It helps a lot when you have vibrant images and videos to showcase your company's products and services. For example, in the case of a hotel, it is much more impactful for visitors to see images of different rooms, the pool and other services the hotel provides instead of just being greeted by a wall of text.
Giving visitors a lot of images to look is a good strategy to show how awesome your products or services are, but it can also be a little distracting. Individual images and other elements might not get as much attention as they deserve because they are competing with other vibrant elements scattered all over the webpage.
This is where lightboxes play an important role. They are a great way to focus the attention of your website visitors on a particular image or element in a gallery or portfolio by making it pop up and dimming the rest of the webpage until the user decides otherwise.
The only problem is that there are thousands of lightbox plugins out there, and it can be hard to choose one that will serve you the best.
We can help with the decision! To make it easier for you to choose the best lightbox plugin to add to your website, we have created a list of the five best lightbox plugins for 2019. This post will cover all their features in depth so that you can make an informed decision about which one to use on your website.
1. LC Lightbox
The first plugin in our list is LC Lightbox. It has every feature that you would expect in a lightbox plugin and more.
Here are some of its common features:
- You can create slideshows to traverse through all the images. The slideshow can be initialized either manually or automatically.
- You can have a separate title, description and author associated with each image or element.
- It comes with thumbnail navigation and the ability to share on social networks.
Almost every lightbox plugin supports the features I listed above. What makes LC Lightbox unique and awesome are its additional features, like:
- The ability to mix multiple content types like images with videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and
iframes or other HTML elements.
- It provides a direct download button that does not rely on server-side scripts. This is particularly helpful if you want visitors to be able to download any image file they like.
- It supports mouse- as well as keyboard-based navigation.
- The plugin has been developed with touch devices in mind. Users will be able to use swipe and pinch gestures when using this lightbox plugin on smartphones.
As if those features were not enough, LC Lightbox has even more awesome game-changing features:
- You can give each item in the lightbox its own direct link.
- Visitors can progressively zoom in on any image they like using either double-click or pinch gestures.
- You can even integrate comments with all your elements using Facebook and Disqus!
This was a long list of features, but believe me when I say that I have still left out some in order to keep the post brief. You can read about all the features of LC Lightbox on its live preview page.
Check it out and try the different configuration options to see how good this plugin actually is.
If you are running a website that is based on the Bootstrap framework, this plugin would be the best choice for integrating a lightbox.
It takes advantage of the functionality already built into Bootstrap to keep the plugin lightweight and feature-rich at the same time. It is fully compatible with Bootstrap 3 as well as Bootstrap 4.
Here are some of the features that make it the perfect choice for websites built on top of Bootstrap:
- The plugin allows you to lay out different elements like images and videos in a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6-column grid system.
- It takes advantage of the built-in carousel to implement one of its own. You can see it in action on the live preview page.
- Bootstrap's responsiveness is also present in this plugin. So the lightbox looks good on mobiles and tablets as well as desktops.
Some other features that make this plugin amazing are:
- six different carousels for content ranging from images and videos to eCommerce and blog posts
- ready-to-use examples with unique layouts to help you get up and running as quickly as possible
- color schemes can be combined to make sure that the lightbox blends in perfectly with the rest of the website
- embed videos either from YouTube or Vimeo, or self-host
This plugin comes with a nice thumbnail gallery packaged with a lightbox. You can easily add images and videos of different aspect ratios and dimensions in your gallery, and the plugin will handle them very well.
Here are some of its features that you might like:
- The plugin is easy to set up. So you will have a fully functioning lightbox gallery in no time.
- You can choose between a grid-based or a line-based layout for your images and videos.
- Scrolling between different gallery items can be controlled either with simple scrolling or by using scroll buttons.
- You can align the thumbnails that show up with the lightbox either horizontally or vertically.
Here are some other features that improve the usability of this plugin:
- Keyboard-based navigation makes it very easy to navigate through all the elements when the changing size and aspect ratio of images and videos cause the lightbox navigation buttons to move around.
- You also have access to different public methods and callbacks to toggle inner slideshows, act on events like thumbnail mouse over and mouse out, etc.
When you try out different demos, you will probably notice that this plugin offers minimal styling of the gallery or lightbox. This can be a good thing if you want full control over the styling and make sure that nothing seems out of place.
The Boxaroo Adaptive Lightbox plugin also offers a lot of features that make it an awesome lightbox plugin. If you want to add interesting animations and effects to your lightbox, this is the plugin you should be using.
Here is a short list of its useful features:
- Animations are hardware accelerated to take full advantage of the GPU and give you optimal performance.
- The lightboxes you create can easily handle different types of content, ranging from Vimeo videos to interactive Flash games.
- The plugin is fully responsive and has been designed in such a way that it scales perfectly according to the device.
- The plugin gracefully steps down the performance and other features to keep the lightbox compatible with browsers as old as IE7.
In addition, here are some features that make Boxaroo unique among all the plugins listed on this page:
- It comes with 70 different GraphicRiver items, collectively worth $287! This includes backgrounds and arrows to give Boxaroo a professional and unique look.
- The plugin supports independent styling of elements like captions, animation, visibility, scaling, and position.
- You can independently control the close, previous and next buttons for each lightbox.
- You can create an interesting background for your lightbox using images, tiles, and animated colors.
- You have full control over the shadows and highlights, including color, radius, etc.
Just take a look at the demos available on the plugin website—you won't be disappointed.
ModuloBox is a responsive lightbox plugin that focuses on providing the best performance while at the same time giving you a lot of advanced functionality.
Here is a list of features that make this plugin awesome:
- Besides images, you can add videos,
iframes, or other HTML5 content.
- It comes with gesture support like double-tap and pinching. Mobile visitors will feel right at home.
- You can also navigate through the lightbox with a keyboard or mouse.
- There is support for multiple galleries on the same page.
- You can navigate through the gallery with the help of thumbnails. It also comes with a fullscreen mode for an immersive experience and a slideshow mode to automatically scroll through all the images.
- The plugin also supports RTL layout, which will reverse the direction of all the animations and captions.
Each of the lightbox plugins that we have listed on this page has unique strengths which make it perfect for a particular situation.
- If you want a plugin that comes with a huge feature set ranging from thumbnail navigation to comment integration, you should consider using LC Lightbox.
- If your website is based on the Bootstrap framework, using a plugin like Responsive Bootstrap Portfolio and Lightbox will help you take advantage of all the features of the framework.
- People who are looking for something that is easy to customize will find the jQuery Thumbnail Gallery with Lightbox plugin to be the right choice.
- For those who want to have fancy animations and effects built into their lightbox, Boxaroo would be perfect.
- Finally, ModuloBox will serve those people well who need RTL support in their lightbox.
You can also take a look at some of the many other plugins offered on Envato Market if none of the plugins listed on this page seem to be the right fit for your project. Which lightbox plugin do you like the most? Let us know in the comments.