How to set up a gallery in the sidebar of your blog

If you need to set up a gallery slider to display images (or even web pages) in the sidebar of your blog, where “Search”, “Archives”, “Recent posts” and similar items live, here is how you can do it:

  • Option 1: Fancy, with nice frame, premium (need to buy a plugin)
  • Option 2: Free but cool, without a frame but with lots of other features

Option 1: Fancy, with nice frame, premium (need to buy a plugin)

Something like the Smartberry in the left sidebar on this page, some 600 pixels to the left and 250 up from here. Maybe with some other “frame” instead of a phone, frame, of course, can be changed:

Galdget plus+ gallery frame
 
Galdget plus+ gallery image

You go and buy [Galdget plus+] plugin, and install it as described in the 5 minute setup. You may be happy with only steps 1 and 2 of 5 minute setup, since the rest is covered in more detail down this page.

Option 2: Free but cool, without a frame but with lots of other features

Something like the above, but without frame (also displayed in the sidebar on the left):

Galdget plus+ gallery image

Install free [Galdget] plugin, it also has its 5 minute setup. You may be happy with only step 1 of 5 minute setup, since the rest is covered in more detail down this page.

The rest of the setup (for both fancy and free)

Now we need to do two things:

  1. Enlist your pictures and/or web pages into the gallery,
  2. Set up a widget.

1. Enlist your media and/or web pages into gallery:

Go to “Settings/Galdget” or “Settings/Galdget plus+” and there you will find the URL list setup page.

Galdget settings menu

You have to bring your future gallery content here, from wherever it is hidden now. Depending on where your pictures are residing now, there are several ways to do it.

First of all, you may want to delete the two links I provided for you, but I would like to remind you that it is never too late to delete things. They might come in handy in the beginning, because with them in the list, you will see a gallery even if you do something wrong with your links. You can delete them later, when your pictures start showing up.

Galdget default urls

If the pictures are in your blog’s media library you click on the button “Add images from media library” and select those you want to add. If you want to select several pictures at once – just hold the Ctrl key while you select them with your mouse. When finished – click “Use selected images” and they will be appended to the list.

Wordpress media manager

If the pictures are stored in your local computer you again click on the button “Add images from media library” and then on “Upload files” top left. You can then use the “Select files” button to select the images from your computer, or simply drag them into the window. They will then be uploaded to your blog, and you will be able to add them as described in the previous section.

When you click “Use selected images”, your selection will be added to the list.

Galdget URL list setup

If the pictures are somewhere on the internet and you know the URLs to them, you can simply paste the URLs one by one into the URL column. You create empty rows for pasting the URLs by clicking on + buttons on the right.

Galdget URL list setup, add URL

Whichever + you click, it will insert an empty row below itself. Please keep in mind that adding remote images is the way to increase other peoples web traffic, so some of them may forbid such usage and you may end up with broken gallery. There may also be some copyright issues if you use other people’s pictures, so the best way is to use your pictures that are stored on your blog.

If the pictures are grouped in a folder somewhere on your web server, be it inside your blog or somewhere else, you may use the special dir URL, something like dir://folder/subfolder to point out the location of the folder with the pictures, and they will all be included in the gallery.

Galdget URL list setup, add dir URL

Web pages are included into the gallery the same way as external images: you paste the web page URLs one by one into the URL column. You create empty rows for pasting the URLs by clicking on + buttons on the right. Default URLs from the pictures above are good examples of web pages that are included into the gallery, but you will use your favorites.

The good thing about using web pages as gallery items is that they may change from day to day, especially the dynamic sites as e.g. news portals, so your gallery will look different each tome your visitors return to your site.

The bad thing about using web pages as gallery items is that they may consume your browser’s resources. If they feature some animations on they own, they can interfere with your gallery’s scrolling, which sometimes may look flickery. They may also bother your visitors with popups, new tabs or other annoying content, so don’t put the sites you did not review yourself and made sure they are not offensive.

The last thing that is important when adding web pages into your gallery is the scalling%. It should be set carefully, as inadequate scalling factor may display the web page only partially, or make it switch to low resolution “mobile mode” which does not have all the details you want to show. So, make sure you always check how it looks when you set it up.

2. Set up a widget

Before you navigate to widget setup, please note that, in our example (as should be on your URL list), the column Group is always 0. It should be so in this example, as it is a simple one, and it should also correspond to the setting in widget setup.

Now we go to “Appearance/Widgets” in admin dashboar, where you should be able to locate “Galdget” or “Galdget plus+” (or, why not, both) in the left half of the screen. There should also be some sidebars on the right, like e.g. “Primary sidebar”.

Galdget URL list setup

Here you should drag “Galdget” or “Galdget plus+” from the left half into the sidebar area. You will then be offered to tweak widget options:

Galdget widget options

You may well be happy with the defaults, but some options that you might want to change are presented below. More detailed description can be found here.

Group should match the group you were using in URL list setup. You will probably be happy with 0 as a default in both places, at least in the beginning. If you want to set up multiple galleries – then you should give each its own number.

Height should be changed if you are not happy with the square gallery. Width of the gallery inside a widget is determined by the theme, but height is your shoice.

Frame can be selected from the set of frames that you have downloaded and/or set up on your blog. Mind that this is a premium feature, if you have the free one, you don’t have to worry about the frame. You can download them from the “Settings/Galdget plus+” page, a button “Download new frames” exists below the URL list. Our best advice is to create your own frame, as described in the tutorial here.

But you will start with one of “factory installed”, and when you pick one – you will see a preview, something like this:

Galdget plus+ frame preview

or

Galdget plus+ frame preview

When you are done with adjusting options, you should finish the setup by clicking the “Save button” in the widget setup screen, and your widget will be available to your blog visitors.

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