23rd August, 2017 | Blog |

A Guide To The Best Free Photo Gallery Plugins Available For WordPress

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With hundreds of different ones available, there is no shortage of gallery plugins for WordPress right now. They all offer features that can enhance the display of your images on your site, such as adding lightboxes to enabling 3D displays. However, with such a large choice comes confusion. In this article we will look at some of the best free options available to you, that can give professional results and include a wide range of features.


With Upfront, you can create beautiful galleries in seconds. Simply drag a gallery element onto the page where you want to display your gallery, drag and drop the images you want to display, and then you can style to your heart’s content. You can adjust everything from the borders and captions to the padding and thumbnail settings.If you're really serious about styling then you can even fine tune how your gallery looks with custom CSS.

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Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery loads galleries quickly and is fully responsive to boot.This plugin adds an ‘Envira Gallery’ option to the WordPress dashboard. Adding a gallery is a piece of cake – just give it a name and select and/or upload the images you want to include.There are plenty of customization settings, including columns, thumbnail sizes, animations, layouts, and gutter and margin sizing. It should be noted the free version comes with just one gallery theme for you to play with. In the visual editor, you’ll notice a button that enables you to insert galleries in a user-friendly manner.Download Link -

WP Canvas Gallery

The WP Canvas – Gallery plugin extends the default use of WordPress galleries. There are no additional menu items added to the WordPress dashboard with this plugin. Instead, you’ll see additional options on the right side when adding a WordPress gallery to your page or post. The default WordPress options let you define a number of columns and size of images (thumbnail, small, medium and full size).

With the installation of this plugin, the gallery settings expand to include more size options, display options, caption options, and more.

You can display a gallery in a masonry format, as a slider or as a carousel. You can also specify the Popup Size for an image when a visitor clicks on the image. When rolling over a thumbnail on the gallery page, the image fades slightly and the caption pops up to the left of the image when using the masonry layout.

This plugin gives you a variety of options while still using the built-in functionality of WordPress galleries.

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Gmedia Gallery

The Gmedia Gallery plugin is a great plugin for quickly sharing photos. When clicking on an image in a gallery, it shows the full-size image in a lightbox. You can also easily share an image on a variety of social media networks from the light box.Instead of adding a ‘gallery’ option to the WordPress dashboard, you access this plugin by clicking on the Gmedia button at the top of the visual editor when adding or editing a page or post. Seven different modules are installed by default. You can easily add other modules for a mosaic look, for slideshows, sliders, photo blog, 3D sphere, 3D cube and more. A list and demo of each module are available on the plugin page on Do note that before setting up a gallery with this plugin, images need to be either in an album, assigned to categories, assigned to tags or in the GP Media library. 

The number of options available within Gmedia is impressive for a free plugin. Along with all the options comes a good degree of complexity as well.

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NextGEN Gallery

At the time of writing, NextGEN is currently live on over a million WordPress sites. NextGEN is one of the most popular photo galleries because you can easily add images to a gallery from the Media library, a server folder (within the wp-content folder of your WordPress install), or from your computer.

With NextGEN, you can also set up albums which are a group of galleries. This may be helpful for sites that need to group galleries together.

This plugin adds a button in the visual editor for adding galleries. Upon adding a gallery, you can choose how to display the gallery: thumbnails, slider, image browser, or tag cloud. There are also two display options for albums: Basic Compact (similar to thumbnails) and Basic Extended (more details shown about the album). The interface is also intuitive and you can edit a gallery right from the Visual Editor.

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Foo Gallery

This plugin adds a FooGallery option to the WordPress dashboard. You simply choose 'Add Gallery' to create a gallery, then click on Add Media to add images to the gallery. You can also easily create and add a gallery from the visual editor.

The Foo Gallery plugin comes with several gallery templates, including a masonry layout and the standard thumbnail display. If you want your gallery to be responsive, there is a Responsive Gallery template too. For most of the gallery templates, you can specify the thumbnail size, image link options and other settings – some of them specific to the template being used.

A shortcode is also available for each gallery as well.

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WP Photo Album Plus

WP Photo Album Plus gallery plugin is a powerful plugin geared towards interactive sites where you want visitors to rate and/or comment on photos, although these options can be turned off. With these options intact, a visitor can click on a photo within a gallery and rate the photo as well as add their comments.

Setting up this plugin is not as straightforward as some of the other gallery plugins. However, if you can decipher the options, it has more customization options than most of the other plugins. The settings page for this plugin is a list of tables. Click on a table to expand it and to update the settings within that table.

Options are numerous with this plugin. The beauty of that is that you can change/update a lot of information from this one screen. You can easily set alt text, tags, descriptions, as well as move or copy the photo to another album. The downside is that it can potentially be confusing.
The uniqueness of this plugin is in all the widgets it provides. There are widgets for Photo of the Day, photo ratings, most recent uploaded photos, top ten photos, albums, featured photos and more.
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