Wanting to add a gallery in a post on WordPress but not sure how? In this tutorial I’ll show you how to add a gallery, how to add links to the gallery, and how to take your captions to the next level!
I honestly feel I’m about to reveal one of WordPress best kept secrets. WordPress’ built-in gallery feature! I swear every time the topic of galleries comes up people start naming off 100 plugins but no one mentions that WordPress already comes with the ability to add galleries.
When to use WordPress’ Galleries vs a gallery plugin
Before we jump into how to add a gallery on WordPress let’s first quickly discuss when you’d want to forgo this feature and go straight for a gallery plugin.
Truth is, while I firmly believe the WordPress gallery feature is one of its best kept secrets, it is a bit limited. WordPress’ galleries are pretty straight forward and basic. It lets you add side-by-side images to WordPress but it stops there. Want people to click on an image and have that image open up in a pop-up (lightbox)? No, can’t do. Want a slideshow gallery? Look for a plugin. You get the idea.
That being said, there’s A LOT you can do with this built in feature and I’ll show exactly how!
Adding A Gallery On WordPress
For this post I’ll be using a book bloggers as a case study. Truth is, that’s when I utilize this feature the most for my clients. Why? Book bloggers love to add book covers to their posts, showcasing new releases, weekly deals, or all an authors’ books or all books in a series.
To add a gallery to your WordPress post or page, click on “Add Media”. From the Media Lightbox click “Create Gallery” on the left sidebar. By default, WordPress will show you the images already in your Media Library, if your images aren’t there, upload them like you usually would.
From the Media Library, select all the images you wish to add to your gallery. Then click the “Create a new gallery” button on the bottom right corner.
Next you’ll see the “Edit Gallery” window. Here you can change the order of the images by using the drag-and-drop feature. You’ll also be able to change some of the basic gallery settings such as where the image links to (kind of limited out of the box, but more on this later), how many columns the gallery should have, and the size of the gallery images.
In the case of book covers, I always chose “full size”, since most of the other size settings will generate a square cropped image, whereas full size will show the full cover. But definitely play around with this until you find the best option for your images.
Once you’re done, click “Insert Gallery” on the bottom right corner.
Adding Captions to your Gallery Images
To add a caption to your WordPress gallery image, click the white box under each image and type your caption. Additionally, you can click on the image itself and enter the caption in the caption box on the right sidebar.
The wonderful thing here is the caption can have some HTML to you’re not stuck to a simple line of text. If you know your basic HTML you can add links to the captions, have multiple lines, bolded or crossed out text!
Further Reading: Easy HTML Codes Every Blogger Should Know
Tip: If the caption box is too small for your liking, you can make it larger by pulling on the little grey triangle at the bottom right corner of the box.WordPress' best kept secret: You don't need a plugin to add a gallery!Click To Tweet
Adding A Custom Link To Gallery Images
As you might’ve seen above the options for linking an image within a WordPress gallery are pretty dang limited – you can only link them to the file itself or to the attachment page. But what if you want add a link to a page, post, or an offsite link like say, an amazon affiliate link?
For this, we use a plugin called WP Gallery Custom Links. You’ll still be using WordPress built-in gallery functionality but you have installed and activated the plugin, as the name suggests, you will be able to include custom links in your WordPress galleries.
Read More: How to Install A WordPress Plugin
To add custom links, once you’ve added the images to your gallery, click on an individual image. On the right sidebar scroll down. Here you’ll see following settings:
- Gallery Link URL: Here enter the link for your gallery image. It can be a page or post within your blog or an external link such as Amazon affiliates, another blog, etc.
- Gallery Link Target: This setting controls whether the links opens up in a new window or the same window. A good rule of thumb is if the links is for a post / page within your blog, make it open in the same window. For off-site links, have them open in a new window.
- Gallery Link OnClick Effect: If you have settings allowing you to have gallery images open up in a lightbox, you might want remove it from the image so it doesn’t conflict with the link.
- Gallery Link Additional CSS Classes: Here you can add a special CSS Class to the linked image. Only worry about this if you have special styling for linked gallery images within your theme.
And here’s the gallery in all it’s glory! (Please Note: The gallery contains affiliate links)
It truly is THAT simply! You don’t need extra fancy plugins and definitely not a paid plugin to add a gallery with links in your WordPress blog!