WordPress has image management features which makes uploading and inserting images easy. When it comes to resizing and cache management, however, WordPress falls short. WordPress works like this: you configure your media sizes in the “Media” section of WordPress. Once this is done, every image you upload to WordPress is resized into these predefined sizes and saved in the same folder as the uploaded image.
The shortcoming? If you decide you want to change the media settings down the road, the new sizes won’t affect previously uploaded images. If you want the new sizes reflected on your old posts and galleries, you have to delete each old image, one by one, post by post, and upload the source image anew. Because caching and resizing is done during the upload of each source image.
This is where Zenphoto comes in. Cached images are stored seperately in a cache folder, and images aren’t “inserted” anywhere, they’re simply linked. Meaning: if you change media settings, linked images will request a new image with the new sizes.
I built the Zenphoto Short-tags plugin to try and take these superior image management features with me to WordPress. To use the plugin, you have to have Zenphoto deployed to your webserver and instead of uploading images to WordPress, you have to upload images to Zenphoto. Using short-tags you then insert highly customizable image links in WordPress. With recent features of the plugin (just yesterday, I added a WordPress Media button) you can now do all the management you want to, directly in WordPress.
Notice the new ZP Media button.
By the way, the above image was inserted using this code: [zp src=”Shorttags_01.png” crop=”tl” height=”300″]. The crop parameter ensures the image isn’t scaled, and cropped to the top left corner. It takes its width from a media setting in the backend. The album folder is normally a required parameter, but it’s not filled in because the image happens to be in the default folder.
Once clicked, the new media button shows your most recent images from your Zenphoto gallery. If you simply click one of these images, the shorttag for showing the image is inserted.
You can also click the “Upload image to ZenPhoto” tab to get an at the moment rather inelegant view of the Zenphoto backend, which lets you upload right then and there.
The bottomline is, Zenphoto Short-tags and Zenphoto offers you a different way of posting images to your WordPress blog. It requires a different way of thinking, and there aren’t any previews of your images in your visual editor. On the flipside, tweaking the width, height and crop of your images can be done by simply changing the parameters and without uploading anew. Worth a shot?