Galleries allow you to elevate the design of your website, improve user experience and add fresh visual elements to draw in visitors.
While doing our research for the best WordPress photo gallery plugins, we kept a close eye on a few critical areas:
- Price – There are both free and paid gallery plugins, so we looked at both variants. Some plugins are freemium and require you to purchase the pro version to unlock all the features you need.
- Ease of use – To get on our list, the plugin has to be easy to use and have a visually appealing interface.
- Features – We only picked feature-packed plugins, to provide the best bang for your buck. A variety of options are essential, such as slideshow, grid, masonry view, and so on.
- Speed – This one is crucial, as having a large amount of images can heavily impact your website’s loading time, so a good photo gallery plugin has to be well optimized.
With those components in mind, let’s look at the best photo gallery plugins for WordPress.
Modula Image Gallery
Modula Image Gallery is great for beginners, it’s easy to use and offers excellent features, even on the free version. The plugin is light-weight and responsive and has a custom grid feature that allows you to manually set sizes for each of the images in the gallery. Modula also enables you to upload and create video galleries, and use custom CSS to customize the look of your galleries. If you need slideshows, you’ll need to find an additional plugin for that as it doesn’t offer that feature. The free version of the plugin is suitable for most users. If you want advanced features such as unlimited images, galleries, advanced sorting systems, password protection, and so on – you will need to upgrade to one of their paid plans.
This plugin is one of the most popular gallery plugins in the WordPress plugin repository with over 800,000 active installations and it’s packed with features. It allows you to use slideshows or thumbnails gallery modes, compact or extended styles, and then customize options such as effects, size, transitions and timings. In the premium version, you can add watermarks to your images, implement hotlink protection and gain access to other gallery types such as masonry, filmstrip, mosaic, and so on. In addition to that, NextGEN also offers Ecommerce functionality, which allows you to sell images directly on your website.
Envira is one of the oldest gallery plugins in the WordPress plugin repository and has an excellent reputation for outstanding user interface and drag and drop functionality. Like Modula, it also allows you to scale the size of the visual elements in the gallery as per your liking. It’s straightforward to use and provides you a pre-designed template to start with that you can customize, add new photos to and sort. Envira is fully responsive so your visitors can access your galleries across devices. In addition, Envira also allows you to upload videos to your galleries.
It’s feature-packed, and one of the best gallery plugins for WordPress out there.
FooGallery is another extremely popular gallery plugin, which is retina-ready, fully responsive, optimized for speed, and supports lazy-loading. It provides excellent templates you can use out of the box, even on the free version, and is extremely easy to use. FooGallery supports multiple types of galleries such as thumbnails, masonry, video, and allows you to customize tons of options like themes, hover effects, loading icons, thumbnails, and borders. In addition to that – you can opt to use infinite scroll if you don’t like having multiple gallery pages.
Photo Gallery By 10Web
This plugin is our favorite as it has the most available gallery views/showcase modes out of all gallery plugins:
- Image browser
All of these allow you to present your images differently and creatively, which is quite crucial for a gallery plugin. Slideshow view also supports film strip so your visitors can manually skip pictures instead of being required to view them in a specific order, and you can resize dimensions for each slideshow. It also has a powerful lightbox that’s responsive and has slideshow effects, social media sharing and comments in the premium version. The free version comes with two themes pre-loaded that you can use, while the premium version has more themes added to it. In addition, watermarks and right-click protection is also available, if required.
Gmedia Photo Gallery
Gmedia Photo Gallery is an all-in-one plugin that is easy to use, provides drag and drop functionality, and allows you to showcase all kinds of media (images, video and audio). What differentiates this plugin from others is that it enables you to create a music playlist, and then allow your visitors to play music using the plugins audio player, right from your website. Another fantastic feature is the Gmedia iOS application, which allows you to seamlessly upload photos to the gallery directly from your iPhone device. If needed, you can also categorize and tag your photos, and enable comments on your galleries so your visitors can leave feedback.