Simple Lightbox


Simple Lightbox is a very simple and customizable lightbox that is easy to add to your WordPress website.


Options for customizing the lightbox behavior are located in the Appearance > Lightbox admin menu (or just click the Settings link below the plugin’s name when viewing the list of installed plugins)

  • Automatically activate links (no manual coding required)
  • Automatically resize lightbox to fit in window
  • Customize lightbox with themes
  • Mobile-optimized responsive themes included
  • Customizable lightbox animations
  • Infinitely customizable with add-ons
  • Supports WordPress image attachment links
  • Supports links in widgets
  • Keyboard Navigation
  • Display media metadata (caption, description, etc.) in lightbox
  • Enable Lightbox depending on Page Type (Home, Pages, Archive, etc.)
  • Group image links (play as a slideshow)
  • Group image links by Post (separate slideshow for each post on page)


  1. Insert links to images/image attachments into your posts/pages

That’s it! The image will be displayed in a lightbox automatically.


  • Lightbox Customization Options
  • Light Theme
  • Dark Theme


  1. Install and activate SLB
  2. Verify that your site’s theme uses the wp_head(), wp_footer(), & the_content() template tags (standard in any professional theme)


Get more information on Simple Lightbox’s official page


Finally I found you

I don’t write many review, but after trying so many lightbox plug-ins that either didn’t work, wouldn’t show captions or were just plain awful – I found Simple Lightbox. It worked straight out of the box and has lots of options. And it’s free! Thank you.

Simple and reliable but not very flexible

I have used Simple Lightbox with WP 4.3 (or maybe earlier – can’t remember) to 4.7 and themes including twenty ten, twenty sixteen and various child themes of these. It works consistently but it is not easy to adapt (e.g.) which information it displays (caption/title/alt text) or to match its appearance to the theme. However, I haven’t tried its ‘themes’ or ‘add-ons’, so perhaps solutions exist with a bit more effort.

Read all 160 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Simple Lightbox” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.




  • Add: Activate links in native WordPress navigation menus (enable in admin settings)
  • Add: Group menu links separately (enable in admin settings)
  • Optimize: Fallback lightbox title text retrieval (link text)
  • Fix: Undefined variable in Utilities::get_plugin_base_file() (The Lost Temple of Xavivars)


  • Optimize: Entity handling in URIs for different server environments


  • Fix: Activation when Home page set to static page (Lyra’s Static Cling)
  • Optimize: Prep for WordPress language packs


  • Update: Client-side Utilities library
  • Optimize: Request processing


  • Fix: Query string removed from URI (A Stern Query)
  • Optimize: Key-based asset data storage/retrieval
  • Optimize: Improved cache usage when processing links
  • Optimize: Refactor image URI detection


  • Fix: Ungrouped items in empty group (Robert & The Lost Group)
  • Fix: IE8 Support (S.Franzis’ Legacy)
  • Optimize: Widget support
  • Optimize: Relative and internal URI handling
  • Optimize: Link activation performance


  • Update: WordPress version compatibility (v4.2.1)
  • Optimize: Standardize code
  • Optimize: Do not process excerpt content
  • Optimize: Client-side libraries (Phase 1)
  • Add: Set group via slb_activate()
  • Add: Set group via activate_links()
  • Add: slb_is_enabled filter


  • Fix: WordPress version requirement
  • Optimize: Field collection group parsing


Full Release Notes

  • Update: WordPress 3.9 support
  • Update: Support URI, content
  • Add: Enhanced grouping support
  • Add: Shortcode: [slb_group]
  • Add: Shortcode: [slb_exclude]
  • Add: Filter: slb_pre_process_links
  • Add: Filter: slb_post_process_links
  • Add: Filter: slb_process_link_attributes
  • Add: Filter: slb_media_item_properties
  • Add: Filter: slb_pre_exclude_content
  • Add: Filter: slb_exclude_shortcodes
  • Add: Filter: slb_group_shortcodes
  • Add: Template Tag: slb_activate() – Manually activate content
  • Add: Option to enable/disable usage of WordPress-generated media title
  • Add: Dev mode
  • Add: Theme breakpoints
  • Optimize: Remove deprecated code
  • Optimize: Remove deprecated legacy support
  • Optimize: Content exclusion performance
  • Optimize: Content grouping performance
  • Optimize: Harden code against third-party post query modifications
  • Optimize: Utility code
  • Optimize: Loading process
  • Optimize: Client-side code
  • Optimize: Client-side: Code loading
  • Optimize: Client-side: Simplified dependency detection
  • Optimize: Client-side: Default Theme transitions
  • Optimize: Grunt: Cleanup
  • Optimize: Grunt: Path abstraction
  • Optimize: Grunt: Task loading
  • Optimize: Grunt: Selective file compilation


  • Optimize: Widget processing
  • Optimize: Remove call-time-pass-by-references


  • Fix: Enable/Disable lightbox on certain requests (Danny the Enabler)
  • Fix: Widget links grouped with post links (Rafa’s Widgetarian Adventure)
  • Optimize: Client-side loading
  • Optimize: Theme validation
  • Optimize: Widget processing


  • Update: WordPress 3.8 support
  • Add: Add-on support
  • Add: Load external data for item
  • Add: Unloading process for viewer
  • Add: Relative links marked as “internal”
  • Add: Grunt build workflow
  • Optimize: Initialization process
  • Optimize: Client-side output (JavaScript, CSS)
  • Optimize: Improved URI handling (variants, query strings, etc.)
  • Optimize: Improved support for content types (video, etc.)
  • Optimize: Improved File contents retrieval
  • Optimize: Plugin metadata cleanup
  • Optimize: Use absolute paths for file includes (props k3davis)


  • Fix: PHP configuration issue on some web hosts (Tim’s got (config) issues)
  • Optimize: Hide overlapping elements when lightbox is displayed (e.g. Flash, etc.)


  • Fix: Incorrect paths when WP in subdirectory (Kim’s Van Repair)


  • Fix: Automatic resizing
  • Fix: Compatibility with non-standard wp-content location (On the Path of the Wijdemans)
  • Optimize: jQuery dependency handling
  • Optimize: Plugin initialization
  • Optimize: Deferred component stylesheet loading
  • Optimize: Code cleanup


  • Update: Finalized Theme API
  • Update: Finalized Content Handler API
  • Update: Finalized Template Tag API
  • Update: Administration framework
  • Add: Baseline theme
  • Add: Hook for extending image link matching
  • Optimize: Link validation
  • Optimize: Intelligent client-side loading
  • Optimize: Server-side processing
  • Optimize: Default theme display
  • Fix: False positive link activation (What’s eating Gilbert’s links?)
  • Fix: Gallery post format compatibility (Just Juan problem with galleries)


  • Completely rewritten lightbox code
  • Add: Automatically resize lightbox to fit window
  • Add: APIs for third-party add-ons
  • Add: Flexible theme support
  • Add: Flexible content handler support
  • Add: Mobile-optimized responsive themes (2)
  • Optimize: PHP class autoloading
  • Optimize: Improved performance and compatibility
  • Optimize: Full internationalization support


  • Add: Widget support
  • Add: WordPress 3.3 support
  • Add: Localization support
  • Add: Option to group gallery links separately (supports WordPress & NextGen galleries)
  • Add: Upgrade notice
  • Optimize: WP 3.3 compatibility
  • Optimize: Improved compatibility with URI case-sensitivity
  • Optimize: Activation processing
  • Optimize: Image grouping
  • Optimize: Image metadata loading performance
  • Optimize: File loading
  • Optimize: Improved safeguards against interference by bugs in other plugins
  • Optimize: Link processing performance
  • Optimize: Lightbox styling isolated from site styles
  • Optimize: Improved link processing performance
  • Optimize: Improved image metadata support
  • Optimize: Improved support for HTTP/HTTPS requests
  • Fix: SLB is not defined in JS (Jezz Hands)
  • Fix: Boolean case-sensitivity (78 Truths)
  • Fix: YouTube embed using iFrame overlaps lightbox (Elena in Hiding)
  • Fix: Issue when scanning links without valid URLs (McCloskey Iteration)
  • Fix: Image activation is case-sensitive (Sensitive Tanya)
  • Fix: Visible lightbox overlay edges when image larger than browser window (Chibi Overlay)
  • Fix: Options availability for some users
  • Fix: Inconsistent loading of image metadata
  • Fix: Links not fully processed when group is set manually


  • Add: Display image description in lightbox (with HTML support)
  • Add: Support for W3 Total Cache plugin
  • Add: Initial support for NextGEN galleries
  • Update: Important: System Requirements aligned with WP 3.2.1
  • Optimize: Improved support for small images in default template
  • Optimize: Support for non-English text in user options
  • Optimize: Improved IE compatibility
  • Optimize: Improved data handling
  • Optimize: Skin loading performance
  • Optimize: Skin CSS Cleanup
  • Optimize: Caption support for galleries
  • Optimize: Options code cleanup (Juga Sweep)
  • Fix: User-defined UI text not used (Ivan gets Even (cooler))
  • Fix: Options reset after update (KRazy Donna)

  • Fix: Disabled links not being disabled (Disabling Sascha)


  • Add: Distinct link activation (will not affect other lightboxes)
  • Add: Backwards compatibility with legacy lightbox links (optional)
  • Add: Support for WordPress 3.2
  • Add: Support for links added after page load (e.g. via AJAX, etc.)
  • Add: Admin option to enable/disable attachment links
  • Add: Support for image attachment links
  • Update: Options management overhaul
  • Update: Additional WordPress 3.2 support (Gallery)
  • Update: Cache-management for enqueued files
  • Update: Improved UI consistency
  • Update: Improved compatibility for older versions of PHP
  • Update: Internal optimizations
  • Update: Improved URL handling
  • Fix: Improved options migration from old versions (Hutchison Migration)
  • Fix: XHTML Validation (Hajo Validation)


  • Add: Optional Link validation
  • Add: Keyboard Navigation
  • Add: Option to enable/disable image caption
  • Add: rel attribute supported again
  • Add: Use slb_off in link’s rel attribute to disable automatic activation for link
  • Fix: HTTPS compatibility (Jürgen Protocol)
  • Fix: Enabling SLB on Pages issue
  • Fix: Zmanu is_single
  • Fix: Image order is sometimes incorrect
  • Optimize: Filter double clicks
  • Optimize: Separate options to enable/disable SLB on Posts and Pages
  • Optimize: Better grouping support


  • Fix: Caption may not display under certain circumstances (Caption Erin)
  • Fix: Images not grouped when “separate by post” option is activated (Logical Ross)
  • Update: Lightbox will not be activated for links that already have rel attribute set


  • Fix: Slideshow loops out of control (Mirage of Wallentin)
  • Fix: Lightbox fails when group by posts disabled (Lange Find)
  • Add: Option to use the image’s URI as caption when link title not set (Under UI options)


  • Add: WP Gallery support
  • Fix: Navigation hidden when only one image
  • Fix: Use user-defined UI text


  • Add: Theme support
  • Optimize: Javascript cleanup and file size reductions
  • Optimize: CSS cleanup


  • Update: Integrated with jQuery
  • Optimize: Javascript filesize 9x smaller
  • Add: Close lightbox by clicking to left/right outside of image (an oft-requested feature)


  • Add: Option to enable/disable lightbox resizing animation (thanks Maria!)


  • Update: Utilities code (internal)


  • Add: Customizable UI label text (close, next, and prev button images can be replaced in images directory)
  • Add: Group image links by Post (separate slideshow for each post)
  • Add: Reset settings link on plugin listings page
  • Optimize: Organized settings page


  • Fixed: Image title given higher precedence than Image alt (more compatible w/WP workflow)


  • Added: Option to group automatically activated links
  • Optimized: Lightbox caption retrieval


  • Added: Enable/disable lightbox functionality by page type (Home, Pages/Posts, Archive, etc.)
  • Added: Automatically activate lightbox functionality for image links
  • Added: Link to settings menu on plugin listing page
  • Optimized: Options menu field building
  • Optimized: Loading of default values for plugin options
  • Optimized: General code optimizations


  • Initial release