WordPress gallery plugins are a great way to manage and display images on your website with ease.
If your website has images (it should), then WordPress gallery plugins are a must-have.
However, with more than 50 pages of results when searching for the term “gallery,” it can be overwhelming to sort through the plethora of options available on the WordPress plugin repository.
That is why we have put together this article to save you time by sharing our four favorite picks for the best WordPress gallery plugins.
In this article, we will outline our criteria to make this list, introduce you to our top four WordPress gallery plugins, and tell you what makes them stand out.
- Criteria For The Best WordPress Gallery Plugins
- Top 4 WordPress Gallery Plugins
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Criteria For The Best WordPress Gallery Plugins
A WordPress gallery plugin is a plugin designed specially to optimize the way you manage and display images on your WordPress website, but they are not all built the same.
That is why we have narrowed it down to four plugins.
To make our list, each plugin had to meet some basic requirements.
All plugins on this list must:
- Have at least 100,000 active installations.
- Have been tested with WordPress 5.9 (the latest version of WordPress at the time of publication).
- Have a 4.5-star rating or higher with a minimum of 300 reviews.
- Be 100 percent free. Premium versions of plugins may be available, but all plugins on this list will review only what is offered in the free versions of the plugins mentioned.
By setting these requirements, you can rest assured that every single plugin included on this list is worth your time, will run smoothly and function as advertised on your WordPress website, and won’t cost you any money to download and use.
Top 4 WordPress Gallery Plugins
Now that you know what standards a plugin must meet to qualify for this list, it’s time to share our top four WordPress gallery plugins.
In no particular order, here are our favorite choices for the best free WordPress Gallery plugins currently on the market:
The NextGEN Gallery plugin kicks off our list for good reason. It has been the industry’s standard WordPress gallery plugin since 2007 and continues to receive over 1.5 million new downloads per year.
NextGEN Gallery is a versatile plugin that’s easy enough for simple photo galleries, but powerful enough for the most demanding photographers, visual artists, and imaging professionals.
With nearly 700,000 active installations under its belt, it has earned and maintained a 4.5-star rating with nearly 4k user reviews.
NextGEN benefits your WordPress website on both the front and the back end of things.
On the back end, NextGEN offers a complete WordPress gallery management system with the ability to batch upload photos, add/delete/rearrange/sort photos, import metadata, edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, and more.
On the front end, NextGEN provides three main gallery styles (slideshow, thumbnail, and image browser galleries) and two album styles (compact and extended), all of which come with a wide array of options for controlling things such as size, style, timing, transitions, controls, lightbox effects, and more.
NextGEN’s top features include:
- Intuitive user interface
- Three gallery styles
- Two album styles
- Tons of customization options
No matter what kind of site you have, this plugin makes it super easy to manage and customize your photo galleries.
Envira Gallery is a drag and drop photo gallery plugin that is fast, powerful, and easy to use.
The plugin makes it simple to quickly create and customize galleries with its templates and was built to be mobile-friendly so it is easy to build responsive WordPress galleries that work on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices.
Envira Gallery’s top features include:
- Guttenberg Blocks for WordPress 5.0 and higher
- Drag & Drop Photo Gallery Builder
- 100% Responsive – Mobile Friendly
- Beautiful WordPress Templates for Customization
- Albums – Easily organize your photo galleries, choose cover photos, and more.
- Social Sharing – Share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+
- Video Galleries – On top of photos, you can add YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, and other videos in your video gallery.
- Watermarking – Protect your images from theft with watermarking.
- Slideshow – Add customized slideshows with autoplay, manual controls, and more.
Envira Gallery is also compatible with WooCommerce and enables users to make their galleries SEO-friendly with deep linking and pagination.
Its extensive list of features makes Envira a popular choice for photographers and artists.
In fact, people like it so much it has a 4.5-star rating and more than 1,400 positive reviews.
FooGallery has surpassed 200k active installs and is the only plugin on our list that boasts a perfect 5-star rating. That is because it might just offer the best value for any of the free WordPress gallery plugins available.
The free version of the plugin gives users access to six different responsive image gallery templates:
- Responsive Image Gallery
- Image Viewer Gallery
- Masonry Gallery
- Simple Portfolio
- Justified Gallery
- Single Thumbnail Gallery
On top of that, the galleries offer a good deal of customization allowing you to do things such as:
- Adjust thumbnail size, spacing & alignment
- Adjust border size, rounded corners, drop shadows, inner shadows
- Choose from a selection of loading icons
- Animated loaded effects
- Hover effects – adjust colors, scaling and icons
- Complete control over captions
Additionally, FooGallery provides a drag-and-drop interface for galleries and offers an infinite scroll option with lazy loading for those who don’t want to have multiple pages of photos.
As far as free plugins go, FooGallery really packs a punch.
Modula Image Gallery
Modula is a super light and responsive plugin that makes it easy to build lightbox galleries, masonry grids, custom grids, and more in just a few clicks directly from your WordPress dashboard.
It is a great option for adding custom, unique, and responsive galleries to your website.
Modula also features a responsive drag and drop builder that allows you to create customizable galleries for both photos and videos.
Here’s a look at the features you can utilize with Modula Image Gallery:
- General – Edit the appearance and style of the photo gallery.
- Lightbox & Links – Decide to open images in lightbox galleries and directly link to each image.
- Customize captions – Change the font, size, and color of each image’s caption.
- Social – Enable social sharing icons to allow visitors to share your work.
- Loading effects – Generate effects on images that are loading.
- Hover effects – Change cursor appearance and add effects when hovering over an image.
- Style – Edit border and shadow settings.
- Speed Up – Lazy load images in the gallery.
- Custom CSS – Customize your photo galleries using CSS.
As you can see, Modula Image Gallery has some powerful features that allow for creating simple but stunning photo galleries.
All of the plugins mentioned above can be found and downloaded from the WordPress Plugin repository by searching the term “gallery.”
If you need help installing any of the plugins, please check out How to Install WordPress Plugins.