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13 Best WordPress Plugins for Photographers in 2022 (Beautify Your Portfolios)

Updated on March 21, 2022

13 Min Read
wordpress plugins for photographers

As critical as digital photography portfolios are for photographers looking to reach their audience, a successful photography career requires time to focus on building the business. That’s why it’s best to abstain from the nitty-gritty of website creation & management and seek a more automated approach.

Thankfully, with all the photography themes and plugins out there, any user can cut through the technicalities to instantly launch their photography site without any external help. WordPress photo gallery plugins help you produce an aesthetic photography site with all the right elements to perfectly capture the look and feel you want.

That said, there is a ridiculous number of WordPress photography plugins, which can confuse any user while they’re making their choice. So to make things easy for you, I’ve compiled a list of the must-have WordPress photography plugins to give your portfolio site the punch it deserves.

I’ve divided the list into 4 sections that correspond to different aspects of your photography website. But before that, let’s take a look at the quickest way to launch a photography website.

How to Create a Photography Website Instantly

Users who don’t want to go through the hassle of choosing the right plugins and themes for creating a photography website can opt for a quicker solution, i.e., the Cloudways Photography Bundle.

With this revolutionary bundle, you can create a photography website enriched with all the essential tools for an ultra-functional portfolio website; that too in under 10 minutes, with no coding involved.

Grace Your Photos with a Blazing-Fast Photography Portfolio

Cutting down all the efforts to have your aesthetic portfolio site ready in minutes enriched with all the right elements

Want to do it all manually instead? Let’s learn about the essential WordPress photography plugins to help you get started.

Best WordPress Plugins for Photographers

Faulty or visually unappealing websites can keep a photographer’s best work from reaching their target audience. An ideal portfolio site requires the right WordPress photography theme and the best WordPress photography plugins.

This section covers the best WordPress layout and portfolio plugins to add the correct elements to your photography websites.

NextGEN Gallery by Imagely

NextGEN Gallery by Imagely

Image Source: NextGenGallery

NextGEN Gallery is among the most popular WordPress portfolio plugins due to a number of features for photographers, including the lightbox gallery and multiple layouts.

With over 1.5 million downloads every year, its usage simplicity and robust offerings make it a trusted choice among photographers. Also, it is compatible with the Gutenberg block editor, allowing the users to add galleries or albums on their site via drag & drop.

Features:

  • Auto tax calculations
  • Multiple payment gateways
  • Pricelists for selling photos
  • Coupons for exclusive discounts
  • Lightroom plugin for creating and syncing photo galleries
  • Multiple gallery layouts
  • Image commenting

User Ratings:

NextGEN Gallery user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery

Image Source: Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery is a performance-optimized WordPress plugin for a photography website, built for users seeking SEO-optimized portfolio plugins. It enables users to instantly create image galleries via its drag and drop builder.

This layout plugin gives performance boosts thanks to the optimized front-end and back-end, ensuring mobile friendliness and responsiveness.

Envira offers Photo Gallery for free, but you may purchase the pro version to unlock the premium features. Envira offers the following premium plans:

  • Basic at $26/year
  • Plus at $62/year
  • Pro at $89/year
  • Lifetime at a one-time fee of $209

Features:

  • Pre-built gallery templates
  • Social media integration
  • Drag & drop builder to create photos and videos
  • Media watermark protection
  • Deep linking & pagination for SEO-friendliness
  • Fullscreen lightbox mode and slideshow

User Ratings:

Envira Gallery user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

Photo Gallery by 10Web

Photo Gallery by 10Web

Image Source: Photo Gallery by 10Web

Photo Gallery by 10Web is a WordPress plugin for photographers that allows them to aestheticize their portfolio sites with ample configuration options. A popular choice among freelancers and developers, this plugin lets you create galleries instantly with just a few clicks.

Photo Gallery’s SEO optimization helps improve your content’s ranking on the SERPs and enhances your site’s structure. The modern design elements display your photos in stunning layouts, and the overall organization looks professional and improves navigation.

Features:

  • Customization flexibility with a user-friendly interface
  • Modern web design
  • SEO-friendly photo and video galleries
  • Speed-optimized WordPress galleries
  • Predefined fully customizable themes
  • Instagram integration
  • Watermark protection

User Ratings:

Photo Gallery by 10Web user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

Responsive Lightbox & Gallery

Responsive Lightbox & Gallery

Image Source: Responsive Lightbox & Gallery

Responsive Lightbox & Gallery is a WordPress portfolio plugin for photographers that combines the drag & drop functionality with a responsive lightbox to create galleries instantly. The customization options let you personalize your site according to your brand’s theme and feel.

You can extend the flexibility further by going premium to access pro features that enhance user experience. The Responsive Lightbox & Gallery also offers social sharing icons that allow users to share the galleries on their social accounts.

Features:

  • Ample customization options
  • Built-in drag and drop gallery builder
  • Responsiveness on all devices
  • SEO-friendliness
  • Social sharing options
  • WooCommerce product gallery support
  • Multisite support
  • Access to free images from several sources

User Ratings:

Responsive Lightbox & Gallery user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

FooGallery

FooGallery

Image Source: FooGallery

FooGallery is a WordPress layout plugin for photographers that provides staggering optimized layouts and adds galleries to your site in less than a minute. While creating your gallery, you may see the live preview for easy editing and creation.

This easy-to-use plugin is optimized for SEO and performance and supports lazy loading for speed boosts.

Even though FooGallery is available for free, FooPlugins offer multiple premium plans with added benefits. The yearly plans for one site are as follows:

  • PRO Starter at $29.99 per year
  • PRO Expert at $59.99 per year
  • PRO Commerce at $99.99 per year

Visit the FooPlugins premium plans page to learn more about their monthly, yearly, and lifetime packages for 1, 5, and 25 sites.

Features:

  • Drag and drop reordering
  • Optimized gallery layouts
  • SEO plugins integration
  • Lazy loading enabled galleries
  • Copy to clipboard shortcodes
  • Border customization
  • 6 loading and seven hover icons
  • Custom CSS

User Ratings:

FooGallery user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

Modula Image Gallery

Modula Image Gallery

Image Source: Modula

Modula is a WordPress portfolio & layout plugin that makes building galleries simple via features like masonry, custom grid, automatic layouts, and more.

Photographers can use this plugin to create lightbox galleries, group them into albums, add watermarking for added security, display EXIF metadata, paginate, and beautify their portfolio sites. You can resize the images into any aspect ratio by simply dragging them via their corners and even use the plugin’s auto-arrangement to organize your images.

Modula offers a free version as Modula Lite, but you can get their premium plans:

  • Starter at $39 (use on one site)
  • Trio at $69 (use on three sites)
  • Business at $99 (use on five sites)

Features:

  • Image watermarking
  • Paginated galleries
  • Gallery sliders
  • Lightbox customizations
  • EXIF metadata editing and display
  • Combine the photos and videos in the same gallery
  • User role management

User Ratings:

Modula Image Gallery user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

Best WordPress Slider Plugins for Photographers

Sliders are the components that display slideshows, an essential part of all photography websites. The user has the freedom to put sliders anywhere on their sites and configure them to transition either automatically or through the visitor’s action.

Many WordPress themes include slider functionality, but with limited features. You can opt for a WordPress slider plugin for a more efficient experience and enhance your websites. This section features the best WordPress slider plugins for photographers to help you pick the right plugin.

Smart Slider 3 by NextEnd

Smart Slider 3 by NextEnd

Image Source: Smart Slider 3

Smart Slider 3 is a robust WordPress slider plugin to create sliders effortlessly. It’s a versatile plugin that goes with all WordPress themes and is optimized and fully responsive for SEO-friendliness.

Non-technical users can create stunning sliders on their portfolio sites without writing any coding lines. You can even create sliders containing animated layers, videos, and other media elements and do it all via simple drag and drop.

Features:

  • Easy page builder via sliders & blocks
  • Build and display carousels
  • SEO-optimized sliders
  • Drag and drop builder
  • Animations & effects

User Ratings:

Smart Slider 3 by NextEnd user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

MetaSlider by dFactory

MetaSlider by dFactory

Image Source: MetaSlider

MetaSlider is another WordPress slider plugin for photographers that merges the ease of use with advanced features to give your photography websites a professional look. Its intuitive interface enables the user to create dazzling slideshows. You can create multiple types of slides with MetaSlider, including:

  • Carousel Slides
  • Image Slides
  • Layer Slides
  • Video Slides
  • HTML Slides
  • Product Slides
  • Post Feed Slides

You can now access the Extendify template and pattern library to use several different patterns and templates. MetaSlider ensures apt performance on all devices, and all its slideshows adapt to the device’s screen size, be it a mobile device, desktop, or tablet. Moreover, it also is compatible with the Gutenberg block editor.

Features:

  • Slider builder
  • SEO optimized slides
  • Thumbnail navigation image previews
  • Multiple slider designs
  • Create and preview unlimited themes
  • Scheduled sliders
  • Compatible with the new Gutenberg WordPress block editor

User Ratings:

MetaSlider by dFactory user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugins for Photographers

WordPress photography sites are rich in media elements, so if the images and videos are not optimized, they can slow down your site and ruin the user experience, resulting in high bounce rates. Imagine a user coming to your site and getting frustrated by the images struggling to load. Nightmarish, right?

You can avoid all these inconveniences by reducing image size without compromising on their quality. Thankfully, some image optimization plugins do this task for photographers, and I’ve mentioned those in this section.

Smush by WPMU DEV

Smush by WPMU DEV

Image Source: Smush

Smush is an image optimizer plugin for photographers that lets them compress, resize, and optimize their images with absolute ease. It supports lazy loading and pledges to improve the Google Page Speed scores.

Smush’s free version offers limited features. Users can upgrade to the Smush Pro to access the premium features, including:

  • 2x compression
  • Large images optimization
  • 45 point image CDN
  • Smush (minimize) unlimited images with a click
  • Automatic scaling and resizing
  • Backup images

You get a 21-days free trial on Smush pro and can opt for any of the three plans mentioned below:

  • Smush Pro Only at $60/year
  • Performance & Uptime Pack at $90/year
  • Personal at $190/year

Note: The above plans are for 1 site only. See all Smush Pro plans, if you want Smush for multiple sites.

Features:

  • Images optimization with no size limits
  • 2x compression while maintaining quality
  • Backup of original images
  • WebP support
  • Automatic resizing & scaling
  • Auto-convert PNG to JPEG
  • Lazy loading configuration

User Ratings:

Smush by WPMU DEV user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

Imagify by WP Media

Imagify by WP Media

Image Source: Imagify

Imagify is an image optimization plugin for photographers to finely optimize all the images on their portfolio. This photography plugin automatically optimizes your images, reducing their size without compromising quality, resulting in faster speeds, better user experience, and ultimately high SERP rankings.

With its bulk optimization option, you can work on multiple images in one go. Also, you can choose from three compression levels and resize your images easily. Imagify converts your images to WebP format to lighten the images and give your site a boost speed.

Features:

  • Automatic image optimization
  • Supports optimization for JGP, PNG, PDF, and GIFs format
  • Bulk media optimization
  • Reduce image size without losing quality

User Ratings:

Imagify by WP Media user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

EWWW Image Optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer

Image Source: EWWW Image Optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer is an image optimization plugin (as the name suggests). It claims to fix a slow website by optimizing all the images for speed and user-friendliness, resulting in low bounce rates.

This image optimization plugin maintains the image quality while reducing its weight as it optimizes compression and quality ratios with its premium compression. There are no speed or file size limits to be optimized. With their adaptive steering feature, you get smart conversion options that tell the best image format for a particular job.

Users get free image backups for 30 days, SSL encryption ensuring robust security paired with excellent support. Even though EWWW’s free services are commendable, you can get up to 80% compression along with other exciting features with their premium plan. It offers three premium plans as follows:

  • Standard at $7/month or $70/year
  • Growth at $15/month or $150/year
  • Infinite at $25/month or $250/year

Features:

  • Excellent compression quality
  • Top-notch support
  • Free image backups for 30 days
  • Intelligent conversion options
  • Best compression/quality ratio

User Ratings:

EWWW Image Optimizer user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

Best WordPress SEO Plugins for Photographers

Media elements serve as the main content for every photography site instead of text. While all website owners are on their toes to optimize the textual elements on their site for SEO, they often forget to optimize the images for the same.

One must follow all the SEO best practices in optimizing images for a website, especially for a portfolio site. A site’s content dictates the search engines what that site is about. It is vital that even a photography site has enough text to tell the search engine about its intent, and an SEO or an SEO plugin can only optimize that.

I’ve listed the best SEO plugins for photographers in this section, considering all the above points.

Yoast SEO

YoastSEO

Image Source: YoastSEO

Yoast SEO is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin for photographers; millions worldwide use it to optimize their sites for SEO.

Yoast’s handy SEO features include advanced XML sitemaps, control over site breadcrumbs, faster loading times, and more. You can use Yoast to conduct SEO and readability analysis to fix all the shortcomings on your portfolio site.

Yoast SEO is available for free but also offers a premium version with added features for $99/year.

Features:

  • Advanced XML sitemaps
  • Faster loading times
  • SEO analysis
  • Content optimization
  • Innovative schema blocks

User Ratings:

YoastSEO user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

Rank Math SEO

Rank Math SEO

Image Source: Rank Math SEO

Rank Math SEO is another option for photographers looking for promising WordPress SEO plugins. It gives the user ample suggestions to optimize their sites and allows them to customize their site’s SEO settings easily.

Instead of configuring every part of your site manually, you can save hours and let Rank Math do everything for you. With this SEO plugin for portfolio sites, you can run 30 SEO tests to help you boost your site’s rankings.

You can extend Rank Math’s usability by upgrading to its premium plans offered as:

  • Pro at $59/year
  • Business at $199/year
  • Agency at $499/year

Features:

  • Clean user interface
  • Industry-leading support
  • Built-in advanced SEO analytics module
  • Rank tracker
  • Full control via Role Manager

User Ratings:

Rank Math SEO user ratings

Image Source: WordPress

WordPress Photography Site Best Practices

I reached out to Gobinda Tarafdar, a WordPress enthusiast and marketer, to share his best practices for running a photography portfolio website, and his favorite WordPress plugins for photographers. Here’s what he has to say:

Running a photography portfolio site is a bit challenging. Because you have to ensure quality images to grab the visitors’ attention, but if you want to keep high-quality photos within your site, the file size will be larger, which will impact your Google Page Speed score, which means your site will be slower. Here are my suggestions for achieving all of that without affecting your site’s speed score.

Ensure High Retina images

Use the Perfect Images (Retina, Thumbnails, Replace & CDN) plugin by Jordy Meow.

This simple plugin will ensure you high-quality images easily. Just install the plugin and follow the methods. These are the special benefits you will get with this plugin:

  • Retina Images
  • Image Sizes Management
  • Disable Image Threshold
  • Regenerate Thumbnails
  • Replace Images

Image Optimization Without Losing the Image’s Metadata

In most cases, it will be challenging to keep the photos’ metadata while using any image compressing tool. But if you use Smush by WPmudev, you can keep the metadata while compressing the images.

It’s important to have metadata in images to show the Exif data of the photos. Using the WP Smush plugin, you can add a lazy load option for your website’s images. And all of these features are available in the free version.

Showing Exif Data of the Photos

In photography sites, showing Exif data is standard practice, and it also grabs visitors’ attention. You can show your images Exif data by using Exifography by Kristarella, but it’s not been maintained for three years. However, it’s still working.

Or, you can use another free tool, Exif Caption By Katsushi Kawamori. This plugin will automatically add Exif data to your photo’s captions.

If you want to check the image’s Exif data, you can visit their website. You can watch this tutorial to get an idea of showing the Exif data on your website.

CDN

For making your photography website a full-fledged one, you have to add CDN support for your images. This will reduce the server requests. Some popular CDNs on the market include:

Choose the best one according to your needs. I have used most of them. All of them are good enough to run the project smoothly.

Invest in Perfect Hosting

Don’t look for cheap hosting. Hosting is like your physical store. If you fail to get a secure store, you’ll suffer in many ways. Consider hosting to be your web store. And, on the web, it’s easy to find a loophole in a website.

If you invest in the best hosting, professionals will protect your site. You can check Cloudways; they have excellent support along with budget-friendly hosting packages. But before buying, do your R&D.

That’s it, and best wishes for your photography business.

Summary

Now that you’re acquainted with the best WordPress plugins for photographers, you can better decide which plugin suits your requirements best. Or you can skip all the efforts of a photography plugin and theme selection and instantly launch your portfolio website via Cloudways photography bundle.

I’ve compiled the list based on the user ratings, features, and popularity to be completely unbiased about the plugin’s selection. Shall you require any more assistance, feel free to comment with your queries below.

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

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Sarim Javaid

Sarim Javaid is a Digital Content Producer at Cloudways. He has a habit of penning down his random thoughts and giving words and meaning to the clutter of ideas colliding inside his mind. His obsession with Google and his curious mind add to his research-based writing. Other than that, he's a music and art admirer and an overly-excited person.

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