NextGen Gallery Plugin for a WordPress Portfolio


Last winter I wrote about photoblogging plugins for WordPress. Recently I’ve been using NextGen Gallery with clients and have become a lot more familiar with the plugin.

My friend Manshu also brought it to my attention that the screenshots on my portfolio were outdated. For example, we had installed Thesis on his site but my screenshot still showed his old theme. I decided to redesign the layout of the portfolio using NextGen Gallery. This gave the portfolio a new look and gave me more experience with the plugin.

Steps to a New Portfolio

  1. Install Next Gen Gallery and activate it.
  2. Please note that NextGen Gallery only works with WordPress 2.7 +
  3. Visited the sites that I worked on and took screenshots. (I use the print screen button on my keyboard and do basic edits with Irfanview – nothing fancy here.
  4. Gallery will be added as it’s own menu item in the WordPress navigation menu.
  5. Click on Gallery > Add Gallery / Images. Before you can add images, you need to to create a gallery and give it a name.
  6. You are then ready to upload your images. Add Gallery / Images gives you 4 tabs; Add New Gallery, Upload a Zip File, Import Image Folder, and Upload Images. I usually use Upload Images – what’s cool is that you can select multiple ones from you computer at one time. You will be select the gallery that the images will be uploaded to.
  7. The plugin does it’s thing, uploads the images and creates thumbnails of them. If you are uploading a bunch at once the processing can take some time but it isn’t too long.
  8. If you haven’t already created a new page for your photos, gallery, portfolio make one now. You can put some text on if you want or you can leave it blank. We will be adding a simple piece of code to the page.
  9. Each gallery will have an id number. You will want this for the code that you will using for your gallery page.
  10. If you are using the visual editor, you can click on the button “Add New NextGen Gallery”.

    And then select the Gallery and click on Insert. The code will be added to your page. Save, Publish and you’ve got your new image gallery.


  11. If you are using the html editor, you can insert the following code on the page and you’re done.
    nggallery id=x
    surround this in brackets []
    x=the id number for the gallery
  12. I recommend changing the pop-up lightbox setting to Thickbox under Options >Effects. Maybe it’s just my preference but I think this one looks the best.

This is just a teeny amount of what you can do with NextGen Gallery. You can create slideshows, adjust the image and thumbnail sizes, create and display multiple galleries, create albums, use single images from your galleries in blog posts, and much more.

My new portfolio page still links through to the old one through the link of the site name under each image. I’m not going to keep it this way but still wanted information about what I did on each site and the testimonial. I just haven’t decided yet how I want to manage this page – I might want a separate one for each site …

Do you think this plugin would be useful for your site? Do you think it’s a good way to manage a portfolio? If not, how would you do it differently?

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  1. says

    i do love this plugin. still playing around with it. cant get the albums to show up as individual albums with pics inside. oh well, will play with it some more.

    Natural´s last blog post – Why Wait, Buy Now!

    • says

      Hi Stratos – I haven’t used any other gallery plugins but this one seems to have all the features you would need.

      And wow! a plugin that Stratos likes :-P

  2. says

    I’ve played around with NextGen for awhile now. It’s very powerful and quick.

    But I’ve still not wrapped my head around using and understanding the differences between a gallery and an album. From the author’s FAQ:

    Gallery is a container for your photos. If you divide your photos into categories you will most likely want a ‘Gallery’ for each collection.
    Album would be a collection of one or more Galleries.

    But there is no single place for decent documentation on it. I’ve tagged 6 different sites to help me along.

    A most useful site is this Quick Guide to NextGen Gallery Codes

    Brian Meagher´s last blog post – John Dalys Rub & Barbecue Sauce Review

    • says

      Hi Brian,

      I haven’t used Albums – I guess it’s just a way to collect a number of galleries together. I guess this would be useful if you’ve made a number
      of galleries and then want to display all of them on one page – you could
      put them all into an album.

      There isn’t one single source of documentation for the plugin. I usually
      search on what I’ve having an issue with and hope I find an article.

    • says

      This is helpful If say you want an album of vacation pictures.
      You also want to seperate them to the beaches and theme parks.
      So the album is Florida Vacation which contains Disney, Daytona Beach
      Key West, etc. Each gallery will contain the categorized pictures.

      • says

        Hi OiBoy – Thanks for the explanation. I was thinking about Albums recently and how to use them for photos of my daughter. I was thinking of making a gallery of each month and then putting months into Years with an album.

  3. says

    Hi Kim – I think I’m going to have to try this. I haven’t used photos much lately, as the plugin I use only seems to work when it feels like it.

  4. says

    I have been using NextGen for quite a while, I have read from the forums that people having many issues with it, but fortunately it was smooth for me.
    Yes, you are right it is one of the best gallery plugin for wordpress, only thing I wish it could do is – creating individual page for each image, now it can show your image file in a new page or with light box effect.
    I have used it in a semi automatic way – generating galleries and linking to pages manually created which you can see here : (if you click on each image a new page will come up which is generated manually)
    I also played a little more and used this plugin to generate a list of items linked to the thumb nails generated by this plugin. You can see the action here:

    Chinese Girl´s last blog post – Photo Beijing Summer Palace18

      • says

        Yes, you have to edit the plugin, I am using older version of this plugin therefore I can not tell you where is the that particular code in this new version, it is one line code which says link to image, instead you can change it to link to the alt text, and in gallery management page instead of entering alt text just enter the url of the individual page. Thats it!

        The code is :

        $link = ($ngg_options[‘galImgBrowser’]) ? $nggRewrite->get_permalink(array(‘pid’=>$picture->pid)) : $picture->alttext;
        which is on the page of “nggfunctions.php”

        For a coder, this solution may seem not very intelligent way, but thats how I did it, I believe you can do it better.

        Chinese Girl´s last blog post – Photo Beijing Grand View Garden18

    • says

      Hi Manshu – Overall it is a good plugin (even Stratos likes it). It’s not without it’s quirks but it’s probably the best gallery plugin out there.

  5. says

    I’ve seen this plugin but have never considered installing it. On my photo blogs I use flickr as the main medium for installing photos in the posts so I’m not sure if the plugin is really necessary.

    Sire´s last blog post – Save Even More Money With eBay

  6. says

    I have the gallery installed on an artist website and it works well.
    However, if ALL the thumbnails haven’t finished loading when you click any thumbnail the image will open on a white blank page.

    Anyone know how to fix this?

    • Pixie says

      I don’t know if you have fixed this but I had the same problem.

      It’s not a problem with nextgen but with the plugin that you are using for your effect. I was using lightbox 2 and the problem with it is that it does not load until all the whole page has loaded, so I switched to Slimbox which essentially displays the same but does not have that problem.

      Hope this helps.

  7. Jevgenij says

    Somebody please help me i’m out of ideas… to disable nextgen gallery thumbnail onclick option….just to see thumbnail list as an image list…i need to remove click thumbnail opportunity….

    • says

      Hi – I have modified my files so I’m not 100% certain that my answer will help you.

      Have you gone to Gallery > Options > Gallery and checked the box to deactivate the link? You can also go to Gallery > Options > Effects and set the javascript thumbnail effect to none.

  8. Arun says

    Somebody please help me how to write code if this plugin in activate then my home page is another and when i deactivate it my home page is different. i made static wordpress page.please help me.

  9. Claire says

    Hi there,

    Just wondering if any of you folks knew a quick way of having a text link like “view gallery” and it opens the gallery in the light box?
    I can get it to work for one picture but not the whole gallery

    Thanks in advance

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