Picturesurf: Dead-Simple Photo Galleries For Bloggers

Picturesurf, a new WordPress plugin that allows bloggers to quickly build photo galleries, has launched to the public. Instead of having to waste time cropping and resizing thumbnail photos (and then embedding them into annoying HTML tables), Picturesurf allows users to simply select and upload a number of photos from their desktop, which are then automatically resized and arranged in standard CSS. The plugin is available in the WordPress plugin directory, or you can grab it at the Picturesurf homepage, which also includes directions.

Founder Alan Rutledge says that while there are other galleries available for bloggers, Picturesurf is primarily targeting large blogs looking to “convert their images into cash”. Because the gallery can place ads alongside each image (as opposed to just seeing a blank page using embedded .png or .jpg files), bloggers can more effectively monetize their images while saving users from having to constantly hit the ‘back’ button.

The plugin is also optimized for SEO purposes, and will work with RSS feed readers (typically galleries using Flash or Javascript don’t work in RSS readers). And because these images link back to the blog itself, Rutledge says that it could help bloggers more effectively monetize their RSS feeds.

While this is the first time the plugin has been publicly announced, Picturesurf has been quietly available for some time and has been integrated into over 3,000 blogs. Rutledge reports that on average, bloggers are seeing ad impressions double using the plugin as opposed to their standard thumbnail galleries (users are also clicking more images because of the increased convenience).

We’ve been trying out the plugin on some of our image-heavy blogs (including CrunchGear), and have been pleased with how easy it is to create the galleries – it sure beats doing them by hand, as we used to.

We should note that Picturesurf isn’t Rutledge’s first startup venture – while a student at Berkeley he and three other students built a small mobile startup that was acquired by iLike.