WordPress lightbox plugins you should know of

What is a lightbox in WordPress? Why is everyone suddenly using it? I guess you have not been following the latest trends in web design. WordPress lightbox is a, well, box that shows up on your screen and displays your media files the way you want to while keeping the page behind it in the dark.

Adding a lightbox to your website creates a more elegant and professional look to it. Besides, the pop-up will show your readers the content they clicked on without ever leaving the page.

Other lightbox alternative uses include the displaying a video, a WooCommerce product image, or even the ability to create forms for creating an email list. It also gives you many customization options for your images such as adding captions, descriptions, borders.

Psst! Adding captions and descriptions is a great way to rank up in search engines.

Technically speaking, you only need one WordPress lightbox plugin to achieve the desired effect, but since there are a plethora of choices, we are going to list those we think are the best.

It is time to add lightbox to WordPress!

Which WordPress lightbox popup is the one for me?

When you look at any list of lightbox plugins, the first question you should ask is how responsive the plugin is?

This is important because not all images are the same size, so the plugin has to be able to adjust the size of the lightbox for each added image. Plus, it must have the ability to adjust depending on the device the visitor is using. Having a responsive lightbox for WordPress is mandatory.

Next thing on the check-list is the option to choose a wide selection of templates and settings. After all, displaying your images the way you want is what lightbox is all about.

Then, look for the plugins that suit your website’s needs. Some plugins can display videos; others allow you to add HTML code to your simple lightbox, have social sharing buttons, or show a photo gallery.

In the end, you might be looking just for a simple lightbox to do the job.

Responsive Lightbox by dFactory

The first plugin on the list adds a lightbox to your website which displays large versions of the images, image links, videos and galleries. It is optimized for mobile devices and supports WooCommerce gallery.

Nivo Slider

Nive Slider offers the best lightbox for creative bloggers and website owners!

Are there any photographers here? Great, this plugin is for you! Nivo Slider adds beautiful lightbox slideshows and galleries to your pages and posts. Finally, an elegant way to display your media files!

Here’s how it works.

Firstly, you create a slider or gallery, choose your preference, and then hit “Publish”. Copy the shortcode and paste it in the page or post you want it to show up. You can play with transitions, sizes, the number of slides, slide speed and theme.

A lot of customization for a small price!

WP Video Lightbox

This plugin offers an excellent and simple WordPress video lightbox. It allows you to embed videos on a page or a post, optimize the SEO of your thumbnail images, display images, flash, YouTube and Vimeo links in the lightbox overlay.

WP Video Lightbox is compatible with iPhone and iPad.

You can check BacklightBlog to learn more about iPhone photos and videos.


A plugin with responsive lightbox that has multiple gallery support, built-in social sharing, ability to display videos, WooCommerce and Gravity compatibility, and inline HTML content? Yes, please!

FooBox is nearly the best lightbox plugin for WordPress, hands down.

This bad boy offers interactive and playful lightboxes that will surely drive more engagement from your visitors. The plugin is also compatible with several gallery add-ons like Envira Gallery, Jetpack, NextGEN Gallery and more.

Lightbox by Huge-IT

This is a nice plugin which comes with its user-friendly dashboard interface and many customization options. This might be the best free lightbox plugin for WordPress. Of course, it offers some additional feature if you choose to go premium.

In the basic version, you can activate the lightbox, select its style, speed and the loop of the slideshows, and choose how to close the overlay. You can even display YouTube and Vimeo videos.

Simple Lightbox: Basic Image & Gallery Lightbox

As the name suggests, the plugin is simple to use as it requires no additional CSS or use of a shortcode. A quite good lightbox alternative to all the other plugins listed here. It is a great way to set up a WordPress lightbox gallery without too much hassle.

All you have to do is to activate the plugin, customize the settings, and then you will automatically get an image lightbox. Keep in mind that sometimes the lightbox fails to open for some unknown reason.

You can also make a unique WordPress lightbox gallery by changing is lightbox theme.

WP Lightbox 2

A great plugin if you want to apply lightbox effects on your images, galleries, and even comments on your posts or pages. After the quick and easy installation, you will see a separate plugin configuration menu labelled “WP Lightbox 2”.

When you open it up, you will see several checkboxes that enable the lightbox for images, comments, and showing image information on top. You can play with a few things like minimum top-margin, level of opacity, and the animation duration.

If your visitors like the images, they can use a download link which you can setup, which is something that stands makes this plugin stand out from the rest.

WP jQuery Lightbox

If you know that the majority of your visitors land on your website using a mobile device, this plugin is for you.

What does this plugin bring to the table? It has an enhanced mobile support for the lightbox effects and responsive swipe gestures which is an elegant way of browsing through your images.

WP jQuery Lightbox can be configured easily from the Settings – jQuery Lightbox page. There you can find options to enable auto-lightbox for images, to show title, caption, image position in the slideshow, and comments. Moreover, like the previous plugin, it provides a download link for the images.

FAQ on WordPress lightbox plugins

Choosing the Right Lightbox Plugin

Alright, so you’re diving into the world of WordPress lightbox plugins, huh? It’s a game-changer, especially for folks dealing with a lot of images or videos on their site.

One of the first things people often ask is, “How do I pick the right plugin for my needs?” Now, that’s a solid question. You’ve gotta consider what you’re aiming to showcase. Are we talking photos, videos, or a bit of both? Ensure the plugin is responsive so it looks slick on both desktop and mobile.

Check if it’s got a user-friendly interface; you don’t wanna be stuck decoding hieroglyphics just to get a simple lightbox up, right?

Compatibility and Performance

So, the next thing folks usually wonder about is compatibility and performance. “Will this lightbox plugin play nice with my other plugins and themes?” It’s a big deal ’cause no one wants a plugin that throws a tantrum and messes up other aspects of their site.

Go for plugins that are known for good compatibility and check user reviews for any red flags. Performance-wise, you don’t want a plugin that’s heavier than a truck, slowing down your site. Aim for that high-performance lightbox plugin, my friend.

Lightbox Customization

Now, let’s talk about making things pretty. People often ask, “How customizable is this lightbox plugin?” See, you wanna have the freedom to tweak things until it’s just right.

A customizable WordPress lightbox plugin lets you play around with colors, sizes, and animations. You might even find plugins that let you add captions or descriptions, giving more context to your visuals. So, dive into those settings and make it yours!


Here’s a biggie: “Is this lightbox mobile-friendly?” I mean, everyone’s on their phones these days, right? You definitely wanna make sure that your lightbox looks just as stunning on a small screen as it does on a desktop. Look for those mobile-friendly lightbox plugin options, and you’re golden. Test it out on different devices to make sure it’s smooth like butter.

SEO Friendliness

Alright, let’s talk shop about SEO. People often ponder, “Is this lightbox gonna be cool with SEO?” ‘Cause, you know, you want Google to love your site.

Go for an SEO-friendly lightbox plugin, making sure it doesn’t hide your content from search engines. You want everything indexable so that you’re not accidentally playing hide and seek with your images or videos.

Speed and Efficiency

Next up, speed! “Will this plugin slow down my site?” It’s a legit concern. Ain’t no one got time for a slow-loading site.

Look for that high-performance lightbox plugin, something that gives you the wow factor without making your visitors wait. Check out reviews and maybe even run some speed tests after installation to make sure everything’s running smoothly.

Using Shortcodes

Now, on to functionality. A lot of folks ask, “Can I use shortcodes with this lightbox plugin?” It’s all about making life easier, right? Lightbox shortcodes can be a real game changer, letting you add lightboxes to your content without having to mess around with a bunch of complex settings. Look for a plugin that supports shortcodes, and you’ll be up and running in no time.

Video Integration

Video time! “Does this plugin support videos in the lightbox?” If you’re looking to showcase videos in a stylish lightbox, make sure the plugin you’re eyeing supports it.

Video lightbox WordPress plugins can transform how you present video content, giving your site that extra oomph.

Plugin Support and Updates

Okay, we’re nearing the finish line. Folks often ask, “What about support and updates?”

You wanna make sure that the plugin you choose is well-maintained, with regular updates and a support team ready to help if things go sideways. Check out the plugin’s update history and see what other users have to say about the support.

Free vs. Premium Options

Last but not least, the money talk. “Should I go for a free WordPress lightbox plugin or shell out some cash for a premium one?”

Free options can be great for getting your feet wet, but premium lightbox plugins for WordPress often come with more features and dedicated support. Weigh your needs and your budget, and make the call that feels right for you.

Ending thoughts on these WordPress lightbox plugins

Keeping up with web design trends is essential to all bloggers and website owners. The lightbox feature is a rising trend for over a year, and we can see why. Displaying beautiful photos and galleries improve conversion and visitor engagement, which is important to those who use the WooCommerce plugin.

We hope that our list pointed at some plugins that you will find useful, whether they are free or premium.

If you enjoyed reading this article on WordPress lightbox plugins, you should check out this one about WordPress footer plugin.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like WordPress portfolio plugin, jQuery plugins, best WordPress fonts, WordPress menu plugin, WordPress login plugin and WordPress gallery lightbox.

Bogdan Radusinovic
Bogdan Radusinovic

Senior SEO and Marketing Specialist

Articles: 137