With each update to WordPress, the features get better and better. The Jetpack plugin by the creators of WordPress is the same way. One of the recent additions to the Jetpack plugin turns the boring stock WordPress gallery feature into something useful and potentially beautiful. For a few years, I have been a huge proponent of NextGen Gallery for creating image galleries on WordPress. I find myself with less use for the additional plugin overhead when nice galleries are so easy to come by with features in the Jetpack plugin that I’m already using for other things.
If you’re not already using it, install the Jetpack plugin. Choose the “Add New” option under the “Plugins” menu. As of this writing, Jetpack comes up as the 4th most popular plugin in the repository, it should be easy to find. Just click “Install Now” and the rest is easy. Once you have it installed, you’ll see “Jetpack” has been added to your WordPress menu. At the top of the Jetpack’s options page is one to connect the plugin to your WordPress.com account. If you don’t have one, go and get one, and hook it up. You’ll need it for some of the best parts of the Jetpack plugin, like stats.
Create Your Gallery
After you’ve set it up, you can make a gallery within a page or a post. On the editor for the page or post, click the button to “Add Media”. Choose “Create Gallery” on the left, choose or upload the images you want to include, and click “Create A New Gallery” on the bottom right. You’ve come to the last screen and the part where you choose the display options. Enter any image captions you’d like, and set your options on the right. The main one to look for is the “Type”. Here is what my example gallery looks like with the different options.
And of course there’s the slideshow, which is pretty self explanatory.
Anyhow, the new styles offer some neat layouts and really adds value to the WordPress gallery options. Paired with a nice header or featured image slider, these might even make a great home page for a photographers portfolio. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out for you.