Gallery plugins are an excellent way of showing multiple images on your blog. They are also a popular method of showing portfolios, artwork and albums. Unfortunately, many of the more advanced gallery plugins aren’t free or are extremely limited in their functionality. There are a select few on the WordPress.org website that are pretty advanced, with several others that are great alternatives for those who only need limited features. Below is a list of some of the most popular and free WordPress Gallery plugins available.
Have to start out with this one. NextGEN Gallery is the most popular gallery plugin on WordPress, with a current rating of 4/5 and 11.7 million downloads. Thanks to how popular it is, both the paid version and the free version are constantly going through updates and adding new features. With the free version you can add slideshows, add albums, lightboxes, add your own custom logo to your images and many more features. You also have the option of upgrading for full features and support.
This is another very popular and constantly updated gallery plugin. Gallery by websoft enables you to do many of the things in NextGen, such as set what you want your featured images to be, add albums and descriptions to those albums, create slideshows and add captions to your images. While not as feature rich as NextGen, Gallery has been downloaded over 1.1 million times and actually has a better rating than NextGen (4.4 / 5 stars).
Foo Gallery is a newer gallery plugin that I recently only discovered after a commenter pointed it out on one of my other articles. Foo Gallery has an impressive amount of features including being able to set a Gallery custom post type, using one of the pre-made templates for your galleries, adding albums, using the simple drag and drop interface to reorder any of your images, shortcode support and more. Best of all, Foo Gallery is one of the highest rated gallery plugins available with an impressive 4.9 / 5 rating as of this writing.
WP Easy Gallery
WP Easy Gallery is a very simple and easy to use plugin for managing and creating galleries. With WP you are able to set social sharing for your photos, shortcode support and thumbnail image support. Sadly, this is also the lowest rated plugin on the list with an unimpressive 3.6 / 5 rating and over 260,000 downloads.
Simplest Gallery Plugin
Not the most popular gallery plugin by any means. Simplest Gallery still works the way it’s supposed to with basic gallery features. The plugin gives you access to things like lightboxes, horizontal scrolling thumbnails and more.
Gallery Bank is one of the more advanced gallery plugins available. With it you can create responsive gallery pages, use shortcodes to add galleries into your posts, can create albums (you can only create 3 albums with the free version), easily edit or add images, bulk upload your images, set your featured image and upload videos. Gallery Bank also has support for four different types of galleries, these are the basic gallery, masonry gallery, grid gallery and list album. You can have access to even more features if you ever decide to upgrade to the pro version.
Huge-It Gallery is one of the better rated plugins, with a current rating of 4.7 / 5. It’s a simple gallery plugins that enables you to add your images to your gallery and display them in six different ways. You can display your images as a basic content pop-up gallery, as a slider with content, as a lightbox, as a basic slider, as thumbnails, or as a justified gallery.
Designed as an advanced gallery plugin and constantly updated to add features or address minor bugs, Photo Gallery by webdora allows users to easily add and edit images for different gallery types. With it you can add thumbnail images, create your own slideshows, add extended albums for images that display other content such as descriptions and more. If you want things like Masonry or blog style galleries then you will need to upgrade to the pro version. Lacking in many of the other gallery plugins, Photo Gallery even comes with four widgets for displaying your galleries. These widgets include two tag cloud widgets and a slideshow widget.
Responsive WordPress Gallery
Responsive WordPress Gallery is a light weight and easy to use gallery plugin. Unlike a few others on this list (see NextGEN), Responsive WordPress Gallery is designed to be light weight and not a drag on your blog’s speed. With it you can display responsive galleries, create galleries right from your editor in your pages or posts, use the ajax preloading feature to speed up your gallery load times and can always upgrade to the pro version which starts at just $19.
WP Photo Albums Plus
Another one of the more advanced, free gallery plugins. WP Photo Albums comes with a wide variety of features and is one of the more popular gallery plugins available, with over 1.2 million downloads. There are too many features to list, but some of the most popular include unlimited photos and albums, dynamic widgets that you can display in the sidebar, ability to create slideshows, option to create sub-albums, full control over image sizes and much more.