumbnail and the full-sized image. There is apparently nothing in between, and wait, there’s less! The thumbnail size is fixed for all images across the entire Gallery2 application. That is, there is only one thumbnail image size setting. Rumor has it that the next Gallery2 version, which was supposed to be out 4 months ago but isn’t even in release candidate yet, will have midsize image support. But even then, unless the midsize image is supported through URL parameters, I’ll probably have to wait for WPG2 and Gallery Image Chooser updates to use it.
  • No auto caption. Sure would be great if captions in Gallery2 could automatically and dynamically transfer to WordPress. This may need to be a WPG2 feature. Maybe I can hack this feature?
  • No image adjustment. FrontPage’s basic image adjustment tools were great. I could change the brightness and contrast on the fly and resample the image at will. No such luck with Gallery2.
  • No clipart. With FrontPage, I had access to a decent amount of royalty-free clipart. I have virtually no instant access to any clipart with this setup.

It looks like I am stuck fully finishing my photos on my PC with an image editor and then uploading them through the WordPress interface or dumping them into Gallery2.

Argh.

I may whine like a petulant twit, but this image handling problem is a barrier to to quick, casual posts with images. An image is worth a thousand words. That’s why I believe that the better blogs are full of helpful images. WordPress’s image support is a major shortcoming.

I still feel that I did the right thing getting off DasBlog, however. It’s a dead product, and there are almost no run-it-yourself Web 2.0 applications for Microsoft platforms.

I have a follow up post about my dishwasher coming soon. These image hassles have gotten in the way.

One thought on “WordPress’s Mediocre Image Support”

  1. Hi! Glad to see you trying out Gallery 2. Regarding image sizes, Gallery is *very* configurable. You can specify as many resizes as you want for each image using the “Photo” tab under the “Edit Photo” link. If you specify some default image sizes on an album, all new photos will be created with those resized versions. You can also do the same for thumbnails under the “General” tab of any item.

    [Aren: Wow, I am impressed, a comment from the product’s creator! :-) OK, I see this option, and I got it to work. Great suggestion. It looks like Gallery2 creates a new item with a new item ID on each midsize picture creation.]

    Transferring the Gallery2 captions to WP would definitely be nice. This would have to be a feature of WPG2, though. I am not so familiar with that code, but I’m guessing that it would not be too hard to implement. You might try looking in the WPG2 forums for help.

    [Aren: I agree. I will contact this for this idea.]

    I totally agree with you on the basic image adjustment front. Somebody needs to write a G2 module that allows us to take advantage of some of those basic operations, which most image toolkits support. We just need some G2 code to hook it all together.

    And for clipart, one thing you can do is use Gallery2’s “Add from Web Page” option to scrape free clipart sites and create albums of your own clipart. I’ve used this to make a huge clipart album that I can quickly suck into posts.

    [Aren: Great idea. I’ll just have to watch for space utilization!]

    Hope that helps.

    [Aren: Sure does! Thanks for the comments.]

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