The elegant ColorBox never disappoints with its simplicity. Ranked twice as popular as prettyPhoto, it has been around for quite some time with regular updates. It's a very minimal, fast lightbox that doesn't bring any bloat to the table. The lightbox comes with 5 different skins and neat animation. It's mostly used on desktops by those that don't have a lot of captions to show.

How does ColorBox look like?

Click any photo to open the lightbox!

The above example uses the following, generated shortcode (how to use):

[$justified_image_grid preset=6 thumbs_spacing=5 row_height=225 height_deviation=100 caption=fade caption_opacity=1 gradient_caption_bg=yes overlay=hovered overlay_color=#3e274e overlay_icon=on overlay_opacity=0.4 specialfx=hovered lightbox=colorbox mobile_lightbox=no disable_cropping=yes ng_tags_gallery=purple]

Lightbox groups

One thumbnail can open multiple photos in PhotoSwipe. It's a unique Justified Image Grid feature, everything is set up for you behind the scenes. This is possible with these sources: NextGEN Galleries / Tag albums, WP Real Media Library galleries, Facebook Albums, Flickr Collections.

The above example uses the following, generated shortcode (how to use):

[$justified_image_grid preset=20 lightbox=colorbox mobile_lightbox=no last_row=center ng_tags_album=bird,horse ng_lightbox_gallery=yes]

Is ColorBox the right lightbox for me? Will it fit my design?

It's for image-only galleries. If you consider certain features of other lightboxes bloat, this will be an easy choice.

ColorBox comes packed with frameless, minimal framed, light/dark skins. Justified Image Grid makes it easy to choose the one you like best. These themes rely on a different CSS loaded for each, so it is generally a sitewide choice.


  • 5 different themes including light and dark
  • The most lightweight lightbox in JIG
  • Handles large amount of photos easily
  • Very reliable and regularly updated
  • Slideshow (auto advance, optional)
  • Minimal


  • Only one, 1-line caption for short text
  • Lack of deeplinking, social sharing
  • Not responsive
  • No video support implemented for JIG yet

Make sure to check out the project page of ColorBox!

How do the settings look like?