I seem to have a plethora of blogs now running. There is my personal blog which you are reading. I also have a baseball blog – Diary of a Diehard and a photo blog – 1 Photo 2 Share where I post a single picture per day. Until recently I was running all of these through Movable Type but as I’ve documented previously I’m moving all the blogs to WordPress.
The text-based blogs were relatively simple to move. There are migration scripts to manage the entries allowing you to export the data from the Movable Type databases and import the data into WordPress database formats. When it came time to migrate the photo blog, it was anything but trivial.
Under Movable Type I had to tweak the template system to support images rather than text as the only information. I further had problems with the commenting system causing me to turn off that functionality somewhere along the path. To make a long story short, the data was not the cleanest I have ever seen and the old adage of “garbage in, garbage out” was never more accurate than it was for this blog.
It took me several days of data manipulation of the export files to get them into any kind of shape to be imported into WordPress. The question still remained, would WordPress handle the imbedded image files any better than Movable Type.
After an initial failure of just loading the images directly I set out looking for a possible WordPress extension that would make creating a photo blog easier. Although I found several extensions claiming they managed images, there was one plug-in that seemed to come up in each conversation.
Yet Another PhotoBlog written by J.P. Jarolim was exactly what I was looking for. Installation of the plug-in used the standard WordPress administration screen. Once installed, the plug-in adds a new page to the administration tool under settings.
Within this page you can define how you want the plug-in to manage the images. The configuration is quite powerful. You can have the system collect image information from the EXIF data and use that as the post publish time and date.
You can have the system tag photos based on EXIF data contained in the pictures. If you have ImageMagick installed on your server, Yet Another PhotoBlog will use that to create thumbnails of your pictures.
The plug-in has a fairly robust feed section where you can define RSS information for your images as well as using Yahoo Media RSS. You can adapt the plug-in to display your photos in various ways and can also include custom CSS tags to get the look of the images just right on your page.
Once installed, Yet Another PhotoBlog will add an image box to the post entry screen where you can upload an image to be included in a post. From there the plug-in does the rest showing the image in its appropriate size.
Overall the plug-in has worked flawlessly. It has make it quite easy to add new posts containing images. Unfortunately the way it manages images is not compatible with how Movable Type did it meaning after importing the data from the old system there was a tremendous amount of work to be done before it was ready for publishing.
If you are starting anew building a photo blog, this is a very good plug-in. If you are migrating from another platform there is a lot of pre-work but in the end it is worth the trouble. The plug-in is actively being developed with new versions coming out regularly to fix bugs or add new functionality. If you’ve always wanted a photo blog but weren’t sure how to do it, take a look at Yet Another PhotoBlog, you’ll be glad you did.