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Why Not Use a Free Photo Gallery System?

If you’ve been looking for a photo gallery to add to your WordPress website, you’ve probably come across several free options that you might think will work for you. But hold on, are you really getting everything you’ll need, now and in the future, with a free photo gallery option?

Here are some of the limitations you’ll come across with free photo gallery software for your website:

  • No Before/After Layout: This is a huge one. The free galleries available for WordPress and other platforms are designed to show one photo at a time. If you need them to behave differently, it’s either entirely impossible or you will need to pay a developer to write custom code, which would almost without a doubt cost you thousands of dollars. If you need true, built-in before/after photo capability, free options won’t get the job done for you.
  • Image Limits: Free versions of the commonly available photo gallery systems come with image limits, in some cases just 50 or fewer images. How else are they going to get you to upgrade to one of their paid versions? You might not think you’ll need more than about 50 photos, but don’t be surprised if you look around and see that your competition is posting hundreds of photos.
  • Lack of Support: All you want to do is show off your own photos on your website. It can’t be that hard, right? Why would you need support once you install the free software you’ve chosen? Trust us, issues and questions will almost certainly come up as you use the software, and if you can’t get support, you may be forced to abandon your system and redo all your work in setting up your photos to begin with.
  • No Updates: Plugins and other software will inevitably become outdated over time, making it not work right and be incompatible with other website updates. Worse, outdated software is a prime way that site hackers can break into the admin area of your website, taking down your site, stealing sensitive information, etc.
  • Limited or No Editing Tools: Free photo galleries often just have tools for uploading images and arranging their order. You likely won’t have ways to crop/scale images, put them into subcategories, make notes on them, and otherwise organize your collection.
  • 3rd Party Branding: Do you really want visitors to your site seeing that your gallery is “Powered by So-and-So”? It may be a small thing, but advertising for the software developer can make your site feel cheaper and cause you to lose a few trust points with visitors.

It always helps to keep in mind the old saying: You get what you pay for. And in the case of free photo galleries, you aren’t very likely to get the value you truly need.