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In this article we are going to be taking an in-depth look at the best options for adding an advanced image gallery to your WordPress website. Each plugin below offers an extensive list of features and tools that can help you add impressive photo galleries to your site. Whether you are photographer or a blogger there is a plugin here that will suit your needs.

Graphics, images and galleries are a crucial part of your site, from the way the images are displayed to how the viewer can interact with them. The more professional, interesting and relevant the images, the more the viewers will engage with your content. High levels of engagement creates returning visitors and ultimately enables your site to convert better against its goal, whether it be selling products or services.

Envira Gallery

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Envira Gallery has a free version and also a premium version available, clocking in at 40,000 active installations for the free version it's one of the most popular gallery plugins available. It features a drag and drop interface so you can upload your images and move them around quite easily.

It's mobile responsive so your galleries will look good on which ever device the reader is using and has some nice extra features like WooCommerce integration and social sharing via a Pinterest button. You can also export your instagram photos into the plugin.

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery is an impressive free plugin that offers many tools and features. With Photo Gallery you can add and edit an unlimited number of images to your galleries. YouTube and Vimeo videos can also be inserted into an album.  There are extensive editing tools, giving options like cropping, flipping and rotating thumbnail images. There are also multiple ways to view the galleries, from thumbnails to sideshows, so your images can appear onscreen as you see fit.

The galleries this plugin creates are 100% responsive to ensure that your image galleries will look great no matter what screen size it is viewed on. The plugin also includes a lightbox display, albeit a simple one, so that images can be displayed on screen without any distractions from the page around them.

Photo Gallery offers an upgrade to its Pro service. This commercial version adds 15 lightbox effects, further social media possibilities and the option of creating a single gallery which contains both videos and images.

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN-5

The NextGEN Gallery plugin is extremely popular with over 13 million downloads. It is easy to use, from uploading the images and managing the galleries, through to displaying your photos in a variety of ways.

All the galleries are managed from a centralised location on your WordPress dashboard, so images can be uploaded by the batch and edited together or individually. This feature is great as it really helps you save precious time. Through the dashboard, the editing tools can be used to add, exclude, rotate, reorder and resize images, as well as resizing thumbnail images.

From the front end NextGEN Gallery offers two main display styles, thumbnail galleries and slideshows. Both options offer a large number of tools so you can create unique visuals for your site.

NextGen Pro is a powerful upgrade offering, amongst other things, Pro Film, Pro Thumbnail Grid, Pro Slideshow and Pro Lightbox. This gives you further control over the presentation of the visuals on your website.

Huge-IT Gallery

Huge-IT

The Huge-IT Gallery Image plugin prides itself on allowing you to be creative and unique with images and galleries on your website. This gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd. This WordPress photo gallery plugin offers an extensive choice of galleries, helping you to pick the right style for your type of site and the images you are displaying.

A highlight of the Huge-IT Gallery image plugin is its Blog Gallery. This feature will show images or videos with titles and text in a blog layout. Check out their page to view the demos of different gallery choices yourself.

As well as the variation of choices in galleries this plugin offers powerful design tools and lightbox customisation. It is also 100% responsive so your graphics will look great on whatever device they are viewed on.

Gallery by Best WebSoft

Gallery by Best Web Soft

Gallery by BestWebSoft enables you to implement as many galleries as you need on your website. With this plugin you can create as many albums for your website, each with an unlimited number of photos. If you are going to be publishing a constant stream of images, this gallery plugin could be a great choice.

For access to the premium features you will need to purchase Gallery Pro. The commercial version  has particularly impressive lightbox settings, enabling you to add a description to the lightbox display, add a button with a custom URL or like buttons for social media sites, all within the lightbox window.  Tools like this will enable you to increase the interactivity of your visual content.

Gmedia Gallery

Photo Gallery Plugins Gmedia Gallery

Gmedia Gallery is not only a plugin for creating interesting and elegant galleries, but it also provides the option of managing audio files. This then makes it possible to play music from your site. These features make Gmedia Gallery an ideal plugin for those publishing both images and audio.

With Gmedia Gallery’s powerful media library an unlimited number of images and audio files can be uploaded and managed. A variety of styles of gallery can be created, which can be customised as you see fit. Playlists can also be created if required. Due to this, the Gmedia plugin offers a unique experience for visitors, which should help your site to increase its page views.

Final Thoughts

All of these plugins offer a similar concept, yet when explored in detail their features differ considerably. To decide which plugin best suits your needs, try making a list of the most important gallery features that would be beneficial to your site and then match them up to one of the plugins. The plugins listed above are all powerful options, so don’t worry, whichever one you choose should work well for you.

What features are you looking for in a WordPress image gallery plugin? Have you tried any of these plugins or other options before? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Joe has been using WordPress for many years and spends his time creating content for a wide range of websites and blogs. If you need compelling content for your blog, visit his freelance services portfolio now.

6 thoughts on “The Best Free Gallery Plugins for WordPress 2016

  1. On my turn I’d like to share with also the following ones:
    PhotoMosaic for WordPress
    UberGrid – Responsive Grid Builder for WordPress
    Video Gallery WordPress Plugin /w YouTube, Vimeo

    They can be useful in many cases.

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