Sometimes (actually, a lot of times...), the built-in WordPress gallery functionality just doesn’t cut it. And when that happens, you’re going to need to turn to a WordPress image gallery plugin, of which there are...a ton.
With so many image gallery plugins out there, it can be hard to find the one that’s best for your site.
In my Modula review, I hope to make things a little easier by sharing one of my favorite gallery plugins.
It might not have the massive feature list of something like NextGen, but if you just want a WordPress gallery plugin that can help you quickly create beautiful grid galleries, complete with features like category filters and social share buttons, I think it’s a great option for most WordPress users.
Modula Review: What The Plugin Does
Modula is a freemium plugin that specifically helps you create responsive grid galleries. All you do is specify a maximum width and height and Modula arranges the images inside so that they look great.
What do Modula’s galleries look like? Well, while you can always customize things, this is a pretty good example of what a gallery that you create with Modula will end up looking like by default:
For each gallery, here’s what you can do (I’ll mark when the feature is only available in the Pro version):
- Change the internal margins
- Display social sharing buttons on individual images
- Add lightbox effects so visitors can click to view the full-size image
- Choose from a variety of pre-built hover effects (more in the Pro version)
- Add gallery filters so that visitors can click on a filter to show only images with that tag with or without a page reload (only in the Pro version)
- Customize the border radius to add a rounded effect
- Add shadows
- Add rotation and slide effects for when the gallery loads (only in the Pro version)
How To Create A Gallery With Modula
One of the things that I like about Modula is that it splits the gallery creation process into two parts.
It’s essentially divided so that:
- If you just want to quickly create a gallery that already looks great, you can do that in about 30 seconds
- If you want to dig in and play around with individual settings, you can do that later on in a separate interface
To create a gallery with Modula, you just go to Modula → Add Gallery. Then you:
- Give the gallery a name
- Give the gallery a description (this won’t be shown on the frontend)
- Choose the gallery width as a percentage
- Choose the gallery height in pixels
Remember - Modula is going to fit your images inside these dimensions.
On the next screen, you can:
- Choose whether or not to display title text on the images and, if so, where to pull that title text from (you can use the media file’s title or description)
- Choose whether or not to display captions on the images and, if so, where to pull the caption text from (you can use the media file’s title, caption, or description)
- Which hover effect to use when a user hovers over a single image (you can also disable hover effects if desired)
And now, all you need to do is:
- Choose a minimum image size (Modula won’t resize images to be smaller than this)
- Add images from your media library
Then, you just click Save and Modula generates the shortcode for you:
If you want to dig in, that link I highlighted will take you to the more advanced settings. But even without touching those settings, your gallery is already fully functioning.
Here’s what it looks like without touching a single advanced setting:
Users can also click to open any image in a lightbox:
Overall, the entire process of going from zero to gallery can take less than a minute if you’ve already got the images uploaded, which is one reason I find the plugin so convenient.
Customizing Your Gallery With Modula
If you do want to take the time to dig into the more advanced settings, though, they’re always there for you.
You can access them by clicking the link when you generate the shortcode or by going to your Modula Dashboard:
In this settings area, you get a bunch of accordion tabs that contain all the various customizations you can make to your gallery:
I won’t touch on every single setting that’s available, but I will cover some of the cooler things that you can do:
Change Margins And Randomness
If you want to change how your gallery looks, you can adjust the margins between images as well as the randomness in the General area.
Margins are fairly self-explanatory, but Random factor deserves a little explanation.
If you increase the Random factor, you’ll get a more “different-looking” gallery, while if you decrease it, you’ll get a more traditional gallery.
Add Gallery Filters To Create A Sortable Gallery
In the Pro version, you can also add Filters to your gallery in the General tab:
Filters are basically like sortable tags. The list of filter tags displays above the gallery and your visitors can click on a tag to automatically filter out only images with that tag.
You can even do this without a page reload if you want (though that will break some lightbox functionality).
Here’s a GIF so that you can see it in action (the effect is smoother on a live site - the GIF compression makes it look a little "jerky"):
This feature is especially helpful if you’re looking to create a portfolio of your work.
Add Social Share Buttons
The Social tab lets you add social share buttons for specific social networks:
Choose Hover Effect
The Hover effect area lets you choose from the 12 different pre-built hover effects (in the Pro version).
You also get a live preview of each effect so that you know exactly what it will do:
Add Border And Shadow
In the Style tab, you can add your own borders and shadows:
Other Smaller Customizations
Beyond the features that I’ve singled out, you can also:
- Change typography and font sizes
- Choose whether to shuffle images on page reload
- Select your specific lightbox gallery from the 6 included options
- Add custom scripts and CSS
How Much Does Modula Gallery Cost?
The free version of Modula is listed at WordPress.org, so you can always get started with that. In addition to some feature limitations, there’s also a 20 image limit for each gallery that you create.
If you decide you want to go Pro, though, it’s not exactly going to break the bank. A single site license will cost you just $19.
If you need more sites, you can also get:
- 2 sites for $29
- 5 sites for $39
- Unlimited sites for $49
Final Thoughts On Modula Gallery
Modula Gallery creates really beautiful galleries. If that’s what you need and you like its style, you’re not going to be disappointed because it:
- Has a well-designed interface that’s easy to use
- Offers helpful advanced features like gallery filters and hover effects
- Is affordable (or free!)
It doesn’t match the sheer depth of functionality of some other more expensive premium plugins, but I also don’t think it’s trying to.
That is, it’s trying to be a great image gallery plugin for most users, rather than trying to cover every niche use case.
It’s free to get started with and you can create your first gallery in just a couple minutes, so give it a try and see if you like how it makes your images look.