Modula Image Gallery | Our Pick for the Best WordPress Gallery Plugin
Enter the word “Photo Gallery” in the WordPress Plugin search box, and over 900 results come up. With so many options, photographers on WordPress often use the default features for displaying their images. However, depending on the WordPress theme, the display options are often limited. And arranging (and rearranging) photos in spreads to create impactful stories can take a lot of time and careful planning with the default system.
After installing dozens of the top rated gallery plugins, we found our pick for best WordPress gallery plugin, the Modula Image Gallery. The Modula Plugin checks all of our boxes in terms of aesthetics and options. It also speeds up our blogging workflow by making our image spreads easy-to-create and modify. This ultimately results in a better overall display of our images and better storytelling. In fact, after our wedding photography studio implemented Modula, we cut our average blogging time per wedding from around 1.5 hours down to 45 minutes.
Let’s jump into more detail and explain why Modula is the best WordPress gallery plugin. Since Modula has a lite (free) and a pro (paid) version, we’ll be sure to label each feature as free or paid to help you make your decision.
1) Drag and Drop Visual Builder
This is the main feature that drew us to this plugin. Prior to this plugin, we were creating spreads with Photoshop templates, which works just fine but took over an hour, sometimes two, per blog entry. And if we wanted to swap out images and make any layout changes, we would have to recreate the spread or find the Photoshop file to make the adjustments. The easy, visual, drag and drop features of Modula make the process easy and fast for photographers or their blogging staff. This lets you focus on the image consistency and the storytelling rather than the actual process.
The following GIF animation shows how easy it is to size and arrange your images in Modula.
Note: This feature is available in the lite (free) version, however you are limited to 20 images per gallery. However, forcing yourself to choose your 20 best images from a shoot can be seen as a “less is more,” positive aspect. But if you regularly need more than 20 images, you’ll have to upgrade to the pro version (which we’ll discuss more below).
2) Great Out-of-the-box Aesthetics and Display Settings
Modula, out of the box, has a nice design that will fit in well with any WordPress Theme. In contrast, some of the other plugins we’ve tested had outdated design elements and required additional CSS to make them usable.
Fonts and Borders – All versions include the ability to adjust the size and colors of the borders and fonts, making them adaptable to any WordPress theme style.
Hover Effects – The default hover effect comes with the lite version and has a nice look and feel to it. See the example below.
3) (Optional) Social Sharing
With Modula, you can turn on social sharing for your images. This is a great feature that encourages your readers and clients to organically share your photos. It also eliminates the need for additional plugins that do similar things, such as a plugin for displaying a “Pin” for Pinterest on your images. This feature is available in the lite (free) version.
Note: You can also adjust the size of the social icons and determine which ones to include and exclude.
4) Plugin Uses Standard Media Gallery
We also love Modula for its use of the standard WordPress Media Gallery. What I mean is that, unlike some plugins we’ve tested, all the images are uploaded and pulled from the default media gallery. This makes all of the images available if you need them for your other plugins, if you switch plugins or if you need them for your posts’ featured images. In contrast, if you choose a gallery plugin that creates its own location for the images, you have to then re-upload or move those images if you want to use them in other areas of the site.
5) Expanded Features in the Pro Version
If you’re looking for even more features, you have the option of upgrading to the pro version. While most photographers will be okay with the lite (free) version, some may choose the pro version for these notable differences:
- Gallery Filters and Sorting – This feature lets you add filters to your galleries to make it easier for your website visitors to quickly sort through a larger collection of images. They also include multiple styles so you can match the look and feel with your website.
- Video Galleries – This feature lets you add video galleries to your website, with videos from sources like YouTube and Vimeo along with self-hosted videos.
- SpeedUp – You can also add compression settings so that your images load quicker. This eliminates the need to install additional plugins for this feature.
- Right-Click Protection – You can add right-click protection to help protect against viewers saving your images.
- SEO Deeplink – This features creates unique, indexable URLs for each image in your gallery.
- Watermark – You can automatically add a watermark to your images.
- Password Protect Galleries – You can also create private galleries with passwords.
- Lightbox Slideshow – Modula Slideshow allows you to turn your gallery’s Lightbox into a slideshow.
- Gallery Albums – You can also organize galleries in Albums, select featured images, grid type, hover effects and more.
- Additional Slideshow Effects – Modula Pro gives you lots of additional hover effects to choose from.
For a full list of Lite vs Pro comparisons, see their Pricing Page on their website.
Modula Plugin Examples
How do you know this review/feature is honest? We’ve used this plugin for multiple sites that we own and plan on using it for more. Here are just a few:
The Modula plugin is worth using on any image-heavy WordPress website. The design aesthetics, the features, and the ease of use make it perfect for photographers. In particular, it’s a must-have for photographers who rely on spreads and carefully crafted stories to increase the overall impact and perception of their work.
We would love to hear your thoughts. What plugins do you use for your WordPress galleries? Let us know in the comments below.