LightBox Popup Plugin

Update: The plugin is currently $27.00 until it goes officially live at $67.00.

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Tomorrow (Tuesday 12th April) I’ll be releasing a customer requested plugin called LightBox Popup in a pre-order sale.

Now before you go “*yawn* Oh frank there’s lots of these types of plugins available”, I’d like you to stop and consider that I always go that extra little bit further when coming up with these.

And I don’t embark on a project until I’ve had a good look round to see what alternatives there out there…

The plugin has taken over a month to develop going through various prototype stages and adding in more and more features until we’re ready to release this first version, and I hope you’ll appreciate how much thought has gone into it.

The original request (from James Dunn) was for a method to create a lightbox popup that could have HTML pasted into it. It seems that it wasn’t as easy for James to find what he was after, and after having a look round myself I agree with him.

James said (shortened form):-

“I’d like a pop-up, lightbox, overlay, modal… In that box (for this specific application) I need to put some HTML for a 1SC form where the visitor can enter their name, email address, and a question/comment… I need to be able to put the HTML in for the 1SC form so it will send the input to the 1SC system.

I found tons of lightboxes that will allow me to put photos, videos, iFrames, etc, but only one or two that would allow me to put just straight HTML in the box. I found one that would allow me to put a widget in the box… but the setup menu on it doesn’t work… I think it’s just another buggy plugin).”

I decided that yes this would be quite a useful plugin to create and I’d certainly find it very handy on some of my own sites. So, putting my thinking cap on I came up with the initial spec and then started building on it.

It now does a LOT of other stuff that wasn’t in James’ request. 😉

Now you can paste your HTML in there as requested, and then there are a few “Extra Settings” that we thought would be very useful for you too.

#1 – You can enable or disable the plugin without deactivating it.

#2 – You can reset the visitor cookie if you change the nature of the lightbox and want them to see it again if using it in “Trigger” mode. The triggers are time delay from the visitor arriving, or if the visitor is about to close the page, and also optionally if the visitor clicks on an external link.

#3 – You can change the colour of the lightbox backgound using either pre-selected colours from a drop-down or use the custom colour picker. You can even set the lightbox background to transparent to make it seem like a regular DHTML popup.

#4 – The rules for displaying the popup are the same as we created for the Slide Up Ads plugin. “Normal”, “Nth View”, “Nth view with initial” and “Nth day”.

#5 – You can choose from some pre-set sizes or set it to your own custom size.

#6 – You can set the position of the popup according to the most commonly used options.

#7 – You can set a custom (HTML) “Thank You Message” which optionally replaces the contents of the lightbox if using it as a sign up box, or alternatively set a “Thank You URL” to redirect your visitor to.


The plugin is all done and pretty much ready to go as it is, but I’ve just asked for a couple of minor changes to be made to it, which is why this is going to be a pre-order sale.

The full plugin will be likely available by the end of the week at which time your personal download page will be updated.

Update: The plugin is currently $27.00 until it goes officially live at $67.00.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood


Jeff Stone


Developers license?

Frank Haywood

Hi Jeff,

Yeah, let me think about that, but yes it’s not going to be a problem to sort out. I just have a few *more* things on my plate than usual.


Internet Marketing Olaf

Hey Frank,

nice to hear from you, and just come some nice plugin from you for what i have look, and of course i will take it and wail for the open order door

best regards

Hey Frank,

Can we see this plugin in action on one of your sites.


Frank Haywood

Hi Spencer,

There’s not much to see, it’s a *very* versatile DHTML popup plugin, but what you end up with is a popup. 😉


geoff Lord

Hi Frank

Its almost like you read my mind. I was messing around myself trying to solve this problem and spent ages researching and testing but like found nothing that would do exactly what I wanted.

Here you are with the very Plug in I wanted …brilliant…i,ll be watching for your link tomorrow

Geoff Lord

James Dunn

Hey Geoff.

I spent untold hours trying to find one that did “just what I wanted” and found it didn’t exist. That’s the way it is with a lot of plug-ins out there. One does some of what I want, another does more of what I want, but not some of what the first one does. I wish there was a way to combine functions of various plugins to achieve what I want to do, but that’s not always possible without digging into the code and just building my own.

I appreciate the fact that Frank Haywood thinks like a marketer rather than just a programmer. Many of the plugins are so lamely documented that even if they do work, you can’t really figure out what you need to do to make them work for you. The programmers start at step 4 describing how to make the plugin work, but forget to bring you up to speed before starting there. Frank H’s plugins are so simple to operate that you don’t need to be brought up to speed – just install and use.


Thanks again Frank.

James Dunn
Athens, GA USA

Frank Haywood

There you go. What he said. 😉


Gary Jenkins

I think I’ve tried every pop up known to man. None of them worked on all my blogs. You create great plugin’s so I’m going to try it again.


Frank Haywood

Hi Gary,

I hope this will be just what you’re looking for. And I’m sure it will be. 🙄


David Foard

G’day Frank from Australia…

As usual Frank you’ve developed a WordPress plugin that SHOULD be part of the WordPress Core.

Well done.

I will certainly be a buyer – as I have for most of your other plugins and themes 🙂

Will let you know how it goes.


Thanks Frank, shall be fun to test and see what opportunities show up for using it on.

Take care / Lars


Hi Frank…

Nice to see You back in action !

And this seems to be a great hit again.
Can it also incorporate different lightbox-popups on different pages – or different ones triggered by different triggers (or timers) on the same page? Ex. first one that asks for clicking a FB/Twitter Like/Tweet, and then an Exit message with let’s say an opt in or bonus offer, etc. ?

But… when do You finally get your affiliate program ready? It would be soo much nicer, to also receive a commission when we spread the word.


I officially want to make the next product request:

PLEASE, please, please, create a stable text editor and page formatter, that does not behave as unpredictable as the advanced Tiny-MCE, something that really gives full creative control on the appearance of WP pages and posts, just as non-WP html pages. (Remember my last post?).
Perhaps also a way to ‘plug in’ or paste in an elsewhere created html page, just like an iframe – but without looking much as it. ??? !!! Please – this aspect of WP drives me nuts !



Frank Haywood

Hi HaRa,

At the moment this is just a single popup per site, but I can’t see why we shouldn’t be able to amend it to create different popups on different pages.

As for the affiliate scheme, I’ve just got off a call with a friend who said “Eat that frog!” – I’ll explain that another time – and so the scheme will go live this weekend.

The text editor you want is a hard one to do and would take a ridiculous amount of code to achieve. Personally, I’ve tried a great editor called WYSIWYG Pro, but eventually went back to TinyMCE for most of my sites because it’s just easier to live with its foibles.

Ultimately and for the best control, you could just disable the visual editor and only work in HTML mode when editing posts and pages. It’s a hard call to make.

What I’d really like is the editing tool that’s part of Dreamweaver as this is the only one I’ve ever found that doesn’t mangle your code when switching between code and design views. Every single design view HTML editor I’ve ever used can’t manage to do that, and will wreck my code when I save it. With Dreamweaver, the code is king and the design view reflects the code and doesn’t try to regenerate the code and wreck your hard work.

If it was easy, I think other people would have done it by now. 🙁



Thanks Frank…

Your answers are always in much detail – I appreciate that !

Yes, being able to have at least the ability to have different popup contents on different pages, would give a whole lot more possibilities.

And the part with the text editor… So You are saying to create the page in Dreamweaver, and then just pasting the whole code into the WP editor in html mode ? But I would have to keep the page dimensions identical with the column width, right? Unfortunately I don’t have Dreamweaver and was not looking into spending that much for just some better blog page formating.

My fav site designer is SiteSpinnerPro from VirtualMechaniks because one is not tied to using tables, but every element – text, images, etc – are independant and can be moved and scaled just like with a graphic program (actually it creates objects that behave like images). I love it and it allows to create the most complicated things, like animation, etc. And for editing of otherwise created html I use Kompozer.

Now I have another question for You.
How difficult is it to create blogs that are really mobile compatible ?
If doable, that would be a great product !! Very high in demand !

And until then, how can I switch from a normal blog – or standard sized html page – to a separate simple mobile page ( probably easiest in html?) ?
I heard that there is a java script, that would detect the type of browser of the visitor and switch to the best viewable page.
My present solution is a link above the header, that requests to be clicked if viewed from a mobile phone, and then it switches to the separate mobile page, instead the index.htm.

Another solution would be, to have a page with page content modules, that are aligned like tiles, and would – just like text wrapping – flip down into the next row below, when the screen does not allow them to be seen all side by side. Basically the same behavior as the icons on the desktop or the apps icon on a phone. With that a page would always show properly at any screen resolution, as long as no wide images (like headers) are being used (can also be made divided in tiles).

Do You have any ideas? Or resources?
I am doing offline business consulting, and would love to have such a solution for them !

Thanks, as always…


Frank Haywood

Hi HaRa,

I believe that built right into web standards for browsers is the ability to detect and auto switch to an appropriate style sheet. So (I think) how it works is the browser reports to the site what kind of browser it is, and the site gives the browser a style sheet suitable to the format. I might have that exact method wrong, but it’s something like that (maybe the browser chooses an appropriate stylesheet, I’m not sure).

So if the browser were installed on a slate/tablet or a phone, the site might look quite differently to visitors browsing from a desktop PC or laptop. I’m pretty sure the big sites like the BBC do this.

A good designer would know all about this method and be able to provide stylesheets to suit different methods if you asked them.

And there’s the problem. Most designers don’t get asked for this and so they don’t get produced.

Unfortunately, at the moment, I only have the one (great) designer working part time for me and he has very limited time to spare at this point in his life, so I don’t think I can ask him to do this for every design he creates for me and expect to get a positive answer.

But I *will* ask him.

Hmm… Just thought. At the very least, maybe we can come up with one “fall-back” design for cell phones that can be used with everything. Not ideal, but better than nothing. I’ll see what we can do.


James Dunn

Hey HaRa.

The first thing I do on a WP site is disable the visual editor (so I don’t accidentally go into that mode). Do that first and try to work fully in HTML editor mode and your life will be much easier. Although a few of Frank’s plugins (Big Ed for example) only work in the Visual mode so to use them, you’ll need to enable the visual mode, copy the code that they generate to a swipe file for use as you need them, and then disable the visual editor. That’s what I’ve already done and that gives me some additional creativity with the plugins to modify some settings more incrementally that aren’t available in the plugin.

But a word of warning if you don’t already know this. If you disable the Visual editor in order to be able to write and run PHP in your posts/pages, don’t EVER enable the Visual editor again or it will totally mangle your code and you’ll find yourself experiencing some really strange site operations that you’ll spend hours finding the reasons for.

Like you and Frank, I’d love to have the ability to design and view (switching back and forth) simply and easily. Man that would make my life so much easier.

James Dunn
Athens, GA USA

Frank Haywood

Hi James,

Yeah I tend to use the visual editor first with Big Ed, and then when the page is mostly done, I flip into HTML mode to finish off to add any stuff I don’t want mangling. And of course you have to be careful not to accidentally edit a page in visual mode after it’s complete and then break it.

It’s a pain, but once you get into good habits like always leaving an edited page in HTML mode, you can live with the limitations. Maybe one day there will be a really good editor like Dreamweaver built right into CMSes.


Hi Frank

Is there a demo link to view the plugin in action?


Mike Claggett

Well you’ve done it again Frank. Got me digging into my monthly allotment of web tool money. But as always it is money VERY well spent.

The project I bought this for is like 3 projects in the future. It makes me really wish I had the time to just put it up on a test blog and play with all it’s features.

But alas I have (As usual) contracted myself into serious time constraints with local business web clients and have to keep the old nose to the grind stone.

But this LightBox Popup plugin got me to thinking, hmmmmmm …. I don’t see a catalog of products here on Franks site. I’m sure I could find everything he has come up with, but having a list of products available so I could make sure I’m not missing anything I need would be nice.

No like you don’t already have enough going on, but maybe someday, it would be a nice thing for us Frank Fans to browse through. If I have a project come up that requires something I don’t have I would certainly go to your catalog first.

Just a thought and thanks again for another great PG product.

Mike C.

Frank Haywood

Hi Mike,

I’m good at some things and not so good at others. I think it’s down to I do what I know and enjoy first, and then everything else just piles up a bit. (I’m only human. ;-))

My *intention* was to use the site to showcase all my plugins, and then have individual sites for some of the bigger ones. But I’m woefully lacking on that front and one other very important one.

Let’s see if I can’t do something about that this next week.