How to add image galleries in WordPress (video tutorial)

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If you are new to using WordPress, the process of adding image galleries might seem a little confusing.  In this video tutorial, I show you how to add image galleries and explain how themes and plugins can potentially display galleries differently using shortcodes and template files.

Remember, different themes often contain different approaches to gallery presentation.  For example, our new WordPress theme for photographers, Immense, relies on “shortcode” inserted into Posts, Pages, and Gallery post types to generate the galleries you see on the demo site, while another one of our popular themes, Widescreen, doesn’t require gallery “shortcode” to be inserted.  It relies on Page templates and post formats (post formats are only available in Widescreen 1.5 and above).

Does the video tutorial above help you better understand how galleries work in WordPress? If not, what questions do you have regarding inserting galleries? Please post your questions in the comments below and we’ll help you out.

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Posted by , at Graph Paper Press

Thad is the founder of Graph Paper Press. Previously, he produced online multimedia and documentary projects for USA Today including the inauguration of President Barack Obama and many others. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Abby.

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12 thoughts on “How to add image galleries in WordPress (video tutorial)”

  1. Is it possible for a plugin to add a watermark to photos as they are uploaded? And why would you ever want to link to a page instead of the original photo? Thanks for the useful video.

    1. Hi Michael,

      Checkout the Watermark Reloaded plugin:

      Regarding linking to the original image file vs. linking to the attachment page:

      I honestly always link to the image file.  There are times (rare) when you might want to link to the attachment page.  Themes control how the image attachment page looks.  Theoretically you could add some custom code to the attachment.php file that would, say, display relevant metadata from your image, or, it could even contain the ability to BUY IT NOW (a feature we might be adding in the future).  Most attachment pages don’t do anything special, though.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Thanks for the plugin suggestion, and the detailed commentary about linking to a page vs original image. Have a great day, Mike

  2. Hi guys, thanks for the Galleries video and Immense video.  Helpful.  I feel whether you planned it or not, Immense seems to be an evolutionary step forward for WP.  It “thinks” differently and we’re all are running to catch up.  That’s OK.  We like progress.

    In your videos you explain the “how” better than the “why.”  The new Galleries option among the choices of Pages or Posts — is the purpose of creating a Gallery vs. Post or Page, so I can then select a specific “Gallery” for display on the home page?  That’s one purpose.  Is there another?

    Thanks again & keep up the good work!

    1. Glad you like our new theme, Immense!

      There are a couple reasons for using the Gallery custom post type option as opposed to Posts and Pages:

      1.  Organization: Keeping your different types of content organized helps make the user-interface for your site more intuitive for your site visitors.  I like to think of it like this: Posts should be blog posts; Pages should be text-heavy pages, like an About page; Galleries should exclusively contain image galleries. Lumping all types of content into either Posts or Pages is a bit limiting from a technical theme/template/display standpoint.

      2.  URL structure: Posts have a URL structure like this:  Pages have URL structures like this:  If you are posting a portfolio of images, the Post URL structure might seem odd, as it’s more of a news-style URL structure (with the date prepended to the post).  The Page URL structure would work for a Portfolio of images, but, there is no out-of-the-box way to categorize Pages.  You can assign a Page as a Child Page to a Parent Page, but that isn’t all that intuitive from a user-standpoint.

      3.  Custom Taxonomies: You’ll notice that Galleries give you a new way of organizing your Galleries into “Collections”.  A collection of galleries is an easier concept for many users to grasp as opposed to assigning a parent page (if using Pages) or categorizing the posts into Post-specific categories.

      4.  Templates: Adding a Gallery custom post type gives us the ability to design a Gallery template specific to Galleries.

      Hope helps!


  3. [,陶宝返利秀]夜的荒凉旋转在我无眠的睡眼里,朦胧了我的思绪!楼主文章写的太好了……

  4. Hi Thad, Great video! 
    I’m using Focal Point and I have created a gallery.  But when I try to insert gallery into a page or post the gallery tab does not appear as an option.

  5. I’m trying to create an archive gallery on my photography page using focal point. how do I do that? I’m using focal point as my theme.

  6. Gosh ! At last I understand how the native WP gallery works now !!!  I got so totally stuck with that, I gave up and used external galleries till today.
    Now I feel a little ridiculous because it’s in fact so simple !  With the plugin Lightbox Plus, it makes me totally happy !

    Thanks you so much for this simple but smart video !!! 🙂

  7. i am using de gallery in chromatic, i want to make the size of the pictures smaller is it possible to do that.

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