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On this publish, I’ll be reviewing one of many WordPress platform’s hottest picture gallery plugins: Envira Gallery. Learn on to study its finest options, how you can use it and whether or not or not it’s a plugin price paying for.
As a webmaster, it’s your job to fulfill web customers’ obsession with images and fairly visuals, whereas additionally serving your web site at lightning velocity. However aren’t these two objectives, nicely, kind of incompatible? In spite of everything, including a ton of images to your pages is sure to make issues slower — utilizing giant, high quality photographs means sacrificing load time, proper?
Nicely, not at all times. And on this publish, I’m going to be assessing a possible resolution to this predicament: The Envira Gallery plugin.
The declare on the Envira Gallery web site is daring and unambiguous: ‘The Best Premium WordPress Gallery Plugin.’ It builds lovely picture and video galleries, it’s fast and simple to make use of, and it’s been effective-tuned for optimum velocity. What extra may you ask for from a gallery plugin, proper?
In fact, any plugin can sound good on paper. The extra necessary questions are: What’s it like in actuality? Does it reside as much as expectations? And is it well worth the price ticket?
I’ll be trying to reply all of those and extra, as I take Envira Gallery for a take a look at drive.
Let’s get began.
Introducing Envira Gallery
Table of Contents
First, although, a little bit background on Envira Gallery.
Envira Gallery was a part of the Superior Motive secure of plugins, which additionally contains OptinMonster, MonsterInsights and WPForms (click on for evaluations!). Nonetheless, Syed Balkhi and the group bought Envira Gallery (and Soliloquy) in 2018 to concentrate on their different plugins.
Regardless of the change of palms, Envira Gallery stays a formidable choice within the gallery plugin house. It’s nonetheless commonly up to date, with new options added on a constant foundation. The plugin celebrated its sixth birthday in January 2020, so it’s been round for some time now. Throughout this time, Envira has established itself as arguably the highest gallery plugin, and presumably probably the greatest-identified plugins within the WordPress world — interval. As such, it might already be in your radar.
Proper from the get-go, efficiency has at all times been a significant a part of Envira’s philosophy. Unique developer Thomas Griffin got down to create a gallery plugin that wasn’t bloated with code however may nonetheless arise towards different prime gallery plugins. In reality, a lot of Envira’s success may be attributed to this method — the plugin squeezes spectacular usability and a ton of highly effective functionalities into an insanely light-weight and tremendous-quick bundle.
Though Envira is understood for its velocity, in my view the spectacular function set might be the plugin’s largest boon.
You possibly can, in fact, rapidly create video or picture galleries, full with lightbox and slideshow functionalities, however it’s once you throw the numerous premium addons into the combo that you just start to unlock a number of the most enjoyable options for a picture gallery plugin. These embody password-protected galleries, WooCommerce integration, and picture printing, to call only a few.
As you’d anticipate from a prime plugin in 2020, it’s, in fact, totally responsive, too.
So, there’s heaps to love about Envira, however let’s see the way it performs on a reside web site as we dive into the majority of as we speak’s publish: Our detailed Envira Gallery overview.
Getting Began with Envira Gallery
Let’s begin by putting in the plugin. Navigate to Plugins > Add New > Add Plugin and set up and activate the Envira Gallery .zip file.
As soon as the plugin is reside in your website, you may enter your license key. Doing so permits the Envira Gallery plugin to replace itself with the newest options and safety patches, whereas additionally unlocking entry to any addons which are obtainable in your pricing plan (extra on these later).
Now it’s time to put in the addons. That is achieved by clicking Envira Gallery > Addons, then clicking Set up on those you have got entry to and need to use.
There are as much as 28 addons obtainable, which implies you may add a powerful vary of performance to the core plugin. Which of them are you eligible for? Nicely, that depends upon your license kind, which leads us properly on to the subject of value.
Envira Gallery Pricing
Envira Gallery affords 4 license sorts.
- Fundamental ($29) — use on one web site, get entry to a set of eight addons.
- Plus ($69) — use on three web sites, get entry to a set of 19 addons.
- Professional ($99) — use on 25 web sites, get entry to all 28 addons.
- Company ($299) — use on limitless web sites, get entry to all 28 addons.
Your selection of license will dictate what number of web sites you may activate Envira Gallery on and which addons you’re ready to make use of. All licenses cowl you for one 12 months of entry to assist and plugin updates. After the 12 months is up, you may proceed utilizing the Envira Gallery and its addons unsupported or pay for one more 12 months of entry to assist and plugin updates.
And, for comparability, Envira Gallery’s essential competitor is NextGen, which costs its Professional model between $79 and $299. As such, Envira Gallery is extra inexpensive at entry-degree, whereas in line on the prime finish.
The addons are in all probability the distinguishing variation between the licenses, as they unlock some actually cool options. There’s no have to run you thru all 28 of them, however listed below are a number of the finest:
- NextGen Gallery Importer Addon (Professional and up) — migrate galleries straight from the favored NextGen gallery plugin.
- Safety Addon (Fundamental and up) — stop guests from proper-clicking and saving your photographs.
- Instagram and Pinterest Addons (Plus and up) — import photographs from social media websites.
- EXIF Addon (Plus and up) — for skilled photographers, this one allows you to add EXIF metadata to pictures, comparable to digicam mannequin and shutter velocity.
- Featured Content material Addon (Plus and up) — allows you to hyperlink to posts, pages and customized publish sorts.
- Gallery Themes Addon (Plus and up) — prettify your galleries with further fashionable templates.
- Pagination Addon (Plus and up) — within the curiosity of velocity, this addon splits galleries throughout a number of pages.
- ZIP Importer Addon (Professional and up) — save your photographs in a single helpful .zip folder, then add them in bulk right into a single gallery.
- WooCommerce Addon (Professional and up) — combine Envira with WooCommerce to promote your photographs to guests.
- Deeplinking Addon (Professional and up) — optimize your photographs for a rating enhance.
- Social Addon (Professional and up) — add social sharing buttons to your photographs.
These addons are activated individually, which implies you solely want to put in those you plan to make use of. The good thing about that is that the plugin carries no pointless baggage.
Creating Your First Gallery
Envira prides itself on being some of the streamlined gallery plugins, supplying you with the power to construct galleries in mere minutes. On this part, we’ll put the plugin via its paces to see if this actually is true.
For the reason that launch of WordPress 5, which contained an replace to the WordPress editor, you now have two methods to create picture galleries with this plugin. First, we’ll take a look at the brand new technique of making a gallery, earlier than trying out the extra conventional, second method.
Due to good assist for the brand new WordPress editor and its blocks system, now you can create a picture gallery listing inside a publish or web page with Envira Gallery. To take action, merely create a brand new publish or web page in WordPress, or open an current one for enhancing, and click on on the Add block button.
Now select the Envira Gallery block so as to add it to your publish or web page.
When you’ve added the Envira Gallery block to your publish or web page, you may merely drag and drop the picture recordsdata out of your pc onto the block. Alternatively, if the picture recordsdata have already been added to your WordPress web site, you may click on the Media Library button after which choose them from there.
After you’ve added some photographs to the block, both by dragging and dropping them or choosing them from the library, you must have a picture gallery configured with the default settings.
Now, in the event you preview your publish, you’ll see the picture gallery in motion. If you wish to customise the settings of the gallery, simply click on on the Edit gallery pencil icon. Doing so will take you to the Envira Gallery space of your WordPress dashboard, which we’ll discover within the subsequent a part of this overview.
As we’ve simply seen, due to good assist for the newest model of the WordPress editor, you may rapidly add a picture gallery to your WordPress web site with Envira Gallery.
When you’d slightly create a gallery the standard manner — contained in the Envira Gallery space of your WordPress dashboard — the method is nearly as easy.
One of many advantages of making a gallery this manner is that you’ve entry to all the settings and configuration choices when you work. So, in the event you’d like extra management over how your gallery appears and features, this may in all probability be one of the best method for you. That being stated, any galleries you create within the WordPress editor may also be configured afterward within the Envira Gallery space of your WordPress dashboard, too.
To begin, we have to navigate to Envira Gallery > Add New, then give the picture gallery a reputation.
Now, an important a part of any picture gallery is, in fact, the imagery itself. As such, choosing your photographs is a smart place to begin. Envira offers a number of choices for sourcing your photographs.
- Select current ones out of your WordPress Media Library.
- Add new ones by dragging and dropping them into the gallery pane.
- Import photographs straight from Dropbox, Instagram, or Pinterest (*requires addons*).
- Add a .zip file containing all the photographs you plan to make use of — a prepared-made gallery in a folder, if you’ll (*requires addon*).
Whenever you’ve chosen, imported or uploaded your photographs, you’ll be capable of see them within the Image panel within the part under.
From right here, you may select to switch your photographs or you may reorder them utilizing drag and drop. It’s all effortlessly straightforward, and it takes simply seconds to populate and organize your gallery.
Configuring the Gallery
Now, it’s time to begin configuring the gallery. That is performed by working your manner down via the Config, Lightbox, Cellular, and Misc panels. *Observe — as you activate extra addons, new panels will change into obtainable with new settings to configure.
First up is the Config panel, which lets you configure a number of fundamental settings in your gallery. For instance, you may specify what number of columns you need to unfold your gallery over, choose picture dimensions, and activate picture auto-cropping.
Though you may manage your picture gallery utilizing drag and drop (as we did earlier than), you too can select different sorting strategies. These embody random, by URL, by file title, or by publication date.
Subsequent, the Lightbox tab. From right here, you may modify the lightbox and the way the pictures behave when clicked.
When you’ve activated the Gallery Templates Addon, you’ll be capable of choose eight lightbox kinds — with out the addon, you’re restricted to 2. It’s also possible to configure the dimensions of the lightbox photographs, whether or not the galleries may be scrolled utilizing the mouse-wheel, and the animation results.
Now, on to the Cellular panel, which helps you to configure your gallery’s cellular settings.
For starters, you get to activate galleries on cellular gadgets. It’s also possible to specify dimensions, choose lightbox kinds and activate swipe gestures for navigating the galleries.
Lastly, the Misc tab. This one allows you to give your gallery a slug and in addition export/import galleries. Chances are high, you gained’t have to spend a lot time on this display, so we’ll breeze over it.
Inserting the Gallery
The gallery is now good to go, so it’s time to show it in all its glory in your website! And, as with each facet of Envira Gallery, the method couldn’t be simpler — in actual fact, the plugin ships with a number of choices.
The best choice, which most of it would be best to use, merely entails creating a brand new publish or web page or opening an current one for enhancing, after which including a brand new Envira Gallery block.
When you’ve added the block, you may select one in all your current galleries to insert into the publish, web page or every other publish kind you will have in your web site.
After you’ve chosen which gallery to insert, it will likely be displayed in your publish or web page.
It’s also possible to place a gallery in a sidebar or different space of your website that helps widgets just by utilizing the devoted Envira Gallery widget. Simply drag and drop into your most well-liked widget house, then choose the gallery you need from a dropdown checklist. Additionally, in the event you’re utilizing a drag-and-drop web page builder plugin, comparable to Elementor, you may incorporate your galleries into your customized content material designs through the use of the widget assist of those instruments.
These of a extra technical inclination could want this different choice: Embedding a code snippet straight into your theme’s code. Once more, that is tremendous straightforward to do, with the code snippet available on the edit gallery display.
Galleries in Motion
So, we’ve seen how straightforward it’s to construct a gallery with Envira, however what do the galleries really seem like? The proof is within the pudding, as they are saying, and the gallery’s look is an important factor for customers.
Thankfully, the outcomes are actually spectacular — as you’re about to see. Keep in mind, although, attempt to not be too swayed by the pictures featured within the gallery screenshots. In spite of everything, the standard of the pictures in use has no bearing on the standard of the plugin.
First up, right here’s a easy three-column, masonry grid structure gallery.
Right here’s a gallery utilizing the Polaroid template, which is obtainable within the Gallery Themes Addon, included with Professional licenses and above.
And right here we see the featured content material choice, obtainable with Plus licenses and above, which hyperlinks to weblog posts in your web site.
As you may see, all galleries look actually fashionable — very clear and fashionable.
Clicking on a picture can set off the lightbox mode, relying on the way you configured your gallery. When this occurs, the background is darkened, and the picture expands to full-dimension. Guests can even navigate in lightbox mode through the use of the buttons supplied, clicking left or proper on their keyboard, scrolling their mouse wheel, or swiping on touchscreen gadgets.
Right here is the usual lightbox.
That is the lightbox utilizing the slideshow function with thumbnails.
And, lastly, the mode which shows sharing buttons by way of the Social addon that’s obtainable on Professional licenses and above.
These are simply a number of the methods you need to use this plugin, and you’ll view extra examples of Envira Gallery in motion on the demo web page of the web site.
Envira Gallery Lite
The options we’ve outlined above are all nicely and good, however some customers need to construct high quality picture galleries utilizing a free plugin.
If this describes your state of affairs, you’re in luck. The official WordPress plugin listing shares the Envira Gallery Lite model. The plugin has garnered greater than 100,000 energetic installations and presently enjoys a stellar 4.eight out 5 score. Evaluate these stats with the primary rival, NextGen Gallery Lite, which has a far greater consumer base — greater than 800,000 — however a barely much less spectacular 4.three score.
The Lite model remains to be exceptionally nicely coded and velocity optimized, however it comes with out a lot of the bells and whistles of its premium huge brother. The plugin is simply as straightforward to make use of — the method for constructing galleries is similar, in actual fact — however there are fewer choices and not one of the functionalities the addons present.
Nonetheless, if you need a free gallery plugin, it’s a superb choice, or it offers you the chance to attempt Envira Gallery out earlier than buying the total model.
Total, I used to be actually impressed with the Envira Gallery plugin. Not solely is it one of many quickest round — an necessary consideration for any picture-heavy web site — however it’s additionally some of the consumer-pleasant plugins I’ve had the privilege of testing. The studying curve is as flat because it will get.
So far as function units go, Envira Gallery can do every thing you can ask of a picture gallery plugin. Social sharing, WooCommerce integration, picture search engine marketing, fashionable templates, gallery imports — the checklist goes on and on.
Every perform is activated on the click on of a button, which implies you solely want to put in the options you’re actively utilizing. Which means, for customers simply on the lookout for a streamlined gallery, there are not any pointless configuration screens to drown in. And for these on the lookout for specialised functionalities, there’s a devoted settings display for each, enabling you to tweak the galleries to your precise liking.
The largest determination is selecting which license to go for. As you’d anticipate, the costlier licenses ship with further (and extra refined) addons, so it’s a tradeoff between value and have set.
For many customers, the optimum license will fall someplace between Plus and Professional — Plus unlocks the majority of one of the best addons, whereas Professional unlocks the lot.
Having seemed intently on the addons obtainable with every license, I personally lean in the direction of the $99 Professional license and really feel it represents one of the best worth. Sure, it’s the costliest choice (other than the Company license that allows you to use the plugin on an infinite variety of websites), however it’s not far more costly than the Plus license, and also you get entry to a lot extra options. Professional additionally affords premium assist, though, due to how straightforward the plugin is to make use of, you in all probability gained’t use this a lot.
All in all, Envira is a very robust gallery plugin. Fast, respected, and simple to make use of — and will get a full endorsement from us.
Utilizing Envira Gallery? Ideas?