After a few "quiet" version updates during the last year, this month I've launch a bigger update with Version 5.8 of the WideRange Galleries website software. This version gives lots of tender loving care to image presentation, as well as some other useful updates.
New Popup Gallery with Full Screen Mode
The headlining new feature of v.5.8 is a brand new popup gallery (the popup when you click "View Slideshow" from a photo gallery; or "View Larger", "Full Screen", or "Zoom" from the photo pages). The new version offers many improvements over the previous version:
- Full screen toggle button fills the entire screen, not just the browser window
- Equipped with responsive-images and WebP image files for faster performance
- Image captions (optional) which show the image title + location data
- Cart button links direct to the photo page (can be optionally switched to an "info" icon instead)
- Arrow keyboard navigation (plus the photo pages still retain arrow navigation too)
- Full swipe motion control on mobile/touch devices
- Lightweight and quick loading: Only 7kb on page load + 15kb on launch = 22kb total (versus 55kb total on page load for the previous version)
- You can control the caption and cart/info icon options in the admin at Galleries > Settings.
New Full-Width Homepage Slideshow Option
I've also added a new "full-width" homepage slideshow option, which functions just like the normal "in-page" slideshow except that the slides stretch all the way across the screen, giving a striking graphic look to the homepage.
The slideshow will always be full width, but you can adjust the height in the slideshow settings at Misc Pages > Homepage. When the browser is wider than the slideshow width, the slideshow will always stay at the same height. However, when the browser is narrower than the slideshow width, the slideshow will scale down in height while keeping its aspect ratio in proportion (the slideshow width/height ratio). The reason for this is because you wouldn’t want an overly tall narrow slideshow on a phone screen, and similarly you wouldn’t want an enormously tall slideshow on a big screen either.
If you choose this option I would recommend to read the Help topic listed next to this setting, which offers helpful information about some subtleties of how this slideshow works and the best way to size your images for it.
ALL Textarea Images are now Responsified and WebP-ified!
There's two ways to place images into text areas in the admin: you can INSERT existing gallery images, or you can UPLOAD new images into the text. Prior to v.5.8, only inserted images got responsive-image and WebP coding on the website; uploaded images just got plain and simple image code. Now all the images in the text areas get full responsive image coding with WebP images too, so these images will also look better and load faster.
Gallery Thumbnail Titles
Sometimes if your galleries have long titles, the gallery thumbnail pages can get overwhelmed with too much redundant title text. The optional "Gallery Thumbnail Title" solves this problem by giving you the option to have shorter gallery titles names to display under the thumbnails. Thus, you can have the best of both worlds: short and succinct gallery thumbnail titles and longer, keyword-rich gallery page titles.
Gallery Thumbnail Text
The "journal menu" type of gallery formats display the sub-galleries along with a preview snippet of text from each sub-gallery. Before v.5.8, these preview text snippets were automatically generated from the first 2-3 sentences of page text from the gallery. Now, the "Gallery Thumbnail Text" field gives you the option to enter customized text to display with the gallery's thumbnail. Note that you will only see this option when you're editing a gallery that belongs to a "journal menu" parent gallery (which is the only time it's applicable).
Quick Edit for the Galleries List
When you go to Galleries > Modify in the admin, you can click the "View Full-Data Table" link to see a big table showing all the galleries' details. I've now implemented the Quick Edit feature into this table, so you can edit much of the galleries' data from directly on that table without needing to edit each gallery individually.
This feature will save you lots of time and effort if you want to quickly change a bunch of galleries' settings.