5 of the Best WordPress Plugins for Image Galleries

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One of the biggest benefits to creating websites with WordPress is the abundance of themes and plugins that make WordPress sites not only functional, but also gorgeous with unique and exceptional visual design elements. The abundance of WordPress plugins is what makes a site go from a basic template to an original, customized design. Of course, there are those that are considered to be the essential WordPress plugins, and then there are those that are industry or craft-specific. For anyone requiring a way to display photographs and images on their site, WordPress image gallery plugins are what you should be looking into.

Dealing with Images on Websites

When dealing with images, this needs to be done very precisely and correctly. The trick is to include the necessary images in a way that lends to the visual dynamic, without compromising website performance. Having the right hosting size for your project is one way you can avoid a poor webpage loading speed, and it’s also best not to have a lot of large image files that take a long time to load. You should optimize your images for the web – which includes but is not limited to compressing them and adjusting their dimensions – and you should avoid including too many images or videos on your site.

An Overview of Image Gallery Plugins for WordPress

However, when it comes to displaying your optimized images on your site, that is where the WordPress photo gallery plugins come into play.

NextGen Gallery

A slightly more complex interface, but this gallery allows you to create both thumbnail galleries and slideshows. It includes an integrated Lightbox option, which allows your website visitors to click on the image, at which point it will open up in a new window as a larger image. This is particularly good for ecommerce sites when customers want to see specific details of items. With the NextGen Gallery plugin, you are able to upload and manage an extensive amount of images, making this again a good option for ecommerce when you have many product images to display. As an added feature, you can also add watermarks to your images to keep your digital property secure online.

Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery offers the option to build galleries for individual pages, or a larger, generalized photo gallery for your whole website. Envira is a great option when you are focused on faster page loading times, because it loads images asynchronously. It also functions the way your WordPress CMS does –with the same sort of look and usability – so it is very beginner friendly. Finally, you can also insert your galleries into theme files or templates with the template tag option, which helps you to keep everything well organized.This is a good option for projects like travel blogs or online magazines where themes heavily come into play.

Foo Gallery

Again, this interface functions very much like WordPress, so it is ideal for beginners. Galleries can be created through easy drag and drop functionality, making gallery creation incredibly easy. It also includes an easy posting button at the top of the editor display that makes adding a gallery into a post quick and efficient. This photo gallery isn’t mobile response, though, under the generic settings; you have to physically go into the plugin settings and enable the responsive design template.Activating this template is important for your photo gallery to be displayed and function properly across all devices.

Polaroid Gallery

This is more of a design feature that functions on top of a standard WordPress gallery, but it is incredibly neat, so it made the list. And since Polaroids are all the rage again, the pull for this gallery is pretty obvious, allowing you to create a trendy, retro style gallery on your website. This is a very good plugin for lifestyle and travel blogs that follow a more personalized approach when it comes to content. The Polaroid Gallery works with your WordPress Media Library, making it simple to convert all of your images to the Polaroid overlay.

Photo Gallery

Last but certainly not least, the Photo Gallery plugin is not only easy to use, but it is incredibly social as well. Images can be embedded from Instagram and Flickr, as well as your WordPress Media Library. It also includes rollover features to enlarge the image, as well as launching a lightbox when clicking the image to open it in a larger format. This gallery also allows for watermarking of images, ideal for photographers and graphic designers creating a portfolio of their work, ensuring that your digital property remains yours and yours alone, preventing anyone else who stumbles upon it from using it for their own purposes.

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