Photonic takes the WordPress gallery and super-charges it with a lot of added functionality. It adds support for several new sources and parameters to enhance the content and look-and-feel of your galleries. It supports Flickr photos, Albums (Photosets), Galleries and Collections, along with Google Photos photos and albums, SmugMug folders, albums and images, Zenfolio photos, Photosets and Groups, and Instagram photos. You can also set up authentication so that visitors can see private and protected photos from each provider.
When used without the Gutenberg editor Photonic by default overrides the
gallery shortcode. In case you happen to be using a theme or plugin that already overrides the
gallery shortcode, Photonic provides you with the option to use your own shortcode for Photonic galleries. This lets your plugins coexist. Bear in mind that if you deactivate Photonic you will have to remove all instances of this custom shortcode, something that is not required if you stick to the
When used with Gutenberg Photonic creates no shortcodes, rather it creates blocks. If some of your posts were written with Gutenberg and some without, Photonic supports both scenarios.
Pure JS Libraries
- “Gie” Lightbox (GLightbox)
- PhotoSwipe v4
- PhotoSwipe v5
jQuery Based Libraries
- Fancybox2 – not GPL, so the script is not included with the plugin. See the Lightboxes page for details
- Image Lightbox
- Fancybox 1 – no update since November 2010
- Magnific Popup – no update since February 2016
- PrettyPhoto – no update since May 2015
For the non-GPL alternatives like Fancybox2 and the obsolete libraries, Photonic has code to work with them, but you have to install the scripts yourself or rely on them from your theme or another plugin.
With the exception of Thickbox the lightboxes have been adapted to become touch and gesture-friendly. See the Lightboxes page for details.
Support for Multiple Platforms
The following Flickr concepts are supported in Photonic:
- PhotoSets (Albums)
- Single Photo
For demos of Flickr support visit the Flickr page.
The following Google Photos concepts are supported in Photonic:
For demos of Google Photos support visit the Google Photos page.
The following SmugMug concepts are supported in Photonic:
- User Tree
For demos of SmugMug support visit the SmugMug page.
The following Zenfolio concepts are supported in Photonic:
- PhotoSets (Galleries and Collections)
- Group Hierarchies
For demos of Zenfolio support visit the Zenfolio page.
Instagram photos are supported in Photonic. You can display your own feed, and while code has been written to support tags and locations, Instagram hasn’t approved Photonic’s access to others’ photos. This means that currently only displaying one’s own feed will work.
Native WordPress Galleries
Your existing galleries are left intact. However you can add a
style parameter to a native gallery to open it up to Photonic. The
style parameter can take any of the values documented on the Layouts page.
Other Photonic Goodies
The WordPress Classic editor shows up with a button that says “Add / Edit Photonic Gallery”. Clicking on it launches a wizard that helps you interactively build out a gallery with just a few clicks.
Photonic provides gallery and lightbox support for videos as well. Videos of the following sorts are supported:
- External videos from YouTube or Vimeo can be opened in any of the lightboxes apart from Image Lightbox, Thickbox or BaguetteBox
- Self-hosted or external videos in MP4 formats can be opened in any of the lightboxes apart from Image Lightbox, PrettyPhoto, Strip or Thickbox
- Videos hosted by external service providers (Flickr, Google etc.) can be opened as a part of a gallery in any of the lightboxes apart from Image Lightbox, PrettyPhoto, Strip or Thickbox. Some lightboxes have issues with specific features. Please refer to the Lightboxes documentation for more.
Deep-Linking and Social Sharing
Photonic provides deep-linking support for non-WP images, and by extension, supports social sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.
Photonic displays your galleries in multiple forms:
- A grid of square thumbnails (the default)
- A grid of circular thumbnails (like Jetpack)
- A neat justified grid
- A masonry layout
- A tiled, random mosaic (a much improved variant of the Jetpack Tiled Gallery layout)
- A slideshow, using the Splide script
See the Layouts documentation page for details and examples.
Photonic is Gutenberg-capable. While creating a block, just look for Photonic. Please refer to the documentation.
Obsessively Comprehensive Documentation (OCD)
Photonic’s documentation is comprehensive to the point of obsession. And yet, if you find something missing, please feel free to get in touch via the support forum.