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Envira Gallery vs NextGen Gallery - Best Photo Gallery Plugin Comparison

Envira Gallery vs NextGen Gallery – Best Photo Gallery Plugin Comparison

At present, many WordPress users are confused about which gallery plugin is the best option to support their blog sites. Especially, with the existence of more and more related plugins available now, this question is much harder to answer. This time, we’d like to erase this confusion by making an Envira Gallery vs NextGen Gallery comparison. These are the two most popular photo gallery plugins, each of which gets the millions of downloads throughout the whole world.

Here, we need to mention that choosing the proper photo gallery plugin not only benefits your website contents and the visual appearance. Also, the right choice enhances the user experience and overall performance. In this case, we start this comparison based on several aspects, which include the performance, overall features, ease of use, price and many more.

Rating Envira Gallery NextGen Gallery
Features 4 stars 5 stars
Speed 5 stars 4 stars
Usability 5 stars 3 stars
Charge 4 stars 4 stars

For Envira Gallery Plugin

The Envira Gallery plugin is a responsive one. By ensuring the simple process of gallery creation and the unique gallery style, this plugin distinguishes itself successfully. Developed by Thomas, this plugin achieves the perfect balance between the aspects of great gallery design and simplicity.

The Good of Envira Gallery

  • There is a user-friendly UI available.
  • Even with the default settings, you can start the well-designed photo gallery.
  • The gallery layout is fully responsive.
  • You have plenty of options and the CSS support for the gallery styling, lightbox and many more.

The Bad of Envira Gallery

  • You have to pay for the top-tier license fees.
  • The functional features are limited as compared with many other options.

Envira Gallery

For NextGen Gallery Plugin

NextGen actually is the most widely used WordPress photo gallery plugin. It even gets more downloads than the Envira Gallery plugin from WordPress.org. In most cases, this plugin is the great option for the visual artists, professional photo-takers and demanding photographers.

The Good of NextGen Gallery

  • This plugin has a complete system for gallery management.
  • Even the free version of this plugin allows multiple styling options for your gallery.
  • It is fully optimized for both mobile devices and desktop.
  • You can choose between the free version and the paid version. The latter one does not cost you too much.

The Bad of NextGen Gallery

  • Due to the huge feature list and setup options, you may feel hard to get the easy and quick creation process for the photo gallery.
  • There is no importing and exporting feature available with it.

NextGen Gallery

Plugin Charging – Depends On Your Selection

Both of these two plugins have the free versions, which can be got from WordPress.org. In addition, if you need, you can upgrade to the paid versions to get more features.

  • Envira Gallery – There are 4 paid plans available, which charge you ranging from $19 to $249.
  • NextGen Gallery – There are 2 paid packages available, which charge you at the prices of $69 and $99.

Here, the price of the gallery plugin depends on the plan you choose based on the features you need. If you do not want to be charged, both of them allow you to try their free versions.

Ease of Use – Envira Gallery Is Better

In fact, the creation of the photo gallery not only includes the uploading of images into your posts or pages. Instead, you are also required to determine the layout and columns, choose the color schemes and image sizes, decide the animations and lightbox display and do some other things.

You may feel overwhelmed by doing these tasks. However, with the truly user-friendly gallery plugin, these are not the cases.

For Envira Gallery

Actually, this plugin fully adheres and follows the coding standards of WordPress core. With this feature, it ensures the easy user interface that blends with WordPress admin seamlessly. In this case, to create a gallery, you simply need to upload the images as you have done for the media library.

Envira Gallery UI

After that, this plugin will generate the shortcode for your created photo gallery. And what you should do is to paste the code into your target post for the gallery display.

The default settings allow you to showcase the gallery just as below. Surely, you can set up this plugin to add the furthermore effects as you prefer. For instance, you can choose the masonry display, showcase the lightbox, group images using the albums and many more.

Envira Gallery Sample

For NextGen Gallery

Frankly speaking, the plugin of NextGen Gallery is not easy and fast to use as compared with the Envira Gallery option. Instead of adopting the default WordPress interface for the uploading of images, this plugin requires you to utilize its own user interface, along with separate file folders and database tables for the storage. Even, its UI is relatively a little bit complicated for the new users.

To use it, you firstly need to click the Add Gallery or Images button from the WordPress admin panel. Here, you can upload the images from your WordPress media library or the local computer. After clicking the Add Files button and choosing your target images, you can click the Start Upload button to have your wanted images uploaded successfully.

Here, you need to create a new gallery or edit the current gallery by targeting the gallery name.

Add NextGen Gallery

Next, you should navigate to the Manage Galleries page to target your newly created gallery. Here, you should click the gallery name for editing.

Manage Gallery

Here, you can modify this gallery furthermore by deciding the title, description and image information. In addition, you should link this gallery to a newly publish page or an existing page for the gallery showcase.

Link Gallery

Surely, the gallery creation process achieved by NextGen Gallery is more complicated and time-consuming than that of Envira Gallery.

Speed and Performance – Envira Gallery Is Faster

Frankly speaking, the speed or the performance achieved by the gallery plugin is really important. After all, this aspect will have a huge influence on the user experience and the SEO of your site. Especially, if your site is a gallery one or a portfolio one, you can never compromise on this aspect.

Here, we have started a test on these two plugins. To ensure the objective result, we test for the identical photo galleries that come with the default settings and the same images. According to the result, the Envira Gallery plugin achieves the faster speed with the even larger page size than the NextGen Gallery one.

After all, the plugin of Envira Gallery is well coded and properly adjusted for the aspect of loading speed.

Speed Envira Gallery NextGen Gallery
Page Loading 1.18 seconds 1.98 seconds
Page Size 1.2 MB 512 KB

Plugin Features – NextGen Gallery Is the Winner

Actually, if you are looking to start the elegant photo gallery, you will need the truly functional gallery plugin. For instance, it needs to ensure the slideshow, lightbox, social media icons, albums, full-screen mode and many more.

However, too many of these features also may slow down the handling process and the loading speed of the gallery. In this case, the great gallery plugin also should ensure the perfect balance between usability and features.

  • Envira Gallery – This plugin ensures all the basic features required for a standard gallery plugin. Apart from these, you can also install some add-ons to achieve some other loads of features you want.
  • NextGen Gallery – This plugin is the older option that has a long list of gallery features. Almost all the features you have got from Envira Gallery can be available from this plugin. Moreover, there are a lot of extra features available from the paid upgrades.


Personally, we think the Envira Gallery is the better WordPress plugin for photo gallery. After all, this tool is really simple to use that comes with the fast speed and all the features you may need. Especially, if you are a newbie who does not require too many features, the free Lite version of it is the proper option for you.


Susan Rose is a freelance writer who has a deep knowledge about WordPress. She loves everything related to website building since the freshman year at Christopher Newport University, and loves to share her experience with people all over all the world. In the daily life, Susan loves detective novels as it can train her logical thinking and creativity.