A WordPress (WP) portfolio or image gallery is a great way to display your creative artwork. We work with many artists and photographers. They often ask for the difference between these two similar choices when designing their websites. Let’s explore the features and benefits of both so you will know which is best for you.
Art displayed in a (WP) image gallery is set proportionally either horizontally or vertically. If your images are all landscape or all portraits this is an excellent gallery to choose. Images of different sizes will be display very well, so the whole image is visible. Each is cropped proportionally to it’s original size.
The image gallery is also the easiest to edit. Images can be added or deleted to the gallery and they can be re-ordered with drag and drop ease. You can choose how many images are in each row. This changes the look of the page and the size of the images. Images can have captions or descriptions. They can be enlarged within a media file (no caption or information) or as an attachment page, where a more complete description of the image is possible. Images for this gallery come directly from your media library. However, there is a real compromise to the image if you break the horizontal or vertical rule. Parts of the image will be cut off, until it is enlarged, and then the whole image is visible to the viewer.
Portfolio galleries are another option. They are tied to a portfolio page, which is organized by category, such as types of flowers, cars, or whatever. Each image must be re-entered from the media library into the gallery as a separate unit. (In other words, two entries for each image.) The images must be entered in the order that you would like to display them since they are date sensitive and cannot be easily re-ordered. This is not a problem with some advanced planning.
The advantage of the portfolio gallery is that all images are proportionally displayed from the center outward. They are perfect squares that can be large or small depending on how many you design in a row. This appeals to people who want a neat and consistent look to their gallery. This gallery can have single or multiple pages for each portfolio category depending on your settings. It is a great way to exhibit large collections. The images can also appear in more than one category. As with the image gallery, each image can have a caption. They can be enlarged within an attachment page where a complete description of the image is possible.
Ultimately, it is the type of art and the nature of your design that will define the best choice for you between a WP portfolio or image gallery.