How to make Photo Gallery from image Directory with PHP

When you have a large collection of images files in a directory and you want to convert it into a photo gallery.

Solution 1

Add image file manually to your page one by one which you want to show. The problem with this solution is it is time-consuming and you have to check all image links if any update in the future.

Solution 2

Store image names in the Database table and use it to get images.

Solution 3

Read all files from the target directory and generate a photo gallery.

The second and third solution is better but in this post, I will only show you how to implement the third solution with PHP.

How to make Photo Gallery from image Directory with PHP


  1. Download and Include
  2. HTML and PHP
  3. CSS
  4. jQuery
  5. Demo
  6. Conclusion

1. Download and Include

  • I am using simplelightbox jQuery library for making the gallery that you can download from here.
  • Include simplelightbox.min.css and simple-lightbox.jquery.min.js.
<link href='simplelightbox-master/dist/simplelightbox.min.css' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
<script src=""></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="simplelightbox-master/dist/simple-lightbox.jquery.min.js"></script>

2. HTML and PHP

Reading files from a directory with PHP.

  • I am reading files from images the directory which also has sub-directory thumbnail.
  • The directory and file structure looks like this –

How to make Photo Gallery from image Directory with PHP

Specified valid image extensions in the  $image_extensions Array variable and target directory in $dir.

Read all files from the directory and set thumbnail and image path.

If it is a valid image and not a directory then use the path in the image source.

I only use $count variable to show 4 images in a row.

Completed Code

<div class='container'>
 <div class="gallery">
  // Image extensions
  $image_extensions = array("png","jpg","jpeg","gif");

  // Target directory
  $dir = 'images/';
  if (is_dir($dir)){
   if ($dh = opendir($dir)){
    $count = 1;

    // Read files
    while (($file = readdir($dh)) !== false){

     if($file != '' && $file != '.' && $file != '..'){
      // Thumbnail image path
      $thumbnail_path = "images/thumbnail/".$file;

      // Image path
      $image_path = "images/".$file;
      $thumbnail_ext = pathinfo($thumbnail_path, PATHINFO_EXTENSION);
      $image_ext = pathinfo($image_path, PATHINFO_EXTENSION);

      // Check its not folder and it is image file
      if(!is_dir($image_path) && 
         in_array($thumbnail_ext,$image_extensions) && 

       <!-- Image -->
       <a href="<?php echo $image_path; ?>">
        <img src="<?php echo $thumbnail_path; ?>" alt="" title=""/>
       <!-- --- -->

       // Break
       if( $count%4 == 0){
         <div class="clear"></div>

3. CSS

.container .gallery a img {
  float: left;
  width: 20%;
  height: auto;
  border: 2px solid #fff;
  -webkit-transition: -webkit-transform .15s ease;
  -moz-transition: -moz-transform .15s ease;
  -o-transition: -o-transform .15s ease;
  -ms-transition: -ms-transform .15s ease;
  transition: transform .15s ease;
  position: relative;

.container .gallery a:hover img {
  -webkit-transform: scale(1.05);
  -moz-transform: scale(1.05);
  -o-transform: scale(1.05);
  -ms-transform: scale(1.05);
  transform: scale(1.05);
  z-index: 5;

.clear {
  clear: both;
  float: none;
  width: 100%;

4. jQuery

Initialize simpleLightbox by calling simpleLightbox() method on <a> of gallery class.

<!-- Script -->
<script type='text/javascript'>

   // Intialize gallery
   var gallery = $('.gallery a').simpleLightbox();


5. Demo

View Demo

6. Conclusion

You only need to specify your target folder where you have stored the images if any file is found other than the image then the PHP script skips it.

You can use any other jQuery library for the photo gallery and adjust the layout.

If you found this tutorial helpful then don't forget to share.