If you’ve taken serious look into galleries for photography, you’ve probably fallen in love with tiled galleries, easily the most attractive way of presenting images.
And you might have seen Jetpack’s implementation. It looks good, but it comes with one major drawback – Jetpack itself, a bulky sledgehammer of a plug-in that includes many things you’re unlikely to need.
Additionally, if you use Jetpack’s CDN, your images stay on it *forever*, and to update an image, you need give it a new filename – think on that when you think “workflow”!
I rejected that solution out of hand, but soon found a plugin “Tiled Galleries without Jetpack”, that worked “pretty well”. It’s really Jetpack’s tiling software without Jetpack. The “author” cleverly removes everything else. He says he’ll update whenever Jetpack does, but he hasn’t for a year. Perhaps Jetpack hasn’t updated its tiled gallery component, but that still made me a bit nervous.
So I was delighted when I learned Meow Gallery had implemented tiled galleries. (Sidebar: I had previous experience with Jordy’s WP/LR which elegantly, wonderfully solves publishing Adobe Lightroom to WordPress. It makes maintaining galleries and collections easy and revolutionizes your Lightroom-to-WordPress workflow. Icing on the cake is that it works friendily alongside/with WordPress’ media scheme.)
I was further encouraged by the fact that I can customize Meow Gallery as I like. The code is whistle-clean; I needed only basic coding skills to add a title field and a parallel enable/disable checkbox in the admin menu.
Jordy shows how to use filters to keep your custom code out of the plug-in itself so you can easily survive the updates that would break it.
Jordy sums it up very well on his website:
“Meow Gallery is a Gallery for WordPress built for photography websites, but not only. It is polished, beautiful and works with the Gallery Block (Gutenberg), the Core WP Gallery and the official Gallery Shortcode. It is responsive, retina-friendly, uses modern layouts and is blazing fast and optimized. It uses modern CSS, and JS is only used for infinite/lazy and the slider layout.”
And I haven’t even explored the slider possibilities yet.
If you’re still reading, you want this!