JetPack Tiled Gallery: A Disappointment

Masonry Image Grids have become very popular in WordPress Plugins because they allow users to post images of varying size  all together in a gallery. The images don’t have to be cropped to the same size. Also the masonry layouts allow a variety of information to be added to the image along with a link. Finally a lightbox routine can be used to show an image at full size if desired. Here is an example of the Justified Image Grid plugin in action with lazy loading enabled.

Since many of my own and clients use WordPress Media Galleries to store their images, it is a very attractive option to be able to display galleries using the masonry layout. And it seemed as if my prayers were answered when Masonry Tiled Galleries was added to the JetPack line-up of plugins.

However, between lip and cup, the JetPack Tiled galleries turn out to be a big slip up:
As you can see in this screenshot Tiled Galleries in jetPack come with minimal customization features. Users cannot control margins, padding, gaps between images, caption position, caption color and opacity, lightbox options and a myriad of other  features available in the following WordPress image grid plugins capable of  masonry layouts:
Final Tile  – free plugin with masonry tile layout support
Cactus Masonry – a free plugin with masonry layout of featured posts
Justified Image Grid – responsive, masonry layout with 6 image sources -$28/website
Essential Grid – responsive, masonry grid with drag & drop edits  – $25/website
Media Grid – responsive, masonry layout with 5 sources including Woo commerce -$18/website

In sum, hosted WordPress users have a number of very good Masonry image grids to work with. All of them are versatile with multiple layout options, grid controls including margins, borders, color controls, etc. As Masonry grids become vital for selling portfolios and visual sitemaps, the free and premium plugins have quickly filled the gap of a better gallery display options over the Jetpack solution.

A very curious thing happened when this very same post was made on my blog, WordPressing’s Impressions. The JetPack Publicize buttons for Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, etc just disappeared. Go to the website and see that for the previous and next posts, the Publicize buttons are working. Very curious!

Does Automatic have a filter for the Jetpack Publicize plugin which eliminates the Publicize buttons for posts that are critical of JetPack and/or other WordPress properties? Or is this just a caching problem or some other fluke? At the risk of getting involved in Waco-like WPTavern brawl, further investigation and postings will be forthcoming. If you Google Publicize buttons, you will see there is already a number of posts on how Publicize and Sharing via JetPack has buggy behavior.

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