Two thousand nine hundred and eighty-seven… That’s how many plugins a simple search for “gallery” returns at the WordPress.org plugin repository. It makes sense – pretty much every website uses images and WordPress photo gallery plugins make it easy to display those images in an attractive way.
But with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to dig through everything and find the plugin that offers just the right combination of features, aesthetics, and ease of use. To help you find that plugin, I’ve collected 8 of the best WordPress photo gallery plugins, dissected their feature lists, and grabbed a representative screenshot so that you know what types of galleries each can create.
You already know what galleries are, so let’s get right into the plugins!
Modula is a freemium WordPress gallery plugin from Macho Themes that helps you quickly create interesting grid galleries without the need for any special customization. Essentially, you specify a width, height, and minimum image size. Then, Modula puts all of your images together into a responsive gallery that looks great.
It only takes about a minute to create a gallery and the end-result comes out looking significantly better than the core WordPress gallery functionality. If you want more control over your gallery, Modula also includes features like:
While you can play around with settings like margins, shadows, border radius, and more to alter how your galleries look, here’s a good idea of the style of galleries created by the free version of Modula:
Modula is just for grid galleries – it’s not built to help you create showcases, slideshows, or other different forms of galleries like many of the other plugins.
Price: Free. Paid plans start at $19 for a single-site license.
Envira Gallery is another popular freemium gallery plugin. Formerly part of Syed Balkhi’s WordPress empire, Envira Gallery was acquired by Nathan Singh in early 2018.
One of the draws of Envira Gallery is that, like Modula, the interface is designed to make it as easy as possible to quickly get up and running with a good-looking gallery.
While the free version is good for basic galleries, the various premium plans are where you get the bulk of the helpful features, which include:
While Envira Gallery lets you create multiple types of galleries, here’s what its masonry template looks like:
Price: Free. Basic premium version starts at $29 for a single-site license, but the full-featured Pro version costs $99.
By the numbers, NextGEN Gallery is the most popular gallery plugin at WordPress.org. Though it had a slight hiccup with a buggy release a few years ago that negatively affected its plugin rating, NextGEN Gallery receives great overall reviews when you exclude that incident.
NextGEN is available as a free core plugin that you can extend with various premium bundles.
In addition to a variety of different gallery types, these premium versions also add more advanced features like:
One of the draws of NextGEN Gallery is that it offers so many different types of galleries, so there’s no single typical gallery.
I’ll use the basic thumbnail gallery for this example because it’s included in the free version. But if you go with the Pro version, you have access to a bunch more interesting templates:
Price: Free. The cheapest premium bundle is NextGEN Plus at $79.
After NextGEN Gallery, Photo Gallery by WD is the next most popular gallery plugin at WordPress.org.
The plugin lets you create unlimited galleries, as well as unlimited albums to house those galleries in. And one especially nice feature about Photo Gallery by WD is that you can also create galleries from embedded videos, including an option to mix-and-match galleries with both images and videos.
Other helpful features available in either the free or premium version include:
While the premium version of the plugin adds some more creative gallery types, here’s an example of a typical gallery that you can create with the free version of Photo Gallery by WD:
Like NextGEN Gallery, many of the best-looking gallery templates are only available in the premium version.
Price: Free. Premium version starts at $30 for a single-site license.
One of those features is an enhancement to the core WordPress gallery functionality. While Jetpack’s galleries aren’t nearly as heavy-duty as the previous four plugins, it’s a good option for creating basic types of galleries, especially if you’re already using Jetpack on your site.
While Jetpack gives you options for both square and circle galleries as well, here’s what the Jetpack Tiled gallery looks like:
FooGallery is a freemium photo gallery plugin from FooPlugins that helps you create responsive galleries using a few different layouts.
All the galleries that you create are retina-ready by default. And the free version also has album support built-in so that you can easily group together multiple different galleries.
Other helpful features that you can get in the free version and/or premium extension include:
While FooGallery includes multiple gallery templates across its free and pro versions, here’s an example of what the basic responsive image gallery template looks like:
Price: Free. Pro version starts at $49 for a single-site license.
Like most of the other plugins on this list, Photo Gallery by Supsystic is another freemium plugin that offers a solid free version with additional features tucked away behind the Pro version.
With it, you can create unlimited photo galleries using several different templates. Then, you can customize those galleries by editing margins, shadows, borders, etc.
If you need to bulk import images or import images from social networks, Photo Gallery by Supsystic has a couple of cool features that let you:
And if you have the Pro version, you’ll also be able to display videos in your galleries, including the ability to import videos straight from YouTube.
Like many of the others, Photo Gallery by Supsystic includes multiple different templates. Here’s what the free mosaic gallery type looks like, though:
Price: Free. Pro version starts at $29 for a single-site license.
Justified Image Grid is the only one of these plugins that isn’t available for free at WordPress.org. But it is the best-selling WordPress photo gallery plugin at Code Canyon with over 18,000 sales, which is a pretty good sign!
Beyond the beautiful horizontal image grid that preserves the original aspect ratio of your images, one of the coolest things about Justified Image Grid is that it lets you import content from a ton of different external services like:
And you can even import recent posts or WooCommerce products as items in your gallery.
One of the selling points of Justified Image Grid is that its horizontal image grid preserves the original aspect ratio of all of your images. You can see this in the example below:
As is usually the case with WordPress plugins, there’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation here. If you just want the quickest way to create good-looking galleries, Modula probably has the most user-friendly interface, while Envira Gallery is a close second.
If you’re a photographer looking to display albums and maybe even sell your photos, you’ll probably be happier with something a little more heavy-duty like NextGEN Gallery or Envira Gallery. On the other hand, if you’re more concerned with finding a template style that fits your needs, you’ll probably want to put in the legwork to wade through all the various gallery demos and see which you like the best.
Overall, most of these plugins are available for free, so you can play around with them for yourself and see how you like the templates and interface.
Now it’s your turn. Did I miss a great gallery plugin? Let us know about it in the comments!
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