10 Best Image Gallery Plugins for WordPress

travel-photo-gallery-website

Many website owners choose WordPress because of its user-friendliness. Indeed, it has all the features you need to run a basic website. It even offers a basic gallery feature if you want to showcase beautiful images on your site. This feature, however, comes with limited functionalities. For images to look their best on your page, you will need to install a gallery plugin.

Choosing the Best Gallery Plugin for Your WordPress Site

Gallery plugins enhance the way the site displays images. For example, some plugins can make your images appear three-dimensional.

You have a wide variety of WordPress image gallery plugins to choose from and many of them are free. But to find only the best, you’d need to use the following criteria:

  • Rating:
    This gives you an idea of how well a plugin works and if it has any known issues or problems.
  • Number of installs:
    By looking at the number of installs, you can guess how popular a plugin is. The more popular it is, the more likely it is to function well.
  • Features:
    Even free options tend to pack a lot of features. Identify which features you need and look for plugins that have those.
  • Speed:
    If you worry about your site’s SEO, then speed should be a major concern. Some gallery plugins load fast, while some, not as much. Take this into account when you make your decision.
  • User-friendliness:
    The beauty of free plugins is that you can test them out without having to spend a cent. Doing so lets you determine how easy it is to install and use the plugin.

10 Best WordPress Image Gallery Plugins and Their Features

1. Final Tiles Gallery

final-tiles-gallery-plugin

One of the best of its generation, Final Tiles Gallery by Green Tree Labs combines great features and high usability. It is fast and easy, with functionalities that are apt for pros and casual users alike. Thanks to its flexible grid, users can create unique layouts. This enables them to build galleries they can truly call their own.

Features:

  • 4-Step process means using the plugin is as easy as four steps
  • Grids also come in classic Masonry
  • Combine images with videos from sources like YouTube, Vimeo, and Wistia
  • 7 lightboxes allow users to see your images
  • Different hover effects add a contemporary touch to the gallery
  • Assign filters to images to make them easy to find
  • Fast and customizable gallery creation
  • Group images together to create albums
  • Optimized for SEO performance

2. Modula Image Gallery

modula-image-gallery-plugin

Modula is beautiful, flexible, and user-friendly. It caters to all WordPress users, even to those who are new to the platform. Uploading an image is as easy as dragging and dropping your photo. You can also resize your photo with its custom grid feature. More advanced users can use CSS to enhance their gallery in many ways.

Features:

  • Custom grids let you resize images within the container
  • Includes 6 lightbox styles so you can create a lightbox gallery
  • Image-entry animations (sliding and rotation) are enabled
  • 12 built-in hover effects
  • CSS support for more customization
  • Extension for adding videos with ease included

3. Photo Gallery Plugin

This user-friendly plugin makes adding a new gallery as easy as adding a new post. It simplifies the process of adding images from your media library. Embedding images from both Instagram and Flickr is also a lot simpler. Photo Gallery even secures your images by allowing you to add a watermark.

The plugin displays your photos beautifully. Even with its standard thumbnail display, the gallery looks clean, sophisticated, and organized. Rolling over an image causes it to enlarge. Clicking it opens a lightbox that you can navigate using the gallery.

photo-gallery-plugin-thumbnailphoto-gallery-plugin-slideshow-view

Features:

  • Premium adds several view options, such as the Masonic, Mosaic, and Blog Gallery Views, and Slideshow
  • The ability to edit themes for WordPress
  • Instagram integration
  • The ability to comment with Captcha protection
  • The ability to combine photos and videos in one gallery
  • Watermarking and protection from right-click

4. NextGEN Gallery

nextgen-gallery-plugin
Image Credit: AThemes.com

With over 13 million downloads, NextGEN Gallery is one of the most downloaded plugins of all time. Its great features, which include the ability to upload images as a zip file, help account for its popularity. The plugin also allows you to edit tags and metadata for better SEO. Although it focuses on a standard grid-design, it offers both paginated and slideshow galleries. It is also fully responsive.

nextgen-gallery-grid-layout
Image Credit: WinningWP.com

Features:

  • 6 built-in lightboxes
  • Built-in album function
  • Paginated and slideshow gallery
  • Zip file upload
  • The ability to link images to internal pages
  • Bulk cropping and resizing photos
  • Watermarking images

5. Envira Gallery

envira-gallery-plugin

This freemium wordpress gallery plugin boasts usability. It allows for quick upload and easy control of images, as well as the ability to move galleries between websites. It is also very light, making it ideal for website owners who are conscious about their site’s loading speed. To add, Envira Gallery is fully responsive, so it looks good on any device.

envira-gallery-plugin-grid-layout

Features:

  • Drag and drop builder makes it easy to upload and move images
  • Built-in gallery templates allow users to customize gallery appearance
  • Organize photos using Albums and Tags
  • Fully responsive and works on any device
  • Slideshow and full screen features enabled
  • E-commerce image proofing
  • Integration with social media
  • Better SEO with pagination and deep linking
  • Protection through a password, watermark, and others

6. Global Gallery

global-gallery-plugin

This plugin boasts potential and versatility. It allows you to create any type of gallery you want. The automatic gallery creation feature takes the guesswork out of starting a gallery. You can choose from several sources for hosting your content. These include Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Once you have the images you want, you can crop or modify them according to your preferences.

Features:

  • Endless image sources so you can select any image you want
  • 4 gallery layouts: Fixed, Columnized, Masonic, and Photostring
  • 10 lightboxes your can upgrade
  • Single-button, easy-to-add filters
  • Image slider versus image carousel
  • The ability to make lightbox comments
  • Watermarking system to protect original pictures
  • Automatic galleries creation with just one click
  • Fast setup enables users to start with just one click

7. Justified Image Grid

justified-image-grid

This plugin is one of the best-selling plugins in CodeCanyon. Among its defining characteristics is its emphasis on using the image’s original aspect ratio. Because of this, the plugin doesn’t crop your photos. Instead, it retains the size and ratio of the image to ensure that it looks great even in thumbnail form. If you want a specific look for your website, Justified Image Grid offers up to 340 customization settings and up to 20 templates.

example-of-justified-image-grid-layout

Features:

  • Customizability allows you to create the gallery you want
  • Responsiveness makes images look good on any device
  • Retina-ready means the plugin supports resolutions even higher than the retina
  • Thumbnail captions and effects, further customization options for creating unique galleries
  • Right-click protection prevents users from downloading images without your consent
  • Information sources include a wide coverage of reputable website and networks

8. Foo Gallery

foo-gallery-plugin

This free plugin may seem light, but actually packs a lot of functionality. Its creators intended for other developers to extend Foo Gallery. The modular design makes the plugin very lightweight. But the extensions incorporate additional functions and features as needed.

This also means you won’t be carrying anything beyond what you need. In any case, Foo Gallery allows you to customize thumbnail size, margins, captions, image alignment, border color, and hover effect through built-in templates.

foo-gallery-grid

Features:

  • Organize your media using tags, categories, or both
  • Filter your gallery and control what users see
  • Divide large galleries into smaller ones using pagination
  • Drag and drop images to change their position
  • Add or edit existing galleries easily
  • Create galleries with just one click
  • Create video galleries to impress your audience

9. Unite Gallery

unite-gallery-plugin

With Unite Gallery’s 10 layouts, you can create the gallery you want. Choose from slides, carousels, and other popular options. Go beyond image galleries by creating ones made entirely with video. You can obtain these from prominent sources like YouTube and Vimeo. Unite Gallery also comes with various effects to make your gallery attractive. Like many plugins on this list, it’s responsive so it looks good on any screen.

Features:

  • More than 120 gallery options and 10 layout types
  • Supports 4 types of videos: YouTube, Vimeo, HTML5 video, and Wistia
  • Create a mix of images and video
  • Supports touch-screen devices
  • Immense customizability

10. Awesome Gallery

awesome-gallery-plugin

This gallery plugin comes in three gallery styles: classic grid, horizontal flow, and vertical flow. Horizontal flow is ideal for landscape photos, such as nature and wide-angle shots. Vertical flow is great for portrait photography.

The designers of Awesome Gallery understand their target users well. Images are heavy and can slow down a website’s load time. For this reason, the plugin’s designers decided to employ lazy loading and Tim Thumb image caching. These strategies reduce the amount of data needed to render the page, resulting in better performance.

awesome-gallery-plugin-layout

Features:

  • The admin interface is easy to use
  • 3 layout modes: Horizontal flow, Vertical flow, and Classic grid
  • 10 style presets, unlimited colors, custom CSS support
  • 7 image sources, more incoming
  • Load more and infinite scroll support
  • Fast built-in lightbox
  • Comes with built-in support feature
  • Responsive
  • Supports high-resolution images

Final Take

You are never truly out of options when it comes to WordPress image gallery plugins. Determine what you need and what you want to achieve for your site. From there, just go over your options and find the one that suits your preferences.

What is your go-to plugin in WordPress? Tell us in the comments.

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Aaron Chichioco

Web and Mobile Application Design | eCommerce Strategy | Digital Marketing

Aaron Chichioco is the managing editor of designdoxa.com. He loves to write about online marketing, eCommerce and of course, web/mobile design. He has a vast experience in overseeing daily operations of several online businesses since 2011.

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