How to use the Dynamic Albums feature

Dynamic album basics

Albums in Zenphoto are physical and based on a folder on the file system. Dynamic albums are albums created dynamically based on a search, so technically a saved search. Therefore they update themselves if the search returns new results. Dynamic albums cannot have subalbums unless these are part of the search results. 

Dynamic albums are on the file system represented as a text file .alb. The suffix is shown in the URL if there is a physical album of the same name, otherwise the suffix is omitted (1.4.3).


Note that usage of dynamic albums requires Cookies to be enabled in the visitor's browser to stay in (...)

Zenphoto Glossary

A glossary to define a few terms regarding Zenphoto.

The administration backend of zenphoto. Also called the backend.
The actual collection of images (and movies) that are within a folder within the "albums" folder.
Albums folder
The "albums" folder is located in the root of the Zenphoto installation and contains the folders of the actual albums.
Album name / folder name
The folder name of the album on the filesystem. This is independed from the actual album title and used in URLs. For subalbums the name includes all parents (e.g. album1/subalbum1)
Album title
The title of the album you can enter on the backend. This is independed from the actual album name.
Album theme
A theme that is attached to a specific album. It is possible to use a different themes with each top level album instead of the same main theme for all. Bascially any theme can be used as an album theme.
Album thumb
A thumbnail representing the album. This is either chosen automatically or specifically set. Functions for album thumbs also support showing the lock (...)

Zenphoto 1.2 Release Announcement

The Zenphoto team is proud to announce the release of Zenphoto 1.2! This is a major point release with several new features complete, as you can see in the changelog. The 1.2 release includes complete translation support and several included languages, the ability to move, copy, and rename albums and images, improvements to the administration interfaces, improvements to the tag system, and more. In all, over 200 issues were resolved according to our bugtracker, and I can personally vouch that this is the most complete and useful Zenphoto package to date. We hope you enjoy it and find it the easiest and simplest way to manage your photos online.

Head to the Zenphoto home page to download the release.

We would also like to welcome Kevin Rainbolt (krainbolt) to the Zenphoto team. He contributed many security and bug fixes for this release, and was (...)

Zenphoto 1.2

  • Move/copy/rename albums and images [trisweb]
  • Mutli-lingual content support [sbillard]
  • Separate plugin translation capability [acrylian, sbillard]
  • Lots of security/vulnerability fixes [krainbolt]
  • Admin backend improvements [trisweb, sbillard, acrylian]
  • Slideshow plugin updates: progressive image preloading, slideshow from search and dynamic albums [dpeterson, sbillard, acrylian]
  • Setup improvements with more checks [sbillard]
  • Translation updates
    • Traditional Chinese translation [fatman]
    • German translation [acrylian]
    • Dutch translation [Vincent]
  • Upload video and audio files via admin backend [sbillard]
  • Tag management improvements [sbillard]
  • RSS feeds with language option [acrylian]
  • Many minor improvements and bugfixes. See all resolved issues on Trac.

Spanish translation

Installation, Upgrading and Requirements

NOTE: There are a number of 3rd party install scripts available for Zenphoto (and other CMS). These scripts are often used by webhosts to provide "one-click-installs". Scripts such as SimpleScripts version 3 seem to execute each of the necessary Zenphoto setup steps and should produce identical results as following the installation steps below.

Others try to reproduce the end result of an installation. These latter may not reliably accomplish their goal and leave a flawed installation. Also please note that some hosts seem to provide outdated versions for unknown reasons.

We do not test these scripts and cannot provide support if their use causes Zenphoto problems.


  1. Download the latest version of Zenphoto.
  2. Extract the files to your computer then upload all files and folders as listed below to your web directory via FTP. You can upload them either in the root of your webspace or within a (...)

Zenphoto's global variables

This list of common global variables Zenphoto uses internally can be useful for developing extra theme functions or plugins.

The usage of these is aimed at the more web developing experienced user as they primarily are to be used with the object model.

General Zenphoto globals

The list of installed locales
Used to cache the list of albums that an admin may administer
Cache of the admin users
Cache for the current album loop
Contains the album folder name (when it is internal to the Zenphoto installation.)
Cache of the tags used in a gallery. (Used in the Tag Strings case only, contains multiple copies of a tag.)
Cache for the current comment loop
Contains the error from the last comment post
Saves comment context from a post for restoration
Holds configuration information from the zp-config.php file. May be overridden by the $_zp_options array.
Cache (...)

An overview of zenphoto users (Rights management)

Zenphoto has several classes of users. Each is endowed with different capabilities. This article provides an overview of the capabilities this user model provides.

Zenphoto users and user rights

Zenphoto users are granted rights when their user/password is assigned. This is done on the Options-User tab (Options-Admin-User tab if the user_groups plugin is enabled). The rights assigned control the privileges the user has.

  • General
    • Overview: Allows the user to view the admin overview page (OVERVIEW_RIGHTS)
    • User: Users must have this right to change their credentials (USER_RIGHTS)
    • Codeblock: Users with this right may edit codeblocks (CODEBLOCK_RIGHTS)
    • Options: Allows the user to make changes on the options tabs (OPTIONS_RIGHTS)
    • Admin: This is kind of a master privilege. A user with (...)

Release of Zenphoto 1.1.7

The Zenphoto team is pleased to announce the release of version 1.1.7. This release includes many bug fixes from 1.1.6, with improvements especially in the localization libraries and translations. See the full changelog post for more information.

We hope you continue to enjoy Zenphoto!

Zenphoto 1.1.7

  • Translation support improved [sbillard, acrylian, trisweb]
    • French translation [fetard]
    • Dutch translation [Vincent]
    • Traditional Chinese translation [fatman]
    • German translation [acrylian]
  • Tag Management [sbillard]
  • Paging for image and comments admin pages [sbillard]
  • New distributed plugins
    • dynamic-locale [sbillard]
    • flv_playlist [acrylian, sbillard]
    • GoogleCheckout [mammlouk, sbillard]
    • tag_suggest [acrylian, sbillard]
    • user_logout [sbillard]
  • several bugfixes and improvements