Gallery2 vs Zenphoto vs Plogger

Here I cover some of the features of the best open source PHP image gallery web applications.

Gallery 2

  • Multiple uploads via JavaScript (can add more file upload boxes)
  • Uploads by e-mail, ZIP or multiple image files
  • Configurable to run from multiple sites from one install
  • Reorder album via JavaScript
  • Ratings
  • Plugins available
  • Can’t protect original sizes of images


  • Multiple uploads via JavaScript (can add more file upload boxes)
  • Uploads by ZIP or multiple image files
  • Spam filter options (Akismet, CAPTCHA, SpamAssassin, …)
  • Reorder album via JavaScript
  • AJAX editing of albums and images
  • Ratings
  • Watermarks
  • Can’t protect original sizes of images (except with a watermark)
  • RSS feed


  • No multiple uploads via JavaScript (can’t add more file upload boxes)
  • Uploads by ZIP or single image files
  • Import from folder (you can FTP all images to a folder and have it import the images from that folder)
  • You can protect the original size images
  • RSS feed

All of these have a clean interface and design, search, EXIF data, subfolder/album creation, cruft-free URLs (for SEO), and comments (Gallery requires the comments plugin to be enabled).

It comes down to what your needs are, if you want something that can run on multiple sites Gallery 2 is the app to choose. If you have to protect your original size images you’ll want to use Plogger. I personally think Zenphoto has the most to offer and the best design out of the bunch, but they are all very well done. I went through all the ones on OpenSourceCMS and these were the best. Coppermine is popular but it’s too ugly and the admin is kind of confusing.

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Comments 1-12 of 12 to “Gallery2 vs Zenphoto vs Plogger”

  1. 1 · Andy says:

    Gallery 2 has much more features than what you mention (including spam protection (akismet in the current nightly snapshot, CAPTCHA for a long time), rating, RSS, etc.

    Also, Gallery 2 has no problem”protecting the original size of images.”

  2. 2 · Jaco says:

    Gallery2 is by far the most advanced of all image galleries.

    But, being that – so advanced – it tries to be too advanced sometimes. It features user rights for images & albums, but as soon as you start getting more than 20 000 users, Gallery2 becomes a nightmare. It’s is painfully hungry for resources to upload items.

    But if you don’t use the user rights / permissions then gallery2 is great.

    I found zenphoto and use if for general galleries – it’s simple, pretty , clean & easy to set up. It can also “protect the original size of images” as well as handle FTP uploads.

    So, if you need a gallery, I’d try both Gallery2 & zenphoto.

    If you’re just looking for a simple easy gallery, zenphoto is the way to go

  3. 3 · DerekNobuyuki says:

    I’ve been using Gallery/Gallery2 for a long time but in recent years it’s become unmanageable.

    I only have perhaps 13,000 photos, but it’s having increasing difficultly keeping even mediocre performance.

    Today, I made the switch to ZenPhoto and so far I’m pretty happy with it although it looks like I’m going to have to write a tagcloud myself.

    Thanks for posting your comparison!

  4. 4 · Dan says:

    Yeah, Gallery2 seems to be reeeeeeally, reeeeally resource intensive compared to the others, but vastly more mature (which in this case pretty much means more plugins/functionality (also in the case at the cost of more complication/resource drains))….

  5. 5 · Travis Wu says:

    Me too. Used gallery2 for about 5 yrs. Did a lot of work for it but sadly I have just switched to Zenphoto. just because it’s easier to manage and I get better performance. ZenPhoto is still young. It’s got a lot of potentials.

  6. 6 · Jason says:

    Zenphoto supports videos (flv, qt, wmv etc), Gallery2 does not. Gallery2 does have some advanced features, but I like being able to use the same setup for photos and video…

  7. 7 · Storm says:

    I’m new to the photo sharing- I have a bike web site that is used to share photos of our rides. Since I am not the only picture taker, I would like to have an application that allows my “friends” to upload their photos of the ride as well. Does Gallery or Zenphoto allow “friends” to add photos to a single account?

  8. 8 · kingfish says:

    I don’t know about other versions of Plogger…

    but Version Beta 3.0 has Mass photo imports from /upload directory you don’t need to set up anything special,simply drop them into the directory with your ftp program. I have imported hundreds at once, it doesn’t get any better than that.

    It’s simple to extend.

  9. 9 · Stuart says:

    I’ve tried ZenPhoto, Gallery2 and Coppermine.

    I’ve tried ZenPhoto the most, because I find it the easiest to use to do a quick setup of personal photos.

    But, I don’t think any of these freebies are worth using for serious commercial galleries, where you want folks to purchase images.

    The support and documentation is very thin on ZenPhoto.

    Issue 1: I’ve had problems with some themes not working correctly. I’ve submitted these issues, but have not had feedback for several days.

    Issue 2: There’s an add-on called ZenPayPal or eZenPhoto (?). The presence of 2 versions on the ZenPhoto web site is confusing. The installation instructions are useless. Some users say they got it to work, but no one seems to mention just how they got it to work.

    When it’s free, you get what you pay for.

  10. 10 · Shane says:

    When it’s free open source software, you almost never get exactly what you pay for. Just because someone hasn’t seen fit to spend their free time building you an e-commerce package specifically targeted at selling images doesn’t mean you should go bashing other software that you couldn’t even figure out how to install. 95% of the time you get way more than you paid for, but that’s beside the point.

    kingfish mentioned mass photo imports in a beta of Plogger. I just moved my stuff from gallery to zenphoto last night, and it took 2 minutes. It was as simple as copying the albums from my gallery2 data folder into the zenphoto albums folder. There was no import button to push, no processing to do, nothing. It automatically detected the pictures I had copied over, and started displaying them in the gallery. Now that’s simple.

  11. 11 · Matthias says:

    Gallery 2 is really too heavy for small sites. If you don’t own a seperate server it is too laggy and the scripts timeout. Plogger has a really nice interface (using Ajax) and works well.

  12. 12 · Anonymous says:

    Zenphoto has the best interface of all, but it can be tricky to get it to work the way you want. Be prepared to be verbally abused by its lead developer, if you ask a question, or make a comment that he does not like. I love the package, but could not get it to work, because the lead developer, spent more time insulting me, than the time it would have taken to tell me exactly what I needed to do to get the package to work the way I wanted.

    There is lots of great Gallery open source software available on the internet, that you can use and do not have to be insulted, when you have questions.