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How to create a gallery using the WordPress Media Library

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I’ve used Nextgen Gallery plugin for a long time with no issues but since July when the plugin was taken over and given a major overhaul it has been nothing but problems. Haven’t they heard the phrase ‘If it ain’t broke….’

I’m not alone in this – there are a lot of complaints about the new version. So much so that people were rolling back to an older version from before they ‘fixed’ it. The main problem for me was it interfered with my Comment Luv plugin and given the choice of losing Nextgen or losing Comment Luv – Nextgen was always going to lose.

So I deleted it!

Now I had to find a new gallery to replace it to display my custom theme work. I’ve looked at lots of Portfolio plugins and still haven’t found one that I really like so for now I am just going to go with a basic gallery that works.

WordPress has a really easy gallery feature built in so that is what I am going to use.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to create a gallery using the WordPress Media Library.

Open up the page or post that you want to add a gallery to and place your cursor exactly where you want the gallery to appear. Then click the Add Media button.

 create a gallery

Click the Create Gallery button.

create gallery

You can either upload new images for the gallery or you can use existing images from your Media Library.

create gallery

For this example I am uploading new images. Once they are uploaded make sure you have selected all of the images you want to include in your gallery. Then click the Create a new gallery button.

create gallery

You can then edit the gallery.

You can choose how many columns and what you want the image to link to.

You can also drag and drop to rearrange the order of the images or place a check in the box to assign a random order.

Once you are happy, click the Insert gallery button.

You will see the placeholder appear in your page or post.

create gallery

To edit the gallery simply click the Edit Image button that appears when you click the image.

The resulting gallery should now appear on your page or post.

create gallery

Now there are a couple of ways you can make your gallery look a little fancier.

For example, the standard gallery does not include a lightbox effect when you click on the image – it merely opens an attachment page or the image itself in the same window.

By adding a simple plugin you can have the images open up in a nice carousel effect instead.

create gallery

This plugin has a few options that can be selected from the Settings >> Media tab.

You can also specify the size of the images here. [note if you change the thumbnail size you will need to regenerate the thumbnails across your site].

create gallery

The gallery uses WordPress shortcodes to control how it looks. If you look at the Text tab in your editor you will see the gallery shown using a shortcode, similar to the one below.

create gallery

The shortcode gives you some extra controls, which are explained on the WordPress Gallery Shortcode page here.

So that is how you create a gallery using the WordPress Media Library.

Do you have a favourite gallery plugin? – let me know below.

Here’s to your online success,

Lorraine McNulty - Build a Blog

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Lorraine has been designing websites for over 20 years.
She is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs market themselves online via blogging. Her site provides tips & tutorials on blogging and full services for blog set up and customization.
Lorraine is originally from England but now lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, two teenage boys and her Newfoundland dog, Bentley.

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