Simple Lightbox: A Better Image Viewing Experience in WordPress

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I installed Simple Lightbox on WPShout a few weeks ago, and it’s something I wish I’d done long before.

This free plugin takes WordPress’s default behavior with image links from “navigate to a new URL with just the image” to “open the image on the current page in a pop-up lightbox.” If that language isn’t clear, click the image below to see an example of Simple Lightbox in action:

Lightboxes are an obviously better user experience than clunky navigation and back-navigation, but I’d always hesitated to put something like Simple Lightbox onto WPShout because I didn’t know how it’d interact with our CDN, our lazy loading plugin, and so on. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. I did run into a compatibility issue on another site (not Simple Lightbox’s fault, I believe), and on that site was able to use the similar and also high-quality Responsive Lightbox by dFactory.

The only concern I’ve got with Simple Lightbox so far is that it doesn’t let you specify which image size displays in the lightbox—it’s always the full-sized image. So if you upload a 15MB 10000px-by-8000px image, that’s what the lightbox will show, even on someone’s mobile phone. I’d love to see them make that an user option. Overall, though, highly recommended!

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