If you want to create beautiful galleries at your WordPress site, the native WordPress image gallery functionality just ain’t gonna cut it.
FooGallery is a freemium WordPress gallery plugin that gives you a lot more options than WordPress’ built-in feature, including tons of style options and templates, as well as lots of other helpful features like built-in lazy loading, Ajax gallery filters, and more.
So if you want a better way to create image or video galleries at your WordPress site, give our FooGallery review a read for a hands-on look at everything this WordPress gallery plugin has to offer.
FooGallery Review: The Feature List
Before I go hands-on with FooGallery, let’s quickly run through the feature list so that you have a good idea of what it offers.
First off – FooGallery comes in both a free version at WordPress.org, as well as a premium version.
I’ll be focusing on the premium version in this FooGallery review, but the free version is also a great option that’s popular and highly-rated. According to WordPress.org, it’s active on 100,000+ sites with a 4.6-star rating on over 320 reviews.
Here’s what FooGallery offers:
- Multiple gallery templates, including grids, masonry, Polaroid, sliders, and more. Some templates require the paid version.
- Lazy loading for better performance. Free.
- Lightbox functionality, with the separate FooBox plugin. Free.
- Album functionality. Free.
- Drag-and-drop gallery ordering. Free.
- Video gallery support. Paid.
- Frontend Ajax filters to let visitors filter gallery content. Paid.
- Infinite scroll. Paid
- Lots of loading and hover effects. Paid.
- Media categories and tags for organization, as well as powering the aforementioned filters. Paid.
It’s also just generally got a really user-friendly interface that makes it easy to set everything up, which I’ll show you right now as we go hands-on with FooGallery…
Hands-On With the FooGallery Plugin
To give you a detailed look at how FooGallery works, I’ve got the premium version installed on my test site. Let’s go through creating a gallery first, and then I’ll give you a look at the global settings.
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To get started, you head to FooGallery → Add Gallery and give it a name.
To add images to your gallery, FooGallery relies on the native WordPress Media Library, which means you’ll be able to easily select existing images in your Media Library or upload new ones.
Once you add some images, you can use drag-and-drop to change their order:
You can also click to quickly open up the settings for alt text, captions, titles, etc. This just opens the regular Media Library interface for those settings.
If you want to preview how those images will look in your real gallery, you can toggle over to the Gallery Preview tab instead of the Manage Items tab. This is really handy because it lets you see how things fit together without needing to open a new page:
Configuring Gallery Settings
To configure your gallery’s looks and functionality, you’ll use the Gallery Settings meta box further down the page.
The first thing that you’ll want to do is use the drop-down to select the basic template for your gallery. As you make your choice, the live preview will automatically update.
For example, here’s a simple masonry gallery:
And here’s a Polaroid-style gallery:
In total, the Pro version gives you nine different options:
- Responsive image
- Image viewer
- Simple portfolio
- Single thumbnail
- Polaroid PRO
- Grid PRO
- Slider PRO
Once you select your gallery type, the meta box will update with all the settings for that gallery.
There, you get a good number of settings for how your gallery looks and functions.
Let’s run through them, using a masonry gallery as the example…
First, the General tab lets you set up basics like thumbnail width, columns, lightbox (you’ll need to install the free companion FooBox plugin), and where the thumbnail should link:
The Appearance tab lets you choose different themes, as well as settings like:
- Rounded corners
- Loading icon
- Loading effect
You can even add a thumbnail filter (like Instagram):
The Hover Effects tab lets you control what happens when a user hovers over a specific image in your gallery. You can:
- Add a color effect, like making it greyscale
- Add a scaling effect
- Display the caption
- Show an icon
Or, you can also choose from preset style options.
For example, if you select the Layla preset…
…then you’d get an effect like this:
The Captions tab gives you more control over captions, like where to pull them from and whether to set a max length:
If you have a large gallery, the Paging tab lets you set up pagination options. You can either skip pagination altogether, or add:
- Infinite scroll
- Load more
If you opt to use pagination, you’ll be able to configure all kinds of settings for when to start paging and how it should look:
For example, here’s what the Ajax Load More effect looks like if I set the limit at 4:
The Filtering tab gives you access to a really neat feature – live frontend Ajax filters. This makes a great option for a portfolio, or any other situation where you want people to be able to filter out specific gallery items.
You can choose to filter images based on Media Tags or Media Categories, both of which you can set when editing an image:
You can also manage media tags and categories from their own dedicated dashboard pages, much like regular categories and tags.
For example, if you add Simple filtering based on Media Tags like this…
…you’d get live filters for all the tags like this:
If a visitor clicks a filter, the gallery will only display images with that tag (no page reload required).
The Advanced filtering option is also pretty unique and lets visitors choose multiple filters.
With the premium version, you can create video galleries, as well as image galleries. If you’re including any videos, the Video tab lets you configure the size, hover icon, and autoplay settings (the video only autoplays when opened in a lightbox):
In addition to uploading your own videos, the video gallery functionality also lets you import videos from external sources – like YouTube.
Beyond that, you can actually mix-and-match image and video content. So you could create a gallery that includes both images and videos. Then, you could even add frontend category filters to let your visitors filter out videos and images.
Advanced and Other Options
Finally, the Advanced tab lets you enable lazy loading and some other advanced settings.
Beyond that, you also get a few settings in the sidebar/other areas that let you control:
- Retina support
- Gallery sorting
- Custom CSS
There’s also a Bulk Copy feature that lets you copy the settings from a gallery to other galleries with just a few clicks.
Embedding a Gallery
Once you’ve finished setting up your gallery’s options, it’s really easy to embed it.
First, if you’re using the new WordPress block editor, you can add the dedicated FooGallery block:
Or, you can also use shortcodes to embed your gallery in the Classic editor, or anywhere else. And there’s also a dedicated FooGallery widget.
In addition to galleries, FooGallery also helps you create albums, which are essentially a collection of different galleries:
In addition to listing all of your galleries, the album also links to permanent pages for each gallery.
By default, the URL structure for those permanent pages is /page-with-album/gallery/some-gallery.
Exploring the Other Settings
Finally, you also get a dedicated settings area where you can configure some global defaults and other settings, including a Language tab that lets you localize FooGallery:
FooGallery Pricing: Free and Premium
FooGallery has a popular free version at WordPress.org that helps you create some pretty great-looking galleries in its own right.
Then, if you want the premium version that I reviewed, FooGallery offers three full-featured plans (the only difference is the number of sites):
- 1 site – $49.99 for one year of support/updates OR $149.99 for lifetime
- 5 sites – $99.99 for one year of support/updates OR $299.99 for lifetime
- 25 sites – $199.99 for one year of support/updates OR $599.99 for lifetime
If you go to the main FooGallery page, it contains a detailed comparison of the features in the free vs Pro version (scroll down the page until you see it):
Final Thoughts on FooGallery
If you just want to create some beautiful galleries on your site and don’t need more heavy-duty photographer-focused features like eCommerce sales or client proofing, FooGallery makes a great option.
In both the free and Pro versions, you get a variety of templates and styles to control how your galleries look. Then, you also get lots of features to enhance performance and usability like:
- Simple and advanced filtering via media categories or tags
- Pagination, Ajax load more, and infinite scroll
Plus, you just generally get lots of small features to give you detailed control over how your galleries work.
If you install the free version from WordPress.org, you’ll get a 7-day free trial of the Pro version – no credit card required. So – give it a try and see if it’s the best WordPress gallery plugin for you: