Implemented Albums within Categories


XenForo moderator
Staff member
Currently images either get filed in a Category or an Album, theres no possibility for both.

It would seem a logical step to create Albums within Categories.

For example, a Category section called "Pets" would then allow each user to create their own Album in the Pets category so they can post all their pet photos in one Album, but still be relevant under the category.
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Well-known member
I really support this request. Its not only an important feature for letting the users organise their own photos in a growing gallery.

I will finally migrate a Photopost Pro gallery with 75k photos and LOTS of them are organized by the users in their personal sub albums. Importing this to XFMG will import all these photos, but all personal sub albums will be lost, so all photos will be within and mixed in the only personal album of every user.

This will be a mess, many of the users will cry and I know, not few will delete their photos and leave the community, just because of the "faulty" migration... I know my users.


Well-known member
Now that XFMG supports videos, this makes even more sense, because having video "albums" just seems... off.

So I went ahead and made a Videos and Images categories to keep these two media types separate... only to find out that I can't actually move Albums under Images. Because obviously, having Albums standalone and then separately Videos and Images (sans albums) as categories, would be weird as well.

Just as it'd be weird to have Albums, but Videos only as a category.

Having the option to split the media into major groups (i.e. Albums/Images, Videos, Audio) only would probably work well for a lot of us because we could then skip categories altogether and just sort the media according to type. And yes, I'm sure Audio will be added soon enough.
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Well-known member
I suggested that too, not being aware of generating a duplicate with it, but since it is longer ago, I refresh the idea... I totally support the idea and want to add some conceptional thoughts:

Pro Example: Makes it possible to have a Category for "Events" and then have one album for each event.

Now, you can either
  1. make a sub-category for each event (which clutters the category sidebar and therefore is not really scalable with a growing number of events) or
  2. make an album for each event which then is not categorized but only associated to a member. Which makes a structured archive impossible.
Categories are used to have a common media library and albums are used to associate media to users. It would be great to be able to associate albums to events and milestones without having it associated to a particular person and also not just floating around the media gallery without an umbrella category (logically associated media)

A solution that I came across that would pick up the given XFMG concept, would be to make a category become the owner of an album (as a third option beside category and owner album). That would also cope with privacy and reassignment as you could move albums to other categories and of course reassign them to members. Most flexibility with all media handling.


Wouldn't it be better to have a generic "tag"-based system where photos can be added to an arbitrary collection of "categories/tags".

If I have 100 categories and 1,000 users, each wanting to crate their own album within each category, we suddenly have 100,000 albums to deal with?

In my own situation, I have photos from over 1,700 zoos, each zoo would have its own category. Currently users can upload photos to any category - but in many cases we end up with dozens of almost identical photos of the same elephant in the same enclosure at the same zoo from multiple users.

My current thinking on how to deal with this (based on a concept for a custom gallery I was about to start building) was to allow users to upload photos to their own personal gallery only. Other users can browse photos within a specific user's gallery, but they are not part of the global media collection.

Users can then submit photos for "moderation" to be considered for inclusion in the main media collection (one of the 1,700 zoo categories), and only those deemed good enough will make the cut.

I'm not sure I can currently achieve this with the current XFMG album/category structure, but I'm looking for ways I can structure things.

Back on the categories+albums idea, users uploading to their own gallery will likely want to categorise the photos - although I guess they can create multiple galleries can't they?

The main problem with categorisation is that it only permits a photos to belong to a single category - where there are some situations where multiple categories make sense.

I want my users to be able to not only see photos of all animals from San Diego Zoo, but also photos of elephants in any zoo, and then photos of elephants from San Diego Zoo. This type of granularity simply isn't possible with a basic one-dimensional category structure and is much more suited to some kind of tag based system.

Just dumping my thoughts - there's no simple solution to this stuff and very much depends on use cases for each site.
Thanks for helping


New member
I'm not understanding this yet. Does anyone know of a solid explanation of Categories vs Albums & how they work together? I don't see the benefit of categories right now, but albums are making sense for my needs. Wondering if I'm missing something? Does anyone make use of both? Is it possible to turn off Categories if we can't find a use for it?

No, not really


Well-known member
Categories make sense, if you want to give the users a fixed structure to post their images/media in. Just like forums and subforums for messages.
Albums are better, if you prefer to let the users choose, how to organize their images. So they create albums for that, what they need.

If you run a website for festivals, you could create categories for eg. specific festivals, for different kinds of festivals, different cities or countries.
Or you could let the users create their own albums for the events, they've visited. Just one would do on Facebook to post images of a specific event.

First is more structured and better for "blind" searching.
Second is more flexible, but is not good to search for eg. all festivals within a country.

Or you use both and you'll have a mixture. You won't be able to guide all users to either the one or the other, so you end having images of the same festival as well in the categories and some albums.
This suggestion is to have a fixed category structure, but not too detailed, to let the users have their own albums within those categories. So you have the best of both worlds. It's structured, good for blind searching and it's flexible enough to let the users create in it, what they need/want.

You can hide categories of you don't create them and use this addon, which I've funded because I wanted to have a listing on gallery index just like PhotoPost has. It's far from being perfect but you can hide category block in sidebar.


Active member
It's just a "must" and absolutely logical to organize albums in categories the more for business forums where you have to separate the company stuff from the public stuff.
I was really wondering that MG does not have that feature yet. Unfortunately i will have to chose the buggy sonnb product a second time (i kicked out MG already out of my first project bcs of it's unflexible design) for my new upcoming business project which is realy sad as MG runs fine in general.
I honestly can't believe that I can't move albums into categories. I'm not going to go thru 22k+ images individually to move them into categories. I actually have to turn off xen galleries now and look into using either mechbunny or Nobita, depending on which one will allow me to import and categorize my submitted galleries by album. Crazy that this wasn't built into the system from day 1.


Well-known member
I've tried to explain three messages above yours. It's just a different way to organize the user medias - both have pros and cons. So it can make sense to have both.

PhotoPost Pro and other galleries did have that too.


Active member
Albums within categories would solve my problems.

We have 11,408 images, 1,525 albums and for now just 1 category.

I was feeling inspired to sort the photos into categories, to make it a little more engaging and interesting for the users so they can filter things out and find the things they want to see.

Then I realised it's either leave the photos in albums, or break up the albums and move the photos into categories.

I still can't come up with a solution as to what to do!

For now users have to navigate through 1272 pages of photos, randomly stumbling across photos they might be interested in.


New member
As I'm evaluating the Xenforo and media extension and this is the only feature I really, really wish it had. If added in the future, hopefully, there will be a way to move folders into categories.