IDX Iframes don’t have to break your theme

IDX Searches don’t have to limit your options either

IDX Search Don't Let it Limit Your Choices

IDX Search Don't Let it Limit Your Choices

IDX you swear by them, but they seem to limit your Theme choice and you are always working around the darn Iframes which seem to break a theme or demand more screen real estate than you want to give them.

Worse yet are the ones that make you setup a sub domain on “THEIR” site and you leave your own. Well it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.

Lightbox Effect Your IDX Throw Away Those I-frames

I have been using the Lightbox effect on a couple of blogs so the IDX solutions doesn’t limit the Theme that is used.

Here is how it is done.

Install a lightbox plugin. I prefer Floatbox Plus. It depends on your theme. But any plugin that uses the rel=”lightbox” should work.

Update Added For John Kalinoski

You enter your link as usual then from the HTML tab add   class=”floatbox” rev=”outsideClickCloses:false” rel=”lightbox”.

Ex: <a class=”floatbox” rev=”outsideClickCloses:false” rel=”lightbox”

This will keep the lightbox from closing if someone clicks outside the box.   This isn’t usually an issue when viewing images, but it can be one if someone accidentally clicks outside the box while doing a search.

I talked about using this before for showing links or sites in a site. It is prefect for IDX. Here are a couple of examples in an example click on the map in the upper left hand navigation. This is Doug and Deena Willis site for Pasadena.

A test site for Joe and Colleen Lane has a similar effect. Click on the Search for homes in the header.   Want it multiple place click on the image at the top of the right navigation.   Put it where ever you want.   Have separate pages set up for custom IDX search results?

IDX Doesn’t have to break your theme

Pretty simple isn’t it.   No need to limit your theme choices or how to handle your IDX search box.   Open in it’s own window and keep your site in the background.

If you were looking for something to play around with this weekend (all you weekend code warriors)   Try this out.   You can try it on a test page or post.   You don’t even have to save it.   Test it and preview the page to see what it is like.


  1. Pretty cool. The only disadvantage I see is that if the user accidentally clicks anywhere outside the lightbox, it closes, and they lose their search and have to start all over. Could be frustrating enough to send them elsewhere. Any way to set it so the box only closes if you click the “close” button.

  2. Hi Dave,

    Please clarify something for me — I thought that Lightbox didn’t work with WP 2.7? A few months back when I installed Lightbox my site literally barfed (actually the top half of the screen blacked out.) You wrote a post shortly after that suggesting the use of Shadowbox, which I now use and it works fine.

    Does Lightbox actually work with 2.7?

    Thanks for the great post!


    Chuck Gillooley ´s last blog post..San Carlos School District Superintendent Announces Retirement.

  3. Chuck,

    That is true of the original lightbox plugin, but I’ve written two posts about alternative plugins using the “Lightbox Effect” meaning all your rel=”lightbox” code will work.


    True, and I don’t know of a setting for that. I do know there are a couple very plain jane lightbox effect plugins that will only close with the X. If you don’t use images on your site much one of those would work. Also I suppose could be the warning in the title tag “Don’t Click outside the box till done”

  4. Thanks Dave,

    You just saved me some time. We are rebuilding on a WordPress platform and we need to frame the IDX into the theme and I knew that would limit the themes I could use. With this, I can use the theme that I want.

    Thanks again!

    Tony Sena ´s last blog post..Is Las Vegas Real Estate Undervalued?

  5. Tony,

    You are very welcome. It was great to finally meet you at Unchained Phoenix. Good luck with continued growth for BuddyPress.

  6. Great Tip. I’m in the process of setting up my 2nd blog with IDX. Not sure why, but this one is a little more difficult than my first one! Ouch.

    Brad Officer ´s last blog post..Short Sale Help in Jacksonville

  7. The lightbox effect is great. If anyone else is familiar with the San Diego MLS, I’m wondering if anyone else has had trouble with the Sandicor IDX serving up inconsistent data. It seems like updates are sometimes inconsistent in terms of timing. It also becomes frustrating when the MLS updates their fields. Thanks for the post!

  8. Absolutely love this plugin Dave. Could very well be my favorite.

    FYI, I upgraded Floatbox Plus from v0.1.1 to v0.3.4 and the version requires a download, “Download floatbox(.js)” Well, when I went to the download I received this message, “Due to changes in the licensing the download is actually disabled. Sorry” Now my wonderful plugin doesn’t work! Fortunately, I only upgraded the one blog, so I’ll grab the older version from one of the other blogs and restore the older version.

    Just thought I would pass this alone for what it is worth. 🙂

    Joe ´s last blog post..$8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit | Housing Stimulus Dollars

  9. Joe,

    Oh, removing the watermark isn’t hard. : )

  10. I know that, I was just kidding. If anyone can remove a watermark, it is you Dave. I remember watching you remove straw from a picture of a zoo animal a few weeks ago. Probably another blog entry, eh? In fact, you could probably start a photo how-to blog given your knowledge of the subject.

    Joe ´s last blog post..$8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit | Housing Stimulus Dollars

  11. I am currently working with Eric Blackwell on developing an internet site for myself with a built in IDX that would have to be framed in. The largest challenge that I am running into is making the IDX seem like it’s actually supposed to be in the center of the website and not just there to capture leads. Any suggestions or tips? I am lost thus far…

  12. Robert,

    I’m sure Eric has a good solution for you. For me I use both the Lightbox effect to keep the IDX on site and a custom page template I created to drop the sidebar and use the entire width of the blog to display the IDX solution. It is framed in but it doesn’t look like it.

    If you want to see that this looks like check it out here Tucson Home Search


  1. […] wrote a couple of months ago about IDX Iframes Don’t have to break your theme In that post we learned how you can use a lightbox effect to open an IDX solution with your blog in […]