Just Not Cricket

You’ll have excuse a geeky and very uncricketlike indulgence here, but it has to be said. I’m a huge fan of WordPress, but it’s pretty hopeless for photos.

For those of you who don’t really care how a website works as long as it looks good, WordPress is the engine behind this and many other sites. It’s free, open-source, and there are all kinds of themes plug-ins you can add to your site to make it look good and do clever things (for example, the Met Office and social media stuff you see on this very site). For creating and updating websites, it’s unbeatable and one of my absolute favourite things. What it doesn’t support very well is photos.

As blogging software, it’s mainly designed to do words with the odd image thrown in and, usually, this is fine. Match reports rarely feature more than one or two pictures, and I guess four out of every five words I’ve written here are post-match summaries. On occasion, though, I want to display a whole load of photos, for example after the end of season awards. And the fact is that none of the plug-ins out there are customisable enough, or reliable enough, or look good enough for me to be happy with them on the site. It’s a hell of a lot of work to write a good photo plug-in, and hell to keep it up to date as it has to link in to so many other WordPress features, and the good ones seem to fall by the wayside as amateur developers run out of time to provide support and updates.

So much as it pains me to say it, after five hours of tinkering tonight I gave in to the devil within and uploaded all our images to Facebook. I found a handy little plug-in called Facebook Page Photo Gallery, which pulls photos from our Facebook page and displays them. It isn’t perfect and I don’t end up with an online achive of images as I want and I lose a bit of functionality, but what the hell – it’s simple and anyone in the group can add photos to the albums I create there, and it looks pretty damn good too.

I feel a bit of a failure having given in to the big Facebook beast, though, so if any devs know of a better way that won’t lose me whole evenings trying to do simple tasks I’d love to hear from you.