At this stage my site was looking more professional, but it was still missing a good display tool for my images when these were clicked on. Lightboxes! Those square boxes that popup to display an image when selected. NextGen had some that did the job, but after seeing my next plugin Foobox by FooPlugins I was blown away. FooBox is the coolest Lightboxt out there. It will display your images as portraits or landscapes without cropping these in any way. It fits your gallery’s images to many screen sizes, be it your iPhone or your home computer. You can set it as a slide show and select to open the image full screen. It provides a whole bunch of social icons right above the photograph and can be toggled on or off so your friends can share your images; if that is what you want.
At last; I thought my site is the best site in the world; oh I feel so cool… That is when I thought; I have three different main galleries Forest, Swamps and Seashores. Let me give the visitors the opportunity to filter these galleries by Birds, Flowers etc. Guess what? NextGen does not provide this function. What! Come in Justified Image Grid by Firsh. So what is Justified Image Grid… it’s a mid-point between basic NextGen and the Foobox lighthouse. NextGen Gallery is used to administrate the images; Justified Image Grid (JIG) is used to create/filter the image thumbnails (galleries) and Foobox is used to actually display the image.
JIG has over a hundred configuration parameters pretty much all you will need to fine tune it to you heart’s desire. Justified Image Grid is one cool plugin it does all that it promises and more. And yes I had to recreate my galleries, AGAIN, but it was not as hard as it sounds. Justified Image Grid has the one thing that makes a good plugin stand out among the rest; great support from the vendor Firsh.
There are three other miscellaneous plugins that can be useful for your site. As your work on your site’s pages and blog posts WordPress automatically saves all your revisions, makes entries in its database and even saves copies of your trashed documents among other stuff. Meaning all this stays in your site making it sluggish. Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions by CAGE Web Design gets rid of all that extras carry on keeping your site lean, mean and fast. Note: As you add plugins to your site these can make it slower and slower. So having just a few good maintenance plugins goes a long way.
My second miscellaneous plugin W3 Total Cache by Frederick Townes is as their sites describes a WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework; designed to improve user experience and page speed. That’s is a lot of technical stuff, all you need to know it that it will make your site load faster and that is something you will want. You do need to check online to get the best configuration for your specific site. Be careful seems like very one has the perfect setup for its numerous configuration parameters, the problem is; what works for one site might just break yours. So start with the basic installations and update and check and check again just in case! Something to know about caching plugins, you need to clear the cache after you do you updates or you might not see the changes and think something did not work.
Finally, but not least there is WordPress SEO by Joost de Valk everything you need to optimize your site. Creating a website that appeals to search engines can be hard to accomplish, but it’s critical if you want your Nature Photography site to generate a steady stream of traffic. That’s where effective website optimization configurations come in. So how do you develop web content that works well for search engine spiders and Website visitors? There’s no single set of tricks and strategies to observe, but WordPress SEO is a good start.
My advice is to do some research around the internet before you start configuring WordPress SEO to at least get an idea of the terminology and basic SEO concepts. And by the way Google finally seemed to catch-up with my site. Although it still lists it as WildAtPalmas: Puerto Rico Nature Photography, Google now lists it in the first search page when searching by my main keywords “Puerto Rico Nature Photography” Yea! Google! I guess all that quality content paid off!