Envira Gallery Blog

Digital Photography Tips, Tutorials and Resources

How to Tag Images in WordPress Add Category Filters to a Gallery

How to Tag Images in WordPress & Add Category Filters to a Gallery

by Southie Williamson on Jan 5, 2024

Do you want to tag images in WordPress? Using WordPress media library tags can help you stay organized and give your visitors a way to sort through your photos and galleries easily.

In this article, we’ll show you how to tag images in WordPress and use gallery tags for organization and category filtering. Ready to get started?

How Does Tagging Work on WordPress?

WordPress tagging is part of a feature called taxonomies, which allows you to use categories and tags to organize your posts and make them easier to find by visitors. WordPress tagging is also an important part of SEO (search engine optimization).

Tags can sometimes be confusing for beginners since there are multiple parts of a web page that have “tag” in the name such as the title tag, alt tag (alternative text), and meta tag. However, these are unrelated to the category and tags used for organization and filtering (taxonomy).

Can You Tag Images in WordPress?

You can’t tag images in WordPress by default. WordPress only provides categories and tags for posts, but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to only tagging your blog posts. WordPress plugins make it easy to add tags to photos, products, pdf attachments pages, and other custom post types.

Using a plugin to add WordPress media library tags makes it much easier to find and organize your photos. Plus, if you have a photography portfolio or image heavy website, a WordPress gallery with category filter is crucial for allowing visitors to easily search for an image using media tags instead of scrolling through all your pictures.

How to Add WordPress Media Library Tags & Filter by Category

We’ll show you how to add tags to images, sort your media library, and allow users to filter images by category using WordPress gallery tags.

To create a WordPress gallery with tags and category filter, we’ll be using the best premium WordPress gallery plugin available: Envira Gallery. This WordPress plugin allows you create stunning, feature-rich image and video galleries on your site.

Envira Gallery Home

Envira Gallery comes with a user-friendly drag-and-drop builder along with multiple layouts including including slideshow, fullscreen, masonry, lightbox display, and more.

Plus, Envira Gallery’s Tags Addon allows you to tag images in WordPress to create filterable WordPress gallery categories easily. Check out more of our popular features:

Check out our live grid gallery with category filters embedded in this article!

Ready to get started on your own? Let’s go!

How to Add Tags to Photos in WordPress

To add tags to photos in WordPress, just follow these steps:

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the plugin on your site. Head to the Envira Gallery plugin’s pricing page and grab a license. You’ll need a Plus license or above to access gallery tags.

Once purchased, download the plugin’s ZIP file. Then, go ahead an install and activate it on your WordPress site. You can learn more about installation in this guide on how to install and activate Envira Gallery.

Activate Envira Gallery Plugin

Next, you’ll need to add your license key. Go to Envira Gallery » Settings, paste your license key, and click Verify Key.

Envira Gallery Verify License Key

Next, we’ll activate the feature that makes Envira Gallery one of the best image tag plugins for WordPress.

Step 2: Activate the Tags Addon

After activating the plugin and adding your license key, go to Envira Gallery » Addons to install and activate the Tags addon.

When you find it in the list of addons, click the Install button.

Install gallery tags addon

Once the addon finishes installing, click the button that will change to say Activate.

You’re now ready to create a new gallery and add WordPress media tags.

Pro Tip: Want to make Envira Gallery the ultimate media library assistant? Install the Albums addon as well and learn how to use albums to further organize your image galleries. Set cover images for each gallery and let visitors filter galleries within an album.

To create a WordPress photo gallery with tags, go to Envira Gallery » Add New. Simply add the title and drop your photos in the Native Envira Gallery section. Or, click Select Files from Other Sources to add images from your WordPress media library.

Add New Gallery

To learn more about creating your first gallery and all of the available settings, check out our guide on How to Create a WordPress Image Gallery.

After adding your photos, scroll down to see the images in your gallery. Click the blue Pencil icon on any photo to add WordPress media library tags, a caption, and other data.

Envira add new - Gallery tab

When you click on the edit option (pencil icon), you’ll see a popup to edit the photo’s metadata. Here, you can edit the image’s title tag, add alt text, link the photo to a URL, and more.

Scroll down in the popup and you’ll see a place to add image Tags. Just type the tags you want to use (seperate with a comma if you’re using more tags than one) and hit Save Metadata when you’re finished.

Tag images in WordPress

Repeat the same process to add tags to all the images in your WordPress gallery. Now that you know how to tag images in WordPress, let’s learn how to turn gallery tags into category filters.

Step 5: Add Filters from Gallery Tags

Once you’re done adding tags to your images, it’s time to specify which tags will show as filterable categories for users.

In the gallery panel, click the Tags tab from the left menu. Then, click the checkbox next to Enable Tag Filtering.

Enable tag filtering - gallery tags

Once clicked, you’ll see a number of different settings options.

You can specify which tags show up as gallery filters under Tags to include in filtering. If you leave this section blank, all of your gallery tags will show up as filters.

Start typing the tags you want displayed and select them from the dropdown menu that appears. Or, click Choose from the most used tags to see a word cloud of your most used tags and select the ones you want.

gallery tags to include in filtering

Now, go ahead an adjust the other settings to your liking including the choosing the tag position, enabling/disabling the “All” tag option, and sorting the tag list.

When you’re finished, click Publish/Update at the top to save your changes.

You and your site visitors will now be able to filter images by tags!

It’s easy to add your gallery to a post, page, or widget area using the image gallery shortcode or Envira’s native Gutenberg block in the editor.

Insert Envira Gallery block in post

If you haven’t added a gallery to your website before, you can see our step-by-step instructions here.

Once embedded, visitor’s can easily use the listed tags to filter the images in your gallery. You can also use custom CSS to style your tag group filters.

Make sure to hit Publish/Update after you’ve inserted the gallery on your WordPress page or post. Then, head to your website to see how it looks!

Envira tags - WordPress gallery with category filter

So, you’ve learned how to tag images WordPress and display a WordPress gallery with tags as categories on the front end of your site, but what about internal organization?

Step 5: View & Manage Your WordPress Media Library Tags

Let’s see how Envira tags work as a WordPress media library organizer. First, click Media » Envira Tags from your WordPress dashboard. Here, you can see all the image tags you’ve used.

Easily search for tags, bulk edit your WordPress media tags, and add new tags. See the photos in each tag group by clicking the linked Items # next to it. For example, we would click the number 2 next to “floral” to view all photos tagged with “floral”.

Envira tags - items - wordpress media library tags

Aside from looking at your tag library folders, you can also view the assigned tags next to each photo in Media » Library. Just click a listed tag to filter by it.

WordPress media library tags - Envira tags

With Envira Gallery, you can easily add tags to any images in your media library (regardless of whether they’re used in a gallery or anywhere else on your site).

Just click to edit a photo in your library and you’ll now see a tags option below the alt text and meta description or in the sidebar.

tag images wordpress - media library edit

That’s it! You’ve successfully learned how to tag images in WordPress. Now, you can use use gallery tags to create category filters for visitors and organize your WordPress media library.

We hope this tutorial has made WordPress media library tags simple. Envira Gallery is the best gallery tool and WordPress media library plugin available. Get started today!

Want to add a category image in WordPress? Check out the tutorial! We also think you’ll want to take a look at our ultimate list of the best free WordPress plugins.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and X (Twitter) for the best photography tips, resources, and WordPress tutorials.

Using WordPress and want to get Envira Gallery free?

Envira Gallery helps photographers create beautiful photo and video galleries in just a few clicks so that they can showcase and sell their work.


  1. Hi Waseem,

    Is it possible – with Lightroom addon – to import some or all tags from Lightroom and use them in Envira envirovment ?


    1. Hey Tomasz, keywords in Lightroom do convert to Envira tags when you publish from Lightroom. You just need to install and activate the Envira Tags Addon. 🙂

Add a Comment

We're glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our privacy policy, and all links are nofollow. Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.