If you’re a creative person, you know that displaying your work in a professional manner is a requirement. Photographer, graphic designer, copywriter, you have to find a way to showcase what you do in order to gain awareness or sell. And the best way of doing that is by creating an online portfolio that people can access anytime and use as a reference. We’re here to offer support in order to create the best one, with the help of some WordPress portfolio plugins, but we’ll get to that shortly.

For those of you who have no idea how to make a portfolio, here are the steps you should take in order to create yours. And after you get a sense of what this means, this article will help you go even further, with some tools that will make your life easier than ever.


Portfolio plugins vs. WordPress themes

Portfolio plugins vs. WordPress themes

Some of you may have already tapped into what working with WordPress themes or plugins is about. In this section, we want to reinforce some opinions, maybe change a few or even help some to understand what this is about.

First things first, it’s true that some WordPress themes come with built-in options to create a portfolio. So what’s the purpose of plugins, then? Well, even if it may seem like an advantage at first, the fact that you already have an incorporated portfolio function will only help you customize its appearance. This is not enough if you’re going pro. Yes, looks are what impress people the first time, but your portfolio should shine for you to gain new clients. This is why we need some extra functions, that only plugins can offer you.

And if you don’t think they are worth it, think of it this way – having a portfolio that is built-in your theme will not allow you to change it without losing the proof of your work. So read this article and try to make up your mind on whether to make a small investment that will pay off a hundred times more.

Things to consider when choosing a WordPress portfolio plugin

Things to consider before choosing a WordPress portfolio plugin

It’s not enough to decide that you need a plugin for your portfolio, you should also know what things matter the most in this choice. Here are some of the features you should look for in your ideal tool:

  • Ease of use. First of all, your plugin should be user-friendly. It’s very important, because, besides the money that you’ll invest in it, if you want the premium version, you don’t need to take a lot of your time as well to make it work.
  • Free version. Now, if you’re going pro, most probably you’re going to buy your plugin so you can enjoy all of its features. But some people need a trial in order to see if that’s a good fit both for their website and taste.
  • Premade features. Make sure your plugin of choice has some premade options as well, so you can save time or even get inspiration.
  • Customizable functionalities. It’s very important to have some premade things to choose from, but being able to customize your portfolio allows you to style it up and give it your personal touch.
  • Other options. We know that some people want to make a portfolio that consists only of pictures or don’t think they need to share their work on social media. But having some extra features at hand can be very helpful in the future, so you don’t have to purchase another plugin.

Now that we have everything settled, let’s see which are the best options to choose from. They all have most of the features that we mentioned before, so it’s only up to you to decide.

PluginNumber of active downloadsStarting price
1. Modula70,000+39$
2. Portfolio Filter Gallery10,000+25$
3. Final Tiles Grid40,000+19$
4. GridKit10,000+29.99$
5. Envira100,000+29$
6. Visual Portfolio30,000+free
7. FooGallery200,00059$
8. WP PortfolioN.A49$
9. NextGen Gallery800,00079$

Modula

Modula Image Gallery – Modul WordPress | WordPress.org În Română
Modula

If you go with Modula, you’ll get the most user-friendly plugin out there. It stands out because of the wide range of customizable options it offers, along with stunning lightbox galleries and the possibility to sort them according to your preferences. It’s the easiest way to create your portfolio in a manner that allows you to give it a personal touch as well. This one is originally a gallery plugin, which is the most suitable option for people who are into visual arts and want to display their work in the best way possible.

First of all, what‘s most important to know is that Modula is suitable for you no matter the previous experience you had with WordPress or plugins. It’s very simple to use from the first try. However, if you encounter difficulties, this plugin’s website is packed with how-to’s of any kind. For example, here is an article on how to create an image gallery.

You can find two versions of Modula: Modula Lite, which is the free version you can try in order to see what this plugin can do. A nice thing to notice is that most of their features are available for this version, so it can be a good start. There’s also a premium version of this, that gives you another round of options that you never thought you needed until now.

What makes Modula a great WordPress portfolio plugin?

Because we made a list of general aspects to consider when choosing a plugin, let’s see what makes this one so special.

  • Easily adjust the size and aspect ratio of your photos with the custom grid functionality;
  • Create albums, add galleries and manage cover photos with the amazing Album extension;
  • Make your visitors’ life easier by applying filters your images – this way, they will be able to easily sort through your gallery;
  • Prevent people from stealing your pictures with right-click protection;
  • Sort images by multiple categories, such as alphabetically, date created, date modified and so on;
  • You can upload both pictures and videos in your portfolio;
  • Get e-mail support whenever you need it.

Things to consider before choosing this plugin

Although you get an amazing set of features along with the premium version, depending on which payment plan you choose you’ll increase the number of offered options. Even if the starter package is absolutely fine to get the job done professionally, you’ll lose things as watermarking and password protected galleries. So if you really need these options, you might consider purchasing one of the other plans, even if they are pricier.


Portfolio Filter Gallery

Portfolio Filter Gallery

This is another plugin that’s here to help you build a beautiful portfolio on your website. It’s a responsive gallery that works with all devices, including Macbook and tablets. The default layout for this one is masonry, but you can customize it or change it to grid at any time.

Portfolio filter gallery is easy to use, so you’ll encounter no difficulties when integrating it into your website. It’s the best rated free portfolio plugin in the WordPress library, so it’s worth a try. This can be a good starting point for photographers or designers who are at the beginning of their career because of the range of free features it offers, as well as a very affordable price for the premium version.

What makes Portfolio filter gallery a great WordPress portfolio plugin?

We talked a bit about the variety of options it offers, so let’s see what this plugin is about.

  • Multiple column layout, to showcase your work in a very neat manner;
  • 30 hover effects, so you can play around with the style of your pictures;
  • Full control over thumbnail sizes and quality settings;
  • Give your photos a different vibe with the grayscale effect;
  • Make your portfolio even cooler with one of the 5 lightbox pop-ups;
  • It’s an SEO friendly gallery, so you can do your best to appear in the top results on Google;
  • Unlimited filters and filter colors, so you can play around with your portfolio as much as you want.

Things to consider before choosing this plugin

Even if this is a plugin that can help you get the job done quickly and effortlessly, it doesn’t have as many functionalities as other plugins, and it only offers masonry layout, which is not always a preferred choice for some. But, if you’re just starting out, this can be something that does the job for now.


Final Tiles Grid

Image Photo Gallery Final Tiles Grid – Modul WordPress | WordPress ...
Final Tiles Grid

A close relative of Modula, Final tiles grid is definitely to consider when looking for a portfolio plugin. The main thing to brag about is its brand new algorithm, that allows your pictures to keep their initial size, so no cropping happens. This can take your portfolio to the next level – think of it like a Tetris game. Arrange the different-sized picture in a way that they complete each other, so you can capture their true essence.

This plugin creates fully responsive galleries that quickly adapts to your browser using a smooth and cool animation. This happens even for mobile devices, thanks to the hardware acceleration that takes full advantage of CSS3 properties. On their website, you can see demos for most features, so take a look to make sure it’s the right fit for you.

The lite version is comprehensive enough for a beginner to get the work done and give a sense of direction towards a professional approach. However, for the ones who know exactly what they want, the premium version is what you need. You can choose one of their pricing options according to your needs, or you can even opt for their Creative bundle and enjoy EverlightBox and Post Snippets as well.

What makes Final Tiles Grid a great WordPress portfolio plugin?

Well, if we didn’t convince you yet, here are some of its features that will help you build the perfect portfolio:

  • You can use filters and categories to sort your photos according to your vision;
  • Upload as many images as you want, thanks to the infinite scroll feature;
  • 7 lightboxes and native support for EverlightBox;
  • Video extension for the premium version, so you can make your portfolio interactive;
  • You get social sharing as well, so you can advertise yourself on media platforms;
  • Image hover effects, with the possibility of giving them a personal touch by choosing the amount of zoom and rotation;
  • Choose from 2 layouts, the unique Final Tiles and masonry, so you can give your portfolio the style you want.

Things to consider before choosing this plugin

As in most cases, if you don’t pay a subscription, you’ll lose updates and support. A good thing is that this plugin is more affordable than others because you have to pay an annual fee, which will be less expensive than a monthly one.


GridKit

WordPress Portofoliu Plugin – Grid Kit Portofoliu Gallery – Modul ...
GridKit

GridKit is a responsive and mobile-friendly plugin that can help you showcase your work in a professional manner and with little effort. You have predefined layouts to choose from, carousel sliders, and some very cool embedded extensions.

What makes this plugin even cooler is the fact that you get the option of displaying client or sponsor logos, all coding-free! This plugin offers a great selection of features that you can use right away for your website. Demos are available for those curious enough to take a look.

Their lite version includes even pop-up and short-code add-ons, which, if you ask us, it’s a pretty cool feature for the free option. However, their premium versions are pretty appealing, as they are super affordable and consist of a one-time payment. Whichever you choose will definitely pay off.

What makes GridKit a great WordPress portfolio plugin?

Let’s see some of the best features GridKit offers:

  • Over 12 layout styles to choose from;
  • You can benefit from some very cool add-ons, such as iFrames and Google Maps;
  • Premium version also offers video extension, so you can engage your audience better;
  • Find the right fit for your portfolio with over 100 effects which include hover, overlay, caption, and animation;
  • Make your portfolio stand out with light or dark pop-up themes;
  • .You have the option of design customization, with a bunch of advanced options to fully customize your grids.

Things to consider before choosing this plugin

If you’re determined to purchase this plugin, take into account that, even if it’s very affordable, they have options for one or five websites. Before deciding, see if this kind of payment plan is suitable for you. Along with this, there’s also the fact that you pay for the subscription only once, but the updates and support will no longer be provided after a year.


Envira

Best WordPress Gallery Plugins Compared - FixRunner
Envira

Envira Gallery’s whole point is to be a coding-free plugin, so that you can enjoy using it without the stress of not knowing how to use certain features. The only requirement is to use a self-hosted WordPress site, because it is, after all, a WordPress portfolio plugin. It’s a great way to showcase your best work, and results will appear in no-time.

This one comes with a lot of functionalities that you can play around with, in order to get the perfect look for your portfolio. You don’t necessarily need a lot of experience with plugins if you start using this one. Instead, you’ll get to try a lot of things out.

You can firstly try their lite version, to see if you two get along. After that, look at their premium offers and choose the one that you find most appropriate.

What makes Envira a great WordPress portfolio plugin?

Its features, of course. But let’s see some of them, so we can all approve that this is, indeed, a great plugin:

  • To improve the protection of your images, you can use the Watermarking add-on;
  • If you’re using Adobe Lightroom, then the Lightroom add-on will definitely be useful;
  • Some other functionalities that come in handy are the Pinterest and Instagram ones, so you can import pictures from your favorite media platforms and integrate them into your website;
  • With the Zoom add-on you can allow people to see your photos in detail;
  • If you’re into photography and something else, you can now create galleries ased on other types of content with the Featured Content extension;
  • Share your work on social media with the Social Sharing option.

Things to consider before choosing this plugin

Although this plugin is amazing, the coolest features are available for premium users only. This doesn’t mean that you can’t create a beautiful portfolio with just the basic setting, but you won’t have the option to give it the spark you were looking for. If you’re only looking to have a simple display of your pictures, then you can use this plugin with confidence.


Visual Portfolio

Visual Portfolio

This plugin comes as a surprise because it’s completely free. It’s a great way to create a stunning portfolio with no costs and little effort. Visual portfolio can be your go-to choice if you’re working on a budget, with no money to invest in such a thing right now.

It’s true that it doesn’t offer as many functionalities as other plugins that have a premium version. But if you’re not looking for anything fancy, you can definitely showcase your work in a simpler, but still in a professional manner with Visual portfolio.

What makes Visual Portfolio a great WordPress portfolio plugin?

Let’s outline some of the key features that this tool offers:

  • You get to choose between 4 predefined layouts (Masonry, Grid, Justified, Slider);
  • Upload as many pictures as you want with the Infinite scroll option;
  • Pop-up gallery, that’s Youtube and Vimeo supported;
  • Filter your photos so people can find them easily;
  • Place unlimited portfolio layouts on the page with generated shortcode.

Things to consider before choosing this plugin

It’s a great thing that this plugin is completely free, but, of course, there are some shortcomings with it. First of all, you have limited options to choose from, as we mentioned before. You get the basics, but that’s kind of it. Second of all, there are little to none customizable options, so you have to work with the predefined features that they offer. Other than that, it can help you to at least have a starting point.


FooGallery

FooGallery

FooGallery is a very well-rated gallery plugin. It has beautiful gallery templates, it’s retina-ready, and responsive, so you can get things done easier than you think. We know that all plugins offer great features, but it’s important to choose the one that speaks to you most. This is why you should take a look at their demos before convincing yourself you found the right fit.

It functions very well if your website is image-heavy, with clear settings that you don’t have to put much effort into understanding. For a photographer or graphic designer who’s busy doing their job, choosing this plugin will save you a lot of time.

Their lite version is very comprehensive and covers a lot of functionalities to play around with, but their premium features are the salt and pepper your website needs.

What makes FooGallery a great WordPress portfolio plugin?

Well, let’s see what are some of the functionalities we bragged about earlier:

  • You can customize your portfolio according to your preferences;
  • Get to choose from 6 different gallery templates (lite version) plus 3 more for premium;
  • Built-in media library;
  • Load galleries from other sources that you already use with the Dynamic Galleries option;
  • 11 stunning hover effect presets;
  • Include videos in your galleries with the Video extension.

Things to consider before choosing this plugin

What could draw some people back from choosing FooGallery is the fact that you have to purchase either a monthly or yearly subscription. You can opt for their free version because it really offers you a wide range of options to incorporate in your portfolio, but for those who want to go over their heads showing off their work, a lifetime payment might be the right call.


WP Portfolio

WP Portfolio

WP Portfolio is the most advanced portfolio plugin. They offer three versions: website, image, and video portfolio, so you can opt for whichever is better for you. Another cool thing about this tool is that you can see demos for all three types of portfolios, so you might actually get inspired to try more things than just photography or video-editing.

They also have a couple more products that can help to boost your website and you have to option of shopping in bundles or choosing a simple version of the plugin.

Price-wise, this one is pretty expensive. They have both monthly and lifetime subscriptions, but we definitely advise you to go for lifetime. Check out their payment plans and see if you can fit one of them in your budget. It’s true that the features they offer are amazing, but you might want to think this through a little.

What makes WP Portfolio a great WordPress portfolio plugin?

As we said, here you might find some features that no other plugin can offer. Let’s see what this is about:

  • More than 48 inbuild dummy portfolio sites, for people who have no design experience;
  • Customize just about anything with your portfolio, because any payment plan offers access to REST API;
  • Sort all categories included in your portfolio with the filter option;
  • For the agency bundle, you get access to SkillJet Academy, with training courses directly from experts;
  • Editable and customizable shortcodes, to fit your needs perfectly.

Things to consider before choosing this plugin

WP portfolio has no free version to try out. They offer different types of packages, but they are all rather pricy, so if you don’t plan on investing some money in this, you might have to change your options.


NextGen Gallery

Two-Minute Introduction to NextGEN Gallery - YouTube
NextGen Gallery by Imagely

This is rather old in the industry plugin, being active since 2007. It’s simple yet versatile enough to satisfy even the most demanding creatives out there. NextGen Gallery is here to make sure your website looks stunning by creating a bunch of cool features for you.

They have three types of premium versions, along with the lite one that you can try out. NextGen Plus and Pro are definitely great assets for professionally displaying your best pieces, but they support only one or three websites. You can opt for the lifetime version, though, and you’ll get unlimited access to everything.

What makes NextGen a great WordPress portfolio plugin?

  • Full-screen lightbox, so your works really stands out;
  • 2 types of albums, so you can choose your preferred style;
  • If you’re not decided on the layout of your gallery, you have 7 different options to select from;
  • People can now leave their impressions about your pictures with the image commenting option;
  • You can also protect your content with the image protection feature.

Things to consider before choosing this plugin

Just as some plugins presented before, this one is a bit expensive, even for the ‘’basic package’’. It’s worth paying for it if you’ve made up your mind about its features and so on, but if you’re not sure yet, better check other plugins out as well.


Who’s the winner?

Winner plugin

Well, all these plugins are really great indeed, but our award goes to Modula for several reasons. First of all, it acquired its title because it’s the most user-friendly plugin you’ll find. The process of installing, as well as implementing it on your website is the easiest and smoothest. Second of all, it has a very complex set of features that are very well tied to each other, so you can go all in from the moment you start using it. Not only you get pre-made features that work very well if you don’t have much time to invest in it, but it is also highly customizable so you can bring your personal touch as well. Make sure you give it a try and you’ll definitely fall in love!


Summary

Now that we discussed everything that was necessary, let’s see what are the key points of this whole article.

  1. Make informed choices. We provided you with a list of their most advertised features so you can get a sense of what these plugins can do.
  2. Check their free versions and see how they fit on your website. Take a look at their payment plans as well, so they are aligned with your budget as well. You might even surprise yourself with an investment that will pay off more than you think.
  3. Consider their downsides as well, so you don’t get any surprises along the way. Nothing’s perfect, but you can choose the plugin that’s the closest to your idea of perfection.

Final thoughts

Make sure you know what you’re looking for when choosing a plugin. If you don’t have any experience whatsoever with such things, research your options very well. This is why we recommended Modula, for example. You need to figure out which tool will do the job as close to your vision as possible. Take a look at your competition too, so you can follow the trends or stand out with some of the options that other people haven’t taken advantage of yet.

If you want to constantly advance and be more and more professional, you should consider going for the premium versions of these plugins, as they are very complex and can help you more than you think. See which one goes best with your style, budget, and perspective before paying for them. Watch the demos they provide or try the lite versions of the plugins at first. Other than that, it’s your turn to make a decision now!