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11 Best WordPress Gallery Plugins 2021

Searching for the best WordPress gallery plugin for your site?

From displaying images/videos to blog posts, WooCommerce products, and more, gallery plugins are a lot more flexible than you might think at first glance.

In this post, we’ve collected the best options for a range of different use cases. Some give you a simple way to create some stylish image galleries with just a few clicks. Others are more suited for photographers who are looking for an easier way to work with clients or sell their work. And still others go beyond images and can also help you display custom content, such as your latest blog posts, WooCommerce products, team members, upcoming events, and more.

No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, there’s a great option for you in our list of the best WordPress gallery plugins.

Let’s get right into the plugins.

1. Modula

Modula

Modula is a popular freemium WordPress gallery plugin that creates some great-looking galleries right out of the box. That’s one of the things Modula excels at — making it really easy to quickly create a gallery that looks awesome.

For example, all I did was upload some images with the default settings and I had a gallery that looks like this in under a minute:

Modula gallery example

If you want more control, it also has a really cool custom grid builder that lets you design the exact layout for your gallery using a visual, drag-and-drop builder (whereas the default template will automatically generate the grid for you):

Modula gallery grid builder

With the premium version, you’ll also get more advanced features such as video support, password protection, deep linking, Ajax filters, and lots of cool visual effects.

Key Features

  • Multiple gallery types, including grid galleries and columns
  • Option to use a custom grid builder that gives you 100% control over your gallery
  • Lightbox feature powered by Fancybox, including image deep linking
  • Image captions and titles
  • Insert galleries with a block or shortcode
  • Social share button integration
  • Frontend Ajax filters for gallery items
  • Album support
  • Option to add a download button that lets visitors download individual photos or entire galleries/albums
  • Convert galleries into slideshows
  • Video gallery support
  • Password protection and watermarks
  • Image lazy loading for improved performance
  • Automatic image optimization and CDN

Pricing

The core Modula plugin is available for free at WordPress.org. With just the free version, you can already create some pretty great-looking plugins.

If you want more advanced features, you can upgrade to the Pro version to get access to various paid add-ons. Plans start at just $18 for use on a single site, but you’ll need at least the $78 Business license to get access to every single add-on.

More Info / Download Demo

2. Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery is another popular freemium gallery plugin at WordPress.org. It’s a little more targeted towards photographers and power users, but it’s still simple enough for casual users, which makes it a pretty versatile gallery plugin.

Casual users will benefit from a simple setup process and multiple pre-built gallery themes, while advanced users and photographers can benefit from features such as a WooCommerce integration (to sell photos), client proofing, and an Adobe Lightroom integration.

For example, all I did was upload some images with the default settings, and I already had a great-looking grid gallery:

Envira Gallery example

But you could certainly dig in for more customization.

Overall, there’s a little something for everyone, which is why it has an excellent 4.8-star rating on over 1,300 reviews at WordPress.org.

Key Features

  • Multiple gallery themes
  • Lightbox support, including deep linking
  • Insert galleries with a block or shortcode
  • Album support to organize multiple galleries into albums
  • Video gallery support
  • Social share buttons (including Pinterest Pin It button)
  • Option to import from external services such as Dropbox, Instagram, and a ZIP file
  • Dynamically create galleries from blog posts, custom post types, folders on your server, and more
  • Adobe Lightroom integration to create and sync galleries from Lightroom collections
  • Client proofing support (great for photography businesses)
  • WooCommerce integration to sell photos online
  • Convert galleries into slideshows
  • Password protection and watermarking

Pricing

The core Envira Gallery plugin is available for free at WordPress.org. The free version is fine for casual use but photographers and other power users will want to go with the premium version for access to advanced features such as image proofing, eCommerce, Lightroom integration, albums, and others.

The premium version starts at just $19 for basic premium features, but you’ll need the $89 Pro license for access to all of the advanced features.

More Info / Download Demo

3. NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN Gallery is a heavy-duty gallery plugin for photographers and other people who need image management to go alongside their galleries.

If you’re just a casual user who wants to add some good-looking galleries to your content, I think this one is a little overkill because the workflow to create a gallery isn’t as simple as “upload images to Media Library → Insert great-looking gallery” (which is basically how something like Modula works). But if you do need advanced features to go alongside your pretty galleries, then this one is a great option for you.

For example, NextGEN Gallery gives you its own custom image management solution in the backend that sits outside the WordPress Media Library, though you can import images from your Media Library. You can also upload files via FTP, which is useful if you have a lot of images.

You can also sell images via built-in eCommerce features. Here, NextGEN Gallery has one of the most unique features of any plugin on this list — automatic print fulfillment. Yes, you can let visitors (in the USA and Canada) order prints of your images and automatically ship them out.

Note – in May 2020, Imagely, the parent company behind NextGEN Gallery, was acquired by Nathan Singh, who also owns the Envira Gallery plugin from above. At least as of October 2020 when we’re writing this, the two are still entirely separate plugins, though.

Key Features

  • Tons of different gallery layouts with the premium version (the free layouts are pretty basic)
  • Lightbox galleries
  • Dedicated image management tools, including the option to upload directly to your server via FTP
  • Image proofing for working with clients (especially great for wedding photographers)
  • Image protection and watermarking
  • Deep linking
  • Frontend image search
  • Built-in eCommerce feature for digital or physical products
  • Automatic print fulfillment feature to sell physical prints (super unique)
  • Publish and manage galleries from Adobe Lightroom

Pricing

NextGEN Gallery does have a free version at WordPress.org. However, I wouldn’t recommend anyone use just the free version because its layout options are pretty limited as compared to other plugins on this list. If you want to keep things 100% free, there are better options. To get the most unique features, you need to pay.

With the premium add-ons, you’ll get a lot more gallery layouts, eCommerce functionality, automatic print fulfillment, image proofing, the Lightroom integration, and lots more. Basically, the premium version is where it’s at.

There are three plans. Paid plans start at $99, which gets you most of the visual features. For access to the eCommerce features, fulfillment, proofing, and other “backend” features, you’ll need the $139 Pro version.

More Info / Download Demo

4. FooGallery

FooGallery

FooGallery is another freemium option that makes it easy to quickly create a good-looking gallery while still giving you some advanced features if you want them.

You can quickly spin up a new gallery with six different layouts in the free version alone. For example, here’s what I was able to create after selecting my images and making a few tweaks to the masonry gallery:

FooGallery example

Key Features

  • Multiple gallery themes – six in the free version and three more with the pro version
  • Lightbox galleries (with a separate free companion plugin or more features with Pro)
  • Use the WordPress Media Library for image management
  • Album support
  • Insert galleries with blocks or shortcodes
  • Lazy loading for improved performance
  • Filter galleries by categories or tags
  • Video gallery support
  • Pagination, infinite scroll, or “Load More” button
  • Create dynamic image galleries from various sources, including a folder on your server, Adobe Lightroom, Instagram, or featured images from blog posts or custom post types

Pricing

FooGallery has a free version at WordPress.org that’s pretty solid for creating basic, good-looking galleries.

If you want more advanced features such as filters, dynamic galleries, advanced lightbox, infinite scroll, and more, then you’ll need to go pro. All the pro plans include all premium features. They start at $59 for use on a single site and one year of support and updates. There are also pricier lifetime plans, or you can pay monthly.

More Info / Download Demo

5. Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

With such a creative name, it’s clear that the Photo Gallery team took the time they would’ve spent on branding and put it all into development. I kid…but not the most creative name here, right?

Don’t let that dissuade you, though. Photo Gallery is one of the more popular options at WordPress.org, and it includes plenty of advanced features such as eCommerce support and commenting on individual gallery images.

To create galleries, Photo Gallery has its own image management system, but you can also easily import images from your WordPress Media Library. One nice thing about the built-in image management tool is that it lets you browse your server’s folders right from your WordPress dashboard. So you can upload images via FTP and then see them in your dashboard (you can also upload directly from your dashboard, of course):

Photo Gallery uploader

Once you’ve uploaded your images to a gallery, you’ll be able to choose which layout to use and configure other settings when you insert the gallery via the dedicated block or shortcode builder.

However, you will need the premium version to create masonry or mosaic galleries — the free version only lets you create a basic gallery.

Key Features

  • Three free layouts and four premium layouts
  • Insert galleries with blocks or shortcodes
  • Image lightbox
  • Allow comments and ratings on images
  • Infinite scroll and load more
  • Filterable galleries by tag (for free, which most other plugins charge for)
  • Search box to let visitors search gallery items
  • Image watermarks
  • Video gallery support
  • Import images from Instagram or Google Photos
  • Social sharing
  • eCommerce support (with add-on)

Pricing

The core Photo Gallery plugin is available for free at WordPress.org. However, the free layouts are pretty basic, so you can probably find better free options in terms of style. The Pro version has most of the more stylish layouts. It starts at $30 for use on a single site.

More Info / Download Demo

6. Gmedia Photo Gallery

GMedia Photo Gallery

When playing around with Gmedia Photo Gallery, I kept thinking of the word “unique”, which is why you’ll see this word a lot in the description below.

The most unique thing about Gmedia Photo Gallery is that it includes a companion iOS app that lets you manage your galleries from your smartphone, which is pretty cool if you’re using your phone for pictures and on the go a lot (e.g. a travel blogger). You can also show a map with the geolocation of your photos, which is another cool travel feature.

Overall, this plugin just generally has a lot of unique features, which is good for unique use cases but may be overkill for simple galleries.

Key Features

  • Unique gallery layouts, such as a Cubik 3D gallery and a music or video player for galleries of those types
  • Separate image management interface but has an option to import from the WordPress Media Library
  • iOS application to manage galleries
  • Albums
  • Google Maps integration to show the geolocation of your gallery photos
  • Private galleries (e.g. only for logged-in users)
  • Comments on gallery items

Pricing

The core Gmedia Photo Gallery plugin is available for free at WordPress.org.

Then, there’s a premium version starting at just $29.99 for a single site, as well as some standalone add-ons that cost ~$16 each.

More Info / Download Demo

7. Meow Gallery

Meow Gallery

Meow Gallery is a simple WordPress gallery plugin that works natively inside the WordPress block editor.

That is, there’s no separate interface — you’ll configure everything from the block settings while working inside the editor.

Meow Gallery example

Despite that, it still has some advanced features and layouts, such as Lightroom integration and a map layout that lets you show gallery items on Google Maps (great for travel bloggers).

Key Features

  • Native WordPress block – no separate settings area
  • Seven different layouts, including the unique map layout
  • Integrates with the separate Meow Lightbox plugin for lightbox galleries
  • Drag-and-drop reordering of gallery positions
  • Custom crop positions
  • Infinite scroll
  • Lazy loading for improved performance

Pricing

Most of the features in Meow Gallery are available in the free version at WordPress.org.

You’ll only need the Pro version for infinite scroll/lazy loading, the carousel and map layouts, and animations. The Pro version costs just $19.

More Info / Download Demo

8. Essential Grid

Essential Grid

Essential Grid is the most popular gallery plugin at CodeCanyon, where it’s been purchased over 45,000 times while maintaining an excellent 4.71-star rating on over 1,400 reviews. It also comes from the same developer as the massively popular Slider Revolution plugin.

As the name suggests, it’s focused on helping you create all types of grid galleries. You can use images or bring in WordPress content such as posts or custom post types (including WooCommerce products). Or, you can connect to external services such as Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Flickr, and more.

There’s also a visual skin editor, which lets you create your own layouts for gallery items. For example, if you’re creating a gallery of WooCommerce products, you can include each product’s price, an add-to-cart button, and other elements.

Key Features

  • Multiple gallery layouts, including a template library with 50+ starter grids
  • Create galleries from tons of different sources
  • Image, video, and audio galleries
  • Galleries from posts or custom post types (including WooCommerce products)
  • Galleries from dynamic sources, including Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Flickr, SoundCloud, and more
  • Integration with other plugins such as WooCommerce and The Events Calendar
  • Gallery filters
  • Visual skin builder to control how gallery items look, including 20+ pre-built skins

Pricing

Essential Grid costs $69 at CodeCanyon, which gets you lifetime updates and six months of support.

More Info / Download Demo

9. Global Gallery

Global Gallery

Global Gallery is another popular WordPress gallery plugin at CodeCanyon, where it has over 4,800 sales and a 4.55-star rating.

It lets you create searchable and filterable galleries from a ton of different sources, including social media sites, Google Drive, RSS feeds, local folders, and more.

You’ll get four different layouts, 10 lightbox options, as well as an option to create sliders or carousels from your images.

Key Features

  • Four gallery layouts
  • 10 lightbox options
  • Pull images from WordPress Media Library or local folders
  • Google Drive integration
  • Social media integrations to pull images from Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and more
  • Integrates with any RSS feed
  • Gallery filters
  • Gallery search box
  • Albums (called “gallery collections”)
  • Image comments in lightbox
  • Watermarks

Pricing

Global Gallery costs $29 at CodeCanyon, which gets you lifetime updates and six months of support.

More Info / Download Demo

10. Media Boxes Portfolio

Media Boxes Portfolio

As the name suggests, Media Boxes Portfolio is a little more focused on helping you create a gallery portfolio, though you could certainly use it for other things, too.

Some of the features that make it suited to a portfolio are gallery filters, a search box, and sorting options. However, you can also use a variety of gallery content sources, including videos and any post type, which adds some extra flexibility.

Key Features

  • jQuery grid galleries
  • Use any source — images or custom post types (e.g. “Portfolio Items”, blog posts, products, and more)
  • Unlimited gallery filters
  • Gallery search box to let visitors search gallery items (it works with the filters, so you can let people search the already-filtered results)
  • Gallery sort options 
  • Lightbox from Fancybox and Magnific Popup
  • Deep linking

Pricing

Media Boxes Portfolio costs $23 at CodeCanyon, which gets you lifetime updates and six months of support.

More Info / Download Demo

11. Justified Image Grid

Justified Image Grid

After Essential Grid, Justified Image Grid is the second most popular WordPress gallery plugin at CodeCanyon. It’s been purchased over 21,000 times while still maintaining an excellent 4.79-star rating on over 1,700 reviews.

Like Essential Grid, one of Justified Image Grid’s strong point is that it lets you pull in gallery items from lots of different sources, including images, blog posts, WooCommerce products, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and more.

It also gives you lots of settings for customizing how your galleries function.

Key Features

  • Automatic justified layout (hence the name)
  • Customize rows and dimensions as needed
  • Mobile-specific settings
  • Six different lightbox options
  • Import content from any post type, including blog posts and WooCommerce products
  • Integrates with NextGEN Gallery and Real Media Library
  • Integrates with Facebook, Flickr, or any RSS feed (including YouTube, Vimeo, DeviantArt, Pinterest, and more)
  • Video gallery support from YouTube, Vimeo, or self-hosted videos
  • Gallery filters by categories, tags, custom taxonomies, or author name
  • Infinite scroll and load more
  • Download link (optional)

Pricing

Justified Image Grid costs $27 at CodeCanyon, which gets you lifetime updates and six months of support.

More Info / Download Demo

Which Is the Best WordPress Gallery Plugin?

Spoiler alert — there’s no single best WordPress gallery plugin. There’s only the best gallery plugin for you, and that depends on your needs, knowledge level, and budget. So let’s walk through a few scenarios.

If you’re just a regular person who wants to easily create a great-looking gallery of their images (or a portfolio or something), then I think the best option is Modula. It’s free, the galleries look great (and you get that neat grid customizer feature), and it still has some advanced features such as gallery filters, deep linking, and video support.

Some other good options for casual users are:

  • FooGallery – the galleries look great and it’s easy to use.
  • Meow Gallery – since it’s just a block, this is about as simple as it gets.

On the other hand, if you’re a power user like a photographer or visual artist, you might want something with a little more firepower. In that case, I would say go with NextGEN Gallery because it’s pretty much built for your use case. Just remember that you’ll need to go with the paid version for the good stuff.

Envira Gallery can be another good option here that’s a little simpler (personally, I find Envira Gallery to be a little easier to use). However, remember that, as of early 2020, Envira Gallery and NextGEN Gallery are owned by the same company, so you might see some standardization and cross-pollination going forward.

Side note – if you are a photographer, be sure to check out our collections of the best photography themes or the best free themes for photographers.

Finally, galleries aren’t just for images — you can also use them to showcase blog posts, products, or custom post types. For that use case, I think Essential Grid is probably your best option because it’s so flexible. Justified Image Grid is also a solid option that allows for lots of dynamic uses.

Do you still have any questions about finding the best WordPress gallery plugin for your situation? Ask away in the comments!

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