The 5 Best Photo Gallery Plugins for WordPress Compared

/The 5 Best Photo Gallery Plugins for WordPress Compared

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I’m guessing that you’re here because you’re trying to add a photo gallery to your WordPress site. In which case, I have great news! There’s no shortage of WordPress photo gallery plugins to help you do just that.

But that’s a bit of a double-edged sword, isn’t it? See, when you’re spoiled for choice…it can actually be surprisingly difficult to narrow down to a single selection. I mean – if you’re staring at one of those massive lists of 20 different photo gallery plugins – how do you pick just one?

Well, that’s what I’m here to help with. Not only am I going to provide you with a detailed list of the best WordPress photo gallery plugins, I’m also going to try to help guide you towards the right plugin for your specific situation.

Sound good? Let’s dive in…

Summary: Best WordPress Photo Gallery Plugins

Below, I’m going to dig into each photo gallery plugin in detail. But not everyone has time to wade through 2,000 words on the ins and outs of each plugin’s feature list. So if you just want a quick snapshot of your options, check out the table below.

Then, if one or more of the plugins pique your interest, keep reading for a much more in-depth look at each plugin.

Modula Gallery NextGEN Gallery Huge-IT Photo Gallery Envira Gallery Photo Gallery by Supsystic
Free Version? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Price for tier with full features $19 $67 $30 $99 $29
Responsive? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lightbox Galleries? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Sharing Yes Depends on version No On highest tier No
Filterable galleries? Yes Yes No On highest tier Yes
Visit Modula Gallery NextGEN Gallery Huge-IT Photo Gallery Envira Gallery Photo Gallery by Supsystic

1. Modula Grid Gallery

Modula Photo Gallery WordPress Plugin
Modula Grid Gallery is a multipurpose photo gallery plugin that helps you create a variety of stylish galleries. It includes both a slightly limited free version as well as an affordable full-featured premium version.

Modula Grid Gallery Core Features

  • Complex grid styles with custom margins
  • 6 different lightbox galleries
  • 12 different hover effects
  • Responsive
  • Filters to let visitors filter your gallery by tags
  • Custom captions for individual images

Modula Grid Gallery Pros

  • Easy gallery creation wizard – create a beautiful gallery in just a couple minutes
  • You have a ton of flexibility over how your photo grids display – you’re not limited to the same old boring layouts
  • Gives you a variety of hover effects and lightbox galleries
  • Includes built-in social sharing
  • Lets you create a filterable photo gallery, which is great for portfolios, among other uses.

Modula Grid Gallery Cons

  • Depending on your lightbox gallery choice, you might not be able to deep link to specific images.

How Does Modula Grid Gallery Work?

Once you install the plugin, you select which images and effects to use on your photo gallery in the Modula tab. And then once you’ve configured everything, Modula Grid Gallery spits out a shortcode that you can use in any post or page.

If needed, you can add multiple galleries by simply inserting multiple shortcodes.

Modula Grid Gallery Pricing

Modula Photo Gallery offers a free version with some restrictions on the number of images per gallery and basic functionality. After that, a single site license costs just $19 and an unlimited site license costs $49.

The $19 price tag makes Modula Grid Gallery the most affordable premium option on this list.

Go to Modula Grid Gallery

2. NextGEN Gallery – WordPress Gallery Plugin

NextGen Photo Gallery WP Plugin

With over a million active installs, NextGEN Gallery is one of the most popular photo gallery plugins out there. But despite those million + installs, NextGEN only boasts a 3.5-star rating at the WordPress.org plugin directory. Though to be fair, many of those negative reviews came from a single, overly-ambitious release that has since been rectified.

While the core NextGEN Gallery plugin is free, there are a number of paid add-ons that you can purchase to extend its functionality. These add-ons are available in two different bundles.

NextGEN Gallery Core Features

  • Two main display styles – slideshows and thumbnail galleries
  • Two album styles – compact and extended
  • Plenty of timing and transition effects
  • Lightbox galleries

NextGEN Gallery Pros

  • Overall, the free version has a strong feature list.
  • Detailed control over timing and transition effects

NextGEN Gallery Cons

  • Some people complain that the process of creating a simple gallery is overly complicated.
  • Complaints in the WordPress.org forums about lack of support
  • No social sharing in the free version

How Does NextGEN Gallery Work?

Like Modula Grid Gallery, NextGEN Gallery gives you a new Gallery tab in which you create your albums and galleries. Then, rather than shortcodes, you can insert your photo galleries using the NextGEN Gallery interface from inside the WordPress Editor.

NextGEN Gallery Pricing

NextGEN Gallery’s free version is listed at WordPress.org. After that, you’ll need to wade through somewhat confusing descriptions of NextGEN Plus ($47) and NextGEN Pro ($67) plans, as well as all of their associated extensions.

Go to NextGEN Gallery

3. Huge-IT Photo Gallery

Huge IT Photo Gallery

Huge-IT Photo Gallery is another popular WordPress gallery solution that comes in both a free and Pro version. One neat thing about this plugin is that it’s not just for photo galleries – you can also use Huge-IT Photo Gallery to showcase videos from YouTube or Vimeo. Even in the free version.

Huge-IT Photo Gallery Core Features

  • Fully responsive galleries
  • Bulk image upload
  • 7 different gallery views
  • Paginated galleries
  • Lightbox popups
  • Video galleries from YouTube or Vimeo

Huge-IT Photo Gallery Pros

  • Not just for images – also lets you add video galleries from YouTube or Vimeo
  • Easy to upload and arrange multiple images with bulk upload and drag and drop ordering
  • Includes an option to let visitors rate your images, which is fairly unique.

Huge-IT Photo Gallery Cons

  • Free version limits the number of galleries/gallery items that you can have
  • Admin dashboard feels a bit overwhelming with the huge number of options (though you do have lots of control)
  • No image filters – not good if you need to create a portfolio
  • No social sharing buttons

How Does Huge-IT Photo Gallery Work?

You build your galleries in the Huge-IT Photo Gallery interface. Then, to insert them into your posts or pages, you just need to paste in a shortcode. You can add multiple galleries to the same page by inserting multiple shortcodes.

Huge-IT Photo Gallery Pricing

Huge-IT Photo Gallery’s free version is available at WordPress.org. The pro version of the plugin starts at $30 for a single site license and ranges up to $60 for an unlimited license.

Go to Huge-IT Photo Gallery

4. Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin

Envira Gallery offers a limited free version, with most of the cool features locked behind the pro versions. Additionally, even some of the premium features are locked behind higher tiers, so you need to be careful that all of the features you need are actually included in the plan that you’re paying for.

But while that warning might sound a little ominous, Envira Gallery has plenty of features that, depending on your needs, might make it worth its hefty price tag.

Envira Gallery Core Features

Again, some of these features require more expensive plans to get access to. So don’t expect to get every single feature in the Basic pro plan.

  • Drag and drop gallery builder
  • Pre-built gallery templates
  • Standalone galleries that aren’t tied to posts or pages
  • Social sharing
  • Deep linking to specific images
  • Built-in watermarking
  • WooCommerce support

Envira Gallery Pros

  • Unique (and helpful) features like password protection, deeplinking, watermarking
  • Gallery templates make it easy to quickly create a stylish gallery
  • Supports video galleries (in the most expensive version)

Envira Gallery Cons

  • The best features are locked away behind the $99 Pro plan, which makes Envira Gallery pricey. For the same features, it costs significantly more than the other options on this list.

How Does Envira Gallery Work?

Like the other plugins, you create your galleries in the Envira Gallery interface. Then, to insert them in your content, you can either use shortcodes or a new Add Gallery button on your WordPress Editor.

Envira Gallery Pricing

As I mentioned, you can find the free version of Envira Gallery at WordPress.org, but most of the cool stuff is part of the premium plans

And beyond that, each premium tier offers a different feature set. The $29 Basic plan lets you create, well, basic galleries. But you won’t get any pagination, gallery themes, or watermarking. For those, you need the $69 Plus plan.

And if you want albums, social sharing, deeplinking, videos, and more, you’ll need to go with the $99 Pro plan.

Because many of the most important features are locked behind expensive plans, Envira Gallery is by far the most expensive plugin on this list.

Go to Envira Gallery

5. Photo Gallery by Supsystic

Photo Gallery by Supsystic

Photo Gallery by Supsystic is another popular WordPress.org-listed photo gallery plugin. In the free version, you can create unlimited responsive photo galleries complete with links, icons, and HTML captions. It also includes some nifty options to add watermarks and import gallery items from FTP or social networks.

If you go pro, you’ll also get the ability to create video galleries as well as galleries with pagination and different categories.

Photo Gallery by Supsystic Core Features

  • Responsive design
  • Can add HTML to your captions
  • Pull in photo gallery items from Facebook, Instagram and others
  • Full width galleries and Polaroid galleries, as well as a variety of different style effects

Photo Gallery by Supsystic Pros

  • Easy to add watermarks even in the free version
  • Can import images from Facebook and Instagram, as well as YouTube in the pro version
  • Can add pagination and categories (filters) to your galleries if you go with the pro version

Photo Gallery by Supsystic Cons

  • No built-in social sharing buttons
  • Unlimited site license is significantly more expensive than some other plugins on this list

How Does Photo Gallery by Supsystic Work?

Like most of the other plugins, you create your galleries in a separate Photo Gallery by Supsystic interface and then add them to your WordPress content using a shortcode.

Photo Gallery by Supsystic Pricing

Photo Gallery by Supsystic has a limited free version at WordPress.org. After that that, you can get a single site license for $29 or an unlimited site license for $99.

Go to Photo Gallery by Supsystic

Bonus – Jetpack

JetPack WordPress Plugin

Bonus round time! While Jetpack isn’t included in the summary table above, I think it’s still worth including on this list because so many WordPress sites are already running Jetpack.

So if you do have Jetpack installed, you already have a way to create some basic photo galleries on your WordPress site. While Jetpack doesn’t match the other photo gallery plugins on this list in terms of raw functionality, it does give you the option to create three basic galleries:

  • Tiles
  • Squares
  • Circles

Wrapping Things Up

Modula Gallery NextGEN Gallery Huge-IT Photo Gallery Envira Gallery Photo Gallery by Supsystic
Free Version? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Price for tier with full features $19 $67 $30 $99 $29
Responsive? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lightbox Galleries? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Sharing Yes Depends on version No On highest tier On some lightbox galleries
Filterable galleries? Yes Yes No On highest tier Yes
Visit Modula Gallery NextGEN Gallery Huge-IT Photo Gallery Envira Gallery Photo Gallery by Supsystic

This is by no means a comprehensive list of every single WordPress photo gallery plugin out there. Not by a longshot. Even a simple search for “photo gallery” at WordPress.org brings up almost a thousand results.

But guess what? Most of those thousand plugins don’t stand up to the five photo gallery plugins on this list.

From these five plugins, I tried to illuminate the differences between each.

If you want the best overall value for your money, Modula Grid Gallery offers all the necessary features in a photo gallery plugin for just $19. And if you’re a developer, you can get a ton of value for your clients by purchasing the $49 unlimited license

If money’s no object to you, Envira Gallery also has an impressive feature list in its premium tier…but at 3-5x the price of the other options on this list.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite WordPress photo gallery plugin? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer for hire with a background in SEO and affiliate marketing. He helps clients grow their web visibility by writing primarily about digital marketing, WordPress, and B2B topics. You can find him at www.cnewcomer.com

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