Images are crucial, whether you’re running an e-commerce or portfolio website. How many sales you make or new clients you get depends a lot on the quality of the images of your products and services that you can showcase through your images.
So it makes sense to highlight your images with a lightbox. Lightboxes make your image pop out while the rest of the websites fades into the background.
1. Basic Lightbox
The Basic Lightbox is perfect for people who want to use something very lightweight for their projects. It has no dependencies and works with all modern browsers starting from IE11 with use of some polyfills.
The lightbox has a very simple API making it easy to use. You can have multiple instances of a lightbox using the
create() method. All these instances can be changed independently and you have full control over showing or hiding the ligthbox, making changes to the content and displaying all kinds of elements like videos, images or iframes.
It is also relatively easy to customize the appearance of the lightbox because it doesn’t ship with a lot of predefined themes or custom classes. The lightboxes can be stacked over one another or made unclosable. Or you can use callbacks to determine what happens when the lightbox is opened or closed.
It works with all the major browsers. You get browser support back to IE9 when using it with jQuery v2.x and down to IE6 with jQuery v1.x. The plugin loads four images to create its UI with arrows and close button etc. You can replace these with your own images. There is an option to use the
data-lightbox attribute in order to create image groups for loading within the lightbox.
The plugin also gives you the ability to control things like fitting images within the viewport, wrapping around after users navigate to the last image, and fade duration.
Colorbox is a jQuery based, lightweight and easily-customizable lightbox plugin. You can also install it as an NPM package. Its browser support goes as far back as IE7.
A few more things that you will like about the plugin include the ability to completely change the appearance of the lightbox using CSS, extending the functionality with event hooks and callbacks, and preloading of upcoming images. And all this works with no changes to your existing HTML.
You can pass an object with key-value pairs to the plugin during initialization to create your customized lightbox. The lightbox supports loading of all types of content such as inline HTML, iframes, and videos as well as populating content with AJAX requests.
Take a look at all the examples posted on the plugin homepage for some inspiration.
The VenoBox plugin is a lightweight alternative for people who want a lightbox that doesn’t rely on other libraries like jQuery. Initially, VenoBox was also a jQuery plugin but it was later updated to work without any third-party libraries.
One of the unique features of the plugin that separates it from others is the ability to preserve the height of images that are taller than the window on which the users are viewing your website. This allows people to scroll up and down to see the entire content of the image without everything being scaled down—possibly to illegibility.
This plugin also allows you to load any kind of content within the lightbox such as iframes, inline HTML, or AJAX content. You also have control over the aspect ratio of these iframes, videos, and other elements.
It is easy to set up and you can pass key-value pairs during initialization to change the appearance and behavior of the lightbox. Similar modifications can also be made directly within the HTML using
data-attributes to get the same result.
5. Magnific Popup
The Magnific Popup plugin allows you to quickly add a responsive lightbox to your website. It focuses on providing a great user experience and impressive performance. You can use it either with jQuery or with Zepto.js depending on how your website is set up.
There are lot of subtle ways in which you can change how the lightbox behaves. For example, you can scale the images such that they fit both horizontally and vertically or only horizontally. Similarly, you have full control over the position of captions and image animations etc.
The lightbox allows you to load all types of content like images, videos and AJAX requests. It also supports handling of loading error in situations where an image doesn’t load or an AJAX request fails for some reason.
Chocolat is a free, lightweight and responsive lightbox plugin. It looks great on screens of all sizes and you can also specify your own breakpoints to control how it looks on different devices.
Unlike other lightbox plugins, Chocolat gives you the option to show images either in fullscreen mode or inside a container. The images can also be resized to make them fit inside different container sizes. Among other values, you can set the image size to either
cover. This is similar to the behavior of
background-size property in CSS.
The plugin also supports keyboard navigation and image looping to start from the beginning once you have reached the last image in the gallery.
Swipebox is yet another jQuery-dependent lightbox plugin which works great on mobiles, tablets as well as desktops. The developer of the project wants the plugin to be easy to use without any fancy features like social media buttons. The priority is to keep it bug-free and lightweight.
It still comes with a decent set of features like support for dynamic loading of images, keyboard based navigation for desktops, swipe gestures for mobile devices, CSS based animations with jQuery fallback. You can pass an object with key-value pairs during the initialization call of the function to make changes to the lightbox appearance or behavior.
8. React Native Lightbox
This React Native Lightbox component is useful for anyone who is planning to create apps for mobile devices using React Native. The repository provides code to guide you on how to integrate the lightbox within your iOS or Android apps.
You can control the behavior and appearance of the lightbox using a bunch of properties. For example, you can assign a background color to the lightbox or use a callback function to determine what happens when someone opens or closes the lightbox.
9. React Image Lightbox
The React Image Lightbox component is ideal for people who want a simple lightbox that works well with React. It comes with some nice features like keyboard based navigation, image zooming capabilities, image preloading for better user experience, mobile friendly behavior with support for pinch to zoom and swipe gestures.
You also don’t need to load any external CSS. The image
src values can also be assigned dynamically, making the lightbox very flexible and powerful. Keyboard navigation is also rate-limited so that accidental long pressing of keys doesn’t update the lightbox images too fast.
10. Vue Easy Lightbox
This one is a tiny lightbox component which works with Vue.js. The 1.x version of the component works with Vue.js 3.0 while the 0.x version of the component works with Vue.js 2.0.
The UI is very simple and well designed. You get some common functionality like the ability to zoom in and out, drag or rotate images. You can modify the default behavior of the lightbox by making changes to the value of different props or using callback functions when certain events are emitted after user interaction like clicks on the previous and next buttons.
You can also browse through other open source Lightbox projects on GitHub if nothing here meets all your needs.