Photonic Gallery for Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug and 500px

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WordPress galleries on steroids! A stylish plugin for beautiful galleries of your public and private Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug and 500px photos.

Author:Sayontan Sinha (profile at
WordPress version required:4.9
WordPress version tested:5.4.0
Plugin version:2.34
Added to WordPress repository:02-09-2011
Last updated:22-10-2019
Rating, %:94
Rated by:128
Plugin URI:
Total downloads:332 239
Active installs:10 000+
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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 gallery shortcode.

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.


Photonic has built-in support for commonly used lightbox scripts such as:

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. See the Lightboxes page for details.

Flickr Support

The following Flickr concepts are supported in Photonic:

For demos of Flickr support visit the Flickr page.

Google Photos Support

The following Google Photos concepts are supported in Photonic:

For demos of Google Photos support visit the Google Photos page. Note that the Google has released the API in a “Developer preview” mode, so there are some restrictions around usage.

SmugMug Support

The following SmugMug concepts are supported in Photonic:

For demos of SmugMug support visit the SmugMug page.

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 a native gallery to open it up to Photonic. The style parameter can take any of the values documented on the Layouts page.

500px Support – Historical

Photos and Galleries (a.k.a. Collections, a.k.a. Sets) on are supported in Photonic, but has shut down its API access with effect from 15th June 2018. The code has been left in the plugin in case revives the API, but for now, is not supported.

Video Support

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 or Thickbox
  • 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.

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, or a masonry layout, or a random mosaic (a much improved variant of the Jetpack Tiled Gallery layout), or a slideshow. See the Layouts page for details.

Interactive Editing

The WordPress editor shows up with a button that says “Add / Edit Photonic Gallery”. Clicking on it will show you the different types of galleries you can work with.

Gutenberg Support

With effect from version 2.10 Photonic is Gutenberg-capable. There are some steps you might need to take to migrate your existing galleries. Please refer to the documentation.