Lightbox is a very popular way of displaying images and other multimedia contents in WordPress websites. It does not matter whether you want to showcase some of your latest portfolio projects, latest photographs or want to display your latest menus to attract new customers, you can use a Lightbox plugin.
Due to the huge popularity of Lightbox plugins, there is no shortage of Lightbox plugins in the official WordPress plugin repository. To help you in finding out the perfect Lightbox plugin, I have decided to make a list of the best ones, and here it goes. All of these plugins are free and capable of delivering excellent performances.
1. Responsive Lightbox by dFactory
Responsive Lightbox by dFactory is a simple but powerful Lightbox plugin for WordPress. If you want a plugin with which delivers good result and requires a minimum setting up, you can rely on this one. This plugin will allow your visitors to view larger versions of images in all screen resolutions. It comes with five different Lightbox styles – SwipeBox, PrettyPhoto, FancyBox, Nivo Lightbox and Image Lightbox.
The multi-site supported plugin automatically adds the lightbox feature to all the images, picture galleries and videos. Once you install and activate the plugin, you will find the plugin settings by going to Settings -> Responsive Lightbox.
From the “General Settings” section, you can choose the Lightbox script, enable Lightbox for images, galleries and videos, set the loading place, deactivate the Lightbox effect etc. The “Lightbox Settings” section is provided with all kinds of customization options for your selected Lightbox type. And you can reset the settings by clicking the ‘Reset Settings’ button.
2. Lightbox Plus Colorbox
Lightbox Plus Colorbox is an excellent free Lightbox plugin for displaying images in your WordPress website. Licensed by MIT license, Colorbox was initially developed by Jack Moore. The plugin allows your visitors to view full-size images without leaving the current page. The Lightbox also works correctly with image galleries and slideshows. The image title is automatically displayed in the overlay.
After installing and activating the plugin, you can control its various options by going to Appearance -> Lightbox Plus Colorbox. Just below the plugin title, you will find links to the official website, FAQ, support and social media accounts. Then, after a short thank you note, you will find the options for the plugin. There are two different settings sections in the page.
The Base Settings section lets you define various parameters for the plugin. The “Primary Lightbox Settings” allows you to choose different options for the primary Lightbox. The options are divided into separate tabs including General, Styles, Advanced and Support. If you want to reset the settings, double-click on “Lightbox Plus Colorbox – Reset/Re-initialize” and click the Reset button.
3. Lightbox Gallery
If you are looking for a simple Lightbox plugin for your gallery, this could be the one for you. Besides extending the default gallery options, this plugin also shows the metadata and the caption of each image. While the default view is set to color box mode, it is possible to include lightbox mode too.
Once you install and activate the plugin, go to Settings -> Lightbox Gallery. On that page, you will find detailed instructions about enabling the Lightbox mode and the high slide mode. Below, you will find two separate fields for specifying if you want to use the Lightbox view in specific pages and categories.
4. WP Lightbox 2
WP Lightbox 2 is the perfect tool for providing Lightbox effects to your image, albums or galleries. The super simple plugin does not require any setting up. Once you install and activate the plugin, it will automatically enable Lightbox feature for all the images of your WordPress website. The fully responsive plugin works correctly for any screen size. What’s more, the plugin supports images inserted in the comments too.
WP Lightbox 2 will create a new menu item in the website dashboard. Go to WP Lightbox 2 -> General Settings to access the basic settings of the plugin. In that page, you will find options to allow the plugin to enable Lightbox for all images, enabling Lightbox in comments, showing download links and image information etc.
By going to WP Lightbox 2 -> Design Settings, you will find lots of different options to customize the light box. Unfortunately, most of the options are available in the Pro version only.
5. WP Video Lightbox
While most of the other plugins of this article are provided with video support, WP Video Lightbox one is specially developed for displaying videos with Lightbox effect. By using the Lightbox overlay, this plugin will help you in showing your latest videos in an attractive way. Additionally, it could also be used to display images, flash and iframe content in Lightbox overlays. The embedded content is visible from iPad and iPhone too.
You have to use the shortcode to insert the video with Lightbox effect. You will find a detailed explanation about the shortcodes in the homepage of the plugin. Once you get the idea, using the plugin is very easy.
In order to configure the plugin settings, head towards the Settings -> Video Lightbox page from your dashboard. On that page, go to the “prettyPhoto” tab. You will find all the relevant options there including animation speed, opacity, default width and height, theme, autoplay, etc.
6. Lightbox Pop
Lightbox Pop is a free WordPress plugin to display various types of contents including images infancy Lightbox designs. The popup display could be personalized by changing the box position, style settings, etc. from the plugin’s settings section. Besides images, the plugin could also be used to display subscription forms, special offers, latest promotions, social media icons etc.
After installing and activating the plugin, you will notice a new menu titled ‘XYZ Lightbox’ in your website dashboard. In order to set up the popup, go to XYZ Lightbox -> Lightbox Popup. In the ‘Content’ section of the page, you will find the familiar post editor. You can insert any content in the editor. Below, you will find various options to customize the position, style and the display behavior. The general settings of the plugin are located at XYZ Lightbox -> Basic Settings.
7. FooBox Image Lightbox
With a strong focus on responsiveness and mobile support, FooBox Image Lightbox is another popular WordPress Lightbox plugin. Along with auto-resizing the images for mobile devices, this plugin also repositions the gallery buttons according to the device size and orientation. The plugin works perfectly with WordPress galleries and images with captions.
To set up various options of the plugins, go to Settings -> FooBox FREE from your dashboard. This will take you to the “General” settings section of the plugin. From that page, you will be able to enable lightbox for various elements. From the “Display Settings” section, you will be able to enable the image counter for galleries, customize the error message, hide scrollbar, etc.
8. Huge-IT Lightbox
Huge-IT Lightbox is an extraordinary tool for displaying photos and videos on your WordPress website. Developed with a simple user interface, this plugin will let your visitors view full-size images and videos in an attractively designed Lightbox. It supports all videos from YouTube and Vimeo. As the plugin does not need any initial set up, it will start working once you install and activate it in your website.
Once you activate it, Huge-IT Lightbox will add a new menu titled ‘Huge IT Lightbox’ in your website dashboard. By going to Huge IT Lightbox -> Lightbox, you will be able to set up some basic options including the Lightbox style, transition style, opening and closing speed, showing title, etc.
Besides the regular version, there’s also a premium version of the plugin. For personal use, you can purchase the license for $10, which will allow you to use the plugin on one website. The premium version will let you configure advanced settings like Lightbox positioning, enabling slideshow, Lightbox dimension, Lightbox behavior etc.
9. Lightbox CSS3
As the name suggests, Lightbox CSS3 plugin does not depend on JabaScript or jQuery to display the Lightbox feature. Rather, it makes use of your web browser’s native CSS3 technology. This also ensures faster and smoother animations for your images. This is especially useful for mobile devices. Like most other Lightbox plugins, this one does not need any initial configuration too. Once you install and activate the plugin, you are right to go.
Though the plugin creates a new menu in your dashboard, that page does not offer any customization options. Rather, you will get links to an additional add-on for Lightbox CSS3. By purchasing the add-ons for $18 (€16 originally) for one site, you will get gallery support, two other animations and a handy color picker for customizing the Lightbox background.
Wrapping It Up
Well, those were my picks for the 9 best free Lightbox plugins for creating stunning popup boxes. Let me know which one you like most. And if I have missed your favorite Lightbox plugin, let me know that too. I will be glad to take a look.