Social Gallery Review – The Best Social Lightbox

social-gallery-banner
The Social Gallery WordPress Photo Viewer Plugin is a freemium plugin that, once installed, opens your website images in a "Social Lightbox". If you've ever used Facebook (c'mon, who hasn't) then you will be totally familiar with the lightbox that this plugin gives you on your own website. Still not sure what I'm talking about? Well have a look below That's right. It's not Facebook but the images on your own website. Cool or what?? :) OK, so now onto the review of this WordPress Plugin. First Use In our Plugin and Theme reviews we look at the 'first impressions'…

Review Summary

First Use - 90%
Features - 95%
Compatibility - 85%
Technical - 60%
Documentation - 100%
Cool Factor - 100%

88%

Overall

A great Social Lightbox for WordPress. With this amazing premium WordPress plugin you can quickly and easily have all your images open in a lightbox similar to the amazing lightbox Facebook uses. Highly recommended.

The Social Gallery WordPress Photo Viewer Plugin is a freemium plugin that, once installed, opens your website images in a “Social Lightbox”. If you’ve ever used Facebook (c’mon, who hasn’t) then you will be totally familiar with the lightbox that this plugin gives you on your own website.

Still not sure what I’m talking about? Well have a look below

sgp

That’s right. It’s not Facebook but the images on your own website. Cool or what?? 🙂 OK, so now onto the review of this WordPress Plugin.

First Use

In our Plugin and Theme reviews we look at the ‘first impressions’ that they give you, are you left hunting around for where the settings page is, or are you presented with a nice way into using the WordPress Plugin. After install you’re notified that Social Gallery needs to complete its setup, follow the link and you’re taken to the wizard which guides you through the setup to get it working on your WordPress site (works in 95%+ of cases)

sg-wizard-1

Once you’ve got through the super simple wizard you’re at the Social Gallery welcome page, this is quite cool and different than most plugins I’ve seen (which, considering this has been in the theme since early versions is impressive from the developers)

social-gallery-welcome

It has everything you’ll need, from taking you through the settings, the update engine and the image library (more on that a little later). For a Premium WordPress Plugin this is a really nice start.

Features

OK, so onto the features. The settings page is nicely laid out and we were able to find what we needed.

social-gallery-settings

Compatibility

The Plugin seems compatible enough with the plugins and themes we’ve tried. The only issues we’ve come across is when a theme is written in a different way to usual (i.e. without a ‘main div’) which the plugin looks for.

The other issues we’ve had is when certain scripts are already included in your theme or by another plugin (such as pinterest or facebook share) and this can cause issues with certain parts of the plugin. However, again, the plugin comes with ways to switch off any scripts that might be being used already (but I guess it’s easy for the casual user to overlook this setting and think the plugin isn’t working)

Technical

In our plugin reviews, we look at the following factor to help determine how easy this is to use ‘out of the box’ and ‘with limited web development knowledge’.

There are some of the settings which may seem a bit foreign to the first time user of WordPress (e.g. “CSS Selector Mode” or “CSS3 transitions). While to the non-developers amongst us, this seems like ‘huh’ they’re actually quite powerful features once you figure them out.

This is where the plugin gets a slight downgrade, it’s not ‘mega simple’ when you start talking about ‘selectors’ and ‘transitions’.

Documentation

This is the plugins defence against the technical nature of some of the settings. There’s some great guides for it explaining them, so as long as you read the documentation and guides it saves itself on this point.

The documentation is also really detailed and works well. We are big fans of plugins or themes which have been documented using revaxarts documentizer

Cool Factor

The final factor we consider is how cool is this plugin. Would we be proud to use it, has it made a difference, and wow this plugin is just so freaking cool we love it. It totally transforms our websites images into sharable content that can be commented on, liked, pinned and tweeted to boost engagement. Fantastic.

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