Over the years that I have used WordPress, both for my own sites and clients’, I dove into various gallery plugins. From simple ones that worked with the WordPress default gallery to more complex and feature-filled options. Often when you are looking for a robust gallery plugin, you have specific needs in mind. You may find that perfect one with little effort or you may find it’s closer to learning rocket science than you had expected.
Ease and power don’t always go hand in hand. But with the Envira Gallery plugin, that’s essentially its strong point.
A Few Thoughts About Galleries on Your WordPress Site
Before I dive into this plugin, I’d like to share a few thoughts on galleries. Often we find ourselves suffering from tunnel vision when it comes to plugins. When we think gallery, we think photos. That takes us thinking more about sites that need to display photos. A photographer’s business site. An architect. An artist. Or maybe we think of galleries of photos for real estate. See where I am going here?
But galleries can be used in so many other ways. And there may be creative uses that you haven’t even thought of yet. Myself, I have used them for sponsors, tutorials, and other means of sharing visual content. Of course, that doesn’t even touch on galleries of videos. My point here is that even though you may be thinking you don’t need galleries, there might be some missed opportunities here.
The Envira Gallery Plugin for WordPress
Let’s start with the basics. Though global settings are limited, as the real power is behind individual galleries, there are some very useful settings here.
Each one of these is worth paying attention to. I don’t know if you have ever changed the URL of your site, but their option to fix the gallery images with a single click is cool. I also like the option of globally having the choice to append new images to the beginning or end of galleries. Of course, you will be able to drag and drop the order easily as this setting may not be the best choice for all situations.
Also, the option to have images in galleries completely removed from your media library by image or gallery deletion certainly will keep your media library clean.
Options for changing your slug and also the stand-alone feature are great if you do a lot of galleries where you want them to have their own URL and page.
Adding a New Envira Gallery
I really love the interface of Envira Gallery. When starting that new gallery, here is the page you will get:
Let’s take a closer look at these settings.
Adding your images to your galleries is as simple as adding them to your media library. Through the Native Envira Gallery, it’s drag and drop, from your computer or your media library.
If we choose Select Files from Other Sources, we also can access images from Dropbox. I activated the add-on for Dropbox, connected it to my account (which was easy), and am good to go.
The External Gallery will show if you have used an add-on that will import from another gallery. In this instance, I used the one for Instagram. You will see that I get several options of settings for this import. And it was as simple to connect to as Dropbox was. I will share the other add-ons for image import later in this post.
Your Gallery Images
Once you have uploaded your images for your gallery, the first setting to look at is the Images tab. For this example, I just uploaded some random photos. Here I can drag and drop the order, click on the pencil icon to edit the image details in the media library or simply delete the image. I can also view this gallery in the same way that I can view my media library, grid or list view.
Configurations of Your Gallery
Without any add-ons, you can see that there are plenty of options here to set up your gallery. I have also highlighted a couple of the dropdown choices to give you a better idea of what’s available. Note that in the Image Size, it also includes the image sizes I have set for my products in WooCommerce.
Lightbox Settings for Your Envira Gallery
As with configuring your actual gallery, you can see there that there are also several choices when setting up the lightbox, if you choose to have one for your gallery.
Multiple Column Galleries
When you choose to have more than one column, you will get these added options in your Configurations.
Below, you can see a simple 3-column gallery and a Lightbox Gallery activated.
In the previous gallery, we had all horizontal images. But If I add into the mix some vertical, then I will want to Enable Isotope so that now I can get a Masonry Gallery like this.
Making Your Envira Gallery Mobile-Friendly
We all know how important it is to have a mobile-friendly site. And if you want to make sure your site visitors get the best experience from your galleries from a screen as small as a smartphone, even more control is better. Out-of-the-box Envira Galley is mobile-friendly. But with these settings you can tweak the mobile experience even more. Options like controlling the size of the image and choosing to show the lightbox or not on mobile are two of the great choices you will have. Also I like the touchswipe and the swipe up for the lightboxes.
Some Miscellaneous Settings
You will find a few more settings here, including an easy way to export/import an Envira Gallery.
Inserting Your Gallery
Adding the gallery to any page or post is easy. You can get the shortcode from the list of your galleries and place it anywhere you want.
Or use the Add Gallery button on your page or post:
Which opens this window where you can choose from your galleries:
Add-ons: The Power Behind the Envira Gallery Plugin
The super-powers behind this plugin lie in the add-ons. As you can see from this list. there is just about anything you could think you might need. From customizations, to image protection, to creating video galleries or just some very cool enhancements, it’s all here.
As much as I would love to get into them more, especially that WooCommerce one, I will save those for some future posts where I can focus more on one, two or three of them.
As I add those posts here on the blog, I will leave links to them as well.
I know that I have some cool thoughts on ways to use this plugin for some other upcoming posts, and I’m sure as you think about all that this plugin can do for you, you will also find varied uses.
I highly recommend checking it out. Whether you are a photographer looking to showcase you images, a blogger that has some great ideas for galleries, or a business or online store owner with specific gallery needs, make your way over to the Envira Gallery Plugin site and see what it can do for you.