Galleries and Slideshows
Image galleries on WordPress.com are a great way to share your pictures with your friends, family, and your followers. An image gallery will display a set of small images attached to a particular post or page. Readers can click on any image to launch a full-size carousel that allows them to scroll through the entire gallery one image at a time. With the slideshow option, images will automatically move from one to the next after a few seconds.
Watch the video below for a quick overview of how it works, and read below for more examples and settings.
You have several choices for how a gallery will be displayed in your post: a thumbnail grid layout, a tiled mosaic-style layout, or in a slideshow. All sites default to the thumbnail grid style. You can also style each gallery individually.
Tiled layouts can display in one of three styles: rectangular tiles, square tiles, or circular tiles. Along with looking great, the rectangular and square tiled layouts also have hover-over captions to save space while making captions accessible. (Check out examples of all three layout options in this post.)
To switch to tiled layouts from the default, head over to Settings → Media in your blog’s dashboard, scroll down to “Image Gallery Carousel,” and select the box next to “Display all your gallery pictures in a cool mosaic.” Note that choosing this option makes this layout the default for all your blog’s galleries, including those you’ve previously inserted.
Below is an example of an image gallery using the default thumbnail setting. If you click on any of the images you will be able to see what the carousel view looks like:
Adding a Gallery or Slideshow
- Open a post or page for editing. If it is a new post or page, make sure to add a title and save it at least once before trying to insert a gallery or slideshow.
- Click the Add Media button.
- You’ll now see the images in your Media Library. You can add new images from the web with the Add via URL button, or you can add new images from your computer by clicking on Add New, navigating to the images on your hard drive, selecting them, and clicking “Open”:
or by dragging and dropping them from your computer’s desktop into the Media Library window:
- After the images have finished uploading, you can deselect any you don’t want to include in the gallery by clicking on them — click again to re-select:
The numbers that appear on the images as you click indicate the order in which they’ll appear in the gallery.
- When you’ve selected all of the images you’d like, click Continue at the bottom right to proceed to the gallery settings.
- On the following screen you will see a preview of your gallery. You can change the layout with the Layout dropdown and see a live preview:
- You can select the Edit tab to remove images, drag them to a different place to change the order, or add a captions. You can also edit the following options, which will be available based on the currently chosen layout:
- Link to: Does not apply to slideshows.
- Attachment Page: A specialized page in your blog that shows the image in your selected theme.
- Media File: A direct link to the full-size uploaded image.
- Columns: The number of columns of thumbnails to display. This may be affected by your choice of theme, so be sure and test a bit with your current theme. This option does not apply to slideshows.
- Random Order: Check this box to randomize the order of images in your gallery or slideshow. That means the order will change randomly every time the page is loaded.
- Layout: Specify the type of gallery here. The options are a default gallery of thumbnail images, a gallery with rectangular tiles, a gallery with square tiles, a gallery with circular tiles, or a slideshow.
- Link to: Does not apply to slideshows.
- When you’ve finished editing your gallery, click Insert.
Note: If you select Individual Images, this will not create a gallery, but instead it will add the images to the page as though you had added them one by one. It isn’t possible to convert from Individual Images into a gallery style.
Editing a Gallery or Slideshow
- Open a post or page with a gallery for editing and make sure that you are in the Visual editing mode.
- Click on the gallery and then click the Edit icon that appears.
- Adjust the Gallery Settings if necessary.
- Make sure to click the Update button to save your settings.
The gallery shortcode can be used in its simplest form like this (and will display the images attached to the post or page):
Note that after you’ve published or updated a post or page including the gallery shortcode, the Visual editor will no longer display the shortcode itself. To edit an already-entered shortcode, simply switch to the Text editor, where you will be able to see and edit the code.
To insert a tiled gallery, add the relevant shortcode addition after “gallery”:
To insert a slideshow gallery type, use this shortcode:
You can also pass other settings with the gallery shortcode.
|columns||Number of columns used to display the images||An integer greater than 0 (not valid for the default rectangular grid)||3|
|type||Type of image arrangement to display||“thumbnail”,”rectangular”, “square”, “circle” or “slideshow”.||rectangular|
|orderby||How to order the images||ID, menu_order, rand, title + ASC, DESC||menu_order ASC, ID ASC|
|size||Size of the images to display||thumbnail, medium, large, full (only valid for the default thumbnail grid)||thumbnail|
|autostart||Start the slideshow on page load||“true” or “false”||true|
|id||The gallery will display images which are attached to that post.||Any post or page ID that has images attached to it||Default is to show the gallery post|
|include||The gallery will include specific images||comma separated attachment IDs – include=”23,39,45″||N/A|
|exclude||The gallery will exclude specific images. If this option is being used, other attached images won’t be added to the gallery.||comma separated attachment IDs – exclude=”24,30,43″||N/A|
Note: To get an attachment ID for an image, go to your Media Library and click on the title of the image you want. You can find the ID in the URL (the number after
You can follow almost the same steps for getting a post ID. Instead of going to your Media Library though, go to your Posts screen and then click on the title of the post you need.
[gallery columns=”5″ orderby=”title DESC, ID ASC”]
Manage Gallery Styles Individually
You can also manage gallery styles individually. To do so, go to Settings → Media. Under the section Image Gallery Carousel, uncheck the box Display all your gallery pictures in a cool mosaic and click Save, to keep the default thumbnail grid layout across your site.
When you want to include a gallery in a post, insert it as usual and then simply switch over to the Text tab in the post editor and add the code for the gallery style you want to use (see Gallery Shortcodes).
If you do not add a style, it will default to the thumbnail grid layout.
Examples of Gallery Styles
This is how each type of gallery style looks like. Styling each gallery individually will work only when the checkbox that says “Display all your gallery pictures in a cool mosaic” is unchecked in Settings → Media. For more information on how to style each gallery individually, please see Manage Gallery Styles Individually.
note: If the gallery image count is a multiple of 3, they will display in the same, small size. If not, one image will be made larger to balance the layout, avoiding extraneous squares on their own line.
note: If the gallery image count is a multiple of 3, they will display in the same, small size. If not, one image will be made larger to balance the layout, avoiding extraneous circles on their own line.
If you have trouble creating a gallery in your post, try entering the title and saving it as a draft before you upload any images.
Photoblogging Made Easy: Exploring Gallery Types (The WordPress.com Blog, March 12, 2014)