WordPress makes personalizing and enhancing a website easy thanks to a vast library of plugins. Hundreds are available for just about anything, and if you go looking for a photo gallery plugin, don’t be surprised to discover many great options. For this post, I decided to winnow the field of contenders by focusing on plugins designed to integrate photos from one of the many free online photo services, such as Flickr.
Photo services, such as Flickr and Picasa, are one of the best ways to organize and store your photos. These free tools let you manage photos online and access them from any web browser. And these services make it easy to share and use photos online because they are optimized for the web.
I tested a handful of plugins designed to leverage these photo service websites and found Awesome Flickr Gallery and Photonic to be the easiest to both install and use. And both plugins featured a clean interface and were extremely customizable.
Awesome Flickr Gallery
This gallery is tailored to those with a Flickr account. Installation is easy with step-by-step instructions(link). There are also detailed instructions inside WordPress to use as you’re setting up the gallery. It supports both public and private photos, allows you to create multiple galleries from your Flickr account, includes customizable image sizes with cropping settings, and is customizable via CSS. Photos are also SEO friendly and compatible with search engine crawlers.
This plugin supports a combination of applications, such as Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug, and 500px Support. It works with any existing galleries you may already have, and even supports private/protected photos from selected galleries. This permits designated visitors to login and view particular photos — great for photographers wanting to share proofs with clients!
Both of these gallery plugins feature a Lightbox option, making it easy to view images directly from your website.
These are just a couple of the many photo gallery plugins available. If you find neither of these options fit your needs, you can search for alternatives here. I recommend installing and testing your top three options. Explore the interface and test the usability and customization capabilities of each plugin until you find one that best suits your needs. Let us know how these galleries worked for you and which you like best in the comments below!