Gallery 2.2 is now available to the public and it offers some new features that are sure to be a crowd pleaser. The software is used to host your own photo galleries on your own site instead of using a service like Flickr. To setup Gallery you will need to have PHP installed on your server, which is almost standard for all hosting packages these days. If you don’t already have a hosting package you can checkout the page that Gallery has setup for recommended hosts.

Here’s what Gallery 2.2 has to offer you:

  1. Downloadable Plugins – It is all done straight from the administration interface now. Before you had to upload any themes and plugins to the server before you can enable them.
  2. Added support for themes to display dynamic albums
  3. Watermarking changes
  4. New themes: Carbon and Ajaxian
  5. New WebDAV module to mount Gallery as network device on your computer. This allows you to easily manage your Gallery with any WebDAV client like Windows Explorer.
  6. New module to send Ecards
  7. New Digibug module for prints from
  8. Added support for Flash Video and Windows ASF video
  9. Photo auto-rotation based on camera sensors or on settings from other applications

Gallery 2 is a great way to share your photos with the world, and it serves a large variety of purposes. You could create a site where people can upload their own photos to share with you, or you can just use it for personal reasons.

There are several different themes available, and each of them has an online demo. You can even play with the two newest themes, Carbon and Ajaxian, and between the two, Ajaxian definitely takes the gold. Just like the name says, it uses Ajax to retrieve photos among other things so that the user receives nothing short of a great experience. Most of the themes do have color packs available as well, so when you’re looking for a theme, choose it because of the layout and not the color choices.

I used it for quite awhile to share photos with my family, and I just created a generic account and provided the username/password to them. Then they could view whatever galleries I chose to give them permission to.

It is really easy to setup the software, and uploading images can be done several different ways. You can browse for a single image to upload, select a directory on your server that already contains all of the images and Gallery will import them, or you can upload a ZIP file that has all of the images in it and Gallery will automatically extract the contents of that file to get the photos.

I don’t use the software anymore because I just bought a Flickr Pro account since they added the collections feature. The reason I wanted to use Flickr instead was because of all the external tools that it has available to make uploading images and even synchronizing my account extremely easy. Even with Flickr I can control who can and can’t see my images all while taking advantage of the hundred or so online and offline tools available.

If you’re looking for your own image gallery solution then Gallery 2 is by far the best one that I have found.