When I first decided to undertake this major overhaul of my site, I thought that I could just have my new domain redirect to my old one. That works, after a fashion, but it didn’t really give me what I want. I could either have it as a simple redirect, which would mean that the site would end up displaying my old URL and all the scripts would rely on it, or I could have it cloak or mirror the old one, which eliminates the display issue, but doesn’t do anything to address the remaining issue. This means I pretty much had to rebuild my site at the new address.
Fortunately, it wasn’t too bad. I’m still using WordPress, so I was able to export my site from the old location and import it to the new one. That brought over just about everything. I just had to tweak a few settings and decide what I wanted to do with my gallery. Currently, I have a Gallery2 installation at http://www.mytwistedmind.net/gallery/main.php. That’s all well and good, but I don’t know how to effectively migrate that over, or even if I should. I certainly have enough server space to do so, but its kind of a pain in the ass. Gallery2 isn’t the most user friendly software ever made, and it comes with a ridiculous set of options that may or may not actually be useful. It also randomly slows down for no apparent reason and every so often I have to run some kind of database maintenance on it, even if no database changes have been made. I’ve been annoyed with it for a while, but I’ve been using it so long that I was used to it.
With the recent versions of WordPress, its got built in media handling, and its pretty decent. I can do almost everything I want, but the major hurdle I’m running into is that while I can make a page that displays a gallery of images, I can’t seem to make a parent gallery that shows a thumbnail and link to each of my galleries. I managed to get something close, but there are no options to configure anything at all. I can’t arrange the thumbnails in a grid, and reordering them is something that involves a tedious process. Gallery2 simply displays them better. I’ve debated trying some other software (Coppermine, ZenPhoto), but one of the things I’d really like is a consistent visual style throughout the site, which isn’t something I’m going to get with an external solution.
That leaves me with plugins for WordPress itself, which have so far been underwhelming. Most of them don’t support the native media library functionality and end up replicating that in a less awesome way, and there seem to be some that promise some feature, but for whatever reason, said feature doesn’t actually appear anywhere in the plugin’s setup or configuration settings and documentation is pretty much non-existent.
And that’s where I am now. I’m going to investigate my options further. Maybe there’ll be a way to integrate some of the external gallery management scripts into WordPress in a manner that doesn’t suck as bad as Gallery2’s implementation. Maybe my endless searching will turn up a plugin that does what I want. Maybe I’ll be abducted by aliens, given powers that far exceed those of mortal men, and return to Earth as a masked vigilante. What I know for certain is that in a couple of hours I’ll have to go to work, but all I’ll be thinking about is messing about with this site.