Pwigo Gallery

I’ve been looking around for a user gallery system and come across Pwigo, an open-source gallery application. It doesn’t really fit the bill for the user CMS gallery system, but it is a really interesting gallery, which strong potential for use as an “asset” manager for those making websites, or who need to manage a lot of images.

Anyone used it before? I’d be curious to hear opinions etc.


So no one then? I dunno! ;-)

In the end, I fired up a demo instal and spent some time playing with it, it’s really bloody good. I use quite a few open-source scripts and the first thing I do once installed (assuming I can get it installed, many just fall over at the first hurdle), but if it does install OK the first thing I do is auto-update, as I find this a good test; and it worked perfectly.

I then try to add some plugins. Often, scripts that get this far fall over here, but not Pwigo, all the plugins I tired were a one-click install, and all actually worked! Then I tried themes… Same.

So next I set about trying to break it, and failed. It’s really robust with what appears to be excellent support.

So now I’ve added some albums, edited a theme (made really easy by a built-in CSS editor, and got it all set up and running. And as I say, I’m really impressed. It seems to have been built by people who actually use it, as in, pretty much every feature (and there are a lot) works as you’d expect, and offers the setting options you’d want.

Simple things like offering lots of different ways to add photos, from batch web upload, to direct FTP importing, even adding via some desktop apps.

Demo install for anyone interested: CMS Gallery

Obviously this isn’t for anyone who just wants to display some nice standard galleries on their site, for that here are some great stacks (Gallery3 from @Jannis is my preferred option), but if you need to build a really large image repository that is entirely managed outside of RW, this is a great option.

It’s easy to build a site around the main gallery inside Pwigo, but obviously, that isn’t how we do things in the RW world, so I’m working on a way to embed the Pwigo front end into a RW page. On the demo linked above, I’ve set the gallery up with minimal additional features; no main menu, no commenting, no sharing etc., just the basic gallery, so it’s nice and clean for adding to a RW page.

The obvious thing to do to add it to apage is to drop it into an iframe, and that does work, so long as you are careful about the sizing etc. But it’s a messy way to do things. Luckily, a very clever man who frequents this forum from time to time has offered to see if there is anything that can be done with the Pwigo API, so I’m hoping there is a nice simple stacks based solution around the corner (it might be a big corner as he’s busy digging holes and knocking down small buildings!).

Pwigo website here.

If you have any questions I’m happy to try to answer them, I’m only one day into working with Pwigo, but it’s pretty intuitive so I’ve got a reasonable feel for it already.

Fingers crossed, there may soon be a 100% CMS feature rich gallery/portfolio option that is entirely independent of RW but with a really easy way to add it to an RW page.

I have to stress: This should not be seen as a replacement for the existing gallery stacks, it’s way way more complex than that: Think of this an entire image repository system, which can batch edit, manipulate and organise massive image collections. For simply displaying a bunch of images on a web page, it’s way overkill. But for managing, editing and organising hundreds if not thousands of images into many different galleries with excellent user interaction abilities, including the option to sell images online, it’s pretty bloody good. And free!

Pwigo can normally be found in Softalicious inside C Panel, or you can just get it from their website. It requires a database, but the softalicious install does all that for you, or if installing manually it’s just a case of creating said database then adding the settings during the self-install process. Simples.


Thanks so much Steve for your tip with Pwigo and for your extensive report. I already made a self-hosted test-installation yesterday after reading your 1st post and can tell that it went as smoothly as can be. Creating a database: 2 minutes. Installation of Pwigo: 3 minutes. That’s it. :-) Now one can spend hours, days and weeks in tweaking the details… That said I would be sooo happy if s.o. would build a stack around this!
“…a very clever man who frequents this forum from time to time…” LOL! ;-)


If you haven’t already got it, install the Bootstrap Darkroom theme. It’s what I’ve settled on and it’s so customisable.

Now, I have read on the Pwigo forum that the creator of it died suddenly early last year, but it’s had a few updates since then and is about the most popular theme, so I assume it’s been taken over, perhaps (as I’ve read) by the Pwigo team themselves.

I have done a basic iframe install here: Dev4 and if you are careful about the pre-defefine sizes you set the uploaded images to, and also remove the ability to have a full-screen slideshow (do this is the theme settings) it kinda works. But there are no URLs to images etc, which may or may not be a good thing. But, it kinda works.

This clever man I speak of has already said there are better iframe ways to do things, but after having a quick look at the Pwigo API’s he’s willing to see if anything can be achieved that way.

So I’m hopeful that if he can be got off whatever piece of heavy plant he’s destroying things with at the moment, we might end up with a rather tidy option.

Thanks Steve, Dev4 looks great. :-) Would be great if that clever man would surprise us with some clever implementation of Pwigo (maybe after feeding his ducks…) ;-)

It’s actually not set up for embedding at the moment, I’m playing with it as a standalone website this evening; adding more pages, logos etc. In its embed format there is no main menu and a few other things are changed as well.


@wolf Here’s a nice little feature that you may, or may not have yet found.

When you upload an image Piwigo will produce a selection of sizes for you, but it will also store the original, in it’s original size. Meaning your server folder can quickly get really BIG!

If you add the ImageMagick extension to your server Piwigo will automatically detect it and so give you the option to also resize the original on upload. It will also adjust the quality. So, I’ve now got Piwigo to produce a small, medium and large version of the original, and now resize the original to essentially become the XL version.

With ImageMagick installed I’d have also thought you’d be able to reprocess (change size and quality) of all images already add to Piwigo, but I’m yet to work out how or find a plugin to do it. If I do, I’ll post back.

And I’ve finally got my head around the daft name… It’s Piwigo, as in Piwi Go. Not Pwigo, as I’ve been calling it so far.


Aah, that’s very interesting. Will have a look at the ImageMagick detection as soon as I’ll have time to dive deeper into Piwigo (probably next week)…

Just to update this thread, my demo install of Piwigo on the links above has now been removed.

EDIT: Ignore that. I put it back as I wanted to try some new stuff.

I am super happy with it though, and so have started to roll this out to client sites, if for no other use (ie. can’t embed in a RW site) than for an easy way for clients to process images direct from their phone (there are apps for IOS and Android to upload files easily) for adding them to things like blogs etc.

Previously, they had to process the images themselves, exporting the sizes they need at the quality level that works for web, and as you can imagine this always caused issues… Think images that display at 800x600 using a photo that’s really 5000x4000px and 5mb!

Now, all they do is use the app to upload and Piwigo processes it into all the different sizes needed.

For anyone who allows clients to upload images to their site, Piwigo is well worth a look.

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Update on embedding it into a RW… Non-starter. Piwigo just doesn’t want to be embedded into another site, not no way no how.

The best option is to use css to adapt the main menu in Piwogo, and the general style, to mimic the RW site you want to use it with, then have the user jump between the two. it’s not an idea situation, but having tried it with a little blog site I’ve been playing with this last few months as I got my head around Alloy, it’s actually pretty easy to do, with a bit of css here and there. And some help from tav to get the links between the two sites seamless.

Anyway, there go you. A great gallery system, but not the money shot ending we all wanted. But still worth a look if you need a full-blown gallery system.

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One other use for this that has only just occurred to me…

If you ever need to get images from clients, it can be challenging. Tech savvy ones can use things like wetransfer etc. but even that poses a challenge for many. I have got an upload form that enables clients to send images, but that challenges some.

Many just try to send them via email direct from their phones, but they just don’t understand that the phone will reduce the size and quality when sending via email etc.

Piwigo has the facility to create user accounts, and these users, once logged in, can add images to their hearts content. Plus it’ll do the basic processing into the bargain for you (size/quality etc.)

I had a client this morning, who is an utter numpty at this stuff, send me her new pics with total ease after I set up an account for her and sent her the details.


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Thanks for telling us about this use case, Steve! Yes, that would indeed be an interesting option, but it’s only for images, right? For my clients I have a simple FormsPlus form on my website: Datentransfer :: WOLF websolutions GmbH Here they can send me any files of any size. Works like a charm for years now… :-)

Yes, I used something similar, but using Machforms, PHPjForms before that. I sometimes though ran into issues if the client was trying to upload an iPhone hi-res image, even though the server is set to 10mb max upload, plus no processing or manipulating of the image was done by Machforms; only storage.

The case use I’ve described above may be overkill for many, I just mentioned it as it proven to be a great fit for me and the clients who send me images on a regular basis.

I’m moving on from talking about Piwigo now, it feels like it’s dominated my life for the last four days!

I now need to focus my attention on a new parking app I’m developing. I just need to get the English to Spanish translations sorted, and buy a high-viz vest.