Any WordPress users wish to seek for a good gallery plugin which makes photo galleries more attractive, at the same time bring users pleasant experience when browsing a website. Therefore, website admins need to resort to speedy, easy-to-use and highly compatible gallery plugin with striking features. In this article, we will shed light on some of the best gallery plugins for WordPress websites.
As you may know, the majority of websites have photo galleries since everyone loves uploading their images on websites. That’s the reason why WordPress provides a built-in gallery feature at present. However, these default galleries do not really excel in both functional and aesthetic aspects. As a result, website admins resort to other gallery plugins for WordPress to increase the attractiveness of galleries and offer users the greatest experience on websites.
So how is a good gallery plugin?
4 criteria to choose the best gallery plugin for WordPress
Speed – top criterion
Speed is the first and foremost criterion you should take into account when choosing a gallery plugin for your WordPress website. A fast speed will better support SEO, at the same time bring your users awesome experience and make them stay longer on your website.
Ease of use
We normally think that galleries only support uploading images on websites. However, these galleries also help you re-organize layouts and columns, specify dimensions, choose lightboxes and animations. Therefore, some newbies may meet a lot of difficulty if a gallery plugin is too complex. Due to that, website admins need to look for an easy-to-use, user-friendly WordPress gallery plugin.
In order to create a beautiful photo gallery, a gallery plugin should include certain features like lightboxes, albums, full-screen mode, slideshow, pagination, redirecting, password protection, EXIF data, and social sharing. What you should notice is that only necessary features, not all features, are chosen. The huge number of features may slow down your website.
WordPress allows admins to freely move their websites from one host to another. Consequently, you need to consider whether the backup, Import/ Export data of photo galleries are easy or not.
At present, there are tons of gallery plugins for WordPress. What matters is without proper coding, galleries will slow down a website, even if that website has a good hosting. So this post will compare gallery plugins to each other to find out the best gallery plugin for WordPress.
Comparing 3 most popular gallery plugins
In this part, the main comparison criteria are speed, features, ease of use and compatibility. 3 leading WordPress gallery plugins, including Envira Gallery, Foo Gallery, NextGEN Gallery, will be compared to clarify advantages of each plugin, thus picking out what’s the best gallery plugin.
Envira Gallery is a gallery plugin which loads images in the fastest way regardless of page sizes, nearly double Foo Gallery and NextGEN.
- Page Load time: 1.08 secs
- Requests: 24
- Page size: 1MB
Envira Gallery has the smallest page load time since it is highly coded and optimized in terms of speed. If you want your website to load faster and perform better, Envira Gallery is the first choice.
Ease of use
Envira Gallery meets all coding standards of WordPress with the most optimal solutions. Envira creates a new interface similar to that when creating a new post in WordPress, so it’s so easy to use.
When a gallery is created, a shortcode will be displayed, which enables website admins to add the gallery to any post. Besides, Envira Gallery also has another button next to Media Upload which allows admins to quickly edit a post or helps users to easily add a new gallery to a page/ post on their websites.
What is more, Envira Gallery also lets website admins see template tags used in WordPress templates. If you’re a developer and want to build a website for your customers, you can attach galleries into theme files.
Envira Gallery comes with some features like choosing reduced sizes, gallery layouts, animations, adding meta tags for images on single user interface.
Additionally, Envira Gallery has many other features if website admins install add-ons like video, gallery templates, social media integration, password protection and images, slideshow, Pinterest, deeplinking, full-screen mode, album, etc.
Photo galleries are stored in the form of custom post types in WordPress database. Specifically, when admins save their WordPress sites, all of Envira Gallery are also stored.
With above features, Envira Gallery deserves to become the best gallery plugin for WordPress.
- Page Load time: 1.89 secs
- Requests: 23
- Page size: 357.1KB
Ease of use
Foo Gallery is a gallery plugin whose approach is quite similar to that of Envira Gallery (using simple user interface). Nevertheless, Foo Gallery has an extra button which is placed above post editor. Besides, Foo Gallery does not display template tags to embed galleries into files or templates.
Although Foo Gallery is not responsive on mobile, admins can choose responsive templates to add a new responsive gallery. Foo Gallery enables users to install Foobox plugin for free to add more functions of lightboxes. However, it will be much easier if they’re built-in with gallery plugin.
Foo Gallery is equipped with a wide range of extensions that can be installed to add other features such as cube effect, lightbox, custom branding.
Foo Gallery stores galleries in the form of custom post types in WordPress database. When backing up WordPress websites, the data of Foo Gallery is also stored. Nonetheless, Foo Gallery has no Import/ Export feature, so there is no option button when you want to export personal galleries.
- Page Load time: 1.88 secs
- Requests: 33
- Page size: 518KB
Ease of use
NextGEN is somewhat different from Envira Gallery and Foo Gallery. NextGEN does not use WordPress with its pre-built features. Instead, it employs its own interface. This interface has database tables and separate folders to store images, which makes the use of NextGEN a little more complicated in comparison with Envira Gallery and Foo Gallery. Particularly, users will have difficulty adding galleries to a page or post.
NextGEN Gallery also has an extra button in the image editor of WordPress, but users will see no button during their editing process.
NextGEN stores data in separate database tables, so it is impossible to Import/ Export. This requires admins to configure the plugin to backup WordPress to have those tables.
For NextGEN Gallery, users should download separate folders to make a back up.
As evaluated by experts, Envira Gallery is the most speedy and easy-to-use. The second place belongs to Foo Gallery and NextGEN is the last one in the list. Though NextGEN is not fast and difficult to use, its extensions are diverse and perfect, which is highly appropriate with WordPress users who have deep understanding of WordPress and are looking for new discoveries and experiences.
As a result, to choose the best gallery plugin of WordPress, users should consider their goals, needs, and proficiency to choose the most suitable plugin.
Hope this comparison can help users to choose the best gallery plugin for your WordPress websites. Good luck!