Simple Lightbox for Noobs

You're probably overthinking it
By Sol in Know

Dear Noob,

I heard you’re having problems using Simple Lightbox (SLB), the incredibly simple lightbox for WordPress. Have no fear, I made this rapid fire guide just for you.

You’re probably overthinking it

SLB strives to live up to its name– it’s incredibly simple to use. If things seem hard, it’s most likely because you’re used to the endless hoops of settings many plugins make you jump through just to start using them. With SLB, you really can just activate it on your site and it works.

Bottom line: Don’t overthink it.

What’s a lightbox?

Good question, this is a lightbox.

If you weren’t sure what to do just now, see the next section.

What’s a link?

This may be the most complex concept to grasp in order to use SLB. Thankfully, it’s very simple. On a web page, a link is something you can click on to make something happen. Navigating to another page or displaying images in a lightbox are made possible by clicking on links. Remember what you just clicked on in the previous section? That was a link.

SLB’s functionality hinges on links because there needs to be something on the page for users to click in order to display the lightbox. Specifically, SLB works with links to media such as images. If you have a link to a PNG, JPEG, GIF image file in a post, then SLB will load it in a lightbox rather than force the user to load a completely new page just for the image.

How do I create an image link?

Most users want to insert a small version of an image (i.e. a thumbnail) and have SLB display a lightbox of the full-size image when it is clicked on.

If this already sounds complicated to you, rest assured that it is very simple to do in WordPress. In fact, you’ll be an expert in it in less than 5 minutes.

First, read through WordPress’ official documentation on inserting images into posts and pages (Block editor, Classic editor). It’s just a few steps, I’ll wait.

Next…well, that’s it! If you can insert an image into a post in WordPress then you know everything you need to insert an image link.

For the Block editor, just select the image and click the link icon in the toolbar to choose “Media File” or “Attachment Page” (SLB works with both).

For the Classic editor, the key is the documentation’s Image Link section. You need to make sure that this option is set to either Attachment Page or Media File before you insert the image into your post. This will wrap the inserted thumbnail image with a link that loads the full-size version of the image when it is clicked. Thanks to SLB, the full-size image will be displayed in a lightbox rather than loading an entirely new page.

Getting Help

Simple Lightbox should be…simple. If you’re having a problem with SLB, think you’ve found a bug, or even have a feature you’d like to request, please report it on SLB’s official issue tracker.

Noob no longer

Congratulations, you now know everything you need to use Simple Lightbox. You’ve graduated from noob to user.