image wordpress pluginsDepending on your purpose, you can find many different types of image WordPress plugins for your needs. But what are the good ones, and which can improve the way you handle and manage images on your blog? Today we cover 7 common and necessary types of image WordPress plugins:

  1. photo gallery, albums and catalogs,
  2. lightbox,
  3. image optimization,
  4. image banks/sources,
  5. sliders and carousels,
  6. watermarks,
  7. image design.

WordPress Plugins for: Photo Gallery & Catalogs

Objectives and benefits – 

  • to organize and provide structure for images,
  • generating of thumbnails
  • to display images in attractive layouts

1. CataBlog

wordpress plugin catablogCataBlog is an interesting WordPress plugin that allows you to organize and categorize your images. It is a wonderful tool if you want to use catalogs to showcase your products and services on your blog. For every image that you upload, you can give it a category, title and descriptions (HTML formatting accepted). Other features that make it stand out:

  • able to display your image catalogs as widgets, in sidebars
  • import or export your catalog in XML or CSV formats
  • easy image management as you can upload pictures via FTP, and import the new pictures into your preferred catalog(s)

2. Gallery Bank

wordpress plugin gallery bankUsing Gallery Bank, you can easily create beautiful galleries of images and/or videos. The plugins offers you a variety of albums and layout for you to choose. The plugin makes image management a piece of cake with the ability for you to bulk upload, edit and sort images. Updates are regular, making this gallery plugin stable and reliable to be used. Although this is packed with many other features, it’s limitation in the free version may turn you off, since you can only have up to 3 albums. If you are looking for a free plugin that supports more than 3 albums, take a look at the next one I am going to talk about.

3. Gallery

wordpress plugin galleryThe WordPress plugin Gallery is named simply, but it’s features are extensive. Other than the ability to create and manage albums and galleries, the plugin has other features such as lightbox and watermarking. In terms of customization and options, you can tweak options for thumbnails, albums, and images. For instance, you can control the number of images per page, your thumbnail sizes, the number of image columns, and the the layout of your gallery. Uploading of images via FTP is not supported but not exactly a big issue since you can still batch upload using the included file manager.

WordPress Plugins for: Lightbox

Objectives and benefits – to display images (especially the large ones) in a popup box to achieve consistent and aesthetic look.

4. FooBox Image Lightbox

image lightbox fooboxImage Lightbox by FooBox is thoughtfully designed with users in mind. Beautifully and responsively designed, the Lightboxes are presented aesthetically on both desktops and mobile devices. The plugin works straight “out of the box”, and doesn’t need any configuration. What’s worth mentioning is that the image tool is intelligent enough to automatically rearranges it’s interface to look awesome in either portrait or landscape. For more advanced features such as social media sharing, video, iFrame support and more customization options, you can upgrade to their PRO version.

5. Responsive Lightbox by dFactory

lightbox dfactoryResponsive Lightbox allows your visitors to view images in Lightbox effect perfectly in both desktops and mobile devices. The plugin is user friendly and provides decent customization. You can choose from any of the 6 Lightbox scripts with customizable settings for each script. The tool by dFactory automatically adds Lightbox to WordPress image galleries,images and video links (e.g. YouTube & Vimeo). So far the plugin works with most 3rd party galleries, and no major complaints from users on incompatibility.

6. Lightbox Plus Colorbox

lightbox colorboxThe recent updates on the Lightbox Plus Colorbox plugin had caused several bugs. But that isn’t stopping the plugin from being on the most downloaded Lightbox plugin on WordPress. The free plugin has an advantage over other Lightbox plugins because of it’s ability to have slides, videos and even content on Lightboxes. Usually we need to pay for such features, so the developer is very kind to provide this free. When it comes to customization, there are tons for you to manipulate on. You can choose the color of the Lightbox, determine the transition speed, height & width, position of the box, and more.

 Wordpress Plugins for: Image Optimization

Objectives and benefits for optimizing your images – 

  • pages load faster
  • backup faster
  • less bandwidth usage

7. Optimus – WordPress Image Optimizer

image wordpress plugin optimusImages have a big impact on the loading speed of pages. Therefore if your blog is rich on images, optimizing them is a good idea. Using the WordPress pugin Optimus, reduction up to 70% of the original size is possible. The plugin works by stripping away unnecessary information that doesn’t affect the quality of the images. For existing images in your media library, you can do a bulk optimization quickly with a single click. The free version of Optimus works great on images not more than 100kb in size. If you need to remove the limit, consider upgrading to Optimus HQ.

8. Shortpixel Image Optimizer

wordpress plugin image optimizer shortpixelShortpixel Image Optimizer is a great plugin to use for optimizing both images and PDF files (unique feature). It works on all the common image type such as JPG, GIF (both still and animated), and PNG. The plugin is able to optimize both new and past images, and achieves the reduction in image sizes, by using lossy and lossless compression methods. Although there is no file size limits,the free image plugin has a limitation on the number of images that it can process per month. At point of writing, it’s free to use for up to 100 images/month.

9. EWWW Image Optimizer

image optimiser EWWWEWWW Image Optimizer is another popular choice when it comes to optimization of images. The highly rated WordPress plugin allows you to do bulk optimization of all images in your media library, and even any images that you are storing outside of the media library. EWWW uses lossy and lossless compression methods too, and automatically converts to the image file format that gives the smallest size possible. Last but not least, the graphic plugin is able to show you the % of reduction of each image, and gives you the option to restore to the original image if you need to.

WordPress Plugins for: Image Bank 

Objectives and benefits –

  • reduces the time and effort in finding suitable images for content
  • ready source of images (free or paid subscription)
  • convenience since it’s integrated with WordPress

10 . Getty Images

image source gettyGain access to millions of images while you are creating content for your blog. Getty Images provides ways to refine your search so that you can get to the image you want faster. The plugin also has the ability to let you insert media, create gallery, set featured image, and inserting images using URL. It’s an easy and simple way to make your content look better and professional. With over 50 million images that can be embedded into your post, you are bound to find something you like.

11. Pixabay Images

image bank pixabayPixabay Images integrates seamlessly with WordPress, and allows you to access and insert any public domain pictures that are in their database. Similar to Getty, you can filter your search results by image type (photos or clipart), or orientation (horizontal & vertical). Compared to Getty, Pixabay is more popular among the WordPress community, however I suggest installing these 2 plugins to have more images to choose from. Within Pixabay, you also conveniently enter the image title, caption, alt text, and descripton. It’s one great tool that every bloggers should have.

 WordPress Plugins for: Image Slides & Carousel

Objectives and benefits –

  • perfect for the blogger who want to showcase images in slider, rather than gallery format
  • when you want to show all your images above the fold
  • to organize photos properly within your content

12. Master Slider – Responsive Touch Slider

wordpress plugin master sliderMaster Slider is well thought and designed for both webmasters and our blog visitors. But don’t take my word for it, go ahead, check and test it out. The plugin is user-friendly and creating sliders is easy due to the intuitive design. First you choose the slider type you want, the images you want to display, select your settings, and do a preview before you finalize and save. Inserting the slider into your blog is done by using shortcodes. For your blog visitors, using the slider provides a wonderful user-experience, since there are buttons/bullets and arrows for them to switch between images. The arrows works great for users on mobile devices, as they can touch and swipe to see the next or previous image. Last but not least, Master Slider is compatible with 8 major web browsers (including iOS and Andriod) so you can be assured that your slider renders properly for almost all visitors.

13. Meta Slider 

wordpress plugin meta sliderMeta Slider is a popular and easy to use WordPress slider plugin. It provides 4 different types of sliders (Flex Slider, Nivo Slider, Responsive Slides & Coin Slider) with unique transition effects and themes for you to choose from. Re-ordering your pictures within the slide is easy since you can drag and drop. The plugin supposedly can create SEO optimized slides, so do take the effort to provide more information on each image. E.g  caption, link, title text and alt text.


WordPress Plugins for: Watermark

Objectives and benefits – 

  • protect your images
  • branding purposes

14. Easy Watermark

wordpress plugin for watermarkAre you frustrated by people taking your images for their uses? Or do you want to increase awareness of your brand? Then you may want to start watermarking your images to achieve these objectives. Types of images that can be watermarked include JPG, PNG and GIF. The plugin can automatically watermark (based on your settings) and new pictures that you upload. For existing images in your media library, you can watermark them manually (either one-by-one, or bulk). Watermarks are reversible by restoring the original image. As a safety precaution, you should backup all your blog’s images before doing any watermarking. Advisable to read up on the guide, and how-to provided by the developer for more information.

WordPress Plugins for: Image Design

Objectives and benefits –

  • create attractive and attention grabbing images

15. Pikiz

image design pikizThis is probably the most unique image WordPress plugin that I have come across so far. Pikiz is still in early development, but I see there’s lot of potential in it, and I believe most of you will love it too. Having such a tool integrated with WordPress makes content creation smooth and fun. Ok I got a little carried off. So what does it too? Basically, Pikiz makes image design and creation as easy as 1-2-3. See the image at the very top of this post? That’s done using Pikiz. It is perfect for creating feature images for blog posts.

The plugin comes with 1000+ free background images and 350 stickers for you to beautify your image. Plenty of fonts, filters, layouts and more for you to play with. Since this plugin is pretty new, do test it out in a safe environment first. A free account is required before you can download your image. A little drawback – it seems to slow down the Wordpress post editor, something that I hope that the developer can look into it and improve.

What’s your must have and daily used image WordPress plugins? Share with us your experience by commenting below.



Lincoln is a fan of Apple products, loves red wine and traveling. He blogs on internet marketing, social media, wordpress tips & guides, and using technology to maximize efficiency. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook for regular updates.

3 Responses to 15 Image WordPress Plugins on my Personal Favorites List

  1. Great list Lincoln! However, with the Optimus plugin it has always had a bulk optimization feature :) You can one-click bulk optimize all your existing images, not just new ones. Would be nice to update that above in your post. Thanks!

  2. lincoln says:

    Hey Brian, thanks for pointing that out. I probably had missed that out while working on the article late at night. :)

  3. Brian says:

    Haha, I definitely know how that goes. Thanks for the update!

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