Almost all websites use images in some way. And it is easy to see why. People have long known that they remember images better than words. In addition, photos bring diversity to websites that are otherwise very simple.
An image gallery, which is a series of related photos that are displayed together. Its one of the best ways to create a visual impact in your collection of images. For WordPress users. It is also one of the easiest. And it’s all thanks to the plugins.
Whether you are a professional photographer, travel blogger or business owner. The image gallery plugin makes it easy to place your photos (or even audio and video) in a variety of patterns and styles.
One of the biggest downsides is: there are many WordPress gallery plugins out there. But, fortunately, the best and the best tend to be at the top of the WordPress open source eco-system. Here’s 6 of the best gallery plugins to showcase your images and make your website look more professional.
Choosing a WordPress Gallery Plugin
WordPress includes native image gallery functionality, but it’s fairly limited and only suitable for very basic gallery views. It’s worth exploring, as plugins offer more in terms of design.
If you’re looking for a plugin to extend your gallery, keep the following in mind:
There is a lot of overlap between what the different plugins offer, but each feature and target audience is unique. Looking for a quick and easy way to integrate a simple gallery? Or do you need more customisable and complex display tools? Are you aiming for occasional use, a photographer, or a professional?
These considerations should notify you of the purchase of the plugin. Search for the following features:
- Responsive designs
- Visual customisation options like text, colours, image sizing, filters.
- Gallery layout options (grid, tiles, vertical columns, circles, masonry grids etc)
- Image Lightboxes
- Automatic compressions
- Lazy Loading
- Social sharing options
- Audio and Video galleries
More options may seem like a good thing, but if your plugin has too many unused features, it slows down your site and increases unwanted code that can interfere with your workflow. Therefore, it is not desirable.
To counter this, some plugins follow an extension-based model. In this model, the core plugin is free and the functionality is provided as a paid add-on. If you prefer a more modular approach, look for these types of plugins in the list.
Ease of use is essential if you plan to spend a lot of time with the gallery plugin. Again, some of these plugins are designed for beginners users. While others are full of features and may require a little more to learn.
Like the WordPress Page Builder plugin. Many of these gallery builders use a drag-and-drop interface for image placement, re-arrangement, and resizing. The drag-and-drop approach makes things very easy. That’s why they are so popular. Some plugins also have developer tools for advanced tweaking.
The best way to get a feel for the plugin’s interface is to give it a try. Most of the options here are freemium, so you can download and try the free version before deciding to upgrade.
Price including those free versions
Of course, price is probably the most important thing. In general, the more you pay for a WordPress gallery plugin, the more you can get from it. That doesn’t mean you have to do everything you can to create an effective gallery. Many plugins come with a generous free version, while others are available for a relatively cheap one-time payment.
Still, if you are looking for a video gallery, anti-theft protection, and a wide range of templates and customisation features, you should invest in premium plugins. So let’s start with the 6 Gallery plugins for this weeks WordPress Wednesday.
Modula is a freemium WordPress gallery plugin that is easy to use and intuitive. Yet flexible enough for experienced WordPress users and developers.
This plugin specialises in responsive grid galleries. Whether you want to create a default grid or customise the grid to create a mosaic-like appearance. After selecting a custom grid option, you can easily adjust the image and format the gallery to your liking using the plugin’s drag-n-drop builder. Alternatively. You can use custom CSS to style the gallery.
As a freemium plugin, Modula gives free users the freedom of the grid. You can use it to create basic and custom galleries and apply some basic styling. Upgrading to a paid plan unlocks light-boxes, speed optimization, gallery sorting and filtering, sliders, slideshows, videos and other gallery formats.
Pricing: Modula has a free version and three paid options: Starter $39.00, Trio $69.00, Business $99.00
Photographers and other visual artists should consider NextGEN Gallery. Which is a very popular and feature-rich gallery plugin for WordPress. It’s built for pros, which is evident from the features it provides.
There are many gallery options for displaying photos. Such as tiles, slideshows, mosaics, wall grids, and more. Most of these are premium options. However, the free version offers two styles, but it’s enough to work in a basic gallery. You can also use the plugin to fine-tune gallery details such as animations and image sizes.
The professional plan, also includes features to leverage your gallery in your online business. Including deep links, eCommerce tools, photo organising and uploading tools, watermarks, built-in gallery management, digital downloads, light boxes and even coupons. There is also personal support in case of problems.
The NextGEN is perfect for sites displaying photos. Big sites that occasionally want to include galleries will probably find it overkill. However, creative professionals who want fine-grained control over how images are displayed and how they are sold to clients can benefit greatly from this high-quality plug-in.
Pricing: NextGEN Gallery has a free version and four paid versions: Starter $69.00 per year, Plus $99.00 per year, Pro $139.00 per year, and Lifetime as a one-time payment of $349.00.
Supsystic’s freemium Photo Gallery Plugin is perfect for WordPress site owners. Who want the simplicity of a premium photo gallery plugin. In addition to the powerful free version, Photo Gallery offers only paid options that allow you to create stunning displays of different types.
Eight different customisable galleries included in this plugin. Including carousels, post feeds (if you want to try content other than images), and polaroid-style presentations where you can place captions to add a nostalgic feel. You can access the layout. There’s an affordable premium versions that allow you to unlock video galleries, tags, and albums for better organisation, or use a CDN to quickly deliver images to your device.
Despite everything this plugin offers, its gallery is mobile friendly and easy to set up. You can also enable watermarks in the free version to prevent unauthorised use.
Pricing: There’s a free version and a paid version, starting at $46.00 for a one-year license on one site.
Envira Gallery is the leading WordPress gallery plugin for images and videos. It is flexibility, customisable features, templates, and ease of use make it an outstanding option among hundreds of competitors.
This freemium plugin is designed for both beginner and advanced WordPress site owners. For new users, the interface is based on a drag-and-drop system. So you can easily place and re-size images without touching the code. It includes some free mobile templates, and paid plans include more templates so you don’t have to start from scratch every time.
The free version is only available so far. Subscriptions give you access to unlimited galleries, Dropbox imports, WooCommerce integration, organisational tools, video galleries, social sharing, watermarks and password protection to limit unauthorised sharing. Most of the advanced features of plugins come from add-ons. The more you pay, the more add-ons you will be allowed.
Overall, this plugin is a balance between very simple gallery plugins and advanced gallery plugins. However, this is certainly not the cheapest option and is perfect for companies and websites that generate enough revenue to spend on image galleries.
Foo Gallery is a freemium gallery plugin. However, this option stands out with the features that come with the free version. FooGallery gives you free access to 6 responsive image gallery templates, including a masonry grid, thumbnail gallery, and light-box also after installing additional free plugins created by FooPlugins.
The gallery is also quite customisable, even in the free version. You can customise borders, hover effects, load icons and effects, sort your gallery into albums, and track your assets better. FooGallery also has a drag-and-drop interface for placing images, and you can place the gallery using Gutenberg blocks or short codes. Combined with custom CSS, FooGalleryFree can go quite far.
A pro version is also affordable, with three additional templates, video gallery support, image filtering, gallery filtering, lazy loading, hover and loading effects and more. Another great premium feature is infinite scrolling. This makes it easier to fit more images on the page, eliminating pagination and extra clicks by the user.
Pricing: FooGallery comes with a free version and also three paid subscriptions: Starter $29.99 per year, Expert $59.99 per year, and Commerce $99.99 per year,.
Finally, WordPress users who need gallery-specific video options can try TeamPlugins 360’s All-in-One Video Gallery. Video galleries are a powerful way to attract visitors to your pages, and this plugin allows you to display your visitors in searchable galleries.
Like other image-centric plugins, All-in-One Video Gallery is no-code and intuitive for new site owners. You can embed videos from sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, or place your own videos. The plugin supports common video file formats. It also included a play button to control the video as the user liked it.
Behind the scenes, you can use tags and categories to organise your videos and assign IDs to them. On the display side, the free version offers basic grid and list view options, and more layouts are available with the premium plugin.
The paid version of this plugin allows you to use other gallery formats (pop-ups and sliders), audio content, thumbnail generators, and markup suitable for SEO.