Sharing your photos with the world can be a tricky business. If you don’t like sharing them via third-party services, then a tool like PhotoPageGen could be a lifesaver. It’s designed to create online photo albums through generating HTML code that you can either upload to your web host via the program's Publish function, or simply share by other means.

Start by organising the photos you want to share into a single folder (photos can be stored inside sub-folders to created nested albums too). This is where PhotoPageGen will store its files locally, allowing you to distribute them yourself instead of uploading via the program’s own Publish button.

Next, launch PhotoPageGen to access its rather dated-looking user interface: drag your folder into the window and wait for the program to add the photos and generate thumbnails. Once done, you can start to configure your web pages.

This involves adding a page title, subtitle and description. Click Settings to add copyright information in the form of a watermark, then choose your page background design from 13 templates, choosing a colour scheme and setting the design of your photo thumbnails.

You can also tick GPS/Map, which will attempt to extract any location data from your photos and provide people with a clickable link to the location of the shot. Tick ‘Captions’ to caption each individual photo, and ‘Add an Overlay’ to watermark the images for copyright reasons.

All changes can be previewed manually (although the preview window will often pop up after you select specific options, which can be annoying) and there are all the controls you need to craft a page to your personal taste. Once done, click Publish to upload it to your web host via FTP.

The program is let down by a lack of documentation, which means a lot of trial and error is involved with newer features, but it’s worth noting you can close and reopen it without losing any of your hard work. You can also work on multiple albums at the same time – simply drag another folder into the program window to add it.

What’s new in version 6.2? 

- Added: History log that tracks all albums loaded, for quick access of previous albums, including where they were published, whether they were uploaded, etc. This is a significant positive change for the overall user experience
- Added: A warning to a user if the album is out of date, and needs publishing. If an album has been published with PhotoPageGen, any subsequent settings tweaks changes the color of the publish button to red, to warn the user that the album is now out of date, and needs publishing. Text is also underneath the Publish button which indicates the last change made
- Added: Many GUI cleanups that make PhotoPageGen interface cleaner and easier to use. Mostly just re-arranged things to make more sense, and also group all thumbnail controls into one area. Much cleaner
- Added: An autodetect FTP settings, so if there are similar albums nearby (i.e. 1 level up or below), they will be pulled from there

Verdict

If you can get past the lack of user documentation and dated user interface, PhotoPageGen is a brilliant tool for generating online photo catalogues.