I get this request all the time. Can you recommend a good photo gallery plugin? Well, yes, but there are a ton of them out there, and some work better than others. Also, you will find a lot of themes that have galleries built in, especially portfolio styled themes. But that list is another post, another day.
And it can get complicated. But, for many bloggers, the ability to create a simple gallery in a single post is all they need. They just want a place where they can showcase photos from a trip, or a conference, or whatever.
So here is how to use the default WordPress gallery and how to add a simple plugin to create a slide show.
First, create a folder on your computer that has all the images you want in your gallery. Then find the spot in your post where you would like it, insert your cursor and go to your upload image buttons. Select all the images in that folder, upload and save. A window will open similar to this.
Here you have some options.
1. You can show any of the images to change their name, add an alt title, etc.
2. You can order your images by using the sort order and putting numbers in the boxes under Action. You also have a few choices to order images in the Gallery Settings.
3. You can choose how many columns you want the gallery to show.
Note: the gallery will create thumbnails according to the size in your default settings under Settings > Media.
Now here is where the native WordPress gallery isn’t so great. The options for “Link thumbnails to” is pretty lame. Basically, if you choose “Image File,” it will open up a blank window with your image in the upper left corner. If you choose “Attachment Page,” it will open up a new post with the image in it. Basically neither of these features make for a nice gallery.
There is a solution for this, though: the plugin jQuery Lightbox for Native Galleries. Simply search for it on your plugin page, install it and activate it and it will automatically create a nice slideshow from your native gallery. Just click on any image to see the slideshow. You can see a sample of this in action here.
A couple of additional notes.The only option you have with this gallery is a choice of 5 themes for display under Settings > jQuery Lightbox. Also, this gallery will pull in any images that are in your post as well. So if you need more control over size, which photos will show up in the gallery and multiple galleries on a single post, you might consider a more robust plugin like, for example, the NextGen Gallery. But for most bloggers, a simple gallery will work just fine.