Using a Native WordPress Gallery

September 24th, 2010
HOW-TO, WordPress, WordPress FAQs, WordPress Tips

There are many gallery plugins out there for WordPress, but did you know that WordPress has had its own gallery system since the release of version 2.5 over two years ago?

To get started with a native WordPress gallery, you’ll need to create or edit the post or page that you want the gallery to appear in and then click the “Add an Image” button.

add an image

You can use this to upload all of your images at full size and WordPress will automatically generate the various sizes (including thumbnails) for you. Now, it’s important to note that once you add an image via this method while writing or editing a post or page, it will be assigned to that specific post or page, which is how WordPress keeps track of the gallery’s content. Once you have uploaded all the desired images, click the “Add an Image” button again,¬†select the “Gallery” tab, choose your desired settings, and click the “Insert Gallery” button at the bottom to add the gallery to your post or page.

gallery settings

If you like getting your hands dirty, there are few more settings that you can tweak by altering the gallery shortcode in the HTML editor tab.

Once you have your gallery setup, there are plenty of good plugins to further enhance it, like jQuery Lightbox For Native Galleries.

What do you use to manage galleries on your blog?  If you use native WordPress galleries, what do you do to enhance them beyond their basic implementation?




  1. Otto (215 comments.) says:

    Theming is the best way to design your galleries in the way you like. Unfortunately, this is rather poorly documented.

  2. rick@rickety (10 comments.) says:

    When using the Native WordPress Gallery I also set the image sizes. Do this in Dashboard -> Settings -> Media. For example, on my blog I made the image sizes: Thumbnail size = 150 x 150 and “Crop thumbnail to exact dimensions.” Medium size = 300 x 500 and Large size = 570 x 800. Make the large size no bigger than your blog post width. The width, listed first, seems to take precedence.

  3. Iva (7 comments.) says:

    I say NextGen should be integrated into the WordPress core and allowed to have more levels (e.g. album within an album within an album within an album). The native gallery just doesn’t have enough settings available.

  4. Vlad (Small Business Blog) (8 comments.) says:

    Did you know NextGen still has issues with permalinks?

    • Iva (7 comments.) says:

      Yes, I know, but it’s probably the only choice left for us who are used to integration with Gallery2, which is no longer properly supported.

      I have a gallery consisting of 20 000 images on one of my websites. I fear the day Gallery2 integration will stop working.

  5. Chris (29 comments.) says:

    I have long said that WordPress would be better off integrating an open source photo gallery app in WordPress rather than make it’s own, scaled-down version. Gallery and Zenphoto are excellent apps that WordPress could bring developer support for by bringing some of the WordPress community over.

    I’ve brought this up on WordPress Ideas (here), but no one seems to care (the Idea was closed without any explanation). Maybe it’s just me, but I think WordPress could do good and bring developer support to other open source applications by integrating them into WordPress.

    • James Huff (62 comments.) says:

      New topics in the Support Forum and Ideas section are automatically closed after one year. I have a feeling that it didn’t gain much traction because of its reliance on third-party developers and their products.

      A good example of how this could be a problem is the Visual editor, which is powered by TinyMCE. There are definitely a few quicks with it, like code being lost when switching from HTML to Visual, simply because TinyMCE throws out code that it doesn’t recognize. The problem is up to the TinyMCE developers to fix, but after a few years, I doubt they ever will, so the WP developers are stuck working on their own WYSIWYG editor instead.

  6. WpHey (21 comments.) says:

    The native gallery of WordPress is basic on post, sometimes I want to add some photos from Media Library to the gallery, but the gallery will not count these photos. As result, I need to add photos one by one.

  7. WpHey (21 comments.) says:

    B.T.W. The LightBox Plus plugin works perfect with native gallery, you can try it out.

  8. Jennifer (3 comments.) says:

    When the Gallery feature was first introduced back in 2008, those of us on rejoiced to finally have a feature that we could use for easily displaying multiple photos. It’s still a bit quirky, but since we don’t have the ability to use any other kind of photo gallery plugin on, we go with what we’ve got. I’ve written quite an extensive FAQ for the native Gallery feature, which appears on my photo blog, “Random Acts”.

    There’s been continuous talk about revamping media in an upcoming release of WordPress, which means those of us on will get it first. :)

  9. XIII (9 comments.) says:

    Lightbox is nice, but then you lose the option to get comments on the individual pictures.
    Speaking of which, do comments on individual gallery pics now count towards the posts comment count or still not?

  10. John Garrett (1 comments.) says:

    Now this is interesting. I didn’t know about this at all. I had implemented the “Mansion” WordPress theme and also the NextGen Gallery, but I think I’ll give the native tools a spin and just see what I can get.

  11. Zoran (2 comments.) says:

    I’m using TimThumb script with lightbox. I can get comments on my pictures because each one is a separate post

  12. Oryon (2 comments.) says:

    I like to use Flickr to embed the photos instead.

    The main benefit of this is that bandwidth is rather costly in my country. If I use WordPress plugin, it will using up bandwidth. By using Flickr I can use their bandwidth instead and yet at the same time create a pretty photo gallery.

  13. Jason (1 comments.) says:

    I usually use native Wp gallery in putting pictures in a website and needless to say, I prefer using more images rather than more content. Just as the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. I am also fond of using slideshows for it is more inviting to the viewers. With native wp gallery in tact beforehand plus a compatible plugin then your ordinary WP site would then display more interesting images.

  14. pierre (1 comments.) says:

    love WordPress. I might even name my next child “WordPress” but the Gallery functionality stinks in that when I am editing a post or page, I cannot easily just grab images from the media library and create a new gallery with them. I can’t remove them either without deleting the image.

    This is lame beyond anything I can possibly imagine and I am just venting my frustration here to see if there is a potential solution. It would be most intuitive to always have a gallery tab. Or in the media library in the image menu a little link that says “add to gallery” and then on the images in the gallery a “remove from gallery” link.

    Is there a plugin that can do this? Is there someone out there able to implement this functionality? Can we end the madness!?!?

    • ted says:

      There is an exclude attribute for the gallery short code.

      • Jennifer (3 comments.) says:

        Since v3.5 was released, excluding uploaded images from the Gallery is easier than ever from within the native WordPress gallery. No excludes needed.

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