7 best WordPress plugins for creating galleries, sliders and carousels

Wordpress

First, when you study the advantages, you pay little attention to the disadvantages, which are important:

you will never touch most of the settings and you will not recognize many of the functions,
but you will notice the increased demands on the server.
But we are users of the WordPress ecosystem, which means you can find an alternative way – tightly focused solutions for creating quality sliders and galleries.

Essential grid gallery

A flexible, feature-rich, and well-optimized plugin from ThemePunch. Could, of course, cost less, but this is a separate topic.

Supports Gutenberg block editor and all major page builders:

  • Beaver Builder,
  • Elementor,
  • Layers WP,
  • Visual Composer,
  • WPBakery Page Builder.

With its help, you can create both traditional galleries – images, and video or audio, and the content does not have to be uploaded to your hosting; it is enough to specify Vimeo or YouTube, for example, as a source, and the plugin will do the rest.

With photos, similar possibilities: the source can be not only CMS galleries““ but also external resources – Instagram, Flickr, etc.

Among the drawbacks, perhaps, is the need to carefully study the documentation, since, for all its modernity, the plugin is not very beginner-friendly.

Envira Photo Gallery

Plugin, which is usually called a direct alternative to NextGEN Gallery. As it seems to me, not because of the functionality (although, of course, it is wider here than in the solution from Imagely), but because, using even the basic version, we get excellent performance, and when it comes, for example, about private galleries and sync with Lightroom is one of the best and most inexpensive plugins that the WordPress community has to offer.

If necessary, you can set up uploading photos from Dropbox or Zip archive. And this will be appreciated by the owners of photo studios or photo schools.

Those selling points will be delighted with WooCommerce support and image protection, and last but not least, smart social media integration.

Despite the small audience, the developers – the Envira Gallery Team – will always help, both in troubleshooting and setting up your first gallery.

Meow Gallery

A little-known but very interesting plugin from Meow Apps. With it, you can create, using modern layouts, perfectly optimized image galleries, and if you read the documentation carefully, you can limit yourself to the free version:

  • at your disposal – 5 layouts,
  • Gutenberg support,
  • shortcode support,
  • and besides CSS – no ballast 🙂

For most business card sites, this is enough.

In the advanced version, you can customize:

  • sync with Lightroom,
  • display of metadata (EXIF),
  • image carousel display,
  • endless, and lazy loading.

Nice bonus: thanks to Yoast SEO support, all images from galleries are added to the sitemap automatically.

Modula

Another little-known but very interesting plugin for creating galleries. Developer – MachoThemes; the team develops themes and plugins for the WordPress community.

The plugin supports Gutenberg and a number of popular page builders:

  • Elementor,
  • Beaver Builder,
  • Divi,
  • SiteOrigin.

But his merit lies elsewhere – flexibility. With proper knowledge of CSS, you can customize any element in the gallery to your liking.

Otherwise, it is a well-balanced plugin that allows you to easily create and customize audio, video, and traditional image galleries.

The only thing that saddens is the free version – it is heavily cut

Smart slider 3

Of the free version, the most popular and highest quality plugin for those looking for a full-fledged slide builder, with support for page builders:

  • Elementor,
  • Divi,
  • Beaver Builder,
  • SiteOrigin,
  • Visual Composer.

And native to WordPress – the Gutenberg block editor.

The guys from Nextend did a great job:

  • everything is customizable: markers, arrows, thumbnails, shadows, etc.
  • content is embedded from everywhere: from CMS, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
  • even a beginner can figure out the settings: everything is intuitive.

Doesn’t conflict with popular SEO and other WordPress community plugins!

RoyalSlider

Inexpensive but very well optimized plugin for creating sliders. Competently, and with an understanding of the tasks of the photographer, made:

  • support for Gutenberg and shortcodes,
  • sync with Instagram, 500px and Flickr,
  • 10 templates, 5 skins and more than 100 settings,
  • embedding videos, from YouTube or Vimeo,
  • caching and CSS management,
  • integration with e-commerce platforms.

And much more.

Updated in a timely manner, over the years (since 2011).

Slider revolution

Another plugin from ThemePunch, but for creating sliders. It differs from others – not only in price but in specialization in the visual component:

  • more than 200 templates for special effects and layouts,
  • flexible settings for whatever you want: icons, effects, layers, etc.

Supports Gutenberg block editor and popular page builders:

  • Beaver Builder,
  • Elementor,
  • Visual Composer,
  • WPBakery Page Builder.

In general, it is considered a universal solution and therefore you need to think carefully – and not rush to purchase it, because most of the settings, many of us, never actually touch.

But this, of course, is just my opinion (which does not in any way affect the objective value of this plugin).