I’ve played around with lots of different photo galleries, both free and for a fee, for both clients and for my personal blog, where I keep my far-flung family happy with lots of kid photos. I’ve decided that I like Shozam the best (formerly Web Gallery Wizard) and here’s why.
It gives me complete control over how the photos appear and offers several nice templates for the photo galleries. Some of them are a little cheesy, but most are tasteful templates that can work well with many website designs. It’s got a step-by-step process (Steps #1 – 6) that’s really easy to follow, so you don’t get lost in the process of moving your photos from your camera to the web. I don’t have to do anything to my photos before placing them into the program. It takes care of all the sizing, rotating, creating thumbnails, etc. Adding captions is simple and you can also add audio and video clips.
I also like that it comes in several different versions, allowing me to pick the version with the number of tools I needed, and not pay for the ones I don’t. I bought the advanced version for $99.99, and it’s the mid-range version. The Lite version (the most basic version) is $24.95. Naturally, I recommend that you start with the free trial. It will let you test drive the various options before you spend the cash, which is always nice. It took me awhile before I coughed up the money, but after trying several of the free or cheap solutions and being really unhappy in the end, I’m glad I spend the bucks to get the product that works for me.
If you know of a program that does all that Shozam does for the same price or less, let me know by leaving a comment.