You have tons of cool images that you want to share with your readers. But you don’t want to put them in one huge list because…well, it’s ugly, hard for readers to use, and it’s likely readers never make it to the bottom, which is a waste of your awesome images.
So what’s the solution?
An image gallery.
But how do you create an image gallery in WordPress?
That’s what we’re here to help with!
In this post, we’ll show you how easy it is to get up and running with a simple image gallery on your WordPress site. Then, we’ll share a plugin that can help you create even more beautiful galleries and give you more control over styling.
Creating An Image Gallery In WordPress is Easy
By default, every single WordPress site has the functionality to create a basic image gallery. It’s not always the most stylish gallery… but if you just want to display your photos in a simple grid, it gets the job done.
Here’s the thing about the gallery feature, though:
It’s not always super obvious where it is. Heck, we know tons of WordPress users who don’t even know that they can create a gallery without a plugin!
So, here’s how easy it is to do, step-by-step.
Step 1: Click Add Media In The WordPress Editor
To get started, head to the normal WordPress editor where you write your posts and pages.
Then, click the Add Media button like you’re going to upload/insert a single image. Only, instead of inserting a single image, click on the Create Gallery link in the sidebar:
Step 2: Choose Which Images To Use In Gallery
In the Create Gallery area, you can either upload new images or select multiple images from your Media Library by clicking on each image that you want to use in your gallery.
Once you’ve uploaded/selected all the images you want to include in your gallery, click the Create a new gallery button in the bottom-right corner:
Step 3: Configure Gallery Settings
At this point, you should be in the Edit Gallery interface. And you should only see the images that you’ve already chosen to add to your gallery.
Here’s where you configure your gallery. Under the GALLERY SETTINGS heading, you’ll want to configure four options:
- Link To: this determines what happens if a visitor clicks on an individual image in your gallery. You can either remove the link or link to the image’s actual file location or attachment page.
- Columns: this specifies how many columns to use in your gallery. For example, if you choose 3 columns, your gallery will display 3 images on each line.
- Random Order: when checked, WordPress will randomize the order of how it displays gallery images. You can also manually set the order by dragging and dropping the image thumbnails.
- Size: this determines the size of the images in your gallery. The sizes are ordered from smallest to largest.
Beyond the GALLERY SETTINGS, you can also add an optional caption to each individual image in your gallery by using the text box underneath each image.
When you’re happy with how everything is configured, click the Insert gallery button in the bottom-right corner:
Step 4: Enjoy Your New Gallery
And that’s it! You should see a live preview of your gallery in the WordPress editor:
And as soon as you publish your post, you’ll see the same type of gallery on the frontend of your site:
Some Potential Issues With The Native WordPress Gallery Functionality
While the native WordPress gallery functionality is fine for basic galleries, you may have noticed some issues in the example above.
First, the gallery will look fine if all of your images are the exact same dimensions. But if you have some images with different dimensions, you’re going to end up with odd spacing and gaps like this:
Second, the core gallery just plain doesn’t have a lot of advanced functionality. For example, you can’t add:
- Lightbox popups that display the full-size image
- Hover effects when visitors mouseover gallery items
- Filter effects to add neat stylistic elements to your gallery
- Niche elements like social share buttons
So if you want to create more stylish and/or functional galleries, you’re going to need a dedicated WordPress gallery plugin.
How To Create More Advanced WordPress Galleries With Modula
Modula is a free WordPress image gallery plugin that lets you quickly create more advanced types of WordPress galleries.
Because it’s a grid gallery, it’s also better at handling galleries with images of different dimensions.
For example, here’s how it can automatically put together different image sizes to create one cohesive gallery:
And because Modula uses responsive design, your gallery will also rearrange itself so that it looks great no matter what type of device a visitor is browsing from.
Creating a gallery is just as simple. You:
- Set a width and height for your gallery
- Choose whether or not to add titles and captions to gallery images
- Upload your gallery images
- Insert your gallery using a shortcode
If needed, you can then go dig into more advanced settings to configure filters, effects, social share buttons, and more.
Enjoy Your New WordPress Gallery Power
If you just want to create a basic gallery and your images are all the same dimensions, using the core WordPress gallery functionality can get the job done.
But if you want to create more feature-rich, aesthetic galleries, you’ll need a WordPress image gallery plugin.
No matter what route you end up going down, enjoy your newfound power to better display your images on WordPress!