Having a website is not enough these days. Everyone already does. It’s a game of who gets people’s attention more. Hence, it’s also important that you pay extra attention to what your website looks like.
People are enticed by good design and good visuals. Photos aren’t only for bloggers or photographers’ websites anymore. All kinds of businesses can benefit from displaying photos on their website.
That’s what Envira Gallery is for. It makes creating and displaying galleries on your WordPress website easier for anyone to do without having to know how to code. In this post, we’ll drill down how to use it and what makes it the best gallery plugin for WordPress.
What is Envira Gallery?
Envira Gallery is a plugin for creating media galleries for your WordPress website. Photos and videos from your own folders, WordPress media archive, or various other sources can be turned into a grid gallery or slideshow. Galleries your create can be displayed on the pages within your site or shared to other social media platforms.
What you see in the video includes a preview of some premium features offered for a fee, but Envira Gallery’s basic features are available from the WordPress plugin repository with over hundreds of thousands of downloads.
It’s commonly used by photographers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses to showcase their portfolio or proof of their work. Note that the plugin is available only for Business accounts on WordPress, as most plugins are.
Best of Envira Gallery
The vast selection of features offered by Envira Gallery is enough to supply all the needs of an agency. We’ll get to those later. For the meantime, let’s shift our focus on the main features that make Envira Gallery a popular choice for gallery plugins by WordPress users.
The following features are what you’ll get from the base plugin, either as a built-in feature or a free addon, when you download Envira Gallery on WordPress.
Drag & Drop Gallery Builder
The drag and drop builder takes the complicated coding work out of creating galleries. Choosing photos to include for the gallery is just the same as when you upload photos to WordPress Media. You can also arrange the sequence of photos the same way, to further customize people’s experience with viewing your gallery.
Pre-built Gallery Templates
Under Envira Gallery on the sidebar of the WordPress dashboard, click Addons. You’ll be directed to a page where templates can be installed. Once it is activated, you can go back to the Configure tab in Envira’s gallery builder. You can now choose from these template options from a dropdown menu:
- Base (main)
Responsive Media for Mobile Devices
This is more of a quality of Envira Gallery photos rather than a feature. You can always attempt to create galleries through WordPress’ Media but the photos don’t always match in terms of size or the gaps in between photos will be off.
The biggest frustration is when the photos don’t appear as good on mobile as they do on browser because of size inconsistencies. Envira Gallery is designed to have a responsive display, so all photos will be displayed the same on laptops, mobile, and tablets.
Galleries created with Envira Gallery don’t have to always be displayed on a post or a page. You can create one with its own link URL, so people can view it as a standalone content. You can also edit the keywords that will show up in the URL when you enable this feature, to improve its searchability.
Lightbox Popup Images
Similar to the templates, you can activate this feature so people can view your images in a supersized popup that shows the full dimensions of the image in your entire window. Best for photographers, this allows people to experience your photography up close without losing its quality or changing the size to fit a certain dimension.
In addition to those basic features, there are several addons that are available. Some of them come with the plan that you have to pay for. I’ve grouped them in categories so you can better navigate to what you need:
- Albums - Don’t lose your galleries when they get buried deep in the archives. Organize them in albums, so you can find them easier.
- Videos - Embed videos uploaded on other platforms like Youtube, Vimeo, Instagram, etc.
- Watermarking capabilities - Get your brand known and protect your work by inputting your watermark. You only have to upload it once and it will show up for all the photos in your gallery.
- Slideshow - Those slideshows that you see on homepages that move to the next photo automatically can also be done through Envira Gallery, complete with the autoplay settings. You can also add the slideshow to any page or post.
- Pagination - Pagination allows you to spread galleries into different pages. Decide how many images viewers will see in every page. This is especially useful for galleries of over a hundred images, so viewers will not grow numb of scrolling through a long gallery.
- Deeplinking - Deeplinking enables you to customize URLs that can be indexed for better ranking in SERPs. You can also query an image through the URL using hashes, so you or users can find a specific image quickly.
- Proofing - Image proofing gives users the ability to select which photos they like, the number of copies they want, and what size they want it in. This is super helpful for photographers to coordinate with their clients, or artists who sell their prints online.
- Tags - Where would your photos be without proper organization? In a vast archive of untitled photos. Good luck looking for them one by one. They might as well be gone! Tags help with better organization. You can easily find similar photos that are not on the same albums.
- Password protection - Another helpful tool for photographers or businesses, password protection prevents unauthorized people from accessing your galleries.
- EXIF - The EXIF feature allows you to display relevant information about the photo. When you enable the feature, you can select which data to display on the lower right of the photo. These include the camera make, camera model, aperture, shutter speed, focal length, or ISO.
- Featured Content - Create galleries based on your latest posts or pages and display them on your homepage.
- Dynamic Gallery - Create galleries from photos that are already in your media archive using only a short code that you paste onto a new post.
- Default Settings - If creating an Envira Gallery isn’t already easy, you can cut down even more time by saving a default setting and using that for future gallery creations.
- CSS - If you want to customize the look of the gallery even more, you can enable a CSS box to input your own code and change the appearance of the gallery and lightbox.
- Downloads - The Download addon lets you have full control over how users download your photos. You can let them download a whole gallery or just a specific image, password protect them, and set the filename for the download.
- Breadcrumbs - This addon inserts a breadcrumb navigation on the page with a gallery if it is part of an album. This way you can click on the album and see the other galleries that are also under the same album.
- Zoom - The zoom feature allows a high-resolution close-up of your photos.
- Printing - The printing feature allows users to print your photos but you can control who gets to have this access.
- Guttenberg blocks - This makes Envira Gallery specifically compatible for WordPress 5.0.
- Social sharing - Allow your website visitors to share your photos to their social media accounts by displaying social links on the photos themselves.
- Pinterest - Add the “Pin It” button to your photos. It’s only displayed when your photo is opened up into a lightbox popup, and you can choose whether you want the white, gray, or red button, so it wouldn’t interfere with the rest of the photo.
- Instagram - Once you activate this addon and authenticate your Instagram account, you can create galleries and choose the Instagram type so it looks like a grid view from your Instagram profile.
- WooCommerce - Envira Gallery can be integrated with the native WooCommerce plugin, so the photos on your gallery can be sold directly. Again, this is very useful for artists and photographers who sell digital or physical prints of their work.
- Lightroom - Sync Envira Gallery with your Adobe Lightroom collection and create galleries using photos you’ve already edited.
- Dropbox importer - This plugin is important for those who heavily use Dropbox for image sharing in their business. With this, you can create galleries without downloading from Dropbox and then uploading to Envira Gallery.
- NextGEN - If you have galleries and photos from NextGEN but don’t want to use the plugin anymore, you can import and transfer them quickly with this addon.
- ZIP Importer - No need to open a zip file. Import directly to Envira Gallery when you enable this addon and go to the configure settings.
How to Install Envira Gallery to Your WordPress Site
There are a number of ways that you can get Envira Gallery. First one, as I’ve mentioned at least twice already in this article, I think, is through the WordPress plugins repository. You just have to click the Download button.
Afterwards, you should see Envira Gallery on the sidebar of your WordPress dashboard. From there, you can start creating galleries.
The other way is through the website itself. If you want to get a plan to access some addons, this is also the only way to get it. When you click on “Get Envira Gallery Now”, you’ll be directed to the pricing page.
Eventually you’ll have an account with Envira Gallery. You can download the Envira Gallery plugin from the site and manually add it to your WordPress on the Plugins tab.
Once added, you’ll have to activate the plugin with your license key found when you login to your account at Envira’s website. Copy the license key and verify it in the “Settings” tab of Envira Gallery on WordPress. Then, you can also enable the addons that come with the plan.
As I mentioned, Envira Gallery is available free of charge. Just search for it in WordPress plugins. However, that comes with limited features.
So many of Envira’s addons can only be accessed if you pay for a plan, which you can choose from Gallery Basic, Gallery Plus, Gallery Pro, and Gallery Agency.
Advantages of Envira Gallery
Wherever you look for feedback or reviews of Envira Gallery, you’ll get the same verdict: it’s superior against other gallery plugins for WordPress. The ease of use and abundance of addons make it very popular among users.
The thing is, that’s not all there is to it! I would’ve made a pros and cons list, but honestly there isn’t much to complain about Envira Gallery. There are, however, countless good feedback about specific features and qualities that everyone raves about and I just have to include here.
Optimized for Web and Server Performance
Only the basic features are included in the base plugin. The rest are addons. Other features are addons that you can select if you want or need them. As a result, the plugin is optimized to help your website load faster. This helps your SEO because faster websites are ranked higher on SERPs.
Create a gallery in minutes
If you’ve used the WordPress Media feature to create galleries, you’ve experienced true frustration. There’s no way that you can put two images side by side in a way that looks decent. One will always be off in size or position.
Even if you try to tweak the code a bit, it’s never the way you want them to be. The struggle is real with this one, but Envira Gallery can eliminate that with gallery creation that you can complete in minutes.
Quick loading time
Envira Gallery is designed to have responsive photos. Wherever you view them, the photos will load just as fast as the rest of the content on your website. If your website is heavily reliant on visuals, using Envira Gallery won’t affect user experience. In fact, it will enhance your website visitors’ experience of your website because of the quick loading time.
Interface integrates well with WordPress
I’ll have to give credit to the WordPress Media feature, though. Uploading photos are never an issue with the drag and drop functionality. It’s something I wish Facebook would adopt for FB ads.
At least, Envira Gallery has this feature too. I don’t even upload hundreds of photos at once, just about 20 max, and I’m already so thankful that I don’t have to select photos one by one from a popup upload folder. You can just drag and drop photos into Envira Gallery.
Flexibility with different devices
One of the best qualities that makes Envira Gallery almost necessary for all WordPress websites is its flexibility with all kinds of devices. Because of its responsive nature, the photos look the best wherever users view your website from.
The dimensions and quality automatically adjust to the device they’re being viewed from, so it’s always high quality to the people who view it.
Good user experience
Envira Gallery provides the easiest experience of creating galleries because of its very user-friendly navigation. From the Envira Gallery tab on your Dashboard, you can access almost all of the addons that you have and the rest of the settings on the base plugin with only a few clicks.
Everywhere I looked, Envira Gallery seems to be the favorite among all other gallery plugins available for WordPress, and I have to agree. The features make it super flexible to work with and the quality of service is impeccable considering the ease of the interface. It’s worth trying out because once you experience creating galleries with it, there’s no going back to WordPress’ built-in Media feature.