Create and Manage NextGen Gallery

Gallery Management:  Step by step visual instructions to create and manage NextGen Gallery

You will become proficient in creating a new gallery, uploading images, adding image descriptions and everything else you need to do in gallery management

There is a lot of information on this page so I created come quick links to help you get up and down the page fast.

add new NextGen gallery
upload images to NextGen gallery
manage gallery page overview
add image descriptions
sort gallery images

How to add a new NextGen Gallery


Near the bottom of the admin menu find Gallery and click “Add Gallery/Images”.


Enter the gallery name in the box next to “New Gallery”

Click the “Add Gallery” button to create the gallery

Once created a message appears at the top of the page and includes the unique ID number, which is assigned to every gallery, and the short code (shown in image, the ID is 11, yours may be different). There is a link to open the gallery to manage, but you may want to add some images first. See the next step below.

Upload images into the gallery

Once the new gallery is created the screen changes to the one in the image below, where you upload images. Whether you are uploading images to a new or existing gallery, the process is the same as described below.

IMPORTANT: Please make sure there are no black spaces or punctuation in the names of your jpegs.  Use dashes or underscores to separate words.


To add images, go to Gallery and click “Add Gallery/Images” then click on the “Upload Images” tab.

Click select files and browse to your image files on your local computer OR use drag and drop, by dropping your image files into the area shown.

Once images are added a list appears here. If you uploaded one in error you can simply click the remove link and it will not be uploaded.

Choose the gallery you want to upload to from the drop down menu below your image list. Don’t forget this step, if you upload without selecting a gallery you will have to start the upload process over.

If your images are a bit large, you can select to resize your images on upload. NOTE: this is not a replacement for optimizing your images for the web, as it will only reduce by pixel size with no optimization

Click the upload images button to start uploading. A red progress bar will run across the top of the screen and disappear once all the images are uploaded.

Manage Gallery


Under the Gallery menu in the admin sidebar
select “Galleries”

A list of your galleries will appear, click on the name of the gallery to open it for editing.

Use the bulk actions menu to batch process actions on your images without opening the gallery. First check the box to the left of the gallery name and then select the action and click apply. Bulk actions include – see image below.

Click image to enlarge

Delete: removes the gallery and all the images permanently
Set Watermark: adds a watermark to all the images in the gallery using the watermark settings from options. See the Watermarking tutorial.
Create New Thumbnails: generates all new thumbs of a size you enter in the popup that appears.
Resize images: resizes all images in the gallery to a pixel size you enter in the popup that appears.
Import Metadata: brings in any data that is attached to the image
Recover from backup: there may be a backup of each image if you need to restore. You can use, this for instance, if your watermark didn’t work out as planned.

When created, every gallery is assigned an ID number.

Search all your images by entering the name of the jpeg into the search box. This is particularly handy if you don’t remember which gallery you uploaded it to.

On the right lists the page ID number that the gallery is linked to, as well as the number of images in the gallery

 Add image descriptions

Now that we have a new gallery and images – we need to add a description, i.e. Title | Medium | size. Open a gallery for editing as shown above. The Gallery Settings task pane at the top of the page (shown collapsed in the image below) is covered in the album tutorial. The area we are concerned with is where you see the thumbnail images below.

Click image to enlarge

The Alt & Title Text inserts here automatically using the title text from the jpeg. You can change it and clean it up here by removing any dashes etc. This text appears in place of your image if a visitor has images disabled. It is also read by search engines and appears when a visitor hovers their mouse over the thumbnail.

Next to each thumbnail is a description box where you can type in your image information. The program does not recognize returns but you can use some HTML to create line breaks and bold text.  A typical way to insert descriptions is to use a comma or the pipe | to separate your items; e.g. Painting Name | Medium | 24 x 24 ins | Private Collection.

Note that I used 24 x 24 ins instead of 24″x24″. The reason for this is because Gallery Option 2 turns the 24″x24″ into 24\x24\, however, Gallery Option 1 will show 24″x24″

The check box on the far right can be used to exclude an image from showing on your site, but keeps it in the gallery.

Tags are used for two purposes: 1. Search engines read them and will index your images accordingly. 2. Can be used to create a tag gallery

All the commands listed in the Galleries section above are also available inside the gallery. However, you can choose to apply these actions only to images you select, by checking the box to the left of the thumb. To select all the images in the gallery, check the box at the top of the list.

Click image to enlarge

Rotate images clockwise and Rotate images counterclockwise are self explanatory
Copy to and Move to are covered in their own tutorial
Delete tags: will remove all the tags leaving the tag section empty
Overwrite tags: will replace all the tags with what you enter in the popup

When you hover over your thumb, more action links appear that will be applied only to that image.
View: opens the image full size in a popup
Meta: shows all info that you added to the image when you added images descriptions
Edit Thumb: allows you crop a new thumb which is very useful for portrait work
Rotate: 90° clockwise, 90° counter clockwise, Flip vertically or Flip horizontally
Publish: adds a new blog post that includes the image. In the popup, name the post, select a size for the image and choose to publish or save as a draft.
Delete: removes the image forever and can not be recovered from backup

Sort Gallery
is covered in the next section below

Save your changes. DO NOT navigate away from the page until you save, otherwise you have to start over. This includes going to Sort Gallery.

Sort Gallery Images – Change the order your images appear

Inside a gallery at the top of the thumbs, click on the button “Sort Gallery”

sort gallery images
Click image to enlarge

A new page appears with rows of images

To manually sort your images, hold your mouse button down on the image  and  drag and drop it to the new location. Click “Update Sort Order”.

sort gallery images step 2
Click image to enlarge

Across the top of the thumbnails are links that enable you to choose a sort method, which will automatically sort the images according to your choice.

TIP: In some browsers the thumbs will not drop at the beginning of a row, so just drop it into the second slot and move the first one behind it.

Quick Study Video creating a new gallery and adding it to a page

Okay, we have galleries and images let’s put the gallery on a page

27 thoughts on “Create and Manage NextGen Gallery”

  1. Hi Kim,
    I’m finally able to return to working on my site after workshops, studio tours and deadlines this fall. Time they say.
    As I upload images of my book covers for my book illustration gallery, I notice I can’t add a lengthy description–which is something I need to do for each book. I haven’t found a way to change this in the tutorials or comments. Do I need to use a different gallery plugin? Is there a way to use the current gallery and show a description of the story, a review or two, the publisher’s name etc.? I would also like to add images– or access to images– from each book’s interior when the book cover is full screen. My old wp site allows me to do this. Is it possible with this gallery?
    Many thanks!

  2. Kim

    I renamed Gallery One as People. I can view that gallery OK, but Gallery One still shows up on the menu. When I click on that link, I gat a message saying “Gallery not found”. How do I correct his?

  3. Kim,

    I resized my photos using Shrink Pictures. I’ve uploaded them to the gallery, but some of the images are being cut off at the top. When I view the image itself, it looks fine, so it must be happening when the image is being loaded to the website. I go to “Setting” and change the pixel setting, save, but it doesn’t seem to change anything. What am I doing wrong?


  4. Hi Kim

    Regarding Gallery settings, is it necessary to only use commas or pipes to separate descriptors or can other characters be used? Also with tags, how many words are ideal. For instance, I could include my name, landscape and title. Is that enough? How much is too much?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Ann

      You can use whatever you want to separate descriptors, even HTML if you know it. You just can’t put punctuation into the title of your jpeg.

      They say search engines (Google) won’t go past the first keyword, but other search engines do; Yahoo, Bing. I think your name definitely, landscape painting is better than just landscape and Alberta Landscape Painting would be even better (yes I know you don’t live in Alberta, but you get the idea).

      Hope this helps

  5. Hi Kim- Having fun now! How do I add an image for the Gallery “page” which shows up at the bottom of my welcome page. I am able to add images to the gallery but can’t find where to add the main gallery photo for each of the galleries. Thanks.

    1. That would be the “Preview Image” and it is set inside the gallery. In the top task pane on the right you will see a drop down menu next to “Preview Image”, it lists all the images in the gallery. Select the one you want and save.

      Happy to hear you’re having fun with it Colleen, enjoy!

  6. Hi Kim:
    I have been having problems changing my gallery name. So as an experiment, I added a new gallery called “Landscape” and uploaded one image. I then went to “manage gallery”, selected “Landscape” and tried to create a new page to link this page to. When I go to “create new page”, the drop down selector only shows “main page, no parent” and there is nothing for me to select. Consequently no new page is created and therefore, cannot create a menu item for that page. I went to the other galleries you created for me and there is nothing to select either under create new page. What am I doing wrong?


    1. You’re not doing anything wrong Clement. This is a know problem with the Gallery plugin that the developers are working to fix.

      You can still create the page from the same link, you just can’t nest it with a parent page. To manuallly nest the page go to Pages, open your page in the editor and select the parent from the page attributes on the right.

  7. good morning Kim!! Had a look at your site very nice and like the work very much. Looks very technical but leaves a artistic strong message. Look I am aging naif artist, (70) that has been just creating and friends and other artists have been my customers up to now. But situation in Spain has removed a large part of my income. So I decided to build a web site and see if I can market my collections works.
    I just want enough income to keep the wolf from the door and enough to finish my thoughts before the time comes to take that final train. Can we setup a skype call time and see how much it would cost for you to help me with my site. Presently, I am on hostgator, url I am good for PS (image managing/creating, will write required text)
    I lived in Calgary not far from where you live, Cristy Estates, I use to bike to your development. Well so long for now emile michel

  8. Hi Kim – I just noticed that I am logged in as Mary Lou Blackledger-Kortz. Can you help me correct this to read Blackledge-Kortz?
    Also I am loading some new images and have a question on the page, “Edit Page”. Under gallery the image appears and below it is a section called, WordPress SEO by Yoast.
    In this section it has open blanks to fill in for: Focus Keyword, SEO Title and Meta Description. Could you please give me examples of what should go in each of these windows?
    Thanks a bunch.

  9. Hi Kim, I’m trying to add a gallery. I have typed in a name in the gallery name field and clicked the add gallery button. I never get a notice that the gallery was created with an ID number, the page just refreshes. What am I doing wrong?

  10. I would like to use the NextGen Gallery Option #1 where it shows up as a series of thumbnails and when you click on one a new window opens in front with the full size image. In your info you mention that you can add a caption to the thumbnail. I can’t seem to find a way to add a caption. I did a search at wordpress and they talk about having to add code. Is there a simple way to add a caption?

      1. Thanks for your help. Just one question. The post says that adding the [ template=caption ] code calls the wording from the description box, the same as would appear with the full image. The sample gallery that you show has the artist’s name only with the thumbnail and the full description with the full image. How is that done? Thanks.

        1. Hi Rex

          A PHP code change needs to be made to the caption template in the NextGen Gallery plugin. You can research this by searching “change nextgen gallery caption template to use alt-title text”. Download the caption template from the plugin and make the change using a text editor (not Word). Then upload to a new directory in your theme folder named “nggallery” so it won’t be over written on plugin updates. Or for a nominal fee of $25 I’ll do it for you.

  11. I added a page and a gallery to that page (Encaustic–Vessels), I even changed the order of the pages so that it appears where I’d like it; and still the page is not showing up in my portfolio in live view. I know I missed some tiny step somewhere but I cannot figure it out, please help.

    1. Two small steps Suzanne, which are often missed

      1. Add the new page to the menu under Appearance > Menus
      2. Add the gallery to the album under Gallery > Album

      Then your new images will appear on the site. Don’t forget to link the new gallery to the new page. Go to Gallery > Manage Gallery and open the gallery for editing. In the top right corner select the page to link the gallery to from the drop down menu and save.

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