Say Cheeeese: Seven of the Best WordPress Plugins for Photo Blogs

No Picture

Which photographer hasn’t ever thought about running a photo blog with WordPress for the sake of simplicity? WordPress provides a gallery function since version 2.5. However, this is very basic and surely doesn’t meet the requirements of more than semi-amateur photographers. Those who want to pursue their hobby in a more professional way expect more than that. Therefore, we’ll show you some really useful plugins for photo enthusiasts.

7bestwordpressplugins-photoblog-teaser

What’s Important for Photographers

As photo blogs focus almost entirely on images, correct editing is essential to avoid large file sizes. Your website’s loading performance will appreciate your efforts. Equally important are the so-called Exif data which give a lot of information about your photos. Exif data are stored in the image files and can therefore be read by plugins. They can contain information about:

  • Date and time the photo was shot
  • Aperture
  • Shutter speed
  • ISO speed (light sensitivity)
  • Exposure mode
  • Orientation (image rotation of 90, 180, or 270°)

These data make the image much more interesting. That’s why, many (semi)professional photographers wish to see the Exif data. In the end it all comes down to a good presentation, and again you can make use of some very good plugins to ease the workflow.

1.) – Force Regenerate Thumbnails

force-regenerate-thumbnails

Many WordPress themes allow to set the size of thumbnails. When you upload an image, several alternative images sizes are generated in the background which are then delivered in the appropriate size to the visitor rather than displaying only large images. This saves you a lot of traffic and makes sense. If you change your theme, chances are good that the generated image sizes won’t fit anymore. Therefore, new image sizes should be generated and old ones deleted as they don’t fit to the new theme.

That’s where Force Regenerate Thumbnails comes into play. The plugin generates automatically the thumbnail sizes set in the theme and deletes the old ones which don’t fit anymore.

  • Developer: Pedro Elsner
  • Continuous development: Yes
  • Latest version: 01/15/2015
  • Price: Free on WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Incompatibilities with other plugins: Not known
  • Developer’s homepage: Not known
  • Download from WordPress.org

Alternatives are Regenerate Thumbnails by Viper and Photon out of the Jetpack bundle.

2.) – Exifography

exifography

Exifography reads the Exif data of the images. This data is provided to the photographer who can decide which information he wants to be published in his blog posts. The Exif data can be automatically integrated into the theme or made visible via shortcode.

  • Developer: kristarella
  • Continuous development: Could be better
  • Latest version: 01/30/2014
  • Price: Free on WordPress.org
  • Compatibility with WordPress 4: Fully compatible
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Incompatibilities with other plugins: Not known
  • Developer’s homepage: Not known
  • Download from WordPress.org

3.) – EXIFize My Dates

exifize-my-dates

EXIFize My Dates changes the post date to the date and time of the first image in the post automatically , or rather the post thumbnail, so your images are always published chronologically.

  • Developer: Driftless
  • Continuous development: Could be better
  • Latest version: 11/19/2013
  • Price: Free on WordPress.org
  • Compatibility with WordPress 4: Fully compatible
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Incompatibilities with other plugins: Not known
  • Developer’s homepage: Not known
  • Download from WordPress.org

4.) – Auto Post Thumbnail

auto-post-thumbnail

Auto Post Thumbnail combs your articles and automatically sets the first image in the article as post thumbnail if no thumbnail is set. When you work with images, these features come in handy as you don’t have to set thumbnails manually.

  • Developer: adityamooley
  • Continuous development: Could be better
  • Latest version: 07/24/2013
  • Price: Free on WordPress.org
  • Compatibility with WordPress 4: Fully compatible
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Incompatibilities with other plugins: Not known
  • Developer’s homepage: Not known
  • Download from WordPress.org

5.) – WP Smush.it

wp-smush-it1

WP Smush.it reduces the file size of the images without compromising the image quality. The big advantage is the improved loading performance as only images with an optimized size are loaded. The plugin also features a bulk optimizer which edits saved images in one go. You should run this bulk optimizer right after the installation. Each new picture, however, will be optimized in the background during the upload automatically .

  • Developer: WPMUDEV
  • Continuous development: Yes
  • Latest version: 01/14/2015
  • Price: Free on WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Incompatibilities with other plugins: Not known
  • Developer’s homepage: Not known
  • Download from WordPress.org

6.) – 2 Image Galleries as Add-on

NextGEN Gallery

nextgen-gallery

The NextGEN Gallery is surely one of the most popular and most used gallery plugins for WordPress. It handles large file sizes and numbers without any problem. The batch function makes the upload easy. The pro version currently costs $79 and offers a few more display options.

The most important features

  • Organize galleries to albums
  • Thumbnail or slideshow galleries, optional for visitors
  • Different thumbnail galleries with many options
  • 5 different light boxes for thumbnail galleries
  • Watermarks
  • Shortcodes for a fast workflow

Plugin details

  • Developer: Imagely
  • Continuous development: Yes
  • Latest version: 12/18/2014
  • Price: Free on WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Incompatibilities with other plugins: Not known
  • Developer’s homepage: Not known
  • Download from WordPress.org
  • Developer/Pro Homepage

Envira Gallery (Lite)

envira-gallery-lite

The Envira Gallery (Lite) is promoted as the fastest, easiest, and most efficient gallery. It allows you to create galleries for articles and sites. You can create global galleries to be used anywhere on the site. It creates responsive galleries, lightboxes out of the box, and uses AJAX to reload images asynchronously which improves the loading performance of your website.

The most important features

  • Creates galleries for posts and pages, but also global galleries
  • Responsive out of the box
  • Asynchronous reloading of content
  • Optimized queries for a faster processing and low server load

Plugin details

  • Developer: Thomas Griffin
  • Continuous development: Yes
  • Latest version: 01/16/2015
  • Price: Free on WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Incompatibilities with other plugins: Not known
  • Download from WordPress.org
  • Developer/Pro Homepage

Conclusion

As you see, WordPress has a lot to offer for hobbyists as well as (semi)professional photographers. A beautiful photo blog profits massively from a bit of research in the WordPress plugin directory and the right theme.

Related Links

(dpe)

Andreas Hecht

Andreas Hecht is a journalist and specialist for WordPress and WordPress Security. He roams the web since its inception. He has published an ebook on WordPress Security, which you might want to take a look at.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Nitin Kumar
Guest

That was really nice article. Simply the proper quantity of helpful stuff, and it’s not too long.

Kamil
Guest

Do you have any solution to regenerating thumbnails and adding watermark? (combined or solution to manage this)

John Donavan
Guest

These wordpress plugins for photos are very useful. Thanks for sharing them. Such shares makes aware of many things which are left out.

Greg
Guest

+1 on the watermark.

Also I wish there was a good Google Photos plugin.

Jacelyn Richards
Guest

Obviously nice set of WP plugins which definitely make me cheese. Especially the fifth and sixth are awesome. Thanks a lot for giving me tips to my forthcoming WordPress projects. Thanks a lot Andreas.

Scott Wyden Kivowitz
Guest

Thank you for including NextGEN Gallery! We try hard to get photographers the features they request :-)

Jonathan Ivy
Guest

Great plugins! Wp Smush it is my favorite! I use it on every post!

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