How to Create an Image Gallery With HTML

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Marquel Ellis



As a photographer, you have a trove of images that tell unique stories. However, a simple webpage might not fully immerse visitors in the worlds you've captured behind the lens. That’s where building an HTML image gallery can help.

photographer curates an HTML image gallery

Trust me, I’ve done it myself. I had a collection of landscapes and captivating portraits to show off. However, I wanted more than just a static display. I wanted a dynamic gallery that would engage visitors, and my coding experience allowed me to build a better experience.

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Your gallery could be a simple slide show with images, or you could further to customize layouts, control image placement, and provide text descriptions to augment your visual story. Below, I’ll show you how. Let’s get started!

The Benefits of Adding Image Gallery

I’ve spent years in web design, including front and back-end development. While a secure, streamlined experience is important, I know the importance of visual appeal. Adding visual variety keeps your reader engaged.

Image galleries allow you to showcase multiple photographs or slides. Users can then scroll through to get a better sample of your work. Beyond that, a well-designed gallery ensures that your images look stunning across multiple devices and screen sizes. This adaptability is crucial because users access websites from desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Furthermore, adding an image gallery facilitates storytelling. You can add captions to your work, allowing people to get the full story behind the snapshot. This adds a personal touch, creating a connection between you and the audience.

How to Create an Image Gallery With HTML

Here, you’ll get the opportunity to code along with me. I got in touch with a photographer friend who just got back from a trip to the Philippines. We’ll build a gallery to showcase his work.

Start by gathering a few of your own images so you can code along (or download some from a site like Unsplash for practice).

Once you have your images selected, you need to set up your HTML document. I’ve created a div container to hold my gallery, designated with the class gallery-container. This will help when I style my gallery down the road.

<div class="gallery-container"> <!-- Images will go here --> </div>

Now, it’s time to add the images. First, upload your images to your website or CMS, or if you’re building your website locally, place the images in the same folder as your HTML file.

Using the <img> tag, I’ll add each of my images in the order I want them presented on the page. The src is the file pathway of the image, either on your website or locally. I’ll then add meaningful alt text that describes the images.

You can copy the code below to help you get started.

<div class="gallery-container"> <img src="images/photo1.jpg" alt="Sunset over the mountains"> <img src="images/photo2.jpg" alt="City skyline at night"> <!-- Add more images as needed --> </div>

Here’s what the code looks like with my friend’s photos from his trip. Notice how the images are on the page, but I wouldn’t call it a gallery just yet. The images are all there, but they’re so large that you can’t see them in full, and they’re all stacked on top of each other.

See the Pen HTML Image Gallery - images added by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

So now, it’s time to turn this into a proper gallery. We’ll add some CSS and apply it to gallery-container. The line display: grid transforms the images into a gallery.

I want the photos to be in columns, so I’ve included the grid-template-columns rule. We want the grid to repeat in one line and to fit the size of the screen. Besides that, I’ve added a 10-pixel gap between images. You can see the CSS below.

Let’s see how the images look with CSS:

See the Pen HTML Image Gallery - css added by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

Still a bit wonky. The photos are incredibly cropped! Luckily, some extra CSS specifying the width and height of the images should do the trick.

See the Pen HTML Image Gallery - set img dimensions by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

Now, we have a gallery!

Creating No-Code Galleries

You don’t need to know how to code to build image galleries. Your content management system should include drag-and-drop elements. All you have to do is upload your photos and click away.

Tips for Making a Gallery

Before you start building beautiful image galleries, I wanted to share three tips that you should keep in mind.

1. Prioritize responsive design.

When creating your image gallery, focus on making it responsive. I found that utilizing CSS grid layouts is the first step. From there, set your image widths in percentages rather than fixed pixels. This allows your images to scale proportionately based on screen size.

Responsive design enhances the user experience, allowing visitors to enjoy your images whether they're viewing them on a large desktop monitor or a smartphone screen.

2. Optimize image loading.

When uploading images online, image size matters. If your images are 5000 pixels wide, they’ll take a long time to load, and you’ll likely need to compress them in your style sheet. Instead, crop or compress your images before you build your gallery.

Now, users won’t need to wait for giant image files to load. This not only benefits users but also positively impacts your site's performance. Fast load times are rewarded by Google.

Additionally, utilizing lazy loading can be a game-changer. It delays the loading of images until they are about to come into the user's viewport, improving page load times.

3. Add captivating descriptions.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but it doesn’t always tell the whole story. Incorporate compelling and meaningful descriptions for each image. I noticed that this adds a personal touch and engages visitors. It's an opportunity to tell a story, share insights, or evoke emotions.

Curating Your Gallery

Whether you're a photographer looking to showcase your portfolio or an artist sharing visual creations, an image gallery offers a dynamic canvas for your work. Start with the tips above, and may your foray into building image galleries be both enjoyable and successful.


Topics: HTML

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