WordPress NextGEN Plugins to Enhance Your Photo Galleries

WordPress NextGEN Plugins to Enhance Your Photo Galleries

Last Updated April 6, 2023

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The NextGEN Gallery plugin is one of the most popular options for displaying photos available in the WordPress ecosystem. Since 2007, the developers of this plugin have been pushing updates to add more features and guarantee compatibility with WordPress Core and themes. Of course, one team can’t handle it all. There are a lot of things users wish NextGEN Gallery could do that it can’t by default. Luckily, the WordPress developer community has stepped up to help add additional functionality to this popular gallery plugin. Let’s take a look at some of the WordPress NextGEN plugins you can install for additional features.

Popular WordPress NextGEN Plugins

The WordPress NextGEN plugins on our list today are all available, for free, from the plugin repository at WordPress.org. You can download these plugins and then upload them to your WordPress installation manually. Or, if you prefer, they can be installed and activated from inside the Plugins area of the WordPress admin.

We’ve provided a brief summary of each plugin’s core features. When applicable, we’ve also described any features that are found in additional pro or premium versions of each plugin. We hope, by the end, you’ll find the right solution for you to extend NextGEN with additional features for your site.

NextGEN Download Gallery

NextGEN Download Gallery adds a template to your NextGEN Gallery so users can download multiple files. This is a simple feature often requested by NextGEN users. The new gallery template lets visitors choose several images they want from a gallery and downloads them all together as a ZIP archive. The main goal of this plugin is to create “trade/media” sections on websites for visitors to download a multitude of images swiftly and easily. Note, the Photocrati version of NextGEN Gallery may have server performance issues and limited functionality. An alternative would be NextCellent Gallery which is a modern fork of the original NextGEN Gallery.

Plugin Details

This product was originally published by its developer in July of 2012. It is actively on version 1.6.2 and last had a revision on March 17th, 2024. The latest release runs on WordPress 6.5.3 and requires at least PHP 5.6 to run on your server. This plugin is presently functioning on over 3,000 WordPress websites. It has had over 94,670 downloads. There have not been many assistance requests from end-users. Reviews for NextGEN Download Gallery are very positive. Many of the end-users who left a review found NextGEN Download Gallery to be excellent.

NextGEN Custom Fields

NextGEN Custom Fields is a simple WordPress plugin that, as its name suggests, adds custom fields to the existing NextGEN Gallery plugin. Fields can be whatever you want and for whichever purpose you need them to serve. All you have to do is enter the name of your new field and select the type:

  • Test
  • Textarea
  • Dropdown

Once that’s done, you will find that your fields are automatically added to the “Manage Gallery” area of your NextGEN Gallery dashboard. An important note is that a small tag needs to be added to the NextGEN Gallery template so that your custom fields actually show up in your theme. Read the FAQ for more information.

Plugin Details

This plugin was first released by its developer in March of 2009. It is actively on version 1.2.5 and last saw an update on January 19th, 2024. The latest update runs on WordPress 6.4.4. This plugin is currently functioning on over 2,000 WordPress websites. It has had over 96,070 downloads. There have not been many assistance requests from customers. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the users who left a piece of feedback found NextGEN Custom Fields to be worthwhile.

NextGEN Gallery Image Chooser

NextGEN Gallery Image Chooser is a plugin that aims to improve NextGEN Gallery by bundling the g2image image chooser into it. The NextGEN Gallery’s default image chooser is described to be minimalistic so this plugin aims to fix that.

This new way of choosing an image allows you to browse along hierarchal albums and galleries and insert NextGEN Gallery tags into them. You can also add NextGEN Gallery and HTML tags for individual or groups of images and thumbnails at a time. On the left side of the popup, you can find a view of all albums and galleries. On the upper right, you will find the controls to insert your tags with relevant options. Below these, the thumbnails of images in the selected gallery are there with their title, summary, and description. In this area, multiple images may be chosen to insert.

Your default settings can be changed on the settings page. An important note is that this plugin does not work with the new Gutenberg editor. You may want to use the Classic Editor plugin or use a different image chooser altogether that is compatible with Gutenberg.

Plugin Details

This product was initially published by its developer in June of 2012. It is actively on version 1.1.1 and last had an update on October 21st, 2020. The latest edition functions on WordPress 5.5.14. This plugin is actively operating on over 300 WordPress websites. It has had over 15,570 downloads. There have not been many support requests from customers. Reviews for NextGEN Gallery Image Chooser are very positive. Many of the end-users who left an evaluation found NextGEN Gallery Image Chooser to be useful.


ModuloBox is a WordPress NetxGEN Gallery plugin that lets you create a slideshow in a lightbox for your gallery of images. This slideshow is elegant and more importantly responsive. It adapts to the displays of mobile or any other device. The plugin supports different formats:

  • Images
  • HTML5
  • iframe
  • Video embeds from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and Wistia

These types can be mixed all together in one gallery if you choose. It is also gesture compatible if you are viewing it on touchscreen devices. Users can swipe, drag, and pinch content. The free version of this plugin works with some limitations. We’ll discuss the premium version next.

Plugin Details

This product was first released by its creator in May of 2017. It is now on version 1.6.0 and last underwent an update on July 17th, 2020. The most recent version runs on WordPress 5.5.14. This plugin is presently running on over 500 WordPress sites. It has had over 10,060 downloads. There have not been many assistance requests from customers. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the end-users who left an evaluation found this plugin to be wonderful.

Premium Version

The premium version of ModuloBox is where many features actually live. The paid plugin, along with those features, comes with six months of premium support. In the premium plugin, there are unlimited colors for you to customize your lightbox with. SVG icons to choose from are included as well. Thumbnails are supported and physics-based animations are included. Automatic SlideShows may be enabled with a countdown timer. Also, you may have your Lightbox in full screen if you wish.

There is right-click prevention to protect your images, inactive state detection, smart resizing, and also smart loading. HTML captions for the title and description are included. Google Fonts are integrated. Multiple formats are supported and the plugin autodetects your video and image formats for you.

Geo2 Maps Add-on

NextGEN Geo2 Maps Add-on is a WordPress plugin to extend NextGEN Gallery so you can display maps alongside your images, galleries, or albums. This plugin uses EXIF GPS data and Microsoft Bing Maps. You will need a free Bing Maps API key for this plugin to work.

There is support for different photo representations on the map. So you can use pushpins and thumbnails. Geocoding can be done using the gallery title. Your maps may be included using a shortcode. You can set it so that maps are automatically included in every post with a gallery, or open maps on request via Ajax. Maps may be created with specific photos and multiple maps can be on a single page.

A Route Mode is included that gives you the ability to display your travel route with photos and other data. Worldmap Mode shows all or pre-defined photos, galleries, and albums on an overview map. Photos previews are available by clicking on pushpins or thumbnails within an infobox or lightbox. Finally, your lightboxes may be customized to match your site.

Plugin Details

This piece of software was first released by its owner in February of 2012. It is actively on version 2.0.8 and last saw an update on November 27th, 2023. The most recent update operates on WordPress 6.4.4. This plugin is actively functioning on over 100 WordPress websites. It has had over 21,660 downloads. There have not been many support requests from end-users. Users assess this plugin as average.

Find the Best WordPress NextGEN Plugin

And that’s the end of our look at WordPress NextGEN gallery plugins by third-party developers. We hope that you were able to find a solution for your WordPress site’s needs. If you find two plugins with similar features, give both a try before making your final decision.

NextGEN Gallery, even in its advanced age, continues to be quite popular with website builders. That means plugin developers will continue to build their own add-ons as well into the future. If you did not find what you wanted, we recommend keeping an eye out on the plugin repository at WordPress.org. You can do so quite easily by following the NextGEN Gallery tag there.

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