When you are involved in a creative stream, presenting your portfolio to the target audience or the potential leads can be an arduous job. Of course, there are numerous ways to present the same; however, the convenience and comfort level are not as demanded.
If you are a photographer, internet designer, architect, artist, actor, or a model, the need to have a gallery set up on your online platform may overpower other physical ways of sending portfolios, isn’t it?
Moreover, the ease of display that a gallery brings is quite unmatchable. Thus, if you have a WordPress website, things become even easier for you.
Although this online platform has its own inbuilt gallery options; but, its restrictions like basic styling, the ability to only put images on display, and the inability to sell pictures from the gallery may turn you off.
In case you are already stuck there, don’t stress out. With the help of the NextGEN Gallery WordPress plugin, you can enhance the comfort level like never before.
In this review post, we will be covering varying aspects of this seemingly best WordPress gallery plugin; including the introduction to the plugin, its installation & activation process, features, pricing plans, and lastly, we’ll also recommend the right option.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started.
What Is WordPress NextGEN Gallery?
From the introduction, it’s quite clear that NextGEN Gallery is a WordPress plugin, which has been the standard choice of users since 2007. Equipped with advanced features and gallery management options, this plugin has managed to establish its unwavering stance in the industry.
Since its popular release back in the year 2007, NextGEN has undergone two major interface redesigns, once in 2016 and another in early 2019.
With 900,000+ active installs, the plugin takes pride in almost 1.5 million downloads a year.
And, if counted overall, the plugin has been downloaded more than 27 million times since its release. For further assistance and insights into this plugin, you can check out these essential links:
- Free WordPress.org Gallery Plugin
- Premium NextGEN Plus Plugin & NextGEN Pro Plugin
- NextGEN Gallery Support
Installation & Activation:
The free version of NextGEN can be downloaded from the official repository of WordPress. Installing and activating it is as similar as any other plugin. You wouldn’t require any NextGEN Gallery tutorial for it.
Simply follow these steps to do so:
- From the WordPress Admin Dashboard, click on Plugins > Add New
- Search for NextGEN Gallery
- Now, click on Install Now option and the download will begin
- Once downloaded, click Activate option and the plugin will be activated
In case you are looking forward to installing the premium version of the NextGEN gallery plugin, follow these steps:
- Buy and download NextGEN Pro or NextGEN Plus
- Keep in mind that the browser in use doesn’t unpack the zip file automatically
- Once the zip file is downloaded, open your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins > Add New > Upload
- Now, browse the zip file and choose it
- Then, click on the Install Now option
- Once the file has been installed, click Activate Plugin
And you are done.
Considering that the plugin specifically concentrates on gallery display, you are sure to get a variety of them. Some of the major ones that you get are:
This is for the images having the same dimension.
This type suits images that have the same height.
This one is useful for displaying images that have horizontal scrolling.
This one can easily be used for showing a project.
Just as the name suggests, if you’d like to put some images in a slideshow, SlideShow is the right choice for you.
This one is another gallery type that you can use to display your project.
NextGEN Gallery Ecommerce
In case you are looking forward to creating a complete e-commerce platform for your work, this plugin allows you to do so quite seamlessly. NextGEN helps you sell your portfolio and pictures directly from the gallery.
As far as the payment gateway is concerned, the plugin supports a variety of them, including Test, Stripe, and PayPal gateways. Furthermore, you also get to configure your store as per the preference, like:
Under this section, you can set the currency, e-commerce default pages, studio information, taxes, shipping, coupon, and cookie settings.
- Emails: This one addresses the changes that you can do in your order email, including its subject and content.
- Payment Gateway: This specific settings option enables you to alter payment gateways and relevant options.
Proofing turns out to be an essential feature of this plugin as it allows your clients and buyers to choose images that they would like to process and set the same for ordering. Here, you can find varied options, such as:
With this option, you can set up a confirmation page. Simply choose to Create New, and you can start with the content and styling. However, this page will require a NextGEN Gallery shortcode – “Oops! This page usually displays details for image proofs, but you have not proofed any images yet. Please feel free to continue browsing. Thanks for visiting.” If not present, this will be added automatically.
Pro Lightbox Icon Color
If the NextGEN Pro Lightbox is active, an extra icon will be added for the purpose of image proofing. This will be controlling the icon color for selected pictures.
This option covers the text that will be used by the submit button.
Admin Email Message
Here, you can easily edit the template related to the email notification of the seller.
Not Found Message
This one displays a not found message to those who are viewing the proofing page without having a usable proofing.
Send Confirmation to Users
Under this section, you can disable or enable to send a notification to users so as to let them know about their proofing submission.
Here, you can edit the NextGEN gallery template for an email of your buyer’s notification. You can add the probable substitution fields, like user_email, user_name, proof_details, proof_link and more.
Print Lab Integration / Automated Print Fulfillment
By partnering with White House Custom Colour, one of the most popular pro labs in the United States, this WordPress Gallery plugin allows you to sell prints and digital downloads quite effortlessly.
This way, you can send them directly to customers from the Pro labs. With integrated Taxjar, they calculate the accurate sales tax. Also, the lab takes no commission; hence, creating and managing the pricelist becomes your sole responsibility.
This significantly decreases the additional work on your part; thus, saving time and effort.
Speed & Performance
In comparison with other WordPress gallery plugin, this one performs better than (or as good as) them. Moreover, a speed test conducted by Imagely – a trustworthy development company – highlights the better performance of NextGEN.
Here are the overall average results presented by them:
|Meow Gallery & Lightbox||1.59|
Basically, this one plugin comes with three different plans, such as:
This one is a free version that can be downloaded from the WordPress repository.
This package comes with a price tag of $79/year. However, if you choose this plan, you can only use the plugin on one site.
The NextGEN Gallery Pro version is priced at $139/year. And, this package allows you to use the plugin on 3 different sites.
Apart from the three mentioned above, there is also an additional plan that you can buy if you’d like to have this plugin for a lifetime. This plan can be purchased by spending $299, and the plugin can be used on unlimited sites.
Is NextGEN Gallery Right for You?
Now is the time to answer the most important question – is the plugin right fit for you? Technically, if you would like to put forth your work portfolio in a stylish way and sell digital prints of your work, then this one is the best plugin you can choose.
With 3000+ reviews and 2551 five-stars, you can definitely assess its credibility to be satisfactory for a lot of users. If you are still dubious, here are the last 3 reviews for your reference:
“I am a novice at web development and just upgraded our family website to WordPress. I searched for a plugin to allow integration of photos on the site. It was very easy to setup. It is very user-friendly, and I had the photos up and running in minutes.” – txtechman
“Great gallery plugin.” – Granus
“NextGEN is easy to use plugin, and I am very glad to have found it. I have created around 17 galleries or so and have modified, add pics and watermarked my pics with my logo. Thank you for such a great plugin.” – gkdenman
From our expert reviewers, the NextGEN Gallery plugin gets a considerable 4.75 out of 5. Find the details below:
|Ease of use||4/5||Great for advanced users; however, could be a bit intimidating for newcomers|
|NextGEN Gallery Support||5/5|
|Value for Money||5/5|