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Lightbox: Yes Or No?
Posted 11 July 2010 - 12:24 PM
I really like those AJAX lightbox scripts that let a user navigate a gallery of images by clicking a thumbnail and having the full image open, superimposed over the page (which looks to be dimmed while the image is open), and has the user move to the next image by clicking a link on the image, at which point the lightbox resizes itself to fit the new image. I think it's elegant, visually appealing, and pretty intuitive.
However, there doesn't appear to be a way to add indexable captions to the images. The scripts I've seen use the title attribute of the image file for the caption, and search engines ignore that text. And I think I need indexable content for each image.
So what do you folks think: do I create a long page of full-sized images with search engine friendly captions, or do I go with the lightbox? And is there a way to use lightbox but still have captions for each image, directly associated with the proper image? The way I'm picturing this, I'd be using too much text to squeeze in under each thumbnail.
Posted 12 July 2010 - 07:57 PM
I use a gallery pageful of quite large thumbnails. Each one contained in a dic with it;s own H2 plus caption. The click to enlarge brings up an enlarged picture with an H1 and description. I frequently use this and although it shouts "Old Fashioned" it does (so far) have a tremendously high success rate in Google Image search.
The better visual behaviour and user interaction is indeed very tempting but i judge the commercial value of Google image search referals to outweigh the Lightbox visual advantages.
Posted 13 July 2010 - 03:43 AM
Posted 13 July 2010 - 10:45 AM
Being a big JQuery fan... If you used a JQuery solution (like fancybox.net/howto), you could create a larger view page, and have it only return the image and text/caption (no header & footer), if a cgi var exists, say ?ajax=1.
Then, in your $(document).ready(), use .each() to append ?ajax=1 to each of the image links, then call the fancybox() function.
And, that would give you the best of both worlds; search engine friendly, and spiffy lightboxes.
Also, and optionally, in the .each(), you could hide ( .hide() ) your captions and set them as the title attribute ( .attr('title') iirc ) of the link, making them work with the lightbox plugin.
My two cents, I'm not the best at explaining things, if any of the above sounds promising, feel free to PM me for JQuery code examples.
Posted 13 July 2010 - 06:57 PM
Posted 13 July 2010 - 09:00 PM
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