Yesterday my friend asks me, what kind of plug ins should I use for my self hosted WordPress site? That’s a pretty open ended question. There are a lot and I mean a LOT of plugins built for anyone to use, and usually free. So I have decided today to share one of my favorites. WordPress .org offers a lot of plugins that I use on a sitely basis. Image Zoom is one that I almost always use. I use it because it does a couple things that not only look nice when viewing images, but also help the site owner out a lot.

Using Image Zoom is really easy, just install to the directory then activate in the plugins menu. From there, you just insert an image on any page or post and when clicked it will magically get larger on the screen. You can set whether or not the rest of the screen gets dark or not, and what controls are displayed on the image for navigating to others in the same set of images. I think the most important aspect of this plugin though, is the fact that it keeps the user on the page they are viewing. The experience they are having using the site is not interrupted by a loading page and there is no need to click the back button to return to the information they were reading. The experience just flows so much nicer. I use this plugin not only for image galleries, but on every clickable image on the page. A good example of this plugin being used can be found on zakaiashkii.com which you can view form my client work section on tylersavin.com.