30 Scripts For Galleries, Slideshows and Lightboxes


Family photos, vacation snapshots or creative artistic works: whatever images you have to present, you can present them in a variety of ways. On a big screen, in slide shows or in a thumbnails gallery. However, to convey the message of presented data effectively, it’s important to offer it in an attractive and intuitive way. Furthermore, the presentation itself can make images more valuable and simplify the browsing through hundreds of slides.

There are literally hundreds of solutions for web-based galleries out there. We’ve selected 30 scripts of impressive slideshows, lightboxes and galleries you can use for effective presentations of your images. Most of them don’t have any technical requirements, so you can use them right away. Let’s take a look.

Ajax Image Galleries & Lightboxes Link

  • Minishowcase1
    Minishowcase is a small and simple php/javascript online photo gallery, powered by AJAX/JSON that lets you put easily your images in an online gallery, without having to configure databases or changing and customising code (though you may do it if you feel so) allowing to have an up-and-running gallery in a few minutes.

  • JonDesign’s SmoothGallery 3
    Unlike other systems out there, JonDesign’s SmoothGallery is designed from the ground up to be standard compliant: You can feed it from any document, using custom css selectors. And even better, this solutions is very lightweight: The javascript file is only 16kb.

  • Ajax Photo Gallery5
    The AJAX version of AgileGallery is a free AJAX photo gallery that rips through the XML output from Picasa (a free download from google) and generates DHTML for the paging and thumbnails and displays the full sized photos along with any description entered in Picasa. Since this photo gallery uses AJAX technology, it eliminates the need for any page refresh as the user pages through the photos.

  • Pyxy-gallery7
    Pyxy-gallery is an AJAX image gallery in PHP and JavaScript, which optionally uses lightbox.js. It is designed to be an ultra-light-weight, “drop-in” image gallery.

  • zenphoto9
    Zenphoto is an answer to lots of calls for an online gallery solution that just makes sense. After years of bloated software that does everything and your dishes, zenphoto just shows your photos, simply. It’s got all the functionality and “features” you need, and nothing you don’t. Where the old guys put in a bunch of modules and junk, we put a lot of thought. We hope you agree with our philosopy: simpler is better.

  • Couloir.org: Resizing, Fading Slideshow Demo – AJAX Slideshow11
    This photo slideshow is a demonstration of Flash-like behavior implemented solely in Javascript, HTML, and CSS. The code is offered as-is — Couloir.org offers no technical support. However, you are permitted to use it on your own project so long as you do so according to the rules outlined in the Creative Commons ‘Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0’ License and the license terms contained in the associated, third-party APIs.
  • Grey Box12
    A pop-up window that doesn’t suck. GreyBox can be used to display websites, images and other content in a beautiful way.
  • Lightbox213
    Lightbox JS is a simple, unobtrusive script used to overlay images on the current page. It’s a snap to setup and works on all modern browsers.
  • Litebox
    Litebox is a modified version of Lightbox v2.014 created with one thing in mind, size reduction. Litebox utilizes the 3kb javascript library moo.fx15 in association with prototype.lite, giving us the basic tools we need to make this work and you the ability to expand.

  • Multifaceted Lightbox16
    A script (JavaScript) that allows you to focus the users attention on a particular portion of the screen. It creates the equivalent of a modal dialog box – this means that while the user looks at this focused part of the screen, they can’t interact with the rest of the screen.

  • Slightly ThickerBox 1.718
    Slightly ThickerBox is a modification of Cody Lindley’s Thickbox script. I modified it for use on my Jason’s Toolbox Redesign. The modifications allow the script to generate “Previous Image” and “Next Image” links. The result is that you can use Slightly ThickerBox to create image galleries. In addition, you can create groups of galleries by setting a “rel” attribute on the links. (I also moved the Caption and Close link to the top and made the script case insensitive.)
  • TripTracker19
    The TripTracker slideshow is a lightweight JavaScript image viewer with an animated slideshow feature.

  • Slimbox, the ultimate lightweight Lightbox clone21
    Slimbox is a 7kb visual clone of the popular Lightbox JS v2.022 by Lokesh Dhakar, written using the ultra compact mootools23 framework. It was designed to be small, efficient, more convenient and 100% compatible with the original Lightbox v2.

  • Suckerfish HoverLightbox25
    The Suckerfish HoverLightbox is a mashup of three very popular Web design techniques blended together to offer a new way of presenting your image galleries.

  • Suckerfish HoverLightbox Redux27
    The Redux has a number of improvements, mostly visual, but some behavioral changes as well. Before going into detail, it’s important to give due credit to those who helped make the Suckerfish HoverLightbox a possibility.
  • ThickBox 2.1.128
    ThickBox is a webpage UI dialog widget written in JavaScript on top of the jQuery library. Its function is to show a single image, multiple images, inline content, iframed content, or content served through AJAX in a hybrid modal.


CSS-Based Image Galleries Link

  • A Photograph Gallery30
    Just a simple :hover over thumbnail images to give a full size view of each photograph. With all but Opera you can also click the thumbnails to retain the image on the screen. Text can be added at the bottom of each picture. Ideal for photograph albums.

  • A simple CSS photo-album32
    The text numbers and images are held in an unordered list without any extra markup (no ’ems’ or ‘spans’ etc). The CSS just styles the text numbers so that they appears in a box and the images so that they are hidden until your visitor clicks a number square.

  • Cross Browser Multi-Page Photograph Gallery33
    Based on Suckerfish HoverLightbox this one uses my multi-page layout system but includes images instead of text. Unlike the Suckerfish HoverLightbox this version is pure CSS.

  • CSS Image Gallery35
    This is a purely CSS based image gallery that displays larger versions of thumbnail images dynamically when the mouse hovers over them. A rich HTML caption can be added to the enlarged image, and every aspect of the Image Gallery exists as plain HTML on the page. The idea is to use CSS’s “:hover” pseudo class to cause an element to react onMouseover. When that happens, an absolutely positioned container holding the enlarged image, anchored on the page by another container with position set to relative, is shown. Furthermore, it’s possible to modify the behavior so the enlarged images are only shown onClick, though IE6 currently doesn’t support this behavior well. The gallery works in IE6+, Firefox, Opera 8+.

  • CSS: Photo Showcase37
    This experiment uses CSS and basic markup to create a simple way to display photo thumbnails on your site while offering convenient fast zoom viewing, even for dialup users.

  • Hoverbox Image Gallery39
    Basically, it’s a super light-weight (8kb) roll-over photo gallery that uses nothing but CSS.

  • Photo scroll gallery41
    A combination of several of my previous galleries to give a scrolling ‘thumbnail’ image, a medium size image on hover and a full size image on click. The thumbnail, medium size and full size images are all the same image just resized using CSS. The thumbnails are square to make the scrolling area simpler to work with. This does make these images a little distorted but not so much that they look wrong.

  • Sliding Photograph Galleries43
    It is just an unordered list of images that are normally compressed vertically (reduction 8:1). When you hover over one of these compressed images it expands to full size. It is based on my sliding menu system and adapted to use images. No thumbnails are required and all the images are ‘pre-loaded’.This method can be used either vertically, as shown, or horizontally.


JavaScript + CSS-based Galleries & DHTML-Galleries Link

  • xImgGallery – Javascript Image Gallery & Slideshow45
    This script implements a Javascript image gallery and slideshow – all in one file.

  • easyAlbum47
    A DOM photo Gallery solution that is browser friendly, keyboard friendly, bandwidth friendly and more.

  • ImageGal49
    imagegal is a simple PHP script that will automagically create a JS/CSS/DHTML powered image gallery for you when dropped into a directory containing images. This simple script was inspired by a Jeremy Keith’s article on aListApart.com.
  • Highslide JS50
    Highslide JS is a piece of JavaScript that streamlines the use of thumbnail images on web pages. The library offers these features and advantages: No plugins like Flash or Java required. Popup blockers are no problem. The images expand within the active browser window.

  • Satellite52
    Satellite is an all in one photo gallery website that takes advantage of Yahoo Flickr’s image hosting and management tools. You can upload and manage your images using Flickr and host your portfolio on your own server via Satellite.
  • Dhonishow53
    Showing Picture Online with Javascript.

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://minishowcase.frwrd.net/
  2. 2 http://minishowcase.frwrd.net/
  3. 3 http://smoothgallery.jondesign.net/showcase/gallery/
  4. 4 http://smoothgallery.jondesign.net/showcase/gallery/
  5. 5 http://www.agilegallery.com/ajax-photo-gallery.html
  6. 6 http://www.agilegallery.com/ajax-photo-gallery.html
  7. 7 http://fennecfoxen.org/pyxy/gallery
  8. 8 http://fennecfoxen.org/pyxy/gallery
  9. 9 http://www.zenphoto.org/
  10. 10 http://www.zenphoto.org/
  11. 11 http://www.couloir.org/js_slideshow/
  12. 12 http://orangoo.com/labs/GreyBox/
  13. 13 http://www.huddletogether.com/projects/lightbox2/#example
  14. 14 http://www.huddletogether.com/projects/lightbox2/
  15. 15 http://moofx.mad4milk.net/
  16. 16 http://www.gregphoto.net/lightbox/
  17. 17 http://www.gregphoto.net/lightbox/
  18. 18 http://www.jasons-toolbox.com/SlightlyThickerBox/
  19. 19 http://slideshow.triptracker.net/
  20. 20 http://slideshow.triptracker.net/
  21. 21 http://www.digitalia.be/software/slimbox
  22. 22 http://www.huddletogether.com/projects/lightbox2/
  23. 23 http://www.mootools.net/
  24. 24 http://www.digitalia.be/software/slimbox
  25. 25 http://mondaybynoon.com/2006/03/27/suckerfish-hoverlightbox/
  26. 26 http://mondaybynoon.com/2006/03/27/suckerfish-hoverlightbox/
  27. 27 http://mondaybynoon.com/2007/02/19/suckerfish-hoverlightbox-redux/
  28. 28 http://jquery.com/demo/thickbox/
  29. 29 http://jquery.com/demo/thickbox/
  30. 30 http://www.cssplay.co.uk/menu/gallery.html
  31. 31 http://www.cssplay.co.uk/menu/gallery.html
  32. 32 http://www.cssplay.co.uk/menu/photo_album.html#nogo
  33. 33 http://www.cssplay.co.uk/menu/lightbox.html#flower8
  34. 34 http://www.cssplay.co.uk/menu/lightbox.html#flower8
  35. 35 http://www.dynamicdrive.com/style/csslibrary/item/css-image-gallery/
  36. 36 http://www.dynamicdrive.com/style/csslibrary/item/css-image-gallery/
  37. 37 http://mikecherim.com/experiments/css_photo_showcase.php
  38. 38 http://mikecherim.com/experiments/css_photo_showcase.php
  39. 39 http://sonspring.com/journal/hoverbox-image-gallery
  40. 40 http://sonspring.com/journal/hoverbox-image-gallery
  41. 41 http://www.cssplay.co.uk/menu/photo_scroll.html#nogo
  42. 42 http://www.cssplay.co.uk/menu/photo_scroll.html#nogo
  43. 43 http://www.cssplay.co.uk/menu/gallery3l.html
  44. 44 http://www.cssplay.co.uk/menu/gallery3l.html
  45. 45 http://cross-browser.com/toys/img_gallery_2.php
  46. 46 http://cross-browser.com/toys/img_gallery_2.php
  47. 47 http://tjkdesign.com/articles/gallery/photo_gallery.asp
  48. 48 http://tjkdesign.com/articles/gallery/photo_gallery.asp
  49. 49 http://dasme.org/imagegal/
  50. 50 http://vikjavev.no/highslide/
  51. 51 http://vikjavev.no/highslide/
  52. 52 http://design.tedforbes.com/
  53. 53 http://www.dhonishow.de/

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Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He's now writing at his Conterest Blog, where he focuses on blogs, content strategy and publishing — all in German.

  1. 1

    If you are in a hurry or don’t want to mess with too much code, check out this handy little app based on Lightbox2: http://pranas.net/webgallerycreator/

  2. 2

    Lightbox is defenitly the way to go if you want the ability to show a thumbnail and provide the visitor a nice, clean and intuitive big image of it.
    Thanks for this useful post!

  3. 3

    What about Scott Schiller’s 35mm Photo Viewer:

    I think his is really cool, works very well. Always been a fan of his work.

  4. 4

    Very Thanks!

  5. 5

    Thak you for this post. I realy need, all of them in one place.

  6. 6

    rss-feed.se - senaste nyheterna

    May 18, 2007 12:17 am

    Kind of nice, but I don’t like Gallerys at all.


  7. 7

    2 Good works in the same day!!!
    Keep going!!!!

  8. 8

    The CSS one looks nice.

  9. 9

    That’s another PHP gallery script which can be added to the list:: http://andyydev.com/project.php?file=QuickGal

  10. 10

    Sherif Mansour

    May 18, 2007 9:19 am

    Top stuff again Smashing Magazine – great list

  11. 11

    2 others lightbox-like that can show single image, multiple images, inline content, iframed content, or content served through AJAX :
    – SmoothBox : SmoothBox
    – SqueezeBox : SqueezeBox

  12. 12

    this is perfect for my next gallery :) thanks smashing magazines

  13. 13

    You missed one: http://imagin.ro , very powerful and complex …

  14. 14

    Hi: I ran into yet another gallery solution last night called simpleviewer. Free for personal use, very easy to use (even for the technodolt) and very neat presentation with easy navigation. There is a version that integrates very well with Picasa2. Using the Picasa version means you don’t even have to create your own thumbnails. If you add captions to your Picasa gallery, these are included with the gallery images. If you don’t add captions in Picasa, the image file names are displayed instead. Captions are better. :)

  15. 15

    Ive tried most of these galleries but the one I keep going back to now isnt on this list

    have a look at Photostack


  16. 16

    Great list, thanks. I’ll check them out. Some of the screenshots are a bit confusing though – it’s hard to see where the screenshot starts and your content ends.

  17. 17

    Thanks for putting this list together, handy having a list of galleries, slideshows and lightboxes all in one place.

  18. 18

    great scripts for web albums,

  19. 19

    An example of lightbox2 implementation with flickr http://flickr.mathewvp.com

  20. 20

    Another script: Ibox

  21. 21

    Personally I use Flickr to archive all my photos and recently I came across this script from naggle.com which provides a beautiful gallery with seamless integration with the Flickr API.

  22. 22

    Hey.. it’s very nice to see all good image galleries in a single page.. i was searching for a good image gallery to use in my site.. thanks to smashing magazine..lots of million thanks to you…

  23. 23

    that is cool! thanks a lot

  24. 24

    Hey you forgot LightWindow, the boosted Lightbox

  25. 25

    Thanks pals , actually , i was looking out for a nice gallery i could use up .

    Gallery by menalto , was actually , very heavy and sucks from root .

    Found , phpgraphy to be useful .
    Anyway , nice post and thanks .

  26. 26

    great post as usual, guys. thanks for the effort!

  27. 27

    @ Mark

    Agree…simpleviewer is a great product.


  28. 28

    Thanks so much for this all in one place! Exactly what I’ve been craving.

  29. 29

    you forgot the brand new complete JS-PHP personal gallery solution, the OAT Gallery! :)

  30. 30

    Or you could just drop doing the JavaScript yourself and use a 100% declarative library like the one in my sig.


  31. 31

    Dont forget FlickrHelpr. CSS, AJAX, using your flickr photos.

  32. 32

    i really love the way u round them up, gr8 job guys.
    keep it up.

  33. 33

    Great list SM.

    I used to keep track of galleries scripts at delicious. Now I need to keep just one link :)

    thanks again.

  34. 34

    thanks for the nice thematic link collection. would pick something of these for the next client projects.

  35. 35

    Fotis Evangelou

    May 21, 2007 7:52 pm

    A great alternative to Lightbox is Lytebox. It does not really on any JS library and produces the same effect as the original (better in my opinion).

  36. 36

    Jermayn Parker

    May 23, 2007 5:54 pm

    Good one, galleries can be useful at times especially for projects etc

    Thanks for posting them :)

  37. 37

    This is a great list, thanks for compiling it.

  38. 38

    I came up with another solution that is in beta right now: imgStack. Display a sequence of images in a area of your website, users can click through it with an unobtrusive fading interface. Super-easy to use: http://tint.de/imgstack-0-5

  39. 39

    Hi !
    Niiiiiiiiiiiice article !

    Thx ! And keep on offering us such goood articles !

  40. 40

    Very very useful list.
    Many thanks!

  41. 41

    Same post as Drweb (german web magazine) wrote a month ago? :-) Have a look: Link [www.drweb.de].
    But nice to have this post in english now ;-)

  42. 42

    Nice article. My recommendations goes to Zenphoto. I’m using it and I’m completely satisfied.

  43. 43

    Freelance Website Design

    June 9, 2007 6:48 am

    These aren’t bad at all. I like most gallerys that use any form of jquery, ajax, etc.

  44. 44

    I prefer to use highslide: http://vikjavev.no/highslide/

  45. 45

    Hey, my gallery script is missing :-) Imago Comments welcome

    Too bad that this nice list is quite too late

  46. 46

    the “previous – “next” links doesn’t work in the AgileGallery!

    Is this a bug? Does anyone knows how to fix this.

  47. 47

    Great list of slideshow thank.

  48. 48

    Shane O Sullivan

    July 3, 2007 9:33 pm

    I’ve written an Image Gallery for Flickr based on Dojo (http://www.dojotoolkit.org), JavaScript and CSS. It has a bunch of cool features, including intelligent pre-loading of images , fade effects and much more.

    It’s open source, and it’s only dependency is the Dojo toolkit.

    See http://shaneosullivan.wordpress.com/2007/07/03/flickr-and-dojo-image-gallery for more information.

  49. 49

    Hi, just passing through try this gallery also,
    very customizable free for private use
    expose 4 works with joomla also standalone flash


  50. 50

    thanks for sharing these useful galleries!


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