Search Over 30,000 FREE Plugins from the Official WordPress Plugin Directory Repository

Photonic Gallery for Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug, 500px, Zenfolio and Instagram

Galleries on steroids! A stylish plugin for galleries of your public and private WP, Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug, 500px, Zenfolio & Instagram photos.

Photonic lets you use the WordPress gallery shortcode and super-charges it with a lot of added functionality. It adds support for several new parameters to enhance the content and look-and-feel of your galleries. It supports Flickr photos, Photosets, Galleries and Collections, along with Picasa / Google photos and albums, SmugMug albums and images, 500px photos and galleries, Zenfolio photos, Photosets and Groups, and Instagram photos. You can also enable authentication for your site visitors that will let them see private and protected photos from each provider.

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 gallery shortcode.

Photonic has built-in support for commonly used lightbox scripts such as Swipebox, Image Lightbox, Lightcase, Lightgallery, Fancybox, Colorbox, PrettyPhoto and Thickbox. Non-GPL alternatives like Fancybox2 and Strip are supported, provided you install the scripts yourself. With the exception of Thickbox the lightboxes have been adapted to become touch and gesture-friendly.

Flickr Support

The following Flickr concepts are supported in Photonic:

For demos of Flickr support visit the Flickr page.

Picasa Support

The following Picasa concepts are supported in Photonic:

Authentication for Picasa is supported as well. For demos of Picasa support visit the Picasa page.

SmugMug Support

The following SmugMug concepts are supported in Photonic:

For demos of SmugMug support visit the SmugMug page.

500px Support

Photos and Galleries (a.k.a. Collections, a.k.a. Sets) on are supported in Photonic.

Zenfolio Support

The following Zenfolio concepts are supported in Photonic:

For demos of Zenfolio support visit the Zenfolio page. Note that authenticated content in Zenfolio is not currently supported.

Instagram Support

Instagram photos are supported in Photonic. You can display your own feed, and photos based on tags, and location-based searches. Note that 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.

Enhanced Native Galleries

Your existing gallery insertions are left intact. However you can add a style parameter to it for special effects. The permitted values for style are:

  1. strip-below: Displays a thumbnail strip with a running slideshow above.
  2. strip-above: Displays a thumbnail strip with a running slideshow below.
  3. strip-right: Displays a thumbnail strip with a running slideshow to its left.
  4. no-strip: Displays running slideshow with no thumbnails.
  5. launch: Doesn't display a running slideshow, but shows all thumbnails. On clicking a thumbnail a lightbox is shown.
  6. random: Displays a random arrangement of tiles. Clicking on a tile launches a lightbox.

Parameters such as speed can control the slide transition speed, and thumbnail_size can control the size of the thumbnails.

Deep-Linking and Social Sharing

Photonic provides deep-linking support for non-WP images, and by extension, supports social sharing to Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Beautiful Layouts

Photonic displays your galleries either as a grid of square thumbnails (the default), or circular thumbnails (like Jetpack), or random tiles in a justified grid (a variant of the Jetpack Tiled Gallery layout), or a slideshow.

Author Sayontan Sinha
Contributors sayontan
Tags 500px, colorbox, deeplinking, fancybox, flickr, gallery, gestures, instagram, lightcase, lightgallery, picasa, prettyphoto, shortcode, slideshow, SmugMug, social, strip, swipebox, zenfolio
  1. photonic screenshot 1

    To insert the shortcode for Photonic through the Media Uploader click on "Add Media".

  2. photonic screenshot 2

    You will see a new tab for "Photonic".

  3. photonic screenshot 3

    Clicking on the "Photonic" tab will show you new tabs, one for each type of gallery. Fill out what you need and click "Insert into post".

  4. photonic screenshot 4

    The gallery placeholder shows up in the "Visual Editor". Each provider's placeholder is designated by its logo.

  5. photonic screenshot 5

    Clicking on the placeholder lets you edit the attributes of the shortcode.

  6. photonic screenshot 6

    An example of the "Random Tiled Gallery" layout

You can install the plugin through the WordPress installer under Plugins → Add New by searching for it, or by uploading the file downloaded from here. Alternatively you can download the file from here, unzip it and move the unzipped contents to the wp-content/plugins folder of your WordPress installation. You will then be able to activate the plugin.


  • Shortcode integration with TinyMCE. Placeholders show up for all galleries, and clicking them lets users update gallery properties
  • Added support for non-bundled lightbox, Strip. There is deep-linking support, but social sharing doesn't work.
  • "Download" capability for LightGallery was not working in Firefox for Picasa, SmugMug, Flickr, Zenfolio, 500px and Instagram. Fixed for Picasa, SmugMug and Flickr.
  • Lightgallery showed a title in the lightbox even if "Show description only, even if blank" was selected. Fixed.


  • Added new "Slideshow" layout for all galleries, triggered by layout values strip-below, strip-above, strip-right, and no-strip.
  • Replaced jQuery Cycle with Lightslider - responsive, touch-enabled and smaller. Lost most transition effects as a result.
  • Modified the back-end to remove dependency on JQuery UI; different look, reduced size and load time. Streamlined Flickr options.
  • Added new "Getting Started" page in the back-end with links to documentation.
  • Added support for the Lightgallery lightbox script.
  • Added controls as an option for native WP galleries displayed as slideshows - shows "Previous" and "Next" buttons on the slideshow.
  • Added caption_control as an option for native WP galleries displayed as slideshows - shows the image caption at the bottom of the slideshow.
  • Added caption as an option for all galleries - helps pick the photo title or description / caption to display.
  • Added thumb_size and main_size options to all shortcodes. This overrides the settings in the back-end for individual providers.
  • Added Circular thumbnails option for WP gallery layouts


  • Fixed an issue that was causing the Flickr API to fail for old versions of PHP.


  • Added a "Load More" feature to shortcodes that display images.
  • Added capability to display a selected number of photos from SmugMug albums.
  • Added support for the Lightcase lightbox. Optimized CSS and fonts to reduce file sizes.
  • Fixed a bug with "Image Lightbox" wherein if interim popups were enabled, clicking on an image in the interim popup wouldn't show the lightbox.


  • Fixed a "Headers already sent" error for password-protected Zenfolio albums displayed "in page".
  • Fixed an "Event not defined" error with Swipebox on FF.
  • Added support for Image Lightbox.
  • Rewrote the Instagram extension, which was broken due to API changes. Multiple changes, now authentication happens in the back-end, but users require an "access token", which can be obtained from Photonic → Helpers
  • Due to Instagram API changes, some features such as popular photos, follows and followed-by capabilities have been removed.
  • Added options for lazy-loading of Flickr Collections.
  • Added a new "headers" parameter for Flickr, SmugMug and Zenfolio, where the album / set / gallery / collection header display may be controlled via the shortcode.
  • Added a new "Back-End Authentication" mode for Picasa / Google Photos to support the Google Photos API.


  • Added deeplinking support if Swipebox, Colorbox, PrettyPhoto, or Fancybox2 (not Fancybox) are the lightbox libraries. Nested deep-links currently show the correct album, but cannot open the correct image within.
  • Added social sharing support for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the above-mentioned lightboxes.
  • Fixed a SmugMug bug that was causing the album headers to show up twice.
  • Added a hook, photonic_modify_title to apply a different title for photos.
  • Fixed Fancybox styling issues for certain themes
  • Enhanced Fancybox2 support: added support for "Bypass popup", thumbnail and button helpers, and touch gestures
  • Added "Bypass popup" support for all included lightboxes, on by default
  • Added new SmugMug sizes to the backend options
  • In case an image has no title, and lightbox linking is disabled, the plugin will now not show the "View" text in the lightbox


  • Changed the SmugMug code to point to version 2 of the API, resulting in better performance, and improved support of titles, captions and highlight images.
  • Changed the format of the album parameter of the shortcode. It now requires only the album key. The older format still works, though.
  • Added new capability to support clicking of password-protected and authenticated albums in SmugMug
  • Added new capability to support clicking and display of password-protected albums in Zenfolio
  • Added new helper for Picasa to fetch Google Photos / Picasa album ids.
  • Added a "filter" option for the shortcode to allow for displaying selected albums / photosets / galleries / collections for Flickr, SmugMug, 500px and Picasa
  • Added a "loading" wheel to show that images are loading on the front-end.


  • Removed syntax that was causing errors in PHP versions <= 5.3.
  • Made a correction to the Picasa processor to support https in all cases. Previously https was being used only for authenticated users.
  • Added a new title style - slides up from the bottom upon hovering on a thumbnail.


  • Fixed a password-protection issue for SmugMug albums. Earlier password-protected albums would display only for authenticated users. Now, just passing the password attribute works.
  • Added support for site_password for SmugMug.
  • Changed load_textdomain to load_plugin_textdomain.
  • Replaced older fixed width popup panel with a responsive popup panel.
  • Removed options for displaying a fixed number of images per screen in the popup panel.


  • Changed the "gestures" script from TouchSwipe to TouchWipe, saving over 10KB of JS. The option to enable touch is now removed, as it is included by default for all libraries.
  • Added the "authkey" option to the shortcode generation script.
  • Added the "Text Domain" to the readme header to support translations on


  • Added option for Photonic lightbox be used for non-Photonic images
  • Added support for "anyone with link" albums in Picasa, via the authkey parameter
  • Fixed an issue where a "." in the album id was causing JQuery errors


  • Added option to save CSS file, can be loaded for caching.
  • Added support for an additional "layout" attribute for the shortcode. Will take a value square, circle or random, can override the global layout.
  • Added support for "Random Tiled Gallery" layout for displaying a group of albums, photosets etc.
  • Added support to display all of one's 500px collections
  • Added gesture support for Colorbox, PrettyPhoto and FancyBox
  • Updated "wait for images" code to latest version, to facilitate getting the rest of the images when one image is blocked or broken.
  • Added capability to bypass the popup for PrettyPhoto; on by default.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing Fancybox, Colorbox and PrettyPhoto to fail to open images in a lightbox in the random tiled gallery layout.
  • Fixed an issue where the popup panel's lightbox was pulling photos from other popup panels
  • Fixed an issue with 500px to support new Galleries API, which replaces the Collections / Sets API
  • Swipebox would remove the title on mobiles by default. Added an option to address this.


  • Fixed an issue with applying borders and padding to "in-page" Flickr photos
  • Fixed an issue with Swipebox "bypassed popup panel" displays, which weren't supporting multi-line descriptions
  • Added new layout options, "Random Tiled Gallery" and "Circular Thumbnails", under Settings → Generic Options → Layouts
  • Fixed an issue that wasn't showing the last used screen on the options pages upon saving


  • Added Swipebox support for gestures on mobile devices
  • Added capability to bypass the popup panel for libraries like Swipebox
  • Corrected issues with Zenfolio displays. WP was corrupting the photoset ids for Zenfolio
  • Added helper for SmugMug to find album id and album key
  • Switched JQuery Tooltip to the default JQuery Tooltip script supplied by WP


  • Security patch - updated PrettyPhoto to latest version


  • Fixed Zenfolio API issues.


  • Fixed a problem with the Flickr helpers.
  • Fixed miscellaneous issues with SmugMug.


  • 500px API updated to accommodate the new URL formats.


  • Flickr API updated to use https instead of http, as per Flickr's transition plans.


  • Options panel was not working for WP 3.6. This has been fixed.


  • Added Thickbox support
  • Fixed an incompatibility between Photonic and themes from Themify.
  • Added capability to exclude passworded galleries from displaying for SmugMug.
  • Added support for alternative shortcode - specifying this will mean Photonic will not use the gallery shortcode


  • Massively refactored code. Several lines of JS code taken off, lots of PHP code modularized.
  • Added option to use a Colorbox skin defined in the theme folder
  • Updated SimpleModal, Colorbox and PrettyPhoto to latest versions.
  • Swapped the use of "live" for "on". This means Photonic needs WP 3.3 at least (since "on" was introduced in JQuery 1.7)
  • Removed the "View in Flickr" text from the plugin.
  • Ensured consistent behaviour with the lightbox title linking behaviour across all providers.
  • Introduced non-bundled lightbox support, with support for FancyBox2
  • Removed the modified scripts for FancyBox and ColorBox - now the original scripts are used.


  • Resolved a conflict between JetPack "Publicize" and protected access. The login box was not showing up.
  • Added the "ids" parameter to the shortcode insertion UI.
  • Added options to control thumbnail, title and photo count display in SmugMug album headers


  • Added Zenfolio support for public photos.
  • Fixed an issue with the shortcode generation for Instagram tags.
  • Added the 'photonic_register_extensions' action hook for registering more extensions.
  • Fixed some PHP notices that were showing up in debug mode when no options were set.
  • Fixed an option to prevent SmugMug album thumbnails and titles from linking to the SmugMug page.


  • Rewrote the Picasa processor to be DOM-based instead of event-based.
  • Added option to let users display the Picasa image title instead of the description.
  • Fixed a problem with Flickr Collections that was causing nested collections to display repeatedly.
  • Fixed a problem with Flickr Collections that was making the collections link to an invalid page.
  • Picasa thumbnails in the popup now have the same dimensions as those in the main page.


  • Added Instagram support
  • Gave Photonic its own menu item
  • Added some helpers to let people find their Flickr and Instagram IDs
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing Flickr Galleries from showing their overlaid popups
  • Added capability to display external links in a new tab


  • Removed singular check for


  • Added support for collections.
  • Fixed authentication problems in
  • Added capability to show a different number of photos on an archive page than on the page for a single post/page
  • Changed the Flickr API calls to be PHP-based instead of JS-based.


  • Removed some debugging statements.


  • Fixed a minor issue with the displaying of the login box for Picasa.


  • Added support for displaying single photos in
  • Added authentication support for Picasa.
  • Added more skins for Colorbox.


  • Changed some code so that not being connected to the web doesn't throw an error for 500px.
  • Fixed an issue that was preventing 500px photos from being shown on certain servers.


  • Added date filtering support for Thanks to Bart Kuipers ( for the code.
  • Removed the included script for JQuery Dimensions, which was causing conflicts with other JQuery plugins. Dimensions has been merged into JQuery Core a while back.


  • Added search support for, via tags and terms
  • Added new categories, sort criteria and capability to exclude a category for


  • Made minor corrections to authentication behaviour. If not connected to the internet, Photonic was returning a fatal error.
  • Changed the wording for PrettyPhoto licensing. PrettyPhoto is licensed under GPL, and that is now explicitly stated in the options page.
  • Added the capability to include shortcodes inside the parameters of the gallery shortcode (nested shortcodes)


  • Added support for SmugMug password-protected albums where the user has access to the albums. Other albums show up, but clicking on them takes the users nowhere.
  • Fixed a bug that was killing the last thumbnail in a popup for SmugMug.


  • Added authentication support for Flickr, and SmugMug.
  • Disabled the showing of password-protected SmugMug galleries.


  • Fixed a problem with handling double quotes in the title of Flickr photos.


  • Combined SimpleModal script with Photonic to save an HTTP request.
  • Deleted some redundant JS files.
  • Added support for a different default type.
  • Added support for single photos in Flickr.


  • Fixed a bug with the SmugMug processor, which was preventing the display of an album popup.


  • Fixed a bug with the Flickr processor, which was preventing the execution of the shortcode with a group_id parameter
  • Fixed a minor problem with the popup panels, where hovering over the panel titles was resulting in a Tooltip error.
  • The Picasa inserter was not showing the "album" field. This has been rectified.


  • Made a change to the Picasa processor to handle the recent change by Google. Google's change was forcing images to 512px.
  • Updated the plugin to support WP 3.3.
  • Fixed an issue with FancyBox that was showing server log errors for IE.


  • Added support for SmugMug
  • Modified the Picasa plugin to not display the file name if no title is found.


  • Fixed an issue with the extension, which had to be changed to invoke HTTPS instead of HTTP.
  • Added support for the "sort" parameter for 500px.
  • Fixed an issue with the PrettyPhoto library where you couldn't see the "View in Flickr" link.


  • Added support for the PrettyPhoto JS library.
  • Added check for _wp_additional_image_sizes. This was causing errors for some people.
  • Fixed a bug with the thumbnail_width and thumbnail_height attribute of the plugin. The attributes should have been called thumb_width and thumb_height.
  • Added option to launch images in a slideshow mode.
  • Fixed a bug that was not accepting border settings for the thumbnails.


  • Added support for photos on 500px.
  • Modified the Colorbox invocation to fit in the browser window.


  • Added support for Gallery objects in Flickr.
  • Fixed an issue with the Picasa galleries where under certain circumstances users were getting a "Division by zero" error.
  • Fixed an issue where Chrome and Safari were showing an overlap of the slides over the rest of the content in native galleries.
  • Updated translation file.


  • Added a UI panel for insertion of Photonic galleries through the Add Media screen.
  • Restructured code for better extensibility.
  • Updated translation file.


  • Included a PO file for translation support.
  • Fixed a bug to prevent appearance of Photonic stylesheets on other admin pages.


  • New version created.

If I disable the plugin what happens to the galleries?

Obviously, your galleries will not show. However, since you are using the native gallery shortcode, you will not see any empty shortcode tags on your site.

When I click on a gallery in the Visual Editor nothing happens. Is the plugin working?

Yes, the plugin is working. Unfortunately the integration of Photonic with the visual editor is complex, and there is a likelihood of conflicts with other TinyMCE-specific plugins. If you come across such a conflict, please report it on the support forum. In the meanwhile you should still be able to edit the gallery shortcode directly through the text editor.

My gallery layout seems to get messed up with random text showing up at various places. Are you sure the plugin is working?

Yes, the plugin is working. The issue you are facing is that you have another plugin (typically some sort of a lightbox plugin) that is modifying the markup generated by Photonic.

Of course, it would be easiest if you were to disable that plugin. If a lightbox is all you need, Photonic's lightbox can be used to display regular photos as well, from your admin dashboard under Photonic → Settings → Generic Options → Generic Settings → Photonic Lightbox for non-Photonic Images. This will ensure consistency across Photonic and non-Photonic images.

However, if you really wanted to keep that plugin, Photonic offers a way out there too! For each provider (e.g. Flickr, Picasa etc.) go to the Settings page, e.g. Photonic → Settings → SmugMug → SmugMug Settings → Disable lightbox linking and set that option.

I upgraded, and now my SmugMug galleries won't show. Are you really sure the plugin is working?

Yes, the plugin is working. Here is what happened: version 1.57 of Photonic moved from API v1.3 of SmugMug to API v2. Your API keys probably were created for v1.3 and need to be authorized for v2. See here for instructions.

The plugin says it supports Picasa. Does it support Google Photos?

Yes. Google Photos doesn't have a public API, and the old Picasa API remains. Google disbanded PicasaWeb in a giant leap backwards, by making it harder to find album IDs (resolved in Photonic through Photonic → Helpers → Picasa / Google Photos), completely eliminating the authkey capability of PicasaWeb (older Picasa albums with authkey still work), allowing the use of protected albums only for fully authenticated users (supported in Photonic through authentication), and making it almost impossible to make an album public (third-party workarounds exist, as documented here).

However, to get around all these impositions, Photonic allows you "Back-End", or "Server-Side" authentication for Google Photos. Using this, displaying your content becomes a lot easier. See the documentation page for instructions.

What about other photo-sharing platforms?

Suggestions are welcome for other photo-sharing platforms.

What about other JS libraries?

Currently Swipebox, Image Lightbox, Lightcase, Lightgallery, Fancybox, Colorbox and PrettyPhoto are supported. Inbuilt support is also present for the non-GPL Fancybox2 and Strip. Both lighter and heavier alternatives are being considered. If you have specific suggestions please feel free to contact the plugin author.

Note that there have been slight modifications to some of the above scripts to make them interact seamlessly with JQuery tooltips.

Are there any known issues?

Authentication in Zenfolio is not supported (but password-protection is). And, as explained in the "Description", the Instagram API has been coded to support hashtags and locations, but Instagram itself has not provided Photonic access to those features.

Also, the TinyMCE integration for the plugin is complex, predominantly since Photonic doesn't rely on a separate shortcode. This can cause potential conflicts with other plugins. If such a situation arises, please report it in the Support Forum, and disable the visual editor capability for the shortcode (Photonic → Settings → Generic Options → Generic Settings → Disable shortcode editing in Visual Editor) - you will still be able to edit the shortcode using the Text Editor in WordPress.

Apart from these, while the plugin can handle pretty much whatever you throw at it, Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology states:

There is always one more bug.

Bug reports are welcome, and handled enthusiastically.

Are translations supported?

Yes, but only for the plugin front-end. The admin panel is not translated at this point. Also note that any strings included in the third-party JS scripts are not translated.

Version 1.63

Requires WordPress version: 4.4 or higher

Compatible up to: 4.7.2

Last Updated 13 Feb 2017

Date Added: 02 Sep 2011

Plugin Homepage


4.7 stars
39 ratings


Not Enough Data

Works: 0
Broken: 0