Tag - Quality

How to Optimize Images for Web Performance without Losing Quality


Did you know that optimizing your images before uploading to WordPress can have a huge impact on your website speed?

When starting a new blog, many beginners simply upload images without optimizing them for web. These large image files make your website slower.

You can fix this by using image optimization best practices as part of your regular blogging routine.

In this article, we will show you how to optimize your images for faster web performance without losing quality. We will also share automatic image optimization plugins for WordPress that can make your life easy.

How to Optimize Your Images in WordPress (Step by Step)

What is Image Optimization? (Optimized vs Unoptimized Images)

Image optimization is a process of saving and delivering images in the smallest possible file size without reducing the overall image quality.

While the process sounds complex, it’s actually quite easy these days. You can use one of the many image optimization plugins and tools to automatically compress images by up to 80% without any visible loss in image quality.

Here’s an example of optimized vs unoptimized image:

Optimized vs Unoptimized Images in WordPress

As you can see, when optimized properly the same image can be 75% smaller than the original without any loss in quality.

How does Image Optimization work?

In simple terms, image optimization work by using compression technology like “Lossy” and “Lossless” which helps reduce the overall file size without any noticeable loss of quality.

What does it mean to Optimize Images?

If you ever received a recommendation to optimize images by your WordPress hosting support or by a speed test tool, then all it means is that you need to reduce the file size of your images by optimizing them for web.

Why is Image Optimization Important? What are the Benefits of Image Optimization?

While there are many benefits of optimizing your images, below are the top ones that you should know:

  • Faster website speed
  • Improved SEO rankings
  • Higher overall conversion rate for sales and leads
  • Less storage and bandwidth (which can reduce hosting and CDN cost)
  • Faster website backups (also reduces cost of backup storage)

Outside of video, images are the next heaviest item on a web page. According to HTTP archive, images make up on average 21% of a total webpage’s weight.

Since we know fast websites rank higher in search engines (SEO) and have better conversions, image optimization is something that every business website must do if they want to succeed online.

Now you might be wondering how big of a difference can image optimization really make?

According to a Strangeloop study, a one-second delay in website load time can cost you 7% of sales, 11% fewer pageviews, and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

How speed affects your website

If these aren’t enough reasons to speed up your website, then you should know that search engines like Google also give preferential SEO treatment to faster loading websites.

This means that by optimizing your images for web, you can both improve website speed and boost WordPress SEO rankings.

How to Save and Optimize Images for Web Performance?

The key to successful image optimization for web performance is to find the perfect balance between lowest file size and acceptable image quality.

The three things that play a huge role in image optimization are:

  • Image file format (JPEG vs PNG vs GIF)
  • Compression (Higher compression = smaller file size)
  • Image Dimensions (height and width)

By choosing the right combination of the three, you can reduce your image size by up to 80%.

Let’s take a look at each of these in more details.

1. Image File Format

For most website owners, the only three image file formats that really matter are JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Choosing the right file type plays an important role in image optimization.

To keep things simple, you want to use JPEGs for photos or images with lots of colors, PNGs for simple images or when you need transparent images, and GIF for animated images only.

For those who don’t know the difference between each file type, PNG image format is uncompressed which means it is a higher quality image. The downside is that file sizes are much larger.

On the other hand, JPEG is a compressed file format which slightly reduces image quality in order to provide a significantly smaller file size.

Whereas GIF only uses 256 colors along with lossless compression which makes it the best choice for animated images.

On WPBeginner, we use all three image formats based on the type of image.

2. Compression

The next thing is image compression which plays a huge role in image optimization.

There are different types and levels of image compression available. The settings for each will vary depending on the image compression tool you use.

Most image editing tools like Adobe Photoshop, On1 Photo, GIMP, Affinity Photo, and others come with built-in image compression features.

You can also save images normally and then use a web tool like TinyPNG or JPEG Mini for easier image compression.

Although it’s a bit manual, these two methods allow you to compress images before uploading them to WordPress, and this is what we do on WPBeginner.

There are also several popular WordPress plugins like Optimole, EWWW Image Optimizer, and others that can automatically compress images when you first upload them. Many beginners and even large corporations prefer to use these image optimization plugins because it’s easy and convenient.

We will share more about these WordPress plugins later in the article.

3. Image Dimensions

Normally, when you import a photo from your phone or a digital camera, it has a very high resolution and large file dimensions (height and width).

Typically, these photos have a resolution of 300 DPI and dimensions starting from 2000 pixels and more. These high-quality photos are well-suited for print or desktop publishing. They are not suitable for websites.

Reducing file dimensions to something more reasonable can significantly decrease image file size. You can simply resize images using an image editing software on your computer.

For example, we optimized a photo with 1.8 MB original file size, 300 DPI resolution, and image dimensions of 4900×3200 pixels.

We chose jpeg format for higher compression and changed dimensions to 1200×795 pixels, and it reduced the image file size to 103 KB. That’s 94% less than the original file size.

Now that you know the three important factors in image optimization, let’s take a look at various image optimization tools for website owners.

Image Optimization Tools and Programs

As we mentioned earlier, most image editing software come with image optimization and compression settings.

Outside of the image editing software, there are also several powerful free image optimization tools that you can use to optimize images for web (with just a few clicks).

We recommend using these tools to optimize images before you upload them to WordPress, specially if you are a perfectionist.

This method helps you save disk space on your WordPress hosting account, and it guarantee the fastest image with the best quality since you manually review each image.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a premium software that comes with a feature to save images optimized for the web. Simply open your image and click on the “File » Save for Web” option.

This will open a new dialog box. On the right, you can set different image formats. For JPEG format, you will see different quality options. When you select your options, it will also show you the file size on the bottom left.

Saving images optimized for the web using Photoshop

GIMP

GIMP is a free and open source alternative to popular Adobe Photoshop. It can be used to optimize your images for the web. The downside is that it is not as easy to use as some other solutions on this list.

First, you need to open your image in GIMP and then select File » Export As option. This will bring up the save file dialog box. Give your file a new name and then click on the export button.

Export image in GIMP

This will bring up image export options. For jpeg files, you can select the compression level to reduce file size. Finally, click on the export button to save the optimized image file.

TinyPNG

TinyPNG is a free web app that uses a smart lossy compression technique to reduce the size of your PNG files. All you have to do is go to their website and upload your images (simple drag & drop).

Using TinyPNG to optimize images for WordPress

They will compress the image, and give you the download link. You can use their sister website, TinyJPG, for JPEG image compression.

They also have an extension for Adobe Photoshop which is what we use as part of our image editing process because it combines the best of TinyPNG and TinyJPG inside Photoshop.

For developers, they have an API to convert images automatically, and for beginners they have a WordPress plugin that can automatically do it for you (more on this later).

JPEG Mini

JPEGmini uses a lossless compression technology which significantly reduces the size of images without affecting their perceptual quality. You can also compare the quality of your original image and the compressed image.

JPEGMini online image compression tool

You can use their web version for free, or purchase the program for your computer. They also have a paid API to automate the process for your server.

ImageOptim

ImageOptim is a Mac utility that allows you to compress images without losing any quality by finding the best compression parameters and removing unnecessary color profiles.

ImageOptim

Windows alternative to this is Trimage.

Image Optimization Plugins for WordPress

We believe that the best way to optimize your images is by doing it before uploading them to WordPress. However, if you run a multi-author site or need an automated solution, then you can try a WordPress image compression plugin.

Below is our list of the recommended WordPress image compression plugins:

  1. Optimole – popular plugin by the team behind ThemeIsle.
  2. EWWW Image Optimizer
  3. Compress JPEG & PNG images – plugin by TinyPNG team mentioned above in the article.
  4. Imagify – plugin by the popular WP Rocket plugin team.
  5. ShortPixel Image Optimizer
  6. WP Smush
  7. reSmush.it

Using any of these WordPress image optimization plugin will help you speed up your website.

Final Thoughts and Best Practices for Image Optimization

If you’re not saving images optimized for web, then you need to start doing so now. It will make a huge difference on your site speed, and your users will thank you for it.

Not to mention, faster websites are great for SEO, and you will likely see an increase in your search engine rankings.

Outside of image optimization, the two things that will significantly help you speed up your website is using a WordPress caching plugin and using a WordPress CDN.

Alternatively, you can use a managed WordPress hosting company because they often offer both caching and CDN as part of the platform.

We hope this article helped you learn how to optimize your images in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to improve your WordPress security and the best WordPress plugins for business websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Optimize Images for Web Performance without Losing Quality appeared first on WPBeginner.



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Which is the Best WordPress Popup Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared)


Are you looking for the best WordPress popup plugin? A good WordPress popup plugin helps you convert website visitors into email subscribers and paying customers.

There are dozens of WordPress popup plugins that can help you improve conversion rates.

However, most of them will either slow down your website, offer inaccurate statistics, or worst both.

In this article, we’ll compare the most popular WordPress popup plugins on the market, so you can see which is the best WordPress popup plugin.

Comparing the best WordPress popup plugins

3 Things to Watch Out for with WordPress Popup Plugins

Popups need to be used carefully. Poorly made WordPress popups can easily become annoying and ruin the user experience along with your brand’s reputation.

You need to pick a solution that offers proper behavior interaction, targeting, and personalization features, so you can offer the best user experience while ensuring maximum conversions.

Performance is another issue with most WordPress popup plugins. Since many WordPress popup plugins use WordPress to track analytics, this significantly increase the server load and slow down your website. As you already know, a slow page speed negatively affects your SEO rankings.

This is why you need a WordPress popup plugin that offers powerful conversion features without slowing down your site.

Last but not least, you need to make sure that the WordPress popup plugin that you choose actually works with your WordPress hosting environment. A lot of popup plugins are poorly coded, so their advanced features like A/B testing and reporting will not work with most advanced caching solutions that many hosting companies are now using.

The main purpose of using a popup plugins for WordPress is to help you capture leads and boost your email list subscribers.

You need to watch out for the above 3 things when choosing the WordPress popup plugin for your website or online store.

Contenders for The Best WordPress Popup Plugins

Now that you know the common problems with most WordPress popup builders, you can use it as a criteria to evaluate all popular WordPress popup plugins.

Now since there are dozens of popup plugins, this process can be rather time consuming.

That’s why, we did the research for you. Here are the best WordPress popup plugins that we will be comparing in our guide:

  • OptinMonster
  • TrustPulse
  • Bloom
  • Sumo
  • Thrive Leads

Now let’s take a look at each of them to find out which one is the best WordPress popup plugin to help you grow your website.

1. OptinMonster

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most popular lead generation software on the market. It allows you to easily convert website visitors into subscribers and customers.

It comes with a powerful WordPress popup builder and the most comprehensive set of targeting and personalization features. Simply put, it allows you to maximize your conversion potential like a marketing pro.

Features

OptinMonster dashboard

OptinMonster offers the most powerful set of targeting and personalization features in the market. They allow you to create different campaigns including popups, full screen welcome mats, floating bar, scroll boxes, etc.

Their targeting features allow you to target users by page they’re visiting, activity on your site, their geo-location, and literally dozens more.

You can create your own rules to display a popup which makes them more personalized and highly effective.

Below are some of OptinMonster’s most notable features:

  • Beautifully designed non-intrusive lightbox popups
  • Exit-intent popups which are displayed when a user is about to leave your site
  • Powerful targeting options with page level, geo-targeting, on-site retargeting, device based targeting, and more.
  • Adblock detection to display targeted messages to users
  • Device targeting with Mobile-friendly campaigns that look good on smaller devices
  • Trigger popups with exit intent, scrolling, inactivity sensors, time based triggers, and more
  • Dozens of ready-made beautiful popup templates
  • Drag and drop popup maker to easily create popups with your own images, fonts, and style
  • Multiple campaign types such as inline/after post optins, floating notification bar, countdown timers, fullscreen welcome mat, coupon wheel popups, and more.
  • Monster-links popups which trigger a popup by clicking on a link
  • Yes/No popups, two-step popups, and success message customization
  • Integrates with all top email marketing services, contact form plugins, eCommerce platforms, and more.

Looking at all the features, we can confidently say that it is the most comprehensive WordPress popup builder on the market. It has all that you’ll need to instantly grow your email list and boost conversions.

Performance

The biggest advantage of using OptinMonster comes with performance. It is a SaaS application which means that it does not use your WordPress hosting resources.

It loads asynchronously, which means it also does not slow down your perceived page load speed. This is crucial not just for user experience but also for SEO.

Last but not least, since OptinMonster doesn’t use WordPress to store analytics, your stats will be the most accurate and it will work with any hosting environment.

Ease of Use

OptinMonster comes with an intuitive drag and drop popup builder. You can simply design your own popups by adding a background, choosing colors, images, fonts, with your own text and sign up form.

OptinMonster popup builder

However, if you don’t want to do that, then you’ll find beautiful ready-made popup templates to choose from. Each of these templates is fully customizable using a simple point and click editor.

Adding popups to your website is also very easy. You don’t need to edit any WordPress files or add code to your website. You can simply install their WordPress connector plugin.

Pricing: Starting from $9 per month (billed annually).

Bonus: WPBeginner users can use our OptinMonster coupon to get 10% Off.

Disclosure: OptinMonster is the popup plugin that we use on WPBeginner. Many popular bloggers and businesses use OptinMonster including the likes of Social Media Examiner, Michael Hyatt, NBA, and more.

WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, is the co-founder of OptinMonster. He had this plugin built to help us get more email subscribers. Now he serves as an advisor to the company.

2. TrustPulse

TrustPulse

TrustPulse is a WordPress popup plugin that uses social proof to help you boost conversions on your website.

It shows social-proof notifications on your website to help build user trust, trigger FOMO (fear of missing out) effect, and encourages more users to signup or make a purchase.

Features

TrustPulse helps you instantly win user trust by sharing social proof using less-intrusive but highly effective popups. Here are some of the features that make it unique among our list of best WordPress popup plugins.

TrustPulse popup

  • Triggers FOMO – It uses urgency and social proof to trigger FOMO effect (fear of mission out). This encourages users to sign up or complete a purchase.
  • Real-time Tracking – It shows real-time purchases, activity, and signups
  • Smart-targeting – Show social proof popup to the right users at the right time
  • Customize popup – Use the default design or make it your own with easy customization options

Performance

If you run an eCommerce business, then speed is crucial for more sales on your website. TrustPulse does not affect your page load speed and improves the user experience at the same time.

It is a SaaS app and does not use your WordPress hosting resources. All the code used to display popups loads asynchronously from the cloud servers.

Ease of Use

TrustPulse comes with an insanely easy to setup process. The default social proof popup works with very little modifications.

Creating a popup campaign in TrustPulse

It has an easy to use interface, which allows you to customize popup, set up targeting, view stats, and run customized campaigns on your online store.

Pricing: Free 500 sessions per month and then pricing starts from $4 per month (billed annually).

3. Bloom

Bloom

Bloom is a popular WordPress popup plugin made by Elegant Themes one of the oldest commercial WordPress theme shops. Available, as a standalone WordPress plugin, Bloom provides an easy to use WordPress popup maker for bloggers.

Features

Bloom comes with a decent set of features covering the basic requirements you would need from a good WordPress popup plugin.

Bloom user interface

  • Automatic lightbox popup
  • Multiple optin types including sidebar, slide-in, and below post signup forms.
  • Basic post or page level targeting
  • Basic time delay, scroll, form submission triggers
  • Pre-built popup templates with easy customization
  • Integrates with popuplar email service providers

Performance

Bloom comes as a stand-alone WordPress plugin, which means it loads all the code from your WordPress site. This means it uses your server resources and affects your page load time.

It tries to mitigate by optimizing the code and using WordPress best practices. However, if you have a busy site on limited server resources then this will slow down website performance.

Based on your WordPress caching plugin settings, reporting stats and features like A/B testing might misbehave.

Ease of Use

Bloom is extremely easy to use with simple drag and drop popup maker. Creating new optins with Bloom is straightforward and the user interface is quite easy to figure out.

Choose a popup template in Bloom

The trouble comes in when you are configuring display settings. There are too many options to choose from, which makes the user interface a bit confusing.

Pricing: Comes with Elegant Themes mebership starting from $89 per year.

4. Sumo

SumoMe

Sumo is a free popup plugin for WordPress which allows you to add popups to your website. They offer a premium version which offers more options.

Sumo panel in WordPress dashboard

Features

  • Allows you to create free WordPress popup and opt-in form
  • You can use multiple optin forms
  • Connects with popular email marketing platforms
  • Comes with different styles and templates to use
  • Includes basic A/B testing and stats for your forms

The free version is limited in features and adds Sumo branding to your popups.

Performance

Sumo loads code asynchronously which reduces the impact on performance. Depending on your campaign design, the effect on performance may vary.

Ease of Use

Sumo integrates with your WordPress site. However, you’ll need to manage your account from their website and use the Sumo dashboard to design your campaigns.

Design your popup with Sumo dashboard

It comes with a bit of a learning curve. The campaign builder is not the easiest but you’ll find your way around. We found it a bit harder to use particularly when it came to integrations and targeting.

5. Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is another popular popup plugin for WordPress. It comes with beautiful popup templates and an easy to use popup builder.

Features

Thrive Leads is designed to help you capture leads on your WordPress site and grow your email list. Here is a quick overview of its features.

Thrive Leads

  • Multiple optin types including lightbox popup, inline forms, 2-step optin, slide in forms, and more
  • Simple drag and drop editor to customize sign up forms
  • Basic A/B testing and analytics for your forms
  • Page level targeting including categories, tags, post types, and more
  • Works with all popular email services
  • Mobile friendly popups for small devices

Performance

Thrive Leads does try to balance out performance and features. However, it is still slower than some other solutions on our list.

It is a standalone WordPress plugin, which means all the code resides on your WordPress site and utilizes your hosting resources.

This also means that like Bloom, features like reporting and A/B tests may not work properly on certain hosting companies or with popular caching plugins.

Ease of Use

Thrive Leads is pretty straight-forward to use and comes with multiple templates. It also comes with a basic popup maker with drag and drop functionality to customize your popup form.

Thrive Leads builder interface

There is a slight learning curve involved in displaying optins on your website. Many beginners would struggle a bit when setting up a popup.

You’ll see different options for Lead groups, lead shortcodes, Thrive boxes, and other features without much explanation. This means users will have to explore them to learn what they do.

Pricing: Starting from $67 per year for a single site license.

Performance Comparison of Top WordPress Popup Plugins

For this article, we decided to actually try each WordPress popup plugin and test their impact on a website’s performance and speed.

Basically, we created a demo website and used the default settings of each plugin to create a basic WordPress popup. After that, we used Pingdom to test page load speed.

Following are the results of our tests.

Popup Plugin Page Load time Requests Page size
OptinMonster 1.03s 17 225KB
TrustPulse 894ms 14 130KB
Bloom 1.23s 22 188.8KB
Sumo 1.24s 41 575.5KB
Thrive Leads 1.38s 26 736.4KB

In our results, we found OptinMonster to be the fastest WordPress popup plugin with the least effect on performance.

Conclusion: Which is The Best WordPress Popup Plugin?

Considering the criteria we set up, OptinMonster comes up as the best WordPress popup plugin. It is the fastest popup builder and comes with incredible tools to boost conversion rates.

It is also the easiest to use with beautiful popup templates and a powerful drag and drop editor. It works with all popular CRMs, email marketing platforms, best WordPress form plugins, custom HTML forms, and more.

Showing your popups at the right time to right users is what makes them more effective. OptinMonster includes powerful page level targeting options, personalization, and event-based triggers.

If you are running an eCommerce store, then we would recommend OptinMonster + TrustPulse. This allows you to maximize conversions with social proof and OptinMonster’s powerful cart abandonment features.

We hope this article helped you pick the best WordPress popup plugin for your website. You may also want to see our article on tested and easy ways to grow your email list.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post Which is the Best WordPress Popup Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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Which is the Best WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared)


Are you looking for the best WordPress gallery plugin for your website?

There are so many WordPress photo gallery plugins available, but the problem is that most will either slow down your website, or they’re extremely difficult to use.

To help you pick the right solution, we have created a detailed comparison of the performance, features, and quality of the best WordPress photo gallery plugins.

Our goal is to help you find the WordPress photo and video gallery plugin, that is fast, easy to use, and has all the features you will need.

Best WordPress Gallery Plugins

Our Criteria for the Best WordPress Gallery Plugin

In our opinion, a perfect WordPress gallery plugin should be fast, easy to use, and have all the necessary features that you need to create beautiful galleries (such as lightboxes, image navigation, albums, pagination, etc).

The gallery plugin should offer a great user experience and help improve your image SEO as well.

4 Best WordPress Gallery Plugins

We have hand-picked the four most popular WordPress photo gallery plugins on the market.

In our comparison, we will look at the speed, features, ease of use, and reliability of these plugins:

Let’s get started with our comparison.

Speed

Speed is crucial when you are choosing a WordPress photo gallery plugin. Not only does it affect your WordPress SEO, but it also affects user experience on your site.

If you are using a gallery plugin for a portfolio or photography site, then you simply cannot afford to compromise on speed.

We ran a speed test for each of these plugins using the same images without modifying any default settings. Below are our results:

Gallery PluginPage Load TimeRequestsPage Size
Envira Gallery655 ms23988KB
Modula696 ms28948 KB
NextGEN867 ms351.0 MB
FooGallery917 ms27591 KB

As you can see in the above results, Envira Gallery came out as the fastest loading WordPress image gallery plugin. Modula came as a very close second with barely few milliseconds difference and with smaller page size.

The reason why Envira Gallery and Modula are so fast is that they are both well coded and highly optimized for speed. If performance and speed is your main concern (which it should be), then Modula and Envira Gallery are both great options.

Winner: It’s a tie between Envira Gallery and Modula

Ease of Use

Creating image galleries is not as simple as uploading a single image to your posts. You need to choose layouts, select columns, add thumbnail sizes, choose lightbox animations, etc.

Most beginners find the process quite overwhelming. The goal here is to find a WordPress photo gallery plugin that is both powerful and beginner friendly at the same time.

Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery follows and adheres to the WordPress coding standards and best practices. It provides a user interface that seamlessly blends into your WordPress admin area.

Creating a new gallery is quite simple and beginner friendly.

Envira Gallery user interface

Envira Gallery also comes with a Gutenberg block allowing you to easily add photo galleries into any WordPress post and page. You can also change gallery settings right from the post edit screen.

Gutenberg block for Envira Gallery

Classic editor users can use the shortcode or the button above the post editor to quickly add any gallery or album in your post/page.

Aside from that Envira Gallery also shows you the template tag that you can use it in your WordPress templates. This is particularly handy if you are developing a site for a client and want to include galleries straight into the theme.

Modula

Modula Gallery uses a similar approach to create new photo galleries. You can simply upload your files or select them from the media library to create a photo gallery.

Modula Gallery user interface

Below the images, you will find all gallery settings organized in tabs. From here you can change gallery style, theme, lightbox, and other settings.

To insert the gallery into WordPress posts and pages, you will need to copy the gallery shortcode and insert it using the Shortcode block in the Gutenberg editor.

There are no sidebar widgets or Gutenberg blocks at the moment to make it easier for users to insert Galleries.

FooGallery

FooGallery takes the similar approach as Envira Gallery and Modula. They use a simple user interface that looks and feels like WordPress.

FooGallery user interface

After uploading your photos, you can adjust the gallery settings in great details below the images.

FooGallery also makes it easy to insert photo galleries. You can use the built-in Gutenberg block, shortcode, or sidebar widget to display your photo galleries anywhere in WordPress. It also adds a button on top of the Classic Editor to select and insert galleries.

Unlike Envira Gallery, FooGallery does not show the template tag to insert your galleries into theme files or templates.

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN is a little different than our other three contenders. It brings its own user interface, database tables, and separate folders to store your images. This is why NextGEN user interface looks a bit complicated in WordPress.

NextGen UI

It does offer a gallery wizard which can be helpful for beginners. However, it will take users some time to understand how to upload images and create a gallery. You may also find it a bit difficult to add the gallery into your post/page.

NextGen adds a Gutenberg block which allows you to create and add galleries from the post edit screen. For classic editor users, it adds a button to the post editor.

Winner: No clear winner. Envira, Modula, and Foo Gallery all offer easy to use interface.

Features

In order to create a beautiful photo gallery, you need functionality like lightboxes, full-screen mode, albums, pagination, navigation, slideshow, password protection, EXIF metadata, social media sharing, and more.

However it’s important to remember that too many features can slow down your site, so let’s take a look at how our contenders handle the balance in features and functionality.

Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery is built with a mobile first approach. This means that it is fully responsive out of the box.

It allows you to easily choose thumbnail sizes, animations, gallery layouts, add meta tags for your images all from the single user interface.

Apart from the built-in features, there are loads of features that you can add by installing addons such as: gallery templates, social sharing, videos, password protection, image protection, albums, slideshow, Pinterest, image proofing, WooCommerce support, and more.

Envira Gallery features

Modula

Modula is the newest of all plugins on our list, so they do not have the advanced features. However the plugin does cover all the basic features you’ll want from a WordPress gallery plugin like lightbox popup, social sharing, custom styles, grid layouts, and more.

It comes with a custom grid feature which allows you to use simple drag and drop to create your own custom grid for galleries.

It also has a video addon for creating video galleries. However, Modula is lacking other features like albums, watermarking, proofing, and gallery templates.

Modula features

FooGallery

FooGallery comes with a lot of powerful features however it is not mobile responsive out of the box. You can select the responsive template to add a responsive photo gallery.

Another feature that we missed is the lightbox. You can install the free Foobox plugin to add lightbox functionality, but we felt that it should have been packaged with the core gallery plugin.

FooGallery also comes with extensions that you can install to add more features such as custom branding, cube effect, lightbox, and more.

FooGallery features

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN Gallery is the oldest of all four plugins, and it comes with an extensive list of features.

Many of the features that are available as addons in Envira and Foo, are available out of the box in NextGEN gallery. There are also premium addons with more features that you can install.

Most NextGen features require a certain level of familiarity with the plugin. Users will need some time to figure things out, reading the documentation, and posting questions in support forums.

Winner: Envira Gallery is the clear winner here with its extensive list of features that cover all the basics + advanced features for photographers, eCommerce websites, and portfolios. NextGEN is the close second with a matching set of features.

Compatability

WordPress provides you the freedom to move your site from one web host to another and even to different competitors.

We need to see if you can easily import/export and backup your photo gallery data.

Envira Gallery

Envira stores all your photo galleries as custom post types in the WordPress database. It stores your media files using the default WordPress media location. This means if you backup your WordPress site, then you will have all Envira Gallery data backed up.

Envira also allows you to import/export your individual galleries. This means that you can move a single gallery from one WordPress site to another.

Import / Export photo galleries using Envira Gallery

When you move your WordPress site, Envira will automatically detect it and will show you an option to fix the migration. All these features make Envira Gallery the most reliable photo gallery plugin for WordPress.

Modula

Modula also uses a custom WordPress content type to store your photo galleries. This means you can save your photo galleries with your WordPress backup and restore them when you restore WordPress site from backup.

Modula doesn’t allow you to import/export individual galleries.

FooGallery

Similar to Envira, FooGallery also stores your galleries as custom post types in the WordPress database. If you backup your WordPress site, then you will have a FooGallery data backup as well.

However, if you just want to export individual galleries, then there is no option for that because the plugin doesn’t come with an import/export feature.

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN gallery does not come with import/export feature. Since it stores your data in separate database tables, this means you will need to configure your WordPress backup plugin to include those tables.

NextGEN also stores your images in a separate folder. If you want to create a backup for them, then you will need to download the folder separately to your computer.

Both Envira and FooGallery offer NextGen importers to make it easy for users to switch to their platform.

Winner: Enivra Gallery offers the most comprehensive set of tools to import/export your photo galleries.

Pricing

All four plugins have a free WordPress gallery version available in the WordPress plugin directory. All four of them have paid upgrades available with more features. The pricing of your photo gallery plugin will depend on which plan you want to use for any of these plugins. You can choose a plan based on the features you need after trying the free versions.

Winner: No clear winners here – the pricing of products will vary based on what features you need and plan that you select.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a simple and fast solution, then Envira Gallery and Modula Gallery are both great options for a WordPress gallery plugin.

If you need the advanced features and don’t mind a learning curve, then NextGen gallery is your best option.

We hope this article helped you pick the best WordPress gallery plugin for your website. You may also want to see our expert-pick of the must have WordPress plugins for all websites.

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The post Which is the Best WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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