What are the experiences in building a photo oriented site in EE?

There are some really nice plugins out there, like Channel Images or Assets, but they are all oriented around "uploading as you go" and not for serving images from some kind of back-end (like slideshowpro director or similar). For myself and fellow photographers the input would be extremly useful around how others might have solved this.

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    It would be better if you could explain clearly what problem you are trying to solve, rather than opening a discussion. See the FAQ. Nov 29, 2012 at 1:54

6 Answers 6


I'm a huge fan of SlideShow Pro Director!

I'm not sure there is anything out there off the shelf right now, like an add-on for example though, I hope I'm wrong.

With that said, have you considered using SSP Director along with it's DirectorPHP classes?

You could build your own add-on (recommended) or use PHP templates and build out your own gallery using their classes/methods etc and just use Director for the image handeling uploading/editing side of things.

If I remember right they are using Cake PHP for their API.

You can get more familiar with it here in their docs:


They have some examples here of how to use it:


And you can download DirectorPHP from your account center once you've logged in. Not positive if you need to purchase Director first or not, however, I'm pretty sure to connect to Diretor from DirectorPHP you will need a key from Director settings itself and add it to the DirectorPHP.php file like so:

# Fill in your API key here. It can be found on your Director preferences pane,
# under the "About your install" section.
public $api_key = 'your-api-key-goes-here';

# Path to your Director install
# This can also be found on your preferences pane, below the API key        
public $path = 'your-api-path-key';

Note: the above code is from DirectorPHP 1.5 beta and may differ from the non-beta version.

  • Thanks. PHP is a bit out of my reach at the moment, but I guess there's never to late to learn :-) Nov 21, 2012 at 7:25
  • @PatrickHvid Or you could post in the Twitter hashtag #eecms and see if any developers would like to help you build the addon!
    – adrienne
    Nov 21, 2012 at 15:31
  • Interesting idea - just out of curiosity, what kind of add-on would we be looking at? Plugin, extension, module? Nov 21, 2012 at 19:22
  • I'd say just a plugin would suffice for displaying sets of images via DirectorPHP. A module could be built or even a field type though, I feel that kind of defeats the purpose of using SlideShow Pro Director in the first place because, now instead of having once place to manage galleries/images you'd have two. BTW, please remember Director is a very different experience for clients, albeit great, and should be fitting the project or client you plan to use it for. If it makes more sense to use channel images/assets or just the native file manager then of course that's what you do.
    – Natetronn
    Nov 27, 2012 at 20:45
  • A plugin of some sort would imho be the best solution. Enter the album-XML path, and get the image-urls served in a fashion that could be used in a standard EE-loop. Perhaps even with a size parsed to Director and let them do the resizing job. However, I guess I have to hook up with a developer on that since I barely handle HTML and j-query but not a single line of PHP Jan 7, 2013 at 3:00

If you like SSP Director (as do I, very slick interface, I'd love to see something like that come to the EE control panel), then maybe keep an eye on Koken: http://koken.me/

Something new developed by the same developer as SSP with a public beta coming soon.


Can you start by quantifying some numbers, I've built a few image/gallery'esque sites over time and it all comes down to the numbers.

The most used method is similar to a designers portfolio, one channel entry per shoot/location/project, 1 - 20 images per entry - matrix + assets - Add all the jquery/plugin magic you want because your dealing with specific entries.

If you're talking 100's of images per "entry" then mega-upload and channel images could be a worthy alternative.

In the end, it all comes down to how you want to present and how many images are in each presentation.

So, let us know how you plan to present the info with some objective numbers and a solution will become more obvious :)

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    think thousands of images that you want to choose from for different purposes (asset management for real) Nov 21, 2012 at 10:23

We typically just use either Channel Images, Assets, or in the past a Matrix field with File fields inside of it, coupled with one of the jQuery plugins that works based on a set of markup. You then read the selected module's data for the current entry out, and insert a bunch of <li>s in a <ul> or <div>s or whatever the given jQuery plugin expects, then style as needed.

I don't feel that there is really a one size fits all approach for this kind of thing, you need to find a jQuery plugin that has the behavior that you want, then work to couple it with your chosen backend module that stores the imagedata.

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    Thanks Isaac The presentation isn't my problem, but rather the asset management (on a bit larger scale than Assets) Galleria is a fantastic module for presentation :-) Nov 21, 2012 at 7:26

EE doesn't have a real document/asset management addon, although one could certainly be built out of existing bits. I would start with Channel Images, because its directory structure really lends itself toward reuse of assets (it gives every asset a separate subdirectory).

Alternatively you could start with a separate DMS/AMS, and build some sort of integration bridge, as Natetronn suggested above with SSP Director.


All ended up with me using a totally separate application for images, Koken, with added styling similar to the main site.

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