8 Best WordPress Lightbox Plugins
These best WordPress lightbox plugins are the ideal solution if you’d like to create awesome content presentations.
Instead of using WordPress’s default gallery (which is boring), step things up and ensure the best user experience.
Note: If you insist (and you’re old-school), we also have a tutorial on creating a WordPress gallery using the classic editor. And the Gutenberg gallery block feature review is for all the rest.
I’m sure you know what’s a lightbox in WordPress because you’re already on the way to taking action and making it happen with a plugin.
But picking a reliable (free) plugin can be challenging. Trust me, I made so many mistakes in my early days, learning it the hard way.
So you don’t have to.
No need to do any hard work of testing and reviewing dozens of plugins yourself.
I particularly checked for responsiveness, customizations, lightweight structure and media support.
Here are the best eight that are ideal for image and video presentation – in a lightbox.
NextGen Gallery is by far the most popular WordPress lightbox plugin on the market. With more than 600,000 active installs, it’s a comprehensive solution for photographers and creatives of all kinds.
But really, anyone can use it!
When it comes to lightbox features, NextGen Gallery has it all.
It allows you to customize your lightboxes via multiple CSS styles. This plugin also works with shortcodes that you can quickly integrate into the classic editor.
As with most WordPress plugins, NextGen comes in a free and a pro version.
Although the pro version lets you fully customize the look and position of your gallery lightboxes, the free version has everything a beginner needs to create sample galleries in WordPress quickly.
For this reason, NextGen Gallery is usually the first choice for website and blog owners who want to create a responsive and good-looking lightbox.
The truth is that NextGen Gallery is mainly designed for those who want to focus on creating galleries. So if you are looking for a plugin that focuses on lightbox scripts, Responsive Lightbox is probably a better solution.
You can choose between 8 different scripts. Nothing is left out, from the simple SwipeBox template to the more complicated Featherlight and Nivo Lightbox.
I especially liked the drag and drop lightbox builder, which makes the plugin beginner-friendly.
Anyone can use it because you don’t need experience.
Responsive Lightbox is fully compatible with Gutenberg and has a very simple admin dashboard. When you add top-notch support and WooCommerce compatibility, it’s no wonder this plugin has thousands of active users.
And I also really like that the plugin heavily focuses on SEO. (It won’t slow down your website because of its lightweight structure.)
Our next suggestion is nothing but a simple lightbox template that you can integrate into your WordPress website. And that’s exactly why Simple Lightbox is one of the most popular WordPress lightbox plugins.
If you already have a top-notch gallery plugin and just want to add lightboxes, this is the plugin for you.
Simple Lightbox has an easy-to-learn interface that lets you create and customize lightboxes fast and comfortably.
It has multiple responsive themes and unique lightbox animations to spice things up. The entire creation process takes only a few minutes (or should I say seconds?).
The plugin is also available in 18 languages, making it perfect for non-English websites.
But you can also translate it into your language (in case you don’t find it on the list).
Note: Check out this best WordPress translation plugins collection if you need help.
As with our previous selection, Meow Lightbox is a plugin that’s ready to change how your present visual content on your website.
The main difference is that this plugin is specifically designed for those who are interested in including EXIF data alongside their lightboxes.
So, if you want to show the shooting data (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc.) on your website, Meow Lightbox has everything you need.
Besides, the plugin includes responsive lightbox styles and works with any modern WordPress theme.
With an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars, Meow Lightbox is a great alternative to more popular WordPress lightbox plugins like NextGen and Responsive Lightbox.
Lightbox slider is the perfect choice for those of you who like animations.
Usually, animated lightbox galleries take quite a long time to create. But this plugin has everything you need to speed up the process.
Like most of the plugins on this list, Lightbox Slider works via shortcodes. Yup, you can quickly create a lightbox slider and add it to your posts and pages.
The free version includes two lightbox layouts and a nice animation effect.
Unlike other lightbox builders, the free version of Lightbox slider plugin also lets you customize the hover and text colors.
If you already have multiple images uploaded to your website, adding a mobile-ready lightbox effect to them can be challenging. But that’s not the case when you use the Responsive Lightbox Lite plugin.
The good thing about this WordPress lightbox plugin is that it is responsive and extremely lightweight.
In other words, you can think of this plugin as a simple lightbox tool.
After installing it in your WordPress backend, all you have to do is set it up to manually or automatically add lightboxes to your galleries, images and videos.
This is by far the easiest way to create a set of lightboxes for the media you have already added to your website.
If you already use PhotoSwipe gallery creator, our next suggestion is perfect for you. Lightbox with PhotoSwipe allows you to turn your PhotoSwipe images into lightboxes automatically.
You can exclude specific pages and posts from the WP admin panel and customize the lightbox theme and the spacing between your photos.
This plugin is also very comprehensive regarding caption options: you can share the title, alt text, description and source data of your photos.
Combining the power of PhotoSwipe with this lightbox plugin is a smart thing to do, whether you are a professional or a beginner in the website field.
Although the lightbox function is usually used for photos, it’s also very popular when it comes to embedding videos in WordPress. This is only one of the reasons why WP Video Lightbox has more than 50,000 active installs.
With this simple plugin, you can use a lightbox to embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo, iFrame and other platforms.
After installing this WordPress lightbox plugin, you can use a simple shortcode based on the video platform where you have your content. Copy and paste it and the plugin will do the rest.
If you have never used a lightbox effect for videos in the past, do not worry.
WP Video Lightbox comes with detailed documentation and several video tutorials that will help you do it in seconds.
You now have all the tools you need to add lightbox functionality to your WordPress website or blog.
Whether it’s text, gallery, slider or video, you will see that making a lightbox in WordPress is very easy with a plugin.
You will never need to deal with coding but only perform a few clicks to set it up and that’s it.
Elevate your page’s user experience with better content presentation.
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!