If you would like to add a portfolio to an existing WordPress website, you have quite a number of different options. We are going to go over several of the most popular ways to add a portfolio, and talk about some of the things that you might want to avoid. Of course, if you have a WordPress theme that already offers pre-made portfolio or image gallery, you are in luck. But, many themes don’t offer pre-made portfolios, so you are stuck at a bit of a crossroads. You could always switch to a theme that already offers a portfolio, but that can result in lost traffic and that is certainly something that we want to avoid it.
If you are just getting started and haven’t selected a theme yet, we do have a collection of WordPress portfolio themes that might be of interest to you. These themes are real time savers, they have built-in portfolios and a lot of different designs that can make your content look great.
Most of these themes offer all of the features and functionality that premium plugins like Envira offer, although generally they don’t have quite the amount of flexibility and features. But, they can be a very good option for people who are a little bit budget-conscious. For $60, you can get a theme with an outstanding and flexible portfolio. Some of these premium image Gallery plugins like Envira Gallery, can cost over $100. Of course, the free versions are free and if you only need a very simple portfolio, they can work just perfectly.
However, if you have an existing blog and want to add a portfolio to it, this guide will walk you through the process.
So, in this article, we will highlight wanted tried-and-true method for adding a portfolio to your WordPress site that doesn’t break anything, doesn’t slow your site down and doesn’t cause headaches in terms of SEO.
Why Do I Need a Portfolio Anyway?
A portfolio is one surefire way to highlight creative work and establish your business. It’s not just for Creative either, businesses can certainly benefit from having an attractive online portfolio that successfully showcases what you have accomplished in the past. Portfolios are all about letting people know the skills and accomplishments that you have made.
There’s a lot to think about when adding a portfolio to an existing site, especially when you are not changing your theme. Luckily, WordPress is incredibly flexible, there are dozens of different plugins that you can choose from to help you add a portfolio and that is the method that we will use in this tutorial. I’m certain that there are quite a number of options, I will highlight just a few of the most popular ones and walk you through step-by-step how to install and configure my personal favorite, the Envira Gallery plugin.
What is Envira Gallery All About?
Envira Gallery is a handy WordPress portfolio plugin that allows you to create an aftermarket portfolio. It’s a WordPress plugin that is very flexible and let you build an appealing and feature-rich portfolio, if you are existing blog doesn’t offer. These days, most do, but a lot of people are using older themes. The dangers of switching themes midstream is pretty great, changing up the design can cost you a lot of SEO results.
If you don’t set things up perfectly, you can lose images, you may have to spend a lot of time getting your thumbnails back to where you want them, there’s just a lot of different things that can happen when changing themes that can really be bad news in terms of your SEO. So, let’s do our best to avoid those problems and just add a gallery to our existing blog.
You definitely don’t want that.
That’s why creating a simple photo gallery or portfolio using Envira Gallery’s free version is a pretty good option. Envira Gallery also offers a professional plan for even more add-ons and advanced features, different designs and more.
But let’s start with the freebie.
First Step, Install Envira and Create Your First Gallery
Navigate your way to plugins and select, add new plugin. In the search bar, type in Envira Gallery. Click install and activate the plugin. Pretty standard stuff.
If you’re installing the free version, that’s pretty much all you need to do. If you have decided to purchase the pro account, you will need to find your license key in your Envira account, but we are really only looking at the free version, so let’s skip that part for now.
Now, let’s create a gallery. Go to Envira Gallery, add new. That allows you to create your first Envira Gallery. Give it a title and then you can begin to add images to your new gallery.
For adding images, you have a couple of different options. You can either upload photos from your computer by selecting or by dragging and dropping them into the upload box, or you can select images from your media library.
If you click the select files from your computer button, you’ll be able to upload images from your computer. If you want to add existing images from your media library, simply select select files from other sources and click the media library tab. Either one is perfectly acceptable and it really doesn’t matter which way you select.
If you have chosen to spring for the professional license, you got a third option, uploading images from an external Gallery using Instagram. For those of you who are all about the gram, that might be well worth while. But, assuming you still have access to the images, you can simply save a little bit of money by uploading them to your media library or just dragging and dropping them into the native Envira Gallery area.
I’ve used some images from Unsplash, I just dragged them in from my media folder. It took a few minutes, because the images are pretty big, but the process was smooth and easy.
As you upload the images, they will appear in your gallery, where you can remove them, move them around, edit the title and alt text, all that good stuff. Here’s a look at the process as it happened.
To edit the image, click on the little pencil icon in the upper left corner of the image. Reorder the images by dragging the image to the or that you want. It’s all very simple. Now, let’s get to configuring your new gallery.
In the configuration settings, there are quite a number of different options to choose from. You can create up to a six column gallery or let Envira choose automatically. The automatic system will attempt to fill each row as much as possible before moving on to the next row. That’s pretty good for mobile devices.
You can enable or disable lazy loading and create a delay of as long as you would like for image loading. You can adjust the row height, margins, image size and image Dimensions. You can even force Envira to crop the images before they are displayed, helping to keep page load times really fast. There’s quite a number of features here that can be tweaked to produce the look you are going for.
Now, it’s time to publish that gallery. You are not limited to the number of different galleries that you can create using Envira, Create as many as you want and each one can have a different look and layout. Sometimes you might want just one column, sometimes the more traditional three or four column layout, maybe you want to have a six column layout? It’s up to you.
Let’s take a look at some of the add-ons that are available for Envira. These are only available with the premium version, so the free version will not support these.
Whew, that’s a lot.
Some of these add-ons include albums which help you organize your portfolio’s or galleries, there is a CSS add-on so that you can custom style each individual gallery. The Deep linking add-on make sure Gallery. SEO friendly and can easily link images anywhere you want. You’ve got to downloads add-on, featured content had on, full screen and gallery themes, Instagram support, pagination and a lot more. There are huge amount of add-ons available, even WooCommerce. But, that is a little bit out of the scope of what we are doing here, I’m trying to stick to just the free version. For many of you, simply selecting a WooCommerce theme that already supports portfolios may be the way to go. But again, if you love your existing theme, Envira is a solid option.
So, let’s move on.
Adding a Portfolio to a Page
Once you’ve created your portfolio, you may notice a little panel has appeared on the right hand side. This allows you to use a handy short code to insert your gallery wanting any page. Just copy and paste that short code and your gallery will automatically appear whatever you wanted it.
But, there is another easy way to make your gallery show up and we will go over that as well.
When you add a new post or page, you will now see a little leaf icon in between, at least on my screen, the add media button and the add contact form button.
Here’s a look.
All you need to do is click on that leaf and select the Envira gallery that you want to add to your page.
It’s all incredibly simple.
So, if you followed along with this tutorial, you now have an attractive and cool portfolio or image gallery that you can post anywhere you want. The process was simple enough and I think that even for beginners, this is a really great option for people who want to create an attractive portfolio without changing themes.
Other Gallery Plugin Options
While Envira Gallery is obviously a very powerful tool, the premium version can be a bit expensive. To get all of the tools you need to, it’s going to cost you $99. There’s a basic version for $29 that offers a lot of features, and a plus version somewhere in between at $69. Don’t get me started on the $299 for the unlimited pro ‘Agency’ version. That’s really for creative agencies and users who need to develop calories for tons of different websites. That’s probably not going to be too common for most of us.
So, let’s take a look at some other potential options.
- NextGEN Pro and NextGEN Gallery – Another good option is the NextGEN plug-ins. This is a WordPress Gallery plugin that also allows you to create simple photo galleries and advanced galleries. For photographers and visual artists, this is a really nice choice and one that I will probably try to highlight a bit more about in the future. The free version has quite a number of options, but they also have a pro version as well. One interesting thing, if you purchase $139 package, you actually get several WordPress themes included. If you haven’t already purchased a theme, it’s worth taking a look at some of what they offer.
- Foo Gallery -Foo Gallery comes complete with a drag-and-drop page builder, just like Envira Gallery. It also lets you rearrange your images in an order that you want and gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of layouts and design. There are a few pre-built templates so that you don’t have to create everything yourself to get started. This plugin also offers a free and premium version.
- Modula -Modula is a stand-alone plugin that was created to help you build really cool light box galleries, custom grids and masonry grid portfolios in just a few clicks. I think this is one of the better free versions and the pro version is quite reasonably priced as well.
Well, that just about does it for today, hopefully you have learned quite a bit about how to use Envira gallery to add a beautiful portfolio or image gallery to your existing website without ruining your SEO. I hope that you have found this tutorial to be useful and that you keep coming back for more information in the future. Take care.