See our listing of some of the best WordPress photo gallery plugins along with an overview of the main factors that you need to take in consideration while choosing the right one for your needs.
Every photography business owner knows the importance of making yourself visible online. It’s the easiest and most comfortable way in which people can reach you and book your services. But for this to work, you need a good-looking website where you can display your best pieces.
If you’re using WordPress, you’re probably familiar with the fact that you can make your website more functional and customize it by using plugins of all sorts. WordPress has an impressive plugin repository where you can find tools for basically whatever you need. But this article’s focus goes on a specific type of tool that can be of great help for photographers – WordPress Photo gallery plugins.
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Choosing a Photo Gallery Plugin
What do I need to know before choosing a plugin?
Well, first of all, there is no recipe for the perfect choice. You need to figure out what works best for you in terms of:
- Functionalities – Check everything before you make up your mind. Some plugins offer a better deal than others. You should start by trying to figure out what your expectations are, and then match them to the plugin’s features.
- Premium or lite – Most plugins offer a free version, which is called the lite version, and a premium one, that is paid. You can start with the lite one, but if you’re aiming for a professional-looking website, you should opt for the premium version of these plugins, as the number of functionalities increases with each payment plan.
- Budget – I already told you about the premium and lite versions, but you need to think about a budget when you’re making an investment – you get to choose from multiple payment plans, so make sure you’re not going overboard with the expenses.
List of WordPress Photo gallery plugins
Here are some of our top recommended WordPress photo gallery plugins and why you should use those plugins.
1. Modula – Gallery Plugin
Modula is by far the friendliest on the plugin list when it comes to user interaction. With great reviews from its active users, it is one of the best WordPress Gallery Plugins – and it comes with several amazing features that are really going to step up your game. It has two versions available, Modula Lite, which is its free edition, and Modula Pro, which, depending on your type of business, has a range of choices to select from when it comes to pricing.
Regardless of your previous experience in working with plugins, Modula is made in such a way that you can quickly understand its features and how to customize them according to your needs and desires.
Here are some of the reasons why you should use Modula:
- It gives you the capacity to create custom grids. Both parts of the grid can be modified, with the possibility of freely resizing photos inside the gallery;
- Modula comes with advanced tools to further customize your gallery with CSS. This feature is not for beginners, but the fact that they can tap into the custom code will appeal to more advanced users;
- Generate albums so your galleries and photos can be better organized;
- All customization takes place via a drag-and-drop interface.
- You can insert your galleries anywhere on your website using shortcodes. For example, you drop a shortcode of a gallery anywhere on a blog post or in the footer module;
- Add filters to your gallery so users can browse through your photos and find out which ones they prefer. This is especially important for portfolio galleries;
- To further secure your photos there is a watermark extension available;
- A speed extension comes in handy to optimize every single image added to your galleries.
Things to consider before choosing Modula:
The only downside, if we can call it so, is the fact that the lite version revolves around grid galleries, so if you want to have access to slideshows or any other layouts, you should definitely go for the premium version.
2. FooGallery – Photo Gallery Plugin
FooGallery is another great plugin that comes with features ready to make your photo galleries look stunning. You get built-in galleries that you can use before customizing your own, support for video galleries, image hover effects, and many other functionalities that come in handy when designing the gallery of your dreams.
Here are some of the reasons why you should use FooGallery:
- If you wish to drop a gallery in a footer, sidebar, or anywhere else widgets are allowed, a gallery widget is provided;
- You obtain a nice mix of regular and exclusive gallery templates, with choices such as justified galleries, single thumbnails, and masonry;
- All the uploaded images can be dragged and dropped onto the backend. This is perfect to reorder your WordPress Media library;
- Gallery filtering can come in handy when it comes to bigger photo collections;
- Infinite scroll feature combines with lazy loading to make sure that all images load simultaneously. Infinite scroll is also important for unlimited picture discovery on one page;
- With the premium extension, you can create both image and video galleries.
Things to consider before choosing FooGallery:
Most of these plugins have similar disadvantages, and the most common one is the price. You have to pay for the advanced features and FooGallery allows you to create very simple galleries if you go for the free version.
3. Envira Gallery
Just as the other couple of plugins that I talked about, as well as the ones that follow, Envira Gallery is here to help you achieve that perfect look for your blog. Just like Modula, its interface is designed in such a way that guides the person who’s creating the galleries throughout the whole process. It can be the missing piece from your business strategy, so you might as well check it out.
Here are some of the reasons why you should use Envira Gallery:
- There are a few templates available in the free version, which cut out the amount of time it would take to build a completely new gallery;
- All of the galleries created in Envira Gallery are mobile-responsive. The galleries and photos adjust their place depending on how big your screen is;
- Watermarking and password protection tools are handy when you want to completely block users from taking your photos and using them elsewhere;
- The interface is well built and you can create your galleries with the aid of a drag-and-drop builder. There's no need to deal with code. Shift the photos to the right position and press the Publish button;
- Several useful add-ons are offered, with support for Lightroom, WooCommerce, Proofing, and more;
- Deeplinking helps users to get more information about your images.
Things to consider before choosing Envira Gallery:
Again comes the price issue, this one being the priciest of them all. If you can’t fit it in your budget, you can at least try the free version – but according to reviews from different users, this is either love or hate at first sight. So make sure you’re testing it before investing in it.
4. Jetpack Galleries
This is a plugin that offers the majority of its photo gallery functionalities in the lite version, with only a few extensions and add-ons that you can pay for only if you need them. Jetpack is a great tool, but you need to know that it’s not as stuffed as the other ones when it comes to features – but if you’re looking for something simple, this might be your plugin of choice.
Here are some of the reasons why you should use Jetpack:
- You’ll be able to make simple improvements to each gallery, such as adding a new name, enabling a random order, and using more columns;
- Provide captions for all pictures in the gallery or delete the captions for a cleaner look;
- Jetpack galleries are enhancing the existing WordPress gallery system. They're perfect for adding quick, clean galleries without having to change too much;
- There are advanced coding capabilities for developers who want to take more control of what Jetpack galleries look like on the frontend.
Things to consider before choosing Jetpack:
As I already mentioned, Jetpack is not the winner when it comes to gallery functionalities. It’s not a gallery-dedicated plugin, but rather a collection of tools that can be helpful in WordPress. If you’re looking for something that helps you with multiple things and also allows you to create simple galleries, this might be the winner, but if you want to really step up your game, you might want to consider the other options that I presented.
5. NextGEN Gallery
With a complex set of features, NextGEN Gallery is definitely one of the plugins that are here to help you build astonishing galleries. It’s one of the most popular tools used by website owners, so having a look over what it can do might make you want to give it a try.
Here are some of the reasons why you should use NextGEN Gallery:
- You will receive unique alternatives to your regular, daily grid galleries. Some of these options include thumbnail galleries, list albums, and blog style galleries. Photo sharing is possible via social media buttons and other alternatives such as email;
- If you're selling photos from the displayed galleries, you'll get the tools to send coupons to your customers;
- A Lightroom plugin comes with a premium version for a fast editing and publishing process;
- Premium versions provide advanced features such as watermarking, deeplinking, and more;
- Visitors to your website can come to your gallery and make comments on the photos. This is not a necessity, so you can turn the features on or off.
Things to consider before choosing NextGEN Gallery:
It all depends on what you wish from such a tool. The free version is pretty complex, although you can do so much more by purchasing one of the premium plans. But here’s a trouble with the costs again, as this is one of the most expensive gallery plugins out there. However, if you’re ready for such a big investment, you’ll not regret it.
6. Photo Gallery by Supsystic
Photo Gallery by Supsystic is one of those plugins that can make a small business owner happy with only the free version, which is a very big plus. You can start with it and maybe upgrade your subscription once it starts bringing money in – just give it a try and see if it fits with your vision.
Here are some of the reasons why you should use Photo Gallery by Supsystic:
- You can watermark your photos, even in the lite version;
- Dozens of styles of galleries make this plugin stand out from the competition. For example, you will find unique galleries with social media buttons, personal captions, and mosaic designs;
- Image compression is done each time you upload new images to your galleries;
- Incorporate animations in your galleries, so you can make them more attractive;
- You get to choose between dozens of gallery types, which is something that really makes this plugin stand out;
- You have the option to translate the plugin in countless languages.
Things to consider before choosing Photo Gallery by Supsystic:
You can create stunning galleries, but you need to invest some time in understanding the way the plugin works. Its interface is a bit stuffy and complicated, but once you get started you’ll get the hang of it.
Summary – Our Recommended Photo Gallery Plugin
Although we presented you with what we consider to be the best plugins on the market, we have a favourite, and you should know why. If we were to choose one, we’d always go with Modula, as it’s a super complex, user-friendly, intuitive, and responsive plugin that covers all the needs you might have in terms of creating mesmerizing galleries. It’s the best deal in terms of what you pay for and what you get – very qualitative and accessible. So, what’s your next move?
Now that you’ve seen what’s best on the market, all you have to do is make up your mind. If you find it hard to decide, you should take some time and test all of their free versions, even if it’s an extra effort. I know it sounds pretty complicated now, but you’ll thank us later for this piece of advice – don’t dive right in, test them out. You might be surprised at what you find!