Individual Images vs Gallery

WordPress allows you to display individual images of varying sizes and positions on the page. It also lets you display a gallery of thumbnails. It is also possible to have a gallery of thumbnails plus one or more images that are not in the gallery–all in one blog post–but that takes a little more doing.

Individual Images

Four Image Sizes

Individual images come in four sizes: thumbnail, medium, large, and full size. The actual dimensions of these sizes are constrained by the settings you choose in Settings > Media. Determine the Ideal Image Size for Your Theme discusses some of these settings. Your image may not have all four sizes available, depending on the size of your image and the dimensions you entered for each size in the media settings. For example, if your image’s full size is smaller than the maximum you set for the large setting, you will have a full size option but not a large option. So don’t let the fact that you don’t have all four sizes available for a certain image that you just uploaded alarm you.

Controlling size and alignment of images in WordPress

You can control the size and position of the images you insert into a WordPress blog post by using the controls shown

Image Alignment

The alignment choices have little graphic representations of what they mean, but I’ll go over them briefly in case those little icons aren’t clear.

  • None – no positioning at all. The image will be at the left, with white space to its right.
  • Left -the image will be on the left side of the page. The text will flow around it on the right.
  • Right – the image will be on the right side of the page. The text will flow around it on the left.
  • Center – text does not flow around this image, but it is centered between the left and right margin

You may have to experiment with the placement of your images to keep them from overlapping and avoid awkward text flow. Fortunately you can preview your posts before publishing to take care of those little details. The images included in Individual Images with Descriptions are all large centered images that link to attachment pages (post URLs).


A gallery is displayed as a collection of thumbnails. If the theme has been properly designed, when a viewer clicks on a thumbnail they will not only see a larger version of the image, but will be able to page through all the larger images in the gallery.

Gallery Settings

WordPress Image Gallery Settings

Click to view a larger image of this screenshot

  • You can choose to link the thumbnails to a larger image (file URL) or to an attachment page (post URL). You will probably want to fill in the description field for each image if you choose attachment page.
  • There are four ways to arrange the thumbnails within the gallery: random, by time created, alphabetical by title, or menu order. You determine menu order by the numbers you insert in the boxes by each image name. (See illustration above.) Note that you can choose ascending or descending sequence for any of the above ways of ordering the thumbnails.
  • Keep your captions brief so they fit under the thumbnails
  • The size of the thumbnails themselves is controlled in the Media subpanel of the Settings admin panel.

Gallery of Thumbnails Linking to Larger Images will let you test how the gallery function works.

Keeping an Image in the Post but Out of the Gallery

Every image that you upload while composing or editing a particular blog post becomes a part of the gallery associated with that post. Thus, if you want to display one larger image before or after the gallery, but not have it included in the gallery, that additional image must be associated with a different blog post. That is the only way to keep it out of the gallery.