If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an image gallery on a website must be worth millions. The foundation of many modern websites, an image gallery provides an easy way for visitors to get a sense of what a website is all about. Image galleries are not just for artists and photographers to showcase their portfolios; they can be used to highlight retail items, the inside of a salon, or recipes on a foodie blog. Image galleries also make it easy to manage media on a website. Images can be uploaded and published in bulk, saving time and making you feel uber-organized.

Image galleries can showcase more than just static images; they can include animations, slow motion, social networking capabilities, and more. WordPress plugins can even be added to themes that do not include gallery options. They integrate flawlessly with different themes, making them give a website a completely customized look.

So which plugin should you choose? Read on to find the best WordPress image gallery plugin for your needs.

NextGEN Gallery
The most popular free image gallery plugin for WordPress, this user-friendly plugin is ideal for portfolio images. With the capability to watermark photos, the plugin allows users to protect their images. It can also be customized with options to control timing, Lightbox effects, transitions and more.

The gallery plugin can be used to create an unlimited number of portfolios on a website. Organize your galleries by creating albums with descriptions and captions. Images can be viewed full size or as a slideshow, giving you a variety of options.

Social Gallery
Let your visitors get the word out so you don’t have to. Help your images go viral by using this Lightbox plugin that allows viewers to share your images with the click of a button. This gets more people to come back to a website without doing additional social media promotion. Social Gallery offers both lite and Pro versions, so you can try it out for free before purchasing it to access its full capability.

Does your website require you to show moving images? TubePress allows you to integrate YouTube or Vimeo galleries with your site. The user has full control over how the media player appears and operates, with additional features available in the Pro version.

Wonder Plugin
Create modern layouts Wonder Plugin, a plugin that helps you create amazing grid layouts for images, videos and products. Grids are fully responsive, which makes them ideal for mobile sites. The easy-to-use interface lets you create these galleries with just a few clicks of the mouse.