NextGEN Gallery – Understanding Galleries vs. Albums (WordPress)

gallery3 My personal site runs on WordPress, and hosts family photos, videos, and news.  I’ve just switched to running NextGEN Gallery to power the photo portion of the site.  The hardest part of the switch was figuring out the difference between an “album” and a “gallery” in NextGEN Gallery.  This might be because the terms have a different meaning than they did in other software I used.  I looked all over, but the only way I was able to get my brain around the concept was through trial and error.  So, here I will try to explain a gallery versus an album in NextGEN Gallery.

An album typically contains several galleries.  The best way to explain the difference between galleries versus albums in NextGEN Gallery is by example.  On a site, I may have several galleries, such as the following: Christmas 2009, Mom’s Retirement Dinner, Montana Ski Trip, Joe’s Birthday Party, Ed and Sue’s Murder Mystery Dinner, Office Retreat, and World Series.  I might have 4 different albums: Family, Friends, Vacations, and Miscellaneous.  In the Family album, I put the Christmas 2009 gallery and the Mom’s Retirement Dinner gallery.  In the Friends album, I put the Joe’s Birthday Part gallery and the Ed and Sue’s Murder Myster Dinner gallery.  The only gallery I have so far for my Vacation album is the Montana Ski Trip gallery.  In the Miscellaneous album, I have the Office Retreat gallery, and the World Series gallery. For a second example, here’s a real example from my personal site, showing what the “Manage Album” page of NextGEN Gallery looks like when I choose to manage the “Family” album: nextgen2 In this example, “Family” is the name of the album.  There are a few galleries that I have assigned to that album.  Those galleries are the following: Aunt Barb’s Birthday, Box Hill Club, Brooke’s Visit, and Trip to see Brooke and Melissa.  Not shown here are my other albums (Friends, Vacations, and Miscellaneous), each of which contain several galleries. Hopefully this will help you get started in NextGEN Gallery, which I’m discovering is a fantastic WordPress gallery tool.

Evan Kline

Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer.    MORE ABOUT ME.


  1. Hi Evan,

    this article was very helpful for me to understand the difference between gallery and album, because I started to use WordPress with the NextGEN Gallery and had problems setting up galleries and albums.

    Thanks a lot,

  2. finally! your’s is the ONLY info I could find on the difference between albums and galleries. and its easy to undertand and remember. Thanks!

  3. great explanation! thanks!

    now i just need help figuring out how to POST an album with the galleries showing on a page….so far i’m not figuring this part out.

    • Hi Tina. On my personal site, all I did was create a new page from the WordPress admin area, and in the page content area, just put this (replacing the id# with whatever album you want to appear):

      [album id=3 template=extend]

  4. Marcellus Easley


    Thanks for this post. I was seriously stumped. NextGen isn’t very intuitive as far as albums vs. galleries. I believe that logical reasoning has taught us normally that a gallery would contain different albums, but in NextGen it is the reverse. Once again, thanks.

  5. Hi Evan.

    Thank you for the explanation , I followed your explanation as you set out. Thank you.

    Could you also tell me how I can display an albvum that contains many galleries in a page? For now I can only display a gallery in that page eg. [nggallery id=4]

    (Greetings from South Africa)

  6. Thanks for the guidance

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