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I am an experienced PHP developer but am just finding my feet with Drupal. I am creating a personal website using the Bootstrap theme and want to upload some images/diagrams as part of it. They will be publicly available.

My question is, should I just create a directory in the web root, ftp the images there, and put raw <img> tags in my pages? Or should I install a module and get it to do the work for me?

I am very happy to use the first (i.e. manual) method, but I'm thinking that there might be hidden advantages in letting a module handle it for me. For example, if a module does the uploading, it would presumably have particular css classes that it would apply to the <img>.

At this stage I will be the only one creating content.

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To answer your question, I think it depends on how you plan to use those images ...

Option 1: use individual images to beef up specific content pages

In this case you just upload those images to a folder such as sites/default/files, and then you could just use them (refer to them) with a typical img tag. To make sure that these images will actually also be rendered (when viewing the page), make sure that the "text format" used in the node does allow the img-tag. Typically for a node using the "Filtered HTML", it could well be that the img-tag is not allowed (yet) as one of the available HTML tags. In that case, your HTML code does include an 'img" tag, but when viewing the saved node the image is not rendered (visible). To resolve it, within admin you must enter the img-tag as one of the allowed HTML tags for the text format used in the node.

Option 2: visualize them in the format of a Gallery

Talking Drupal #083 is a great podcast about this topic, and includes a lot of recommended modules in this areas. Just to mention a few of them (mentioned on the linked page):

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