Gallery3 Vs ZenPhoto

I’ve used Gallery for years, and I’ve used ZenPhoto for a little over two years.


Zenphoto Vs Gallery3 Showdown

And for anyone who is wondering what they are, they are PHP Scripts, or Web Based Applications.  They are IMO the two best PHP photo galleries out there. They are both slowly evolving into great scripts but they aren’t Google Picasa or anything, but what you can do with them in really impressive, even more so when you consider that they are free.

Ok in this review lets get to the nitty gritty. I’ll keep it short and sweet.

Here’s what they have in Common with each other.

Both Gallery3 and ZenPhoto are:

  • Free
  • Open Source
  • Manage Small/Medium Photo’s and albums well.
  • Easy to use
  • Use Themes
  • Support Plugins
  • Have a “Hold your hand” installer
  • Require a server with PHP & MySQL

Now that’s out of the way, here are the Differences:

  • ZenPhoto is a little easier to style if you know CSS
  • Gallery support MASSIVE photo databases
  • ZenPhoto will detect new photos that have been uploaded to your server and add them automagically
  • Gallery has a better security history
  • ZenPhoto has a CMS plugin to add static pages, great for a simple site.
  • Gallery3 is still in Beta, Google has made this word pretty meaningless.

In short if you’re making a photo album online, and are trying to decide, think about it this way:

ZenPhoto is simpler, Gallery supports larger albums with more users easier.
Don’t get me wrong, ZenPhoto is great for around a half a dozen users, and the permissions system is great!  But Gallery3 is built on top of Kohana, and that’s a powerful back end.
For example, ZenPhoto will load faster under normal server load, but I think Gallery may best ZenPhoto however, if your site became popular, due to it’s Kohana and Zend usage.


Gallery3 (Version is Beta3 @ the time of this writing)

ZenPhoto (Version 1.2.6 at time of this writing)

ZenPhoto Theming Guide


Regardless of which your choose, subscribe to their mailing list or RSS feed or whatever you can to be notified of new versions. You always want to keep them current with the latest version. I really wish Gallery3 would take notes on the World of WordPress where it notifies you of a new version from the admin console!

1 Comment
  1. rusl September 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    thanks, this is a very useful and concise comparison.

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