Given the wide range of plugins in the official WordPress Repository, it is safe to say that there are multiple plugins for every imaginable aspect of the platform. The downside of all this is that even experienced users find it difficult to recommend a plugin.
Galleries are an important way of managing and presenting multiple images or videos on a WordPress website. However, the concept of galleries has become so advanced that no single plugin could claim to offer all the features and functionalities associated with the implementation of galleries in WordPress. Nor this is something recommended.
The Top Ten Free Image and Video Gallery Plugins - in a Nutshell
Now, let’s take them one by one, shall we?
Photo Gallery is a great plugin by Supsystic that allows you to create multiple images and video galleries and portfolios. The plugin offers several styles and design options for generating grids and displaying galleries. The best feature of the plugin is the easy-to-use visual editor that offers a surprising range of features.
- Adds images from social media networks and FTP to the gallery.
- Adds links, HTML captions, and icons.
- Carousel Gallery.
- Compatible with all major WordPress themes.
- Highly customizable image gallery styles, including full-width
- Categories and Paginations.
- Layout options include mobile, horizontal, fixed, and vertical photo galleries.
- Gallery design optimized for all screens.
- Polaroid Gallery.
- Video gallery and post feed photo gallery.
NextGEN Gallery is easily one of the top WordPress gallery plugins of all time. The plugin allows users to add images from the media library, local folders, or a server folder to any gallery. A well-known feature of the NextGEN Gallery plugin is the option to create albums, which are basically groups of galleries.
- Adds a button for adding galleries in the visual editor.
- Several display options in the visual editor such as thumbnails, image browser, slider, and tag cloud.
- Two display options for albums: Basic Extended and Basic Compact.
- Intuitive interface.
- Visitors have the option to view the gallery in either thumbnails or slideshow view.
Envira Gallery is a great plugin that offers outstanding results. The plugin is fully responsive and ensures that image and video galleries load quickly. After the plugin has been installed, Envira Gallery is added to the WordPress Dashboard. The procedure for adding a gallery is quite easy; just give the gallery a name and then upload the images to it.
- Several customization options and settings including thumbnail sizes, columns, gutter and margin sizing, layouts, and animations.
- Users can insert galleries into any page, widget, or post.
- Adds a button to the visual editor that enables the quick addition of galleries.
- The Video Addon for Envira Gallery allows you to display Youtube, Vimeo, Wistia or self-hosted videos in an Envira Gallery’s Lightbox.
This plugin by Huge IT adds professional, elegant galleries and lightboxes to pages and posts on the website. Portfolio Gallery is very easy to set up, and loads images quickly. The plugin has a responsive design that ensures precise rendering of images on all screen sizes. The beauty of this plugin comes from the way it was built, coming up as four plugins in one: Huge-IT’s Slider, Video Gallery, and Image Gallery, as well as Lightbox. Portfolio Gallery brings them all to life.
- Professional-looking galleries.
- Easily add and edit images, captions, links, and decryption in a gallery.
- Add galleries via a button in the visual editor or short code.
- A wide range of gallery view options including thumbnails, masonry, pop-up content, lightbox, and slider views.
The best-known feature of the Gmedia Gallery plugin is the ability to share images quickly. When you click on an image in a gallery, a full-size image popups in a lightbox; this where you can also share your gallery on several social networks. Even though it is completely free, the number of options at your disposal will surprise (and confuse) you.
- Adds a versatile Gmedia button to the visual editor.
- Comes with a music and video player.
- A wide range of gallery view options called Modules; by default, seven different modules are available including slideshows, 3D sphere, mosaic look, sliders, 3D cube, and photo blog.
- Easy selection of images. However, the images need to be either assigned to a category, album, tags or placed in the GP Media Library.
The plugin uses the standard thumbnail view to display the images in a gallery. When you hover the cursor over an image, the plugin magnifies it slightly for a better view. Adding images using this plugin is quite easy; all you have to do is click on the Photo Gallery option on the WordPress Dashboard. The process of adding a new gallery is similar to adding a post.
- Embed photos from Flickr and Instagram.
- Import images from the Media Library.
- Customize the gallery with options including watermarks and designating text for images.
- The free version only supports thumbnail, slider, album, and image browser display options.
- The option to combine galleries into different albums.
- Support for YouTube and Vimeo videos within Galleries.
This plugin is quite straightforward and allows several gallery view formats. Like several other WordPress gallery plugins, Foo Gallery adds a custom button to the WP Dashboard. To create a gallery, simply choose the Add Gallery option, and use the Add Media option for adding images. Galleries can also be created from the visual editor. To use the plugin properly, a Lightbox plugin might also be required – the plugin was built with developers in mind because it comes with the tools a developer needs to build a custom image gallery.
- Several gallery templates including the standard thumbnail display, responsive gallery template, and masonry layout.
- A variety of options for customizing gallery templates such as specifying a thumbnail size, linking images, and others.
- Add a gallery to a page or post through the Add FooGallery button or through a short code.
- You can create mixed photo and video galleries but you need to get the pro version of the plugin.
This plugin is designed to extend the default WordPress gallery settings. The selected image from the gallery is shown in the preview area on the right, while the rest of the images are displayed in thumbnail form on the left side. To use the features of the plugin, use the menu item for Photospace Gallery.
- Extends the default functionality of the WordPress gallery for a better view and easy management.
- Edit or add captions, titles, and descriptions of images.
- Change the size of the preview image as well as the thumbnail size per your liking.
- Control settings include links to next/previous images, options to play a slideshow, and a download link below every image in the gallery.
- You get keyboard control and pagination.
This gallery plugin is specially designed for interactive websites where visitors can comment on and/or rate photos. While this feature could be turned off, this is usually the main objective of installing the plugin.
- Allows visitors to rate and comment on a photo.
- More customization options than typical WordPress gallery plugins.
- Widgets for photo ratings, Photo of the Day, top ten photos, most recently uploaded photos, featured photos, albums, and more.
- Settings displayed as a list of tables, allowing you to change several settings without leaving the screen.
- Easily set tags, alt texts, descriptions, and copy or move photos to another album.
The last plugin of the list is the WP Canvas – Gallery. Similar to Photospace Gallery, this plugin extends the default functionality of WordPress galleries. Instead of additional menu items, the options pop up on the right.
- Define the size of images and the number of columns of thumbnails.
- Default gallery settings offer several display options, caption, and size options.
- Specify popup size when an image is clicked.
- Switch between several gallery display options including a slider, carousel, and masonry.
Whether if you’re a new WordPress user which found out what the Add Media button does or an experienced developer which knows how to code before MM even had WordPress in mind, there’s a solution serving media files for everyone. We saw plugins which are perfectly displaying images in grids, while others handling YouTube or Vimeo WordPress video galleries like pros – you have options. I only scratched the surface when it comes to presenting the features of all these plugins. It’s your turn now to dig into these image gallery plugins and pick the right one for your project.