They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If so, then these photo gallery plugins for WordPress must be worth volumes. Each plugin creates the photo gallery a bit differently — jquery slideshows, flash slideshows, automatically from your flickr set — which you choose is purely a matter of preference.
Image galleries are one of those features that can help your website or blog rise above the rest. Quality photos can draw in your visitors and keep them on your site longer. Sure, you can still add eye candy to your blog using the default installation of WordPress. But if you really want to go for sugar-overload, then you need to include a photo gallery.
Here are five WordPress photo gallery plugins that can add some interactivity and pop to your blog. Now that’s sweet.
The NextGEN Gallery is a great photo plugin, and probably the one most WordPress users are familiar with. The primary feature is its power to create flash slideshows — upload your pictures, add a title and caption and, the theory goes, you’ll be showing crisp photos on your blog in no time.
Because, it has so many options, I’ve always found NextGen Gallery to be one of the more difficult plugins to manage. There’s just more that can go wrong and more to settings to be aware of. There are easier image galleries below if you don’t need all the bells and whistles.
WP-Cycle is unique from most WordPress photo gallery plugins in how it has all the appearances and feel of a flash photo viewer — without the flash. It uses the jQuery Cycle Plugin to create a slideshow of the images that smoothly transition in a continuous loop. The slideshow is set to pause when the user hovers over an image, giving them ample time to click the link.
WP-Cycle uses the built in media uploader from WordPress, making it easy for even non-techies to use.
The Flickr Photo Album plugin for WordPress is a favorite among bloggers because it makes inserting a Flickr photo gallery so easy. Pull in Flickr photosets and display them as albums using a simple customizable template.
The plugin includes options for several Lightbox-style display libraries, different linking options (either to Flickr or the album on your domain), shortcodes or a quick-link icon for inserting galleries, and a widget for adding photos in your sidebar.
Picasa Photos, another popular WordPress photo gallery plugin, uses RSS to fetch photos from your Picasa account and display them randomly. You can put a gallery in a post, page or sidebar widget. The plugin recently underwent a complete overhaul. It now has its own settings page and integrates with thickbox styling.
Picasa Photos is especially useful for the user looking for something quick and easy.
If you like the smooth transitions of Flash, then this photo gallery plugin is worth consideration. Flash Photo Gallery lets you add multiple photos and galleries to both pages and posts by embedding swf files. The resulting galleries look the Adobe Photoshop CS2 Flash Web Photo Gallery templates. Site owners can still use the regular WordPress media upload options for uploading images. The image galleries are called with shortcodes. This plugin offers a lot of customizable features to give your blog some pop.