Beautiful imagery adds color and life to your WordPress site. I mean, a website without images is, well, kind of drab. Unless it’s some powerful research database such as Nasa’s Dataset. Oh wait a minute, these folks have great imagery going on for them as well, so yeah, perfect imagery is good.
In other words, images help you to grab the reader’s attention as soon as they land on your homepage. Additionally, you can use images to pass a strong (or favorable) brand message – the kind of message that get readers engaging with your site. Thirdly, you can devise some form of visual design – using images – to draw attention to your Call To Actions (CTAs) and other important areas of your site.
Top Gallery Plugins for WordPress 2018
All the same, we won’t talk about the place of awesome imagery in web design. We will talk about something else today; we will show you top 10 free WordPress gallery plugins that help you to showcase your images and photos beautifully without stressing.
Perhaps you’re a photographer with a growing and impressive portfolio. Perhaps you just want to share the experiences you captured on that company trip. Perhaps you’re a WordPress developer commissioned to build custom galleries. These WordPress gallery plugins will come in handy if you’re looking for the perfect solution to display ‘ em snaps in style.
1. Envira Gallery
With an amazing rating of 4.5/5.0 and over 30k active installs, Envira Gallery Lite is the “…absolute easiest, fastest and most efficient gallery plugin for WordPress.” Are they pulling your leg, or is this plugin worth its salt?
Without trying hard on your part, you can build world-class galleries in no time thanks to features such as responsive layout, lean and tidy codebase, SMART caching for them good speeds, and AJAX preloading just to touch the tip of the iceberg.
Thomas Griffin, the author, offers a premium version of Envira Gallery that comes with even more features.
2. Foo Gallery
Let’s kick off with Foo Gallery, a superb WordPress gallery plugin we got from Bradvin in conjunction FooPlugins, the same guys who brought us the FooBox plugin. Upload your images and videos to this baby easily, and then showcase them to the entire world via eye-catching lightboxes.
Foo Gallery is 100% responsive, comes with drag & drop functionality, multiple gallery templates, NextGEN import tool, support for the native WordPress visual display and editing features, shortcodes, FooBox support and custom CSS among other features.
You can easily extend Foo Gallery using a couple of extensions to unlock more customization power. It’s the ultimate gallery plugin you’ve been looking for. It has a superb rating of 4.9/5.0 and over 20k active installs.
Pros: Easy to use, flexible, ability to add video galleries, drag & drop functionality, custom CSS and shortcodes
Cons: Too many extensions might slow down your site
3. NextGEN Gallery
We just mentioned NextGEN, so it’s just fair to dig a little deeper and discover what this WordPress gallery plugin has in store for us.
At 1+ million action installs (and over 14 million total downloads!), this bad boy is one of the most popular WordPress gallery plugins in circulation. It has an average rating of 4.2/5.0, which shouldn’t discourage you for this plugin packs a powerful punch in terms of features.
While being incredibly easy to use, NextGEN comes with a huge list of features including responsive design, full-screen lightbox, a dozen gallery styles, social sharing buttons, albums, tags, watermarking and extensive documentation to mention a few.
The admin interface is quite easy to use creating galleries will take no time. Just navigate to Gallery -> Add Gallery/Images:
Pros: Fully customizable, intuitive admin interface, great community
Cons: Many options may be overwhelming
4. Lazyest Gallery Plugin
Let’s pick up the pace with Lazyest, a WordPress gallery plugin that scores 4.0/5.0 on the rating scale. It is your best bet if you’re trying to put a simple slider in your sidebar or footer. Or any other section with limited real estate.
But don’t get me wrong, you can add your galleries anywhere on your site using shortcodes and template tags. On top of that, you can extend Lazyest using a couple of widgets and add-ons.
Create easy galleries with features such as nested folders, unlimited images, captions, descriptions, custom fields, multi-lingual support and comments among others.
Pros: Easy to set up, caching functionality, cropping, comments, extensions
Cons: The admin interface looks rather outdated, plugin slow on occasion
5. Grand Flagallery
Of the countless WordPress gallery plugins available on the web, Grand Flagallery is worth a mention on this list for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the author designed this a true winner. It is no ordinary WordPress gallery plugin. It ships with awesome features such as parallax, 3D gallery skins, responsive design, mp3 player, video player, banner rotator, Nivo slider, background music, SEO and much much more.
This WordPress gallery plugin is a smart choice if you’re looking to create amazing product showcases and photo galleries without breaking a sweat. It has over 40k active installs and comes with an extensive guide. There’s a slight learning curve, so get ready for that. It’s worth the time investment though.
6. Photo Gallery
You have Web Dorado to thank for Photo Gallery, a plugin that takes your WordPress galleries to the next level. While this is one of the most advanced WordPress gallery plugins, it is incredibly easy to learn, use and customize.
Featuring thumbnails, slideshows, multiple gallery styles, lightbox, shortcodes, widgets, comments, social media integration, responsive design, audio playlists, direct image downloads, extended albums, support for YouTube/Vimeo videos, redirection, amazing CSS transitions/effects etc, you needn’t look elsewhere for a better plugin.
You can choose the pro version that comes with additional features, but the free version should suffice for many a blogger. Photo Gallery has a rating of 4.6/5.0 and over 20k active installs.
7. Modula Image Gallery
Modula is a popular gallery plugin that makes it really easy to add a great-looking grid gallery to your WordPress site.
If you’re mainly concerned with ease of use and good looks, it might just be the best gallery plugin for you.
One of the ways that Modula stays simple is by splitting its gallery creation process into two parts.
To create a simple grid gallery, you pretty much just upload your images, specify some sizing, and you’re off to the races. Modula gives you a shortcode right away that you can use to embed the gallery.
Then, after you already have a working gallery, you can optionally go to the second part of the creation process, which is a more detailed settings area.
In that settings area, you can configure things like hover effects, lightbox options, social sharing icons, custom margins/styling, and more. And if you go with the pro version, you can also add filterable tags which let your visitors click on a tag to filter only those images (no page reload required).
Pros: Easy to use, galleries look great with zero configuration, built-in social sharing, lots of hover effects
Cons: Not as heavy-duty as something like NextGEN Gallery, it’s only for grid galleries (not other layouts)
8.WP Photo Album Plus
When it comes to WordPress gallery plugins, you can hardly go wrong with the cleverly crafted WP Photo Album Plus, a plugin that combines the classic slideshow with modern design techniques letting you create galleries that are out of this world.
You can add multiple albums, photos and videos. Further, you have full control over the size of each photo and the order of albums. Using lightbox, you can create above par slideshows in no time.
Other features include widgets, a rating system, commenting system, full size slideshows, QR code generator, direct file download and multi-language support among others.
9. Responsive Photo Gallery
Our eighth position today goes to Weblizar thanks to their plugin, Responsive Photo Gallery. This WordPress gallery plugin is built on the Bootstrap framework meaning it is super-fast, easy to customize and 100% responsive.
With a few clicks, you can add unlimited photo galleries to your WordPress site and style them as you wish. Then you can showcase your photos, videos or products without a worry using the magnificent lightbox.
That’s not the end of it, you get many other features such as shortcodes, multiple gallery options, two design layout, fade animation effect, intuitive admin dashboard, translation ready, Font Awesome icons and much much more.
Weblizar offers great support for Responsive Photo Gallery plugin, which scores a rating of 4.0/5.0.
10. Gmedia Gallery
Gmedia goes beyond the realm of WordPress gallery plugins; it is a powerful media library brought to us by Rattus, the same author behind the Grand Flagallery plugin.
With a comprehensive interface that can handle whatever you throw at it, Gmedia Gallery is the plugin you need to extend your default WordPress media library. You can manage files, play music and create amazing galleries/slideshows in the time it takes to brew a mug of coffee.
Working with unlimited images and audio files, albums and tags, there is no limit to the much you can achieve with this plugin. It comes with an import feature that lets you transfer your galleries between websites easily.
It’s mobile friendly and thanks to a couple of modules, “…you can magically change the look and feel of your photo gallery…” at the drop of a hat. This WordPress gallery plugin comes with many other features, so you better dig in. Gmedia Gallery has a rating of 4.2/5.0 and over 20k active installs.
11. Photospace Gallery
With an awesome rating of 4.5/5.0, Photospace offers you much more power to transform your WordPress galleries in ways unimaginable.
This WordPress gallery plugin adds to the built in capabilities of the default WordPress gallery. You can upload multiple images at once saving time, order the images via drag & drop, and add titles, captions as well as descriptions among other things.
You can modify thumbnail number, sizes & shape, dimensions of the main images and the width of the gallery columns easily. Other notable features include keyboard controls, pagination, advanced gallery options, and support for multiple galleries among others.
In short, Photospace Gallery is beautiful and works as advertised. This WordPress gallery plugin is brought to us by Thrive, a renowned developer. Finally, it’s easy to use and super-fast.
So Which is the Best Gallery WordPress Plugin?
You no longer have to make do with boring galleries that drive readers away.
With this list of WordPress gallery plugins, we hope you find the perfect match for your WordPress site. Just pick one and run with it, and if you need more features, consider checking out its respective pro version.
Moreover, we cannot ignore the fact that there are many other WordPress gallery plugins – both free and premium – out there. As such, feel free to do research and comparison shopping in order to get only the best plugin for your needs. You may also want to see our post on Best WordPress plugins, where 40 experts share their 5 favorite plugins.
Did we leave out your favorite WordPress gallery plugin? I’m sure the WPKube Community would love to hear all about it in the comments below, so don’t hesitate hitting that reply button. Thanks in advance, and see you around!