The Best WordPress Gallery Plugins & How to Built a Gallery in WordPress
Do you use images in your WordPress blog?
Of course you do – you’d be mad not to! Taking advantage of the native multimedia provisions of WordPress is key to developing a compelling site and building a community, and the inclusion of images is a part of this.
Whether it is a graphical illustration or a photo of something that interested you recently, photos can be easily added to your blog using the Add Media tool in WordPress.
But what if you want to use more than one image? How would you add, for instance, a gallery of images to your blog post?
Using the Add Media function in WordPress, you can add one or more images to your blog. These can be added either from the Add Post screen (using the Upload/Insert links above the text entry area) or from the Media > Add Media menu.
Adding a single image is a case of using the From Computer tab, clicking Select Files, browsing to the image location and clicking OK, using the Insert Image option to add it to the post. But you know this, I’m sure. The question is, did you know that if you upload several images and select Save all Changes that a new tab appears?
Using the Gallery tab you can configure an ad hoc gallery based on the images you just uploaded, determining whether they should have their own post page, the layout, and more.
Popular Gallery Plugins
The steps above should be enough in most cases, but as ever there are many solutions that you can use on WordPress, provided – as you might expect – by custom plugins.
A vast number of WordPress gallery plugins are available. They’re not all ideal for all situations and some are quite niche, but they generally all offer images in a table of thumbnails with the option to view the images in a full screen page overlay with navigation tools.
What follows is a list of some of the more interesting gallery plugins for WordPress:
Jetpack Carousel: One of RichWP’s favourite WordPress gallery plugins which is part of the Jetpack suite. An easy to the eye lightbox styled design and integrated comment function makes it the responsive gallery solution of choice.
Soliloquy Slider: Sometimes a well programmed responsive slider is all you need to create a stylish gallery.
Epic Gallery: The Epic Gallery Plugin’s crisp and sharp look is what you are looking for in a gallery plugin these days. It is fully responsive and formats nicely on smart phones and tablets and comes with integrated social sharing functions as well as a comment system.
Social Gallery: A responsive lightbox styled WordPress gallery plugin with social sharing functions.
NextGen Gallery: with over 5 million downloads, this popular photo gallery plugin includes a whole host of options and features, including importing images from ZIP files, via FTP or within the browser.
Gallery: designed to enable you to include a gallery page on your WordPress blog, this plugin enables the creation of albums, captions and more as well as providing configuration options and a pop-up window for viewing photos.
PhotoSmash Gallery: if you would rather your readers were uploading images, this plugin will help make that possible, offering a moderation feature so that you can approve or deny uploaded images. Note that this plugin is no longer developed, although it is compatible with WordPress v3.2.1.
Awesome Flickr Gallery: many users prefer to use Flickr as the home for images rather than uploading them to WordPress. If your images are stored at Flickr you can use this smart plugin to create a fast gallery on your blog that draws images from Flickr and offers various slick presentation options.
It’s Time for the Gallery!
As the owner/administrator of a WordPress blog that relies on images to deliver a striking introduction to your thoughts or news, adding a gallery can be a major element that your readers look forward to.
For instance, you might feature news about a particular show or movie on your site; when images are released from the publicists, featuring them in a gallery will prove very popular with your readers.
Whether you use a gallery plugin or the native tool, WordPress is an ideal solution for presenting a group of thematically similar images to your readers in gallery form.