My Dad asked me to help him with a website today that he has been volunteering with. The original creator used WordPress and the TwentyTen theme. Everything worked well, but Dad wanted a right-side sidebar. I decided to overhaul it with Thesis, as it’s such great theme to use.

One of his requests was to be able to link to YouTube videos, and have them pop-up without taking the person off the page, or actually having the video on the site. I knew a Lightbox was what he wanted, but it was tricky to find one.

Long story short, if you’re using Thesis 1.6+, the “Easy FancyBox” plugin solves all your problems. Once you download and activate the plugin, go to Settings > Media and configure it. Check the box that says “Enable FancyBox for YouTube” and maybe “Auto-detect” if it tickles you. Then, anytime you want to post a link on your site to open in a lightbox, you can use text or image and it just WORKS! Same with Vimeo, SWF, PDF and a host of image files.

You’ll need to sent the hyperlink to point directly to the YouTube video, like this:

Give it a try. It’ll make you feel splendid!

or you can click this text for the same effect.

And if you want to auto-play your video when the person clicks the link/image, you just need to add &autoplay=1 to the end of the video, so the code looks like this: