Even with the major improvements made in WordPress 3.6, the default gallery functionality in WordPress core can be lackluster or troublesome for less technical users. Easy Image Gallery is a plugin from Andrew Munro that does a superb job of providing a better gallery feature.
Once activated, the plugin will add a new Image Gallery metabox to posts and pages, though it can also support any custom post type as well by going to Plugins > Easy Image Gallery.
Clicking the Add gallery images link will open the media manager, where you can easily select the images you wish to add to the gallery:
After you have chosen your images and clicked Add to gallery, the images will be displayed in the metabox:
As soon as the post is updated, Easy Image Gallery will automatically append the images to the bottom of the post content, like so:
Easy Image Gallery also provides a [easy_image_gallery] short code you can use to position the gallery exactly where you wish. Andrew has set it up to automatically disable the automatic display at the bottom of the post if the short code is present, which is a really nice touch.
The gallery images are given a really nice hover affect and open in a lightbox when clicked (if enabled):
The plugin is really, really excellent. Though with any review, there are a couple of things I’d like to see improved to really add the extra level of polish.
1. I’d like to see the settings page for the plugin merged into Settings > Media instead of having its own submenu under the Plugins page. The current location doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me and it took a bit of searching before I found it.
2. I’d like to see support for changing the size of the thumbnails and the number of columns the images are displayed in, just as you can with the default WordPress gallery.
Even with both of these critiques, Easy Image Gallery is a top-notch plugin for improving the default gallery system in WordPress.