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Very Simple Image Gallery Plugin FAQ & Troubleshooting
Written by Andreas Berger   
Sunday, 27 September 2009 17:48

PROBLEM: Empty page when trying to open a page with gallery

ERROR: Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 3264 bytes)

PROBLEM: Neither images nor thumbnails get shown (empty frames)

PROBLEM: Only the code {*vsig}folder{/vsig*} is shown - usage in module position



PROBLEM: Empty page when trying to open a page with gallery

If the call of a page with a gallery leads to an empty page, the reason probably is a "Fatal Error", caused by the GD lib, an extension to PHP. To display the error when opening the page, go to your Joomla! backend, navigate to "Site" > "Global Configuration" > "Server" and in the section "Server" increase the level of "Error Reporting" to "Maximum". (Note: In productive use this setting should be revised after fixing the problem!)
If you try to open the page with the gallery now, you will probably see a message such as "Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 3264 bytes)". The next item of this FAQ deals with this error.


ERROR: Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 3264 bytes)

If you get this error (amount of bytes will vary) when trying to open a page that contains a gallery, the amount of memory PHP needs to create the images/thumbnails exceeds the set maximum amount of memory a PHP script is allowed to use.
One possible solution would be to increase this amount (on your local test environment) or (on the web server) to ask your hoster if it is possible to enhance your account but - with a probability of 99% - the simple solution is: Smaller images!

This means in the first instance the image dimensions (width/height), not necessarily the image file size. The GD library of PHP needs to read in the image. This requires (as far as I know) about 40 Bit per pixel. This means - e.g. - that creating the image and thumbnail from an original with 800/600 needs at the least 800x600x40bit = 2.23 MegaByte.
For an image of 600/450 the calculation is 600x450x40bit = 1.29 MegaByte ... and so on.

In many cases images get uploaded far to large for web use. A common Joomla! template offers for a gallery in the context of the main content from 600 up to 800 pixel of width at the maximum. Images of this size can be displayed at excellent quality with - depending on the image - 50 up to 100 kilobyte. If you upload your images as they are saved from your digicam, they often come with dimensions up to 3000 or 4000 pixel of width and 3 or 4 megabyte of size.
The disadvantages of such large images are obviously: The upload takes a long time, you need a lot of space on your server and - important - scarcely any visitor is willing to wait for an image of 3 or 4 MB to load. Furthermore scaling an image offline with an appropriate program (e.g.: GIMP) gives you much better results than leaving it up to the visitors browser.

In the best case you scale your images offline to a format that exactly matches the size you are going to display them on your page (if you already fine tuned the gallery) or is a little above this size (above because browsers are still worse in up scaling images than they are in down scaling them).

By the way - doing so, the error disappears too.


PROBLEM: Neither images nor thumbnails get shown (empty frames)

If you get - instead of images and thumbnails - only the ALT-text or just empty frames, please open the configuration panel of the plugin and check the availability of the GD library.

The GD Library, short GD or GDlib, is a program library to dynamically create and manipulate graphics and one of the most widespread extensions of PHP. The Very Simple Image Gallery uses this extension to create the scaled images and thumbnails.
To get more information than the plugins configuration panel offers go to the Joomla! administration interface and open Help > System Info >PHP-Information. On this page search for "gd". In the best case you will find a chapter with the following or similar content:


  • GD Support enabled
  • GD Version bundled (2.0.34 compatible)
  • FreeType Support enabled
  • FreeType Linkage with freetype
  • FreeType Version 2.1.9
  • T1Lib Support enabled
  • GIF Read Support enabled
  • GIF Create Support enabled
  • JPG Support enabled
  • PNG Support enabled
  • WBMP Support enabled
  • XBM Support enabled

The first line shows, that the extension is enabled, the second line holds the installed version. The followup lines hold information about available functionality and supported file types. For the Very Simple Image Gallery the file types GIF, JPG and PNG are of importance.
If the GDlib is not activated or these file formats are not supported, you should (on your local test environment) activate it or (on the web server) ask your hoster if it is possible to add this feature. Without the GDlib the Very Simple Image Gallery cannot be used.


PROBLEM: Only the code {*vsig}folder{/vsig*} is shown - usage in module position

If the frontend shows the code - {vsig}folder{/vsig*} (without asterisk) - instead of the gallery, the first thing to do is to check if the plugin is activated. If it is and the problem persists, in most cases you are trying to display the gallery on a module position instead of the context of the main content.
Not all extensions, that offer to display custom content on a module position, are supporting the whole functionality of the Joomla! framework and with it the functions the plugin needs to work properly.
Up till now two extensions are reported to offer the needed functionality:

One is the module "Module: Content with Plugins", listed at extensions.joomla.org under "News Display" > "Articles Embed".
The other is the module "Plugin in Module", listed at extensions.joomla.org under "Core Enhancements" > "Embed & Include".

Please be aware that - even if the plugin works this way - the fact that a module is not an article causes problems if you are going to use multiple instances of the plugin on one page because the plugin will not be able to write unique identifyers for JavaScript and CSS. If you need multiple instances on one page, I would indeed use a gallery, explititely developed as a module.

If you have questions or suggestions, please use the comment-function. Please include the installed Joomla! version and if you have problems - if any possible - the affected page in your comment.

If you need additional features or customizations for your project that exceed the scope of support offered through the comments, you are invited to submit your requirements specification and the planned budget by email (menu item "Contact" in the menu at the top).

If you use this extensions, please post a rating and a review at extensions.joomla.org.

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 March 2011 13:30
Comments (31)
Can no longer copy or edit working pages - we just see the {vsig}folder{/vsig} code
21 Wednesday, 30 November 2011 12:45

This is a brilliant plug-in and has worked really well for the past 18 months.

However for some reason we can no longer copy or edit a page without the gallery disappearing and just diplaying the code {*vsig}folder{/vsig*}
Here is a page that we copied this morning and renamed www.studiomap.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=164&Itemid=57
The original page is still showing the gallery as before.
We are happy to upgrade to the Pro version but didn't want to risk upgrading in case we lost our existing galleries. At the moment we have in excess of fifty pages that call images very successfully and we can't afford for them to stop functioning.
We are running Joomla version 1.5.20 and Very Simple Gallery Version 1.6.2

Many thanks for you assistance

Wednesday, 30 November 2011 22:10
A. Berger

Hi Mike!

Open the article that contains the code for the gallery and switch to HTML-view. You will see, that the code is heavily fragmented by HTML-Tags (e.g. class="scayt-misspell").
Please remove these tags. They prevent the code from getting detected/executed by the plugin.

The origin of these tags seems btw. to be a bug in the used editor (CKEditor) that happens when using the spellchecker with InternetExplorer :)
Check this link for further information: dev.ckeditor.com/ticket/6114

Best regards

Error message on gallery page
20 Tuesday, 29 November 2011 00:18
Lucy Coco


I love this plug in, it was much easier to install than others I tried, and it was also the only plug in gallery that actually worked for me.  However, I get the following error message on the page where the gallery is:
Warning: getimagesize() [function.getimagesize]: Filename cannot be empty in/home/*******/public_html/new/plugins/content/smartresizer/smartresizer.php on line 327
I have googled this put couldn't find any solution.  Can anyone help?

Thanks in advance

@Lucy Coco
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 22:19
A. Berger

Hi Lucy!

I confess, I have no idea why the plugin "SmartResizer" (check the Error Message) has problems used in combination with the Very Simple Image Gallery, but I would check the website/Support-forum of the developer of this plugin, maybe the problem has already been discussed there.

Best regards

Thumbnail caching does not update changes
19 Monday, 31 October 2011 15:33
Vken Go


The problem I'm having is updating the thumbnail images : refreshing and reloading updated images. The galleries I have has over 100 images, so caching is vital, but if I update 1 image, the thumbnail does not change where as the image it links to does. Is there a way to flush the thumbnail cache so that it regenerates new ones. Or is there another way around it? Cheers.

@Vken Go
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 21:32
A. Berger

Hi Vken Go!

The plugin automatically generates a new scaled image/thumbnail if a new image appears in the folder (new file name) , you change a relevant setting in the backend (width/height/quality/cropping) or if the respective scaled image/thumbnail is not present.
If you change images without changing name/dimension, you can force the creation of new scaled image/thumbnail by either changing one of the listed background settings or just by deleting the folders vsig_images, vsig_thumbs or their content.

Best regards

Problem with multiple vsig instances on one page
18 Tuesday, 25 October 2011 15:02

I have one page with tabs. In each tab an article is shown. In each article a vsig is defined with a different image folder.

On first tab the photo and thumbs is shown. On the other tabs only the thumbs of that gallery is shown. But when clicking on the thumbs on any tabs the photo on first tab is changing with the photo of the corresponding thumb on the last tab.

Can vsig not handle this? Or how can I solve this?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:25
A. Berger

Hi Hunter!

Please provide a link to the page and the name of the extension you are using for your tabbed content.

Best regards

Links don't seem to be working properly
17 Friday, 14 October 2011 14:12
D. Yamaguishi

Hi, first of all, thanks for the great job!

I installed vsig in two different pages, but the links of the second one don't open the images. I used no parameters inside the code.

The site is www.dicuore.com.br and the gallery that doesn't open the links is the 'criação'.

Tks a lot!

@D. Yamaguishi
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 14:56
A. Berger

Hi D. Yamaguishi!

Please check if you have set a default blank link in this article. If so - please remove it.

Best regards

Link Question
16 Tuesday, 11 October 2011 18:20

First of all, thank you so much for this simple plugin!  It's the only gallery I've been able to get to work with my Joomla! site.  I do have a question, though... Is there any code to link each full sized image displayed within the gallery to a separate page?  Or do they all just link to the one default address that I specify in the code?

Thank you!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 12:43
A. Berger

Hi Bunnar!

Check the page "Howto Plugin Code", it explains the feature "Links".

The default link: {*vsig_l}gallery-number||URL|titel|target{/vsig_l*} - without the asterisks
The specif link: {*vsig_l}gallery-number|imagefile|URL|titel|target{/vsig_l*} - without the asterisks

You see, setting specific links for specific images just requires to set the image file name as second parameter, that's it.

Best regards

Metadata file showing up as captions
15 Monday, 20 June 2011 23:43

Hi, I'm having a problem with what seems to be the metadata (camera make) shows up as captions.

I Can't seem to turn it off.
It wasn't there before when it was on a test server (zoka.cc) but when we transfered it into its actual hosting and domain name it showed up. From what we know, the captions would only show up if you add a "label.txt" file within the folder of a specific gallery (which we did) for only one gallery needs to have a caption.
For the rest of the galleries, it shouldn't have a caption. But like I mentioned a "Olympus Digital Camera" captions displays on specific photos which the Olympus camera was used.

Any ideas?


Sunday, 26 June 2011 16:33
A. Berger

Hi Maggs!

I'm not sure about the extension you are using, but it doesn't seem to be one of mine.

Best regards

very simple image gallery plugin
14 Monday, 20 June 2011 03:59

dear andreas

I would like to thank you for this great image gallery that work simply for even a beginner like me,,,

I cross my finger for you,,,,,,

with respect

Plugin not working in SOBI
13 Tuesday, 14 June 2011 05:59

I use it in SOBI but it didnt work! here is the link
photo folder is oneworldhotel and i place it in images/stories/

help please!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011 21:24
A. Berger

Hi Zahidi!

The "Very Simple Image Gallery" is a Joomla! content plugin. Please check the SOBI2 support forum if the component executes content plugins. Maybe this has to enabled separately. If the component does not execute content plugins at all, there is no way to use the plugin. In this case I would check the category "Extension specific" at extensions.joomla.org for extensions, explicitly developed for the usage within SOBI2.

Best regards

Captions working on some galleries, others not.
12 Sunday, 12 June 2011 19:03

I've setup multiple articles within various categories, each with a gallery. The first category works fine. Gallery with caption on first image, perfect (Residential New:  But when I skip to another category (Residential Additions and Renovations:, the captions are not showing up.  I've tried everything from resizing images, checking all menu settings, module settings, article settings, etc. I compared the code on all articles, they match with the ones that are working... So I'm baffled. Am I missing something here?

Every first image of my galleries should have a caption, that is not happening. Please help.

Monday, 13 June 2011 20:42
A. Berger

Hi Sarah!

Hard to tell because the link require user/pass I don't have. In addition, please post the code you are using in the article(s).

Best regards

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