Using Image Galleries in WordPress to Enhance Your Site


WordPress is very good at creating text-based content like blogs and informational articles. Its WYSIWYG interface makes creating this content relatively easy for both beginners and advanced users. You can even insert images into posts with just the click of a couple of buttons. But what about image galleries?

Let’s say you are a photographer looking to post a number of galleries to show customers what you are capable of. In essence, you are using your website partly as a portfolio of your work. Inserting images one at a time through the page or post editor is not only time-consuming and cumbersome, but it doesn’t result in a very nice layout. What you intend to be a professional looking photography site ends up looking rather amateurish. Well, there are solutions.

Using the Built-In Gallery

WordPress includes a built-in gallery feature you can use to create galleries in a number of different formats that generate either square, circular, or rectangular tiles. Viewers can look through your galleries via slideshows, carousels, grids, or even tiled columns. To use this built-in gallery, follow this process:

  1. Open an existing page or post, then click on the ‘Media’ button to add new media
  2. Add new images by either dragging and dropping or loading from a local file or URL
  3. Once all of your images are loaded, they will be automatically selected; you can deselect the ones you don’t want and add additional images already in your library
  4. Click ‘Continue’ when you are satisfied with the images you have selected
  5. Choose your layout from the drop-down menu, followed by editing your preferences
  6. Click ‘Insert’; this will insert the gallery wherever your cursor was when you began the process

This quick and easy way to create a gallery is pretty straightforward and basic. If you want more functionality, we recommend going the plugin route.

Popular Gallery Plugins for WordPress

Any good CMS is expandable through the use of plugins; WordPress fits that bill. There are a number of excellent plugins that let you create eye-catching galleries with some additional features not available in the default gallery. Below is a list of some of them:

  • NextGen Gallery – This plugin is easily the most popular gallery plugin for WordPress, with more than 14 million downloads to date. It has set the standard for features including helpful tools like batch upload and on-board image effects.
  • Gallery (webdorado) – This is an advanced gallery and editing tool that makes it possible for you to add images and edit them on the fly, from within the plugin.
  • Huge-IT Image Gallery – This plugin may not be as popular as NextGen, but it gets higher ratings due to its ease of use. If you want lots of features without complications, this is the one for you.

Adding an image gallery to your website can drive traffic and impress your visitors. Thankfully, WordPress makes it easy with a built-in gallery function and plenty of plugin alternatives.

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