Galleries are useful for everyone from hobby bloggers to professional photographers, so you have plenty of great free options when it comes to WordPress gallery plugins.
In this post, I’ve collected your top options, all of which have a free version (though almost all have premium versions as well, if you need some more features).
Some are just focused on making it super easy to create a stylish gallery, while others are more heavy-duty options with dedicated tools for photographers or other visual artists. No matter what you’re looking for, you should be able to find a great option.
Let’s get straight to the plugins…
1. Modula Gallery
If you’re a regular WordPress user looking for an easy way to create some great-looking galleries, Modula Gallery is definitely one of your best options. It’s focused on creating grid galleries, which look professional right out of the box.
One of the coolest things is that it includes an actual drag-and-drop grid builder that you can use to customize every part of your grid. Or, you can also just let the plugin automatically generate the grid for you if you prefer a more hands-off approach.
If you want more features, there’s also a Pro version that adds video support, gallery filters, deeplinking, sliders, and more.
Overall, if you want a flexible, but still simple, way to create stylish photo galleries, this one is a good place to start.
- Pros: Easy to use, galleries look great right away, has the unique custom drag-and-drop grid builder
- Cons: Need the Pro version for some features that other plugins give for free (e.g. video support, deeplinking, and some others)
Price: Starts free. Pro version from just $25.
2. NextGEN Gallery
NextGEN Gallery is a heavy-duty photo gallery plugin for photographers or other creative professionals.
If you’re just a casual user who wants to quickly create some nice-looking galleries, this is not the plugin for you. But if you’re, say, a photographer who needs to manage hundreds/thousands of images and maybe even sell them or work with clients, then NextGEN Gallery is one of the top options.
For example, some of the advanced features that NextGEN Gallery offers include:
- Dedicated gallery management area that’s separate from the WordPress Media Library and allows you to upload files via FTP
- Adobe Lightroom integration
- Client proofing feature
- Built-in eCommerce feature to sell digital or physical prints
- Automatic print fulfillment via an integration with White House Custom Colour (very unique feature)
Of course, NextGEN Gallery also includes lots of different gallery layouts to help you create stylish galleries. The free version is a little limited in what it gives you, but the Pro version comes with a wide variety of layouts to choose from.
- Pros: Tons of advanced features for photographers, eCommerce support, dedicated gallery management, lots of gallery layouts (with the Pro version)
- Cons: Too complicated for casual users, need the Pro version to create stylish galleries
3. Envira Gallery
Like NextGEN Gallery, Envira Gallery is another WordPress gallery plugin that makes an especially great option for photographers or other power users. However, it’s also a lot simpler than NextGEN Gallery, so this one can be a good option for casual users, too.
A bit of background – the owner of Envira Gallery actually purchased NextGEN Gallery in 2020, so the two are now owned by the same person (though still run as separate plugins, at least as of when I’m writing this post).
In the free version, Envira Gallery already gives you a pretty simple way to create some stylish galleries, including mosaic galleries. But if you’re willing to go Pro, you’ll also get access to lots of advanced features such as:
- eCommerce support via a WooCommerce integration
- Client proofing
- Video support
- Dynamic galleries (e.g. create a gallery of blog posts or WooCommerce products)
- Social media integrations
- Pros: Does a good job of blending ease of use with advanced features, lots of flexibility options with the Pro version
- Cons: None stick out, but you can find some other options that have better free features in some areas
Price: Starts free. Pro from just $19
4. Meow Gallery
Meow Gallery is the simplest photo gallery plugin on this list, but I’m including it near the top because sometimes simple is all you really need.
The unique thing about Meow Gallery is that it doesn’t have its own interface. Instead, you’ll do everything through the native WordPress block editor (AKA Gutenberg), which makes for a really streamlined gallery creation process.
The plugin gives you a dedicated block to create your gallery and you’ll configure everything about your gallery’s layout and style using that block’s settings.
You’ll get a few different gallery layouts including:
- Justified (like Flickr)
- Square (like Instagram)
There’s also an Adobe Lightroom integration and, with the Pro version, you can show your gallery items on a map layout (which is great for travel bloggers who want to showcase trips).
- Pros: Super simple, lets you work from inside the block editor, Pro version has a unique map layout
- Cons: Not as flexible as some other gallery plugins
Price: Starts free. Paid version from just $19.
FooGallery is another popular free gallery plugin that’s pretty generous with its free features. Even without cracking open your wallet, you’ll still get six different gallery layouts, album support, hover effects, and more.
It doesn’t come with a built-in lightbox feature by default, but you can easily integrate it with the free FooBox plugin from the same developer to add lightbox to your galleries.
There’s also an affordable Pro version that adds lots of other advanced features such as gallery filters, more layouts, deeplinking, and dynamic galleries from Adobe Lightroom, Instagram, and other sources.
- Pros: Solid free feature list (including albums), integrates with the block editor, lots of customization options
- Cons: Need a separate plugin to add lightbox support, Pro version is a little more expensive than some alternatives
Price: Starts free. Pro version from $59.
6. Photo Gallery by 10Web
Photo Gallery by 10Web is another popular option that sits kind of in between the simpler gallery plugins and the advanced options like NextGEN Gallery. For example, it still offers dedicated image management that’s separate from the WordPress Media Library but, at least in my opinion, it doesn’t feel quite as complicated.
It also has a solid free feature list, with useful features such as audio and video support, albums, image watermarking, and more. However, you’ll need the Pro version to unlock the more interesting layouts, such as mosaic or masonry galleries.
The Pro version also adds other more advanced features such as social sharing buttons, an Instagram integration, eCommerce support, and more.
- Pros: Has advanced features while still being pretty simple, supports audio and video (as well as images), has some generous free features
- Cons: You need the Pro version to unlock the stylish gallery layouts
Price: Starts free. Pro version from $30.