Stepping into jQuery

One of the easiest ways to introduce some interactivity and action into your website is to use a jQuery plugin. jQuery is a script that you set up in the head of your document, and then in the body, call it up to effect some cool actions. To start, we’ll look at an image gallery jQuery, called Lightbox, or in this case, Lightbox2. Check it out here:

http://lokeshdhakar.com/projects/lightbox2/

This gallery plugin is a great way to show an array of images, or just one image. It lets you set up a thumbnail on your page, which when clicked, opens up to a large (full screen if you set it up that way) version of the image. This is a staple of portfolio sites. And it’s pretty easy to achieve. The instructions are on the site.

And as you get comfortable with the format, you may want to experiment with some more sophisticated versions based on the original. Check out this one:

http://projects.nickstakenburg.com/lightview

Still, my advice is to keep it simple. We’ll start with Lightbox2, and go from there.

After we’ve mastered the basic Lightbox set up, we’ll want to make our own gallery. Here’s a PDF lesson I’ve created for just such an occasion.