13 Free Photography Plugins for WordPress

Are you a photographer? Do you have a WordPress site? Here are 13 free photography plugins for WordPress that you should be using. These are geared towards optimizing your site’s performance and your business, while ensuring your customers see your photos in the best light possible.

We’ve checked out these plugins on WordPress.org and they’ve all been updated within the last few months. They all come with a good rating and they’re compatible with WordPress 5.0.3.

Gallery & Lightbox

Every photography site needs a gallery. FooGallery is an ideal solution, particularly because it eliminates the need for so many other plugins. FooGallery comes with a number of gallery templates, along with hover effects and various caption settings. You can also adjust the size and appearance of your thumbnails.

FooGallery is free, but there is a Pro version with more advanced features and settings. Photographers will enjoy using the Slider PRO gallery template. Advanced pagination options are especially useful if you have a large database of images. FooGallery PRO also includes Albums, plus you can add Media Tags and Categories, allowing users to filter the galleries from the frontend.

FooGallery is designed to work with FooBox, a responsive media lightbox. This is a free plugin that opens your images in a lightbox above the gallery page, allowing users to scroll through your full size images without navigating away from the page. FooBox PRO has the added advantage of social sharing, along with more advanced theme settings and navigation.

FooGallery is an ideal photography plugin for WordPress

Image Optimization

As a photographer, you’ll have a large number of images on your site. Naturally, you want your photos to look good. But large images can slow down your site, meaning slower page load times and frustrated customers. The solution? An image optimization plugin.

Imagify offers three levels of image compression, while maintaining image quality. Photos are automatically optimized, meaning you don’t need to resize before uploading. Photos can be backed up so you can restore to the originals at any time. Imagify offers free optimization for up to 25MB. Thereafter you can look at one of their plans.

ShortPixel Image Optimization offers lossy and lossless image compression, and glossy JPEG compression, which results in high-quality compressed images. This plugin allows you to bulk-compress existing images and PDFs and automatically resizes new images. You can restore original images, test lossy vs lossless compression and do a whole lot more. Optimize up to 100 images for free, or take a look at the pricing plan for more options.

With over a million active installations, Smush is a popular choice for image optimization. The lossless compression strips unused data from the image without compromising image quality. Plus you can compress any image in any directory. You can Bulk Smush up to 50 images. Smush then automatically optimizes images up to 1MB, for free. For larger image compressions you will need to look at the Pro version.

Site Optimization

Any WordPress site can benefit from plugins that optimize performance. As a photographer, though, you’ll need to pay particular attention to how your site is running. It’s a given that you’ll have a large volume of images, but you don’t want this to impact on user experience or search engine ranking.

Yoast SEO is a great tool for improving the SEO and readability of your content. You can also use Yoast tools to add a sitemap, improve site breadcrumbs and add meta descriptions. Yoast is also frequently updated to work with Google’s algorithm, meaning the feedback you get for your SEO and readability is current. The free version is more than adequate, but you can also check out the Pro features here.

MonsterInsights is another must for ensuring your site is performing as it should. This plugin connects your site to Google Analytics, allowing you to monitor your performance from a report generated within WordPress. This gives you stats on your audience, the devices they’re using and where your traffic is coming from. Based on this you can make data-driven decisions to improve your performance. The free plugin works well, but for features like a dashboard report, you’ll need to go Pro.

WP Super Cache serves static HTML files to your users rather than the heavier WordPress PHP scripts. These cached files can be served repeatedly, which can help cut down on your bandwidth expenses and improve your site’s speed. WP Super Cache allows you to preload cached files. You’re also able to clean your cache by adjusting the Garbage Collection settings. The plugin is available for free on WordPress.org

Commerce

If you’re using your WordPress site to sell your images online, then you’ll need to make use of a commerce plugin.

WooCommerce is the popular choice. It’s been built to integrate with WordPress and allows you to sell digital goods and downloads. There are free and paid extensions that you can use to customize the plugin. And best of all, it provides a safe, secure way for you to handle transactions online. You can get the free version to start, and add extensions as you need them.

As your products are more than likely digital, Easy Digital Downloads is another good option for selling your photographs. Paypal Standard and Amazon Payments have been built into the core of this plugin, but other payment methods can be added through free or paid extensions. There are plenty of extensions as well, allowing you to customize and adapt for your needs. Plus you can track activity and get reports.

Customer Communication

Being able to communicate with your customers is an important part of any business, especially if you rely on bookings or customer feedback. Here are some options that can help.

WPForms is a drag and drop contact form plugin. You can use this plugin to create all sorts of forms quickly and easily, from Contact forms to Payments and subscriptions. There are pre-built forms to help save you time, plus the forms are all responsive. WPForms Lite is available on WordPress.org for free, but if you need additional features you can look into one of the paid plans.

Booking Calendar is an easy-to-use plugin that allows you to set up booking schedules on your WordPress site. This is a handy tool for scheduling photo shoots, and can save you a lot of hassle. The plugin is responsive and comes with various settings and formats. You can set up notification emails, add filters and more. The free version offers unlimited calendars, or you can upgrade to Pro for even more features.

Picu is a great plugin if you need to get customers to approve photos. It takes the process online. You simply create a gallery and send a link to your customer, who can then select or approve the photos she likes. The plugin is simple to use, and eliminates the need for tedious back and forth emails between you and your customer. Picu is free on WordPress.org, but the Pro version includes additional features.

Final thoughts…

You’ll find plenty of photography plugins for WordPress which can help you improve your site’s performance. Choose the ones that work for you and that make a difference to your business.

Just remember to look at when each plugin was last updated, and with which version of WordPress it is compatible. If you still can’t decide, look at the user ratings and see what others have to say.

Here’s the list of these photography plugins for WordPress one more time:

  1. FooGallery – Create beautiful photo (and video) galleries in WordPress
  2. FooBox – A lightbox plugin that works out-of-the-box
  3. Imagify – Optimize your images with three levels of image compression
  4. ShortPixel Image Optimization – Use lossy or lossless image compression
  5. Smush – Lossless compression lets you keep your image quality
  6. Yoast SEO – Improve the SEO and readability of your content
  7. MonsterInsights – Connect your site to Google Analytics
  8. WP Super Cache – Cut down on your bandwidth expenses and improve your site’s speed
  9. WooCommerce – Sell digital goods and downloads
  10. Easy Digital Downloads – Sell your photographs online
  11. WPForms – A drag and drop contact form plugin
  12. Booking Calendar – Set up booking schedules on your WordPress site
  13. Picu – Let customers to approve photos easily

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