Dear Users of Photonic,
I know that many of you have, in the past, rated Photonic well on WordPress.org. However, sometime in late 2016 / early 2017 WordPress deleted all ratings without reviews, causing Photonic to lose out on a large number of good ratings.
As you are aware, all my WordPress work has been free and I have always been emphatic about not doing paid work for WordPress. This was true of Suffusion and this has been true of Photonic. And this is what makes Photonic an outstanding product. It is not that Photonic is the best in class in a single area for photo blogging – it is literally the best in class for almost every area that it touches! Some examples are:
- Outstanding coverage for multiple photo services:
- Flickr: There is no other WP plugin, paid or free that supports Flickr collections or authentication. Photonic supports photostreams, groups, photosets / albums, galleries, collections and authentication.
- Picasa: There is no other WP plugin, paid or free that pulls photos and albums from Picasa. There used to be a couple that worked for Picasa prior to Google’s API shift in 2016, but no more. And Photonic nicely fills that gap.
- SmugMug: There is no other WP plugin, paid or free that pulls photos, albums and folders from SmugMug. There are a couple of very old plugins that do static pulls of photos, but nothing that pulls dynamically. Photonic does this very, very well.
- Zenfolio: There is no other WP plugin, paid or free that pulls photos, photosets and groups from Zenfolio. There is one very old plugin that hasn’t been maintained for over 3 years, and that provides rudimentary support for photosets.
- 500px: Prior to the API shutdown, Photonic was the only plugin that integrated with 500px. And the integration was as extensive as everything else Photonic.
- Instagram: In this case there are a few plugins that do things as well as Photonic, so I will not claim to be the best here.
- Native WP Galleries: The closest competition to Photonic here is from JetPack, and it is a no-contest. JetPack’s tiled gallery layout was its USP, until Photonic did it much better and in a nice, responsive manner. Not to mention that all of the lightboxes of Photonic are available for native WP galleries
Essentially there is no other plugin that beats Photonic for any of the individual services above, and Photonic manages to be the best in pretty much all of them.
- Layouts: Most gallery plugins give you a basic “square” thumbnail layout. Anything more and you have to pay. Now let’s see what Photonic gives you. For free. For all photo services.
- Square / Circular thumbnails: This is really basic and everyone offers this.
- Justified Grid: Plugins offer this layout for standard WP galleries, or as a paid add-on for custom WP galleries. Photonic includes this as a basic functionality for every photo service.
- Masonry: Plugins offer this layout for standard WP galleries, or as a paid add-on for custom WP galleries. As usual, Photonic gives this for free for every photo service.
- Mosaic: JetPack does this, but all its calculations happen in the back-end in PHP, and only for images in users’ media libraries. Other plugins try, often for a price, but don’t get very far with this. Photonic does a beautiful job with this, in a nice responsive manner for the front-end, for every type of gallery.
- Lightboxes: Photonic simply annihilates the competition here. Its support for 11 lightboxes (and counting) is way higher than that of any free plugin, and many of these lightboxes are supported with a hefty price-tag by others. More importantly, Photonic goes out of the way to support these for every lightbox (even very old ones not designed with such features in mind):
- Touch / gesture capability: Have you ever been able to use Colorbox with swipe gestures? Not unless you have used Photonic.
- Direct invocation of lightboxes without showing all thumbnails: Most lightbox scripts force you to show all thumbnails in a gallery before you can launch them. This is particularly painful if you have to show multiple albums without clutter. Photonic takes the sting out of this and lets you show images within albums directly for every type of lightbox.
- Integration with photo services: Every lightbox in Photonic place nicely with all the external photo service providers.
- Deep-linking and Social Sharing: Very few scripts come with deep-linking or social sharing capabilities. In most cases the lightbox scripts charge a price for such capabilities. But with Photonic pretty much everything comes with these premium features.
- HTML5 video support: Most lightboxes just stop after supporting YouTube and Vimeo videos. Not Photonic though, which supports every conceivable type of video link.
I do realize that the above reads like an advertisement for Photonic, but this is pretty much the only forum where I publicize Photonic.
This is a request for you to kindly drop in a few words of encouragement on Photonic’s review page. It will keep me motivated for future releases and help retain Photonic as the crown jewel of gallery plugins in WP.