At the time this article is being written, the NextGen Gallery plugin is the third most popular plugin downloaded for WordPress sites, with 4,910,296 downloads, and counting. That is saying quite a lot about this robust gallery plugin that has an easy-to-use dashboard giving you many options for customization. It is also quite easy to use, but many of our clients have requested help in getting started. This tutorial will show you how to easily add a gallery, upload images, and manage those images.
In your dashboard, look for the “Gallery” menu on the left side of your page. The “Gallery” menu will most likely be towards the bottom, if not the last option available. If you are using WP 3.#.# you will see a menu like the one shown here. Otherwise, on older versions of WordPress, you will have to open the menu by clicking a small arrow when you hover on the “Gallery” menu item. There are many menu items, but for this tutorial, we will only be working on the “Add Gallery/Images” and “Manage Gallery” options.
To get started, click on the “Add Gallery/Images” option.
The first thing you need to do to get started is create your first gallery. You can always come back to this same menu to create as many galleries as you want. Name it something unique, easy for you to identify. Click “Add Gallery” to move on to the next step.
Now that you have successfully created your first gallery, it’s time to add images to it. WordPress utilizes a Flash uploader, which you can disable if you are using a browser that does not support Flash. Regarding image size, it is best to try and keep images at 72dpi and less than 1000px in width. Otherwise, click the “Select Files” button, find the images you want to add, and select them. You can hold down the CTRL button on a PC (CMD on a Mac) to select multiple images in one folder. Once you have selected your images, you will see them listed (shown below). Select your new gallery in the dropdown box and click the “Upload Images” button. You will see a progress bar letting you know when your images have been uploaded.
Now that you have added new images to your gallery, go back to the Gallery menu item in the sidebar and click on “Manage Gallery”. This will take you to a list of all galleries on your WordPress website. Find the gallery you would like to work on and click the “edit” button. On this page you will see a few options. You can edit the gallery title, add a description (depending on your site, this description will be shown in some locations), and set a default image. If you scroll down to the middle of the page, you will see all the images you just added. This is where you can edit the image titles and description (also visible on the front-end of the site with some settings). Once you have made your changes, always remember to save your changes.
Now you’re ready to add your new gallery to any post or page on your site. Once you get to a new post or page, click on the NextGen Gallery icon (shown here at the top-right of all the options, one picture stacked on top of another). This will open a small options box, and you can select your gallery from the dropdown box, as well as choosing how you want your images to be displayed. For this tutorial, I chose the “Image List” option. Once you picked your settings, click the “Insert” button. You will now see a shortcode that has been added to your post or page: [nggallery id=1]. The number in the shortcode will always be the ID number of your gallery.
Save you post or page and view your new gallery of images on your site. And make sure to check back soon for a followup tutorial that goes a little deeper into NextGen Gallery settings, options, and slideshows.