NextGen Gallery has over 7.5 million downloads on the WordPress repository. That’s an amazing number. It’s a Gallery plugin like no other. For this whole time it’s been completely free and they have provided support through the WordPress repository as much as possible. But with that many downloads support and development become more and more demanding.
That’s why it was really no surprise when they announced version 2.0 and that a new Pro version would accompany it. That helps them maintain a more sustainable business model that ensures continued development of NGG and now quality support as well. So we say “Kudos!” for the big upgrade to 2.0 and implementing a Pro version.
Using NextGen 2 with FooBox
First off, FooBox and NextGen are still 100% compatible. So if you are using NextGen for your standard image galleries you should be able to upgrade and FooBox will load just as expected, no hitches.
There are some changes to their plugin that we wanted to highlight though, since they are relevant to using it well with FooBox. So if you update and notice issues, start by looking in these places.
1. NextGen’s Built-in Lightbox
NextGen always had a built-in lighbox set as default. Their new lightbox is more responsive now, but still is missing most of the features that makes FooBox so appealing to folks. But one thing that changed was they eliminated the “None” option from the Lightbox options. Often, if FooBox users were experiencing a lightbox appear in addition to FooBox (usually behind FooBox), it was because they had not changed this to “None”. Well, now they can’t. But with this change, and part of the whole re-structure of NGG 2, came the added ability to hook into NGG’s functions and incorporate various extensions to the plugin much more easily.
With that in mind, Developer Brad Vincent is pushing a new update to FooBox soon. It makes integration with NGG 2.0 as simple as possible. Basically, set NextGen Gallery v2.0 in your FooBox settings under the “General” tab in the “Use With” section, as seen here. Then go to your NextGen menu, and click on the “Other options” menu item. Choose “lightbox” and select FooBox from the list, as seen here.
2. Launching a Gallery from a single Thumbnail Image
One request we heard from FooBox users often was that they wanted to launch a whole gallery, within FooBox, from one single image. That is not directly relevant to FooBox because it’s more of a Gallery issue. But we like to listen to our customers so we discovered and customized a way to do that with NextGen. It’s documented here. NextGen 2.0 changed the whole way that they implement and execute Album and Gallery templates, so the old template we created will not work in version 2.0 and further. Of course, it will continue to work for 1.9 and below.
So, in light of that, we’ve developed a way to launch a whole WordPress Gallery from a thumbnail image. Here’s an example:
If you want to do this, we’ve documented it on our FooBox FAQ page. Look under the General FAQ’s for “Can I launch a whole Gallery from one thumbnail image?” We’ll be looking into ways to accomplish the same effect with NextGen Gallery as well, and are open to your comments below.
Pro’s and Con’s of NextGen
Unrelated to how to use NGG 2.0 with FooBox, we find the update excellent for hooking in new extensions, and the settings menu and navigation to be much more user friendly. The one caveat we have is what many have said in the past:
WordPress’ Media Gallery has some of it’s own issues, but there doesn’t seem to be a need to reinvent the wheel completely just to display images on your page. JetPack’s tiled gallery integrates perfectly with the WP Media Gallery, as does Justified Image Grid. In many ways, NextGen feels almost like a completely separate module outside of WordPress that was just placed into the backend for convenience. We don’t see a real need for that. Perhaps that suggests that there’s room for yet another Image Gallery Plugin…
We’re Here to Help
As always, if you are having trouble with FooBox in any way, let us know at our support page. We love NextGen and many of our customers use it. We will continue to support FooBox with NextGen as long as it’s around.