Support » Plugin: NextGEN Gallery - WordPress Gallery Plugin » Never Understood Why This Was So Popular

  • I think the nine million downloads brag stems from the fact this is one of the oldest gallery plugins for WP and for many years there were no rival plugins that came close to doing what Nextgen could. I’ve only been using WordPress for six years but I installed NextGen all those years ago and never got it. I found it quite counter-intuitive, despite spending many hours with it. That said, Alex Rabe put a lot of time and effort into creating and developing NextGen and credit where credit’s due, he did a valiant effort.

    Since that time Nextgen has been superseded by better gallery plugins, whilst WP’s legacy image upload system has improved massively too. I suspect that the high number of downloads now are based upon old WP user guides that tell the newbie how every WP user must have NextGen installed. I could be wrong, however I do feel a little uncomfortable with the fact Photocrati appears to be riding on the coat tails of the efforts Alex Rabe put into this plugin. I’m not sure why the developers feel it has to be branded as “NextGen Gallery By Photocrati”. When I last tried to use it last year it was a complete mess. Perhaps I should give it another go…

    Still, I’m a photographer and my photography website does not use NextGen. It may be the most downloaded gallery plugin, but its a long way from being the most intuitive.

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  • @demonboy: Thanks for the feedback. We’d actually be interested to hear more on what you consider non-intuitive. I think one of the element that others (and I myself) at one point found non-intuitive is the dual system in which you create and manage galleries separately and then insert them into posts. But if you have details beyond that, we’d definitely be interested.

    On the download volume… you’re right that the total volume is, in part, related to the fact that it’s old. But when we took it over from Alex in 2012, it was at 4-4.5 million, and it just crossed 10 million last week. Whether you look at it in terms of active ongoing user base or new adoption, NGG continues to be massively popular.

    On your comments about taking over the plugin, riding on Alex’s coat tails, and rebranding… As a sole developer, Alex was overwhelmed at the volume of support and some of the feedback he was getting, which is one reason he wanted to let it go. Even with multiple full time people now, it’s still overwhelming, so I understand that. There was nothing nefarious in the rebranding, just an indication that there was a break in who’s maintaining the plugin, which seems quite reasonable. And yes, we do tout the number of downloads; we have released a pro version; but we’ve also put more active development and support into the free version of NGG than it’s ever received before. We believe in giving back to the WP community, and do so by maintaining once of it’s most popular free plugins. I’m just having a hard time understanding why you’d characterize that as a negative.

    Finally, “When I last tried to use it last year it was a complete mess…” Yup, I’m sure that was just after we release the massive overhaul of the plugin in August. And it was a bit of a mess. I apologize for that. But things are obviously different after 8 months / dozens of versions. So, yes, we encourage you to give it another look.

    Thanks for your time and feedback. (Erick @ Photocrati)

    @demonboy – Just following up on some old reviews.

    As you know this review was written following a major overhaul of the plugin in version 2.0. At this point, most of the issues related to that overhaul of the plugin have been long addressed.

    I’m not sure if you’ve had a chance to use NextGEN lately, but given the current performance of the plugin, a two-star rating seems a bit harsh, and we’re wondering if you might consider revising your rating?

    Let us know if you have question. Thanks. (Erick)

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