How to create a simple gallery in your posts

Art Gallery in New South Wales

Art Gallery in New South Wales, via Flickr

In this post I shall be concentrating on a WordPress.com blog, as here you have many more options for your gallery.

First get your images ready in advance. They will need to be optimised to a resolution of 72dpi (I'll explain all about this in another How To post later), and of an appropriate size. They don't need to be the same size as how they will show in your gallery, but it's best that they are not huge!

Then once they are all ready and safely placed in an appropriate folder in your computer, you now have to upload them into your blog's Media Library.

Uploading into your Media Library

At the top left corner of your blog, click on 'My Sites' to activate the drop-down menu, and in it find 'Media Add' to click on it:

Where to find the Add Media link

Alternatively, if you're already in the Dashboard, you can find it via the left sidebar:

Add Media via Dashboard

Once you've clicked on it, you will see this page:

Select files uploader to get your images

Click on the Select Files button to access the files in your computer:

Find your pictures on your computer

Find your newly created images, select them all together and click on the Open option. Now they should start to upload into your blog's Media Library:

Pictures uploading into your blog

When everything is finished they will look like this:

Pictures finished uploading

But I don't want you to start clicking on any Edit links, I want you to see your images in the Media Library. Go to the left sidebar and find 'Media' and then click on 'Library':

Visit Media Library in the dashboard sidebar

And you will see your newly uploaded images safely installed:

Viewing pictures in Media Library

This also will give you an indication of how your gallery could look.

Now we want to place these images as a gallery into your post. So, we open up a new post editing page by finding 'Posts' in the left sidebar and mousing over it to activate the drop down menu. Find and click on 'Add New':

Go to Posts Add New

In editing field, the big box where you usually type in your words, place your cursor where you want gallery to be, and then click on the 'Add Media' button:

Place cursor and click on Add Media button

In the Insert Media page, look in the left sidebar to find 'Create Gallery':

Find Create Gallery link

Once you've clicked on it, the page probably won't look much difference except for the words 'Create Gallery' at the top:

Select pictures for gallery

Now you need to click on the images you want to be included in your gallery (which are the ones you've just uploaded). They will have a tick placed in the top right corner once they have been selected.

Then you really should quickly optimise each image before you create your gallery. In the right sidebar you will see this menu for each image:

Fill in the picture details before inserting into gallery

Fill in the details (like as above) for your images before placing them into the gallery. You will need to click on each image in turn to do this.

Once you've finished, find the 'Create a new gallery' button in the bottom right corner:

Create a new gallery button

Which will lead you to the Edit Gallery page. Here you can rearrange your images by dragging them about with your mouse until you're happy with where they are. There is a convenient 'Reverse order' button to speed things up if necessary:

Edit Gallery mode

Now I want you to look at top right corner at the Gallery Settings menu, and I shall go through all the options in turn.

You can choose where your gallery will show. I suggest leaving it as 'Attachment Page' which is your new post's edit page.Select attachment page

Next you can select how many columns your gallery will have, or how many images will be positioned across the page. Since I have uploaded four images, I might as well see them side by side, so I have selected 4:

Select how many columns you want

Next you get to select the size of your images. In this case I would leave it as Thumbnail because there are four images in a row. If I had chosen 2 columns, I could have selected Medium instead as there would have been more space for them.

Select the most appropriate size

If you want more information about these size selections, I have written about them in Understanding the Settings: Media and Ratings. The link should go there directly on another browser page.

Now you can choose how your gallery will be presented. As you can see, there are five options available, and I shall be showing you what they all look like later on in this post.

To start off, let's select the first option for convenience sake:

Select your gallery presentation

Now you click on Insert Gallery button in the bottom right corner:

Insert gallery button

And you will see this arrangement of your images in your new post edit page:

How gallery looks on edit page

If you want to see how they will look when your post is published, look at the top right corner for the Publish menu, and click on the preview button:

Click on the preview button

And on a new browser page, you will see how your gallery looks:

How gallery looks when published

If you don't like what you see, or want to explore other options, go back to the original browser page for editing your blog, and click on your gallery in the new edit page to highlight it (your images should appear inside a big grey box):

How to edit your gallery

You will notice a little pencil appear at the top. Click on it to bring you back to the Edit Gallery page:

Edit Gallery mode

Now you can investigate other gallery presentations.

Let's select the Tiled Mosaic option to see what it looks like:

Select Tiled Mosaic Gallery

Go through the rest of the procedure I've outlined above to see this result:

Tiled Gallery result

Which I absolutely love! If you don't like WordPress's arrangement, you'll have to rearrange the image order until you're happy. Also if you want to see the captions, just mouse over the desired image and it will appear:

Mouse over to show captions

Now let's investigate another presentation, by selecting Square Tiles:

Selecting Squared Tiles

and this is how your image gallery will look:

Squared Tiles result

Again you will get to see the captions when you mouse over the individual images.

You will only see a cropped version of your images as thumbnails, which is automatically set as 150 pixels square. Therefore you must make sure the main focus of your images are placed centrally.

If you want to see each image in its full size and dimensions, click on it to view it inside a light box. You will also notice arrows at the sides which will take you on to the next image:

Picture in full sized gallery

Let's take a look at the fourth gallery presentation, the Circles option:

Select circles option

Which looks like this:

Gallery circle option result

Personally I don't like this, and you don't get any captions coming up if you mouse over the pictures either.

And finally, let's choose the last option, Slideshow:

Select gallery slideshow option

This will set your images inside a gallery that automatically moves from image to image as a slideshow. The pace is set, so you cannot speed the slideshow up or slow it down.

This is a nice piece of entertainment for your readers. At the bottom of each image you will notice a pause button to stop the slideshow to scrutinise the image at your own leisure, and arrows to move onto the next image on either side.

Moving slideshow

Now I suggest you go and experiment with your galleries for yourself!

But what about creating a gallery in WordPress.org?

If you have a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, you can access the same gallery link in the Add Media page, but you don't have as many options available to you. If you go through the same procedure as above, you will see these differences:

Caption choices

You get the chance to edit your captions in situ (see above) in the Edit Gallery page, and there are no presentation options in the Gallery Settings menu, so you have no choice how your gallery looks.

No presentation options

This is how the gallery looks in your edit post page once you've uploaded it:

Gallery showing in edit page

How it looks when published (this gallery is live!):

And when you mouse over a picture you get a magnifying glass image:

Mouse over one picture

Which invites you to click on it to view the image in its full size in a light box:

Full size in black background

If you want to have more options in how you present a gallery in your posts or pages, you will need to upload a Gallery plugin.

You can find such plugins via https://wordpress.org/plugins/search.php?q=gallery where you can browse through all the examples there. There are absolutely loads to select from, so I can't recommend any. Which one you choose will be up to you!

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Alice Elliott writes the Beginner Bloggers blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She specialises in simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Why not also visit her award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog to learn some more.

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  • Martin Ricky says:

    I always struggled with wordpress. I switched to blogger.com but it doesn’t seem to be any easier!!
    Martin Ricky recently posted…5 Ways Writing Can Change You For the BetterMy Profile

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