As the web becomes an increasingly graphical medium, so the number of images that appear on websites and blogs increases. Sixteen years ago websites were largely text-based constructs, but thanks to improvements in HTML and network speeds these entities are largely a thing of the past.
With increased support for images comes the need to display as many as possible. This might be as a result of offering glimpses of a product or range of products, perhaps to showcase an event or even display photos from a movie or TV show.
You might have one of these needs, or your blog have a complete different focus. However, the basic aim will probably be the same – the successful presentation of a group of images with as little messing about as possible.
The Benefit of Gallery Plugins
There are countless gallery plugins available for WordPress, from sliders to lightboxes to pop-ups to those embedded firmly in the web page.
Indeed, this immense breadth of choice leads us to a problem: just where do you start looking for a gallery plugin when so many are available?
Not everyone has the budget for a premium WordPress plugin, even for something as important as a gallery, but don’t worry as I’ve pulled together a list of the top free choices as well as the best paid-for gallery plugins.
Basically, you’ll be leaving this page with a much better idea of what is available, and perhaps even with a choice in mind…
Top Premium Gallery Plugins for WordPress
For top quality results, there are several premium gallery plugins available for WordPress that you should not miss.
Media Grid is a stunning image gallery plugin for WordPress, offering unlimited colors and layouts, eight predefined styles and mobile optimization – not to mention integrated Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest sharing. You can grab a copy for your blog for just $16.
Mobile compatibility is vital in gallery plugins, and Phoenix Gallery ($18) is one such example. This stylish plugin has a choice of layouts and will also handle video files in addition to static images. Flickr integration is also included in this particularly slick plugin.
If your requirements are more artistic, TS Display ($12) could be the answer to your prayers. Designed as a thumbnail browser with a popup lightbox viewer, this plugin delivers pleasing and attractive results, ideal for anyone requiring a gallery plugin that highlights detail in their images.
Unmissable Free Gallery Plugins
A huge selection of excellent, free gallery plugins can be added to your WordPress blog.
Lazyest Gallery: requiring just an image directory and gallery page, this plugin – which comes with a wealth of options – will do the rest, enabling you to present a stunning gallery on your website with captions, descriptions and the ability to setup slideshows. Various addon plugins enable backups, watermarks and more.
Forget about reading the list above with envy – Lightbox Gallery brings the functionality of a digital lightbox to WordPress for no cost, with features such as tooltips, image metadata and the ability to spread the gallery over several pages.
DM Albums, finally, offers one of the most popular display types, commonly seen on popular online newspapers. The inline thumbnails enable the user to easily select the image they want to use, while the arrows enable simple scrolling. It doesn’t get much better than this!
Bubbling under is the almost ubiquitous NextGEN gallery – and it would be in the list if not for the fact that so many additional components are required to get good results from it. Ideally, NextGEN should be one large plugin with the option to disable the functions that aren’t required.
Finding the best WordPress gallery plugin really is a case of assessing the best options and identifying which one is best for your site.
Hopefully we’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff for you with this list, presenting solutions that should fit any budget and situation. The scope of plugins available is not inconsiderable, so be aware that you’ll be embarking upon quite a large piece of research if you choose to go beyond our carefully prepared list of suggestions.
Ultimately, of course, this should be nothing more than a starting point in your search for a good gallery plugin for your blog, but don’t forget to let us know which one you opted for.