Category Archives: Photography

Good-bye SlideShowPro, Hello Koken

In 2014 I changed direction from using SlideShowPro to Koken for custom online galleries and slideshows.

SSP Background

As a hobbyist level photographer and web developer I found SlideShowPro to provide a reasonable level of re-use and customization to present my works.  It was not perfect, but it provided a professional presentation, had decent WordPress integration, and good-enough stand-alone options for manual web-site integration.

Transition to Koken

The past several years the SSP innovation tapered off and when I revisited the photography CMS options in December of 2013 I was pleased to see what the creative peoples behind SSP had been working on; a new Content Management System (CMS) called Koken.   I describe Koken as a refactored SSP suite of tools presented as a CMS designed for photographers that addresses usability & photo management issues of SSP Director and WordPress.  Koken is a joy to use and while its Beta versions are not perfect, I look forward to using them.

While I installed and used Koken for a few private portfolio’s, I have yet to transition my public Steven Berke Photography portfolio over.  So until then, you can experience the live Koken Theme Gallery.

How I weight my decision to use Koken

A few parting words on features I value in a photography CMS so you can better assess my evaluation.  Features in rough priority order:

  1. Free Installation
  2. Installation requires minimal manual steps
  3. Free Upgrades
  4. Turn-Key Upgrade
  5. Lightroom integration
  6. Strong developer base
  7. Ability to re-use photograph assets across albums (with positive User Experience (UX))
  8. Out-of-the box widgets and styling features
  9. Strong user base
  10. Ability to apply free customizations to website
  11. Framework to develop custom extensions