WordPress introduced a gallery option into their core way back in 2008 with version 2.5. More features have been added to the WordPress gallery over the years, however the functionality is still limited in many respects.
That is why many WordPress website owners use a plugin to power their gallery instead. There are many great premium gallery plugins available, however in this article, I would like to show you who you can use add a gallery to your website using three different WordPress plugins.
The plugins in question are NextGEN Gallery, Gallery, and Photo Gallery. All of these plugins can be downloaded free from the official WordPress plugin repository, though a premium version of each plugin is available should you want more features.
NextGEN Gallery is a gallery plugin that I installed one of my own websites three years ago. With nearly ten million downloads, it is one of the most popular WordPress plugins ever released and is packed full of features.
Despite having a lot of functionality, the plugin is very simple to use. You upload your images into a gallery and then assign the gallery to an album. For example, you could create an album for your wedding and have a gallery for your photos, another for the official photos, and another for your friend’s photos etc.
Images can be uploaded directly from your computer or imported from a directory on your domain. The latter option is useful if you need to upload a lot of images.
The gallery modification page allows you to change settings such as the gallery name, gallery description, and the page the gallery links to. Titles, descriptions, and tags, can all be added to individual images. You can also edit image thumbnails and rotate images.
Once activated, you will see an icon for NextGEN Gallery in your post editor. Clicking the icon allows you to choose what galleries and albums are inserted into the content area. You can choose from image thumbnails, a slideshow, an image browser, tag cloud, compact album, and extended album. Additional settings are available for thumbnail galleries and slideshows.
The final output looks great. Clicking on a thumbnail image will display the full image in a lightbox. Users can then change images by using their mouse or through keyboard shortcuts.
NextGEN Gallery is a fantastic option for a gallery. It has everything you need for a basic gallery, however it also had advanced features such as watermarking.
A pro version of the plugin is available for $39. It offers many more gallery types, social sharing of images, commenting, and deep linking directly to images.
Gallery is an easy to use gallery plugin that allows you to add simply galleries to your website. The plugin utilizes the WordPress media uploader for images.
Once you have uploaded images, you will see an option to modify the title, alt tag, and URL of an image. A download link can also be added so that visitors can download images directly to their computer.
The settings page allows you to change the size of image thumbnails and the number of images that are displayed in a row. A slideshow can also be enabled from this area and you can define the way that images are arranged.
Galleries can be inserted directly into your posts and pages using shortcodes. The default shortcode will display all gallery images as thumbnails, however there is another shortcode available that displays one image with a link to a dedicated gallery page.
Gallery is a simple solution, however it works really well. A pro version of the plugin is available for $10. It offers additional styling options and like buttons for FaceBook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.
Photo Gallery is an advanced photo gallery that offers many of the same features as NextGEN Gallery. It offers thumbnail editing tools, watermark functionality, and even the option of playing audio while slideshows are displaying images.
The plugin allows you to display image galleries using thumbnails, slideshows, image browser, compact album or extended album. The pro version of the plugin also offers masonry and blog style modes.
Every aspect of the gallery can be modified before you insert it into your content area.
What sets Photo Gallery from other gallery plugins is the ability to customise every aspect of the themes that are used to display your gallery. Each gallery type can be styled in its own unique way.
The default styling of your galleries is minimal, however the theme editor gives you the option of customizing your design in many weird and wonderful ways.
The final output looks fantastic. Images can be viewed using a lightbox when the visitor clicks on the image. Multiple galleries can be inserted into one page too. Galleries can also be inserted into your website design using widgets.
Photo Gallery is a great alternative to NextGEN Gallery; a plugin that it has obviously drawn inspiration from. It supports unlimited galleries and albums and you can tag photos. Galleries are responsive too.
A pro version of the plugin is available for $19.99. It offers addition gallery types, a tag cloud widget, commenting, and social media sharing for images.
I hope you have enjoyed this brief look at how you can add a gallery to your website using a gallery plugin. If so, please follow us on Facebook or Twitter in order to get updates of our latest blog posts 🙂
Article thumbnail image by Dacian G / shutterstock.com