Image Grids with Masonry Layout have become very popular WordPress plugins. Some of the many image grids include Essential Grid,the masonry Grid tools in Visual Composer, Mikado and Final Tiles. But I have gravitated towards Justified Image Grid because it supports so many image sources, lightbox choices, lazy loading, easy responsive layout, and extensive styling options . But another reason is the support provided by JIG’s developer, Firsh.
Note the different image sizes in these images drawn from a NextGen Gallery. JIG has neatly fit photos varying in size and aspect ratio into a very compelling masonry layout. Better still the image grid is completely responsive – thus when viewed on a smartphone or tablet both the images and overall grid shrink to fit the new form factor.Now like all of the better image grids, JIG has a fairly substantial learning curve with one proviso – its many intelligent defaults and shortcode generator make it easy to get started with useful image grids.
I was using JIG for some clients in which grids of locations and products were a key feature. One client asked that under each image of a location, a Google Map should be shown as a caption. In the case of the product grid the client wanted to offer some of the items at special sale prices by clicking a special add-to-cart button. Both the Google Map and Add-to-Cart options used shortcodes – therein was the problem.
JIG did not support shortcodes in captions but rival plugins like Essential Grid did. However, Essential Grid does not support NextGen Gallery and other image sources as wide as JIG. So I sent an email on the CodeCanyon site to the developer, Firsh, asking if there was a PHP coding work-around to get shortcodes to appear in below the image captions.
To my surprise, Firsh ascertained the problem and in a couple of days sent me a PHP solution:
Now I could add [Add a cart] shortcodes to the grid when used with Nextgen Gallery with below captions. This was great because it opened up a number of options for client sites where location, special processing, and shopping carts were natural parts of the image grids.
But in just over a week, Firsh offered this shortcode extension in a new version of JIG:
As you can see a new Shortcode settings is a part of JIG and it allows now shortcodes in any captions and using any image source. This is very helpful and goes well beyond what I had asked for. It also indicates how JIG-Justified Image Grid gets one of the highest Code Canyon ratings [4.78 on 5.00 with over 1300 ratings] for WordPress plugins. A word on verity – I am not now nor do I intend to become an affiliate for CodeCanyon or Firsh for Justified Image Grid.
Masonry-based Image Grids have become very popular means of display large volumes of picture+info data – especially for Single Page applications and going below the fold line display of information on modern websites. By adding support for shortcodes in captions [anyone using the very good Shortcodes Ultimate will know what I mean], the Justified Image Grid WordPress plugin goes to the head of a very and small class of Masonry-capable Image Grids.