If you’re a creative-type, showing off the quality of your work will be one of the most influential factors when it comes to securing work. As such, displaying your work in a stylish portfolio is fundamentally important.
The default version of WordPress allows you to add images to posts and pages, but this is rather limited — if you’re serious about attracting new clients, it just won’t cut it. Remember: if you’re claiming to be a professional, creative individual, then you need a professional looking, creative portfolio, right?
The good news: there are loads of great portfolio plugins available for WordPress, to allow you to build a beautiful showcase for your work. Many of them are beginner-friendly, and come with enough customization options to make your portfolio your own. Today, I want to introduce you to 15 of my favorite portfolio plugins.
1. Essential Grid Premium WordPress Plugin
Essential Grid bills itself as an all-purpose grid building solution with unlimited possibilities, and is available from CodeCanyon for $26.
The plugin comes with an impressive 30 skins, and also allows you to build your own skins using a drag and drop visual editor — these can be saved and exported. Each skin comes with its own layout and overlay style, many of which are animated. You can add images, videos, audio, WooCommerce products, blog posts, client logos, and carousels to your grid, giving you the versatility to create any type of portfolio you want.
Adding a grid to your website is as easy as choosing the content (you can choose posts, pages, custom post types, or gallery), refining it by selecting relevant categories or tags, then pasting a shortcode to the relevant post, page, or widget area. All grids are fully responsive and can be filtered down by visitors — you can turn this option on or off.
2. JetPack Tiled Galleries Free WordPress Plugin
If you’d prefer a free plugin for displaying your portfolio in an eye-catching way, look no further than JetPack. WordPress’ own all-in-one style plugin includes built-in support for styled, tiled galleries. This makes it super easy to add galleries to you website (perhaps with no new plugin needed if you’ve already got it installed).
The Jetpack galleries include a few styles (tiles, squares, circles), multiple column options, custom widths, and an optional single image gallery view. The portfolios are also fully responsive. Once you’ve activated the Jetpack tiled galleries features, you simple insert galleries to posts like normal – except they’ll be styled (automatically) according to your Jetpack settings.
3. Easy Media Gallery Premium WordPress Plugin
Easy Media Gallery Pro is without doubt one of the most versatile gallery portfolio plugins around, and will set you back just $24 – there is also a free version of the plugin which includes more limited functionality.
You can add images, galleries, photo albums, image carousels, videos, audio, and even Google Maps to a portfolio. The plugin optimizes images for SEO by automatically adding alt tags and title attributes to images. It is also highly versatile, supporting videos from 15 sources and audio from three sources.
Easy Media Gallery is user-friendly, allowing you to add items with just a few clicks. It is also super-easy to customize the positioning, colors (unlimited colors available), and add special effects to items in your portfolio. As an added bonus, the plugin supports ten different lightbox styles for when visitors click on an item in your portfolio. The portfolios are fully responsive and you can choose to add filters for easier navigation.
4. Nimble Portfolio Free WordPress Plugin
Nimble Portfolio is a feature-rich, free portfolio plugin for WordPress users. The plugin lets you add posts, pages, custom post types (including WooCommerce products), images, and videos to a gallery. The galleries themselves looks clean and stylish with attention-grabbing circular thumbnails.
The galleries are fully responsive and can be filtered down by visitors to make it easier to find the items that interest them. You can select the number of columns to include, as well as the icon displayed when a visitor hovers over an item. When a visitor clicks on one of the thumbnails, a lightbox pops up to display the expanded image, video, or audio file.
The Nimble Portfolio plugin can be extended by purchasing premium addons. There are currently seven available – two skins, four lightboxes, and one sorting feature extension.
5. Media Grid Premium WordPress Plugin
Media Grid is a user-friendly, premium portfolio plugin that allows you to build beautiful, responsive grids using an intuitive visual grid builder. You can add images, videos, audio, WooCommerce products, text, and image sliders to your grids. When visitors hover over an item, an overlay is displayed which provides additional information — if they click on it, a stylish lightbox appears, from which you can add a further description and display social sharing icons.
All grids can be filtered by visitors to help them find what they want. There are also plenty of customization options: you can set border size and color, margin between images, and the overlay color. If you don’t have time to endlessly customize your grid to find the perfect setup, there are ten one-click presets available. You can add your grid to any page, post, custom post, or widget area using a simple shortcode.
You can also extend Media Grid by adding more overlay styles by purchasing the Media Grid Overlay Manager add-on for $15.
6. Grid FX Premium WordPress Plugin
With four unique skins, Grid FX is a highly versatile portfolio plugin, available for $19 from CodeCanyon. It allows you to place images, videos, audio, blog posts and WooCommerce products in stylish grids, Pinterest-style galleries, and image carousels.
Customization is King with this plugin, with over 80 different styling options. You can choose from a range of skins, lightbox backgrounds, title animations, colors, and buttons. You can also set how many items will appear in the portfolio, the size of each item, and the number of columns.
To improve navigation, visitors can filter down the grids to find what they are looking for. Adding a portfolio to your WordPress website is as easy as pasting a simple shortcode into any post, page, or widget area.
7. Go Portfolio Premium WordPress Plugin
Go Portfolio is a highly customizable, responsive portfolio plugin, available from CodeCanyon for $23. Go Portfolio includes four different “styles”, all of which look stunning with an array of overlays, thumbnail size/shapes, animations, and visual effects.
Users have an unlimited number of colors to choose from, 600+ Google fonts, plus they can choose the sizing and spacing of each item to get the grid just to your liking — you can also choose whether your grids are filterable. Go Portfolio supports images, posts, videos, audio, and WooCommerce products, all of which can be combined in any grid. You can add as many grids as you want to your website, which is done by adding a shortcode to the relevant post, page, or widget area.
8. EnviraGallery Premium WordPress Plugin
Of course we can’t forget EnviraGallery. This plugin is yet another great option for adding responsive image galleries to your WordPress site. We did a full EnviraGallery review not long ago, but just to hit the high points this plugin includes lightbox support, custom margins, image cropping, mobile gallery options, custom thumbnails, support for custom gallery classes (great for developers) and so much more. Plus there are plenty of add-ons for any other feature you might need, like Pinterest integration, tags, slideshows, skins, fullscreen support and more.
9. NextGen gallery
With over a million downloads, NextGen Gallery can handle both simple photo galleries as well as advanced professional needs. Within minutes, you can create beautiful albums. The plugin can upload photos in batches, helping you sort them out and slotting them into groups. Working from the Gallery tab of your dashboard, you can vary the size, color, style, lightbox effects, timing, transitions and manage all settings.
NextGen is responsive and is compatible with most themes. It allows you to edit thumbnails, import meta data, and customize the lightbox. You can number your album pages, add text, watermark and external links to images. Not only that, you can password protect the galleries by falling back on native WordPress functions.
The free plugin allows visitors to view images as slideshows and thumbnails, as well as in a compact or extended album. Moreover, different premium packages offer different extensions. They help you display galleries in additional formats, sell photos online, allow digital downloads, display price lists and offer coupons.
If you’re familiar with creating a post in WordPress, you’ll find it easy to create a gallery with Foo Gallery. It adds a button to the post editor which you need to click to create a gallery. The built-in media library helps out with image management. The plugin allows you to drag and drop images and arrange them in any order. The NextGen Gallery import tool makes it easy to import galleries and albums.
Working with shortcodes, you can display a gallery anywhere on your site. Within minutes, you’ll have fast loading responsive galleries as well as crisp thumbnails. There’s a choice of built-in gallery templates, but you can also choose to style both galleries and albums with CSS. To access built-in albums you need to activate an extension. A decent lightbox is on the list of features of the free plugin. What’s nice abut the plugin is that it relies on an extension framework. This makes it both lightweight and developer friendly.
However, for many additional features such as adding videos, you’ll have to purchase premium extensions. Pro features also include beautiful hover effects, infinite scroll and advanced pagination.
11. Custom Content Portfolio
Custom Content Portfolio was built with more than just portfolios and galleries in mind. It’s design allows users an option to switch themes without losing any content. Any developer can build a theme on top of this plugin as well.
Working with the plugin is as easy as creating new posts or pages. Simply create individual projects for your portfolio, and then tag and categorize them. You can add project details like image, URL and description, customize portfolio permalinks and make any project sticky. If you combine the plugin with a Role Management plugin, you can allow others to manage portfolios on your website. And, if your theme allows it, you can also have audio and video formats.
12. Photo Gallery by Supsystic
Photo Gallery by Supsystic offers both free and pro versions to display any number of portfolios and galleries. With the free version, you’ll be able to create responsive photo galleries and tag them with links, icons, and HTML captions. You can opt to add a watermark to images to protect them.
With this plugin, your website can sport full width galleries and employ a number of layouts, design, polaroid and style effects. You’ll be able to import images from your social network into your gallery.
A number of transition effects are available, and users can access images quickly via the thumbnail images. Shortcodes allow you to add galleries anywhere on your WordPress. Image management becomes easy with this plugin as it supports bulk uploading and publishing.
Adding categories and pagination to your gallery is possible only with the pro version. This version also allows you to include videos in your gallery.
13. Image Photo Gallery Final Tiles
Image Photo Gallery Final Tiles is an ideal plugin to display photo albums, showcase products or exhibit photos. It uses flexible grid layouts, allowing you to mix landscape and portrait images of all sizes. You can have a Pinterest type photo gallery or a tiled gallery, and include videos as well.
Using a special algorithm, the plugin retains the original image sizes to the extent possible. Moreover, the plugin is responsive enabling smooth animation on mobile devices too.
The plugin supports sharing on social media. With the pro version it’s possible to filter images, add categories and choose from seven lightboxes. Hover effects on captions and images, image loading effects and WooCommerce support also form part of premium features.
14. Video Gallery
To stream content from YouTube, playlists, Vimeo or LiveDash, Video Gallery is the plugin of choice. You can create a gallery that streams from multiple galleries, and mix and match videos from multiple streams in a single gallery. The plugin is retina ready ensuring sharp image quality.
Once you link the videos in the gallery, users can select from a playlist. The videos can conveniently be set to resume where the user left off. The video thumbnails appear on social channels. For creating safe backups of your gallery, simply export the database. Analytics helps you track user views, particularly useful for educational channels.
15. Modula Grid Gallery
Both the free and paid versions of Modula Grid Gallery help create stylish galleries in complex grid styles with custom margins. All you need to do is specify the maximum height and width, and the Modula wizard orders the images so that they look great. You can add custom captions for individual images and filters to let users sort through your gallery by tags. The display can be varied using 6 different lightbox and 12 different hover effects.
Though not as feature rich as some plugins on this list, Modula is more than adequate for most websites. The plugin has a well designed, easy to use interface. It lets you create a filterable photo gallery and generates shortcodes that helps you add them anywhere on your website. You can add multiple galleries using multiple shortcodes. And what’s more, the built-in social sharing feature makes it easy to share images on social media.
If your prior work is an influential factor in you securing new clients, displaying your work in a portfolio is an absolute must. Remember: the way you display your work will say almost as much about you as the work itself, so show it off with pride – there are plenty of great WordPress portfolio plugins out there, so you have no excuse for a shabby-looking portfolio.
Are there any awesome portfolio plugins I’ve missed off this list? Let me know in the comments section below!