When compared to other content management systems (CMS), WordPress’s image management is not always up to par. WordPress does a sufficient job of handling a header image, but if you need more, it becomes difficult to meet your needs. Fortunately, plugins like as NextGEN Gallery fill in the gaps and provide the level of customization and functionality that we need when developing an image-heavy website.
There are hundreds of image plugins available for WordPress, and each one provides a different set of functions at a different degree of functionality. How does NextGEN Gallery stack up against the other options, and do you think it’s worth the price?
Let’s find out!
NextGEN Gallery Review -- Summary
Yes, It has a free version also. It runs on a Freemium basis.
What We Liked
- Free version is genuinely usable.
- The setup wizard is mostly very good.
- Documentation and support is in clear English and understandable.
- Includes bulk tools for larger scale websites.
What We Didn't Like
- Annual pricing is not the cheapest way to pay for a premium plugin.
- Setup wizard has a tendency to get stuck.
- Limited to Stripe or PayPal payments if you stay within the plugin.
- WHCC fulfilment is based in US and is not cheap ($7.50 plus full postage).
Customize ,Ease of Use
Value for money
NextGEN Gallery Review -- Overview
NextGEN Gallery is an image gallery plugin for WordPress that was developed by Imagely. It has an overall rating of 4.5 stars and more than 800,000 active installations, making it one of the most well-known WordPress gallery plugins. You may use it to display your photographs or even sell them using a variety of well-known payment channels.
What exactly is it that NextGEN Gallery does? What doesn't it do?
It allows you to sell photographs directly from within the plugin, gives a variety of gallery kinds to choose from, has some strong features to assist manage images, bulk upload them, watermark them, easily build albums, add proofing, and even has the ability to watermark images.
You absolutely need to look at this plugin if you are a photographer or if you are in the process of establishing an image-based website using WordPress.
Both a free plugin that includes many of the most popular features and a premium plugin that costs money and includes a selection of the most sophisticated capabilities are both available for use with NextGEN Gallery.
Why do you a photo gallery on your website?
Images are of critical significance to the quality of the user experience provided by any website.
Because of our evolutionary history, the majority of us thrive off of being visually stimulated. The incorporation of visual stimulation into a website plays a role in this and will, as a result, improve the user experience for the great majority of people who access the internet.
Images have the ability to make your goods or services come to life, to exhibit your wares in a manner that words cannot, and to present things from every perspective. Images are also incredibly easy to share with others. The influence of social media is so great that no business can afford to ignore it in today’s environment.
A website that features some unique photographs of exceptional quality is immediately shareable. Your SEO may also be improved by tagging your photographs with the appropriate meta information.
WordPress includes several very nice capabilities for galleries and managing images, however these functions are restricted in their strength and reach. However, WordPress does have some very decent gallery features.
It is probable that such tools will be more than capable of handling a blog or a little website. When you are ready to begin working with photos in a more serious capacity, you are going to want a solution that is more robust. It is possible that NextGEN Gallery will incorporate each of these possibilities in some or all of their respective forms.
NextGEN Gallery is ideally suited for use by photographers, photography studios, graphic artists, and any other person or group that places a high value on photos. NextGEN Gallery is one of the greatest plugins you can use if you want to improve on the basic gallery capabilities that come standard with WordPress. If you want to build on those features, you’ll need to look into using a plugin.
NextGEN Gallery Review -- Top Features
NextGEN Gallery offers a great deal. Some features will be accessible in the free version, while all features will be available in the paid editions. Because of the quantity and effectiveness of these elements, we enjoy NextGEN Gallery so much.
Here are some of the plugin’s most important features:
- Multiple image display options.
- Image management tools.
- Client proofing feature.
- Bulk upload and editing tools.
- eCommerce elements with payment gateways.
- Automated print fulfilment option.
- Image protection features.
Multiple image display options.
NextGEN Gallery has several album choices that you may utilise based on your particular needs. You may utilise several display choices for various albums and precisely control how and where photographs are displayed. Options include tiles, masonry, mosaic, film reel, filmstrip, scrolling galleries, blog, list, and grid, and galleries may be managed from within Adobe Lightroom.
Each offers a means to make your photographs stand out from the crowd or, if necessary, to tailor separate galleries to different clientele. We enjoyed playing with all of them, and none of them were disappointing.
Image management tools
NextGEN Gallery is a significant improvement over the WordPress Media Gallery. It makes it much simpler to search and filter photographs, to arrange them after they have been uploaded, to import folders containing images, to add or delete images from galleries, and much more.
The plugin also supports dragging and dropping. This aligns it with other WordPress features, such as page creation. You may drag and drop photographs between albums or anyplace else you like. This minor detail has a significant influence on usability.
Client proofing feature
If you are using NextGEN Gallery for professional purposes, the client proofing tool allows you to build albums for individual customers and post them privately. Clients may then peruse the gallery, add a star symbol to indicate their approval, and write comments beside each photograph.
This is really useful for photographers and graphic designers, since you can grant full access to albums without making them public and exchange critical criticism.
Bulk upload and editing tools
The WordPress Media Library can manage numerous photos concurrently, but if you pick too many or push it too hard, it will likely fail. HTTP failures are a typical indication that the system’s image-handling capacity has been exceeded. No such problems exist.
The Masse Actions option allows you to remove photographs in bulk, apply watermarks, make thumbnails, resize images in bulk, upload images, add information, and back up images. We were able to upload folders containing up to 250 photographs without the bulk uploader blinking.
eCommerce elements with payment gateways
If you wish to sell photographs, you will need to utilise a plugin because WordPress lacks the necessary functionality. NextGEN Gallery provides an integrated method for selling photographs straight from your website’s albums. It also contains Stripe and PayPal gateways, as well as TaxJar support for adding tax.
WooCommerce or another eCommerce plugin is unnecessary. Everything is managed within NextGEN Gallery.
Automated print fulfilment option
If you wanted to take your picture sales to the next level, you could use the NextGEN Gallery print fulfilment function. You are bound to WHCC (White House Custom Colour), which is located in the United States but ships internationally for a fee.
Although it is not your only choice for printing images, having this feature integrated within the gallery plugin is a big plus.
Image protection features
Image security is implemented by disabling the right-click function on web sites. The vast majority of online users are familiar with the right-click and save as dialogue option. Combined with watermarking, you may safeguard your photographs to the greatest extent possible within NextGEN Gallery.
NextGEN Gallery Review -- Use Experience
NextGEN Gallery is surprisingly user-friendly despite having a variety of sophisticated capabilities.
We generated an example album of 140 stock pictures and saw that we were fast adding meta tags, organising them into various albums and layouts, and resizing them. All the tasks you will need to complete when establishing your website. There is also a good setup wizard to help you get started quickly.
It functions similarly to the WordPress Media Gallery in that you can drag and drop, add comments, information, and dates using text fields, but it goes much beyond.
Overall, it is a fairly simple plugin to master, and the configuration allows you to make it work whether you’re building up a personal picture website or a business one.
Getting started with NextGEN Gallery
NextGEN Gallery may be installed using the same processes as any other plugin. We selected to start with the free version and then utilise the built-in upgrade option, assuming that this is how the majority of users would go.
Try it before you buy it, and then then make a purchase decision.
Log into your WordPress site and navigate to the Plugins menu.
In the search box, enter “NextGEN Gallery” and select Add New.
Install the plugin, then click the Activate button.
After activation, you will be directly sent to the setup process. Here, you may do basic configuration and setup. The wizard is actually quite competent. Even when you are prompted to exit the NextGEN Gallery menu, helpful prompts continue to appear.
The basic setup looks like this:
- Select Setup wizard from the main NextGEN
- Gallery welcome page.
- Select Pages and Add New as described by the wizard.
- Add a title as directed.
- Select to add a block and type ‘nextgen’ where directed.
- Select Add Gallery in the new block.
- Select Upload Images and name your gallery.
- Select Add Files and select the images you want to add.
- Select Start Upload once you have selected the images.
- Select a gallery type, set a category and any page attributes.
- Select Publish.
Overall, the setup wizard is rather nice.
However, we noticed that it frequently froze if you did not follow its instructions precisely. The NextGEN Gallery block, for instance, appears at the top of the block list, thus it is not essential to write “nextgen” when prompted.
However, failure to do so prevents the wizard from proceeding, and there is no option to skip a step. Adding ‘Next Step’ or ‘Skip’ would be a fantastic addition to this section.
Using the menus
NextGEN Gallery adds its own side menu to the WordPress dashboard once installed and active. Everything you need to do with the plugin will be accomplished from this page. The naming is really sensible, with Add Gallery or Images, Manage Galleries or albums, Manage tags, etc. It is a very simple plugin to master, and for that reason, it is superior.
After creating many albums, you will likely spend the most of your time in Other Options. Here, you may configure how the plugin operates, including whether to use watermarking, apply Lightbox effects, modify album styles, etc.
If you subscribe to premium, you will have access to more menu options, including eCommerce features, client proofing, fulfilment, sales tax, and the Lightroom interaction we previously discussed.
Customizing NextGEN Galleries
Once you have running galleries on your website, you may modify them in several ways. You may choose from several gallery types, edit various gallery elements, and manipulate the gallery using custom CSS.
Selecting gallery types
Changing the gallery type is the most obvious approach to personalise NextGEN Gallery. You may do so by selecting Gallery Settings from the Gallery menu item on the left. Depending on whether you are using the free or premium version of the plugin, a variety of options will be available.
Choose between the Basic gallery type in the free version and several gallery kinds in the paid edition. Options range from tiles to mosaic, slideshow to grids, and lists to film reel.
Modify the gallery
The ‘Display Galleries As’ option allows you to modify the gallery style. You may modify the amount of photos on a page, pick the view choices and breadcrumbs, and decide whether to include thumbnails, descriptions, and breadcrumbs.
You may also make similar modifications per gallery, allowing you to tailor your website to the photographs or various audiences.
Using custom CSS is another option for customising NextGen Galleries. The option is not readily accessible, but it is present. Select Styles from the Other Options option on the left. Select Enable Custom CSS at the top and click the text link ‘Show Customization Options’ at the bottom of the window.
Here, you may apply custom CSS to modify several aspects of your gallery’ appearance and feel. This article on the Imagely website provides further information on CSS in NextGEN Gallery. It is worth investigating if you want to utilise CSS.
NextGEN Gallery Review -- Documentation & Support
The documentation that comes with NextGEN Gallery is excellent.
On Imagely there is a respectable collection of articles covering the majority of themes. Each instruction is clearly written, logical, and contains high-quality images. While we had no problems with installation, we spent much time reviewing the documentation and comparing it to those of other plugins we have examined. NextGEN Gallery compares rather favourably.
We had no need to contact customer service, thus we are unable to discuss further. However, we have found the staff members we’ve interacted with to be really responsive and helpful.
Aside from the forum on WordPress.org, the free plugin lacks any further documentation; nevertheless, this is typical for free plugins. Premium versions offer email support.
NextGEN Gallery Alternatives
Due to the importance of photos to websites, there are several gallery plugins for WordPress. Some are plainly superior than others, while others simply cannot compete with NextGEN Gallery. Envira Gallery, Modula, and FooGallery, which we have analysed in our roundup of WordPress Gallery plugins, and Jetpack, which we have also examined, are among the competitors.
NextGEN Gallery vs Envira
We don’t typically compare plugins since we believe it’s rather unfair. Every product has advantages and disadvantages, and a head-to-head comparison does not always give the information necessary to make a purchasing choice. Certainly no more than a comprehensive assessment, at any rate. This time, though, we chose to pit these two gallery plugins against one another.
Ease of use
We might discuss the size of the plugin or the design, UX colour font selection for menus, but to the ordinary user, none of these is relevant. Most of you want to know how simple it is to utilise these plugins and how fast your gallery might be operational.
NextGEN Gallery’s Add Gallery and Add Images menu items are straightforward. Open the menu, click Add a Gallery, then Add Files, then add and upload the photographs. You may name your gallery and choose a display option before proceeding.
Envira Gallery resembles the WordPress Media Library in appearance but offers far more functionality. On a single page, you may create a new gallery, give it a name, add photographs, and customise the gallery. Envira Gallery employs a tabbed interface to keep things easy.
Winner : Both make it quite easy to create a new gallery.
Page load speed
Another essential metric is page load time.
You want your website visitors to swiftly locate the information they want. Google will also evaluate the speed at which your pages load. This makes it an essential measure regardless of your website’s purpose. We lack the resources to adequately assess page speed, however Imagely has prepared a page load speed test on our behalf.
We would normally take a developer’s self-performed performance tests with a grain of salt, but they have kept the data available for us to verify.
This provides the confidence we consider essential, as well as accurate speed test results. These results indicate that NextGen Gallery loads test pages substantially faster than its competitors.
Check the numbers in the table farther down the page.
Winner : Here, NextGen Gallery is the clear winner.
Gallery aesthetics and kinds
Indeed, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what we find attractive may not appeal to you. Judging beauty is really difficult, and we do not wish to do it here. What we will do is examine the options that each plugin provides for making your galleries appear attractive.
The free edition of NextGEN Gallery includes a slideshow, picture browser, single image, tag cloud, and either a compact or extensive album. All premium versions feature seven galleries, two album formats, and Lightbox choices.
The free edition of Envira Gallery has nine galleries, while the premium version and Gallery Themes Addon provide more options.
Both plugins are competitive here. In addition to the standard tiles, masonry, three or four columns, Lightbox, blog style, and thumbnails, they each offer something unique.
Both styles show exceptionally well on the page and help your photographs stand out while remaining in the background. The plugins give the means to display your photographs in inventive ways, but they never attempt to overpower the images themselves.
Winner : Both plugins provide a variety of stunning album and gallery formats from which you may choose to express your particular aesthetic.
Overall, we believe that NextGEN gallery is the superior offering.
NextGEN Gallery Review -- Pro & Cons
There is plenty to appreciate about NextGEN Gallery, yet it falls short in a few areas.
NextGEN Gallery Pricing Review
NextGEN Gallery Free
NextGEN Gallery Free offers:
Basic slideshow, thumbnail, image browser, compact and list display options.
NextGEN Gallery Plus @ $79 USD per year
NextGEN Gallery Plus adds:
- Pro Thumbnail Gallery
- Pro Slideshow Gallery
- Pro Filmstrip Gallery
- Pro Masonry Gallery
- Pro Mosaic Gallery
- Pro Film Gallery
- Pro Blogstyle Gallery
- Pro Grid Album
- Pro List Album
- Hover Captions
- Image Protection
- Full Screen Lightbox
- Image Sharing
- Image Commenting
- Image Deeplinking
- Pro support
- Single site licence
NextGEN Gallery Pro @ $139 USD per year
NextGEN Gallery Pro adds to Plus with:
- Auto Sales Tax
- Digital Downloads
- Stripe and PayPal gateways
- Lightroom Plugin
- Print Lab Fulfillment/WHCC
- Three website licence
NextGEN Gallery Lifetime @ $299 USD
NextGEN Gallery Lifetime adds:Free updates and support for the lifetime of the plugin
Unlimited website licences.
NextGEN Gallery Review -- FAQs
How do I install and activate NextGEN Gallery in WordPress?
What is the greatest WordPress picture gallery plugin?
The finest picture gallery for WordPress is one that provides the functionality you want at a reasonable price. We realise this is a clichéd answer, but everyone seeks for various things in a plugin. If you’ve read thus far, you’ll know that NextGEN Gallery is a fantastic gallery plugin that offers a plethora of useful features at a fair price. It’s difficult to disagree with that!
In NextGEN Gallery, how do you make a photo gallery?
You may either utilise the setup wizard or the Add Gallery menu item in your WordPress dashboard to build a picture gallery in NextGEN Gallery. Select Add Gallery, then build a new page to display the gallery on, name it, and add your photographs.
In NextGEN Gallery, how can I make an album?
Establishing an album in NextGEN Gallery is as simple as creating a gallery. In WordPress, go to the Manage Albums menu. Enter a name for your album by clicking Add New Album and then clicking Add. Drag and drop a gallery into the album to set things up by dragging and dropping from the Gallery column into the Album column.
NextGEN Gallery Review -- Conclusion
Is NextGEN Gallery worth the money?
Image handling in WordPress is a strongly fought business, and galleries are no exception.
Because photos are so fundamental to our online experience, being able to load them fast, build up albums with minimal trouble, and manage as many or as few of these albums as you need is critical. This is especially true if you are creating a business website.
Having a plugin that can manage image organisation, presentation, and even protection really adds to the enjoyment. When you include eCommerce options, you have a single plugin that can manage the most of your needs.
NextGEN Gallery isn’t flawless, and it’s not always the easiest to use. The setup wizard might be improved, but it is also quite excellent at what it does. Being confined to PayPal and Stripe is a constraint, but because most of us already have a PayPal account, it isn’t that difficult.
The NextGEN gallery team is completely involved in the WordPress Imagery / Photography sector and is completely committed to the success of the plugin and, more importantly, the success of the clients who use their solutions.
NextGEN Gallery has a number of positive aspects. It provides excellent value, has excellent support, and we believe it is easily equivalent and, in some ways, superior to the other industry leader, Envira.
For all of these reasons, we believe NextGEN Gallery is a sound investment and would gladly recommend it.