Deep Linking refers to a URL that links directly to an item on a page, or to a page in a specific state. To explain this in more detail, a URL that is using deep linking will remember the state of a page, even when something like a lightbox has been opened on it.
For example, if you open a form in FooBox PRO (when deeplinking is enabled), the URL will change. If you then copy and share this link, and someone clicks on it, it will open a page with the form opened in FooBox. FooGallery PRO similarly allows you to use deep linking in your galleries. You can link to a filtered gallery, a page on a gallery or a specific image in a gallery.
Benefits of Deep Linking
The main advantage of deep linking is that you can share links to specific images or items, or to a page in a specific state. This comes in handy if you have a really large gallery (say 100+ images) and you want to allow for the sharing of a particular image. This makes it a lot easier for others to view that image.
Alternatively, you can open a form in FooBox, share the URL and send people directly to the form. So instead of having users search for a specific item on a page, you can send them directly to the item.
The ability to deep link means you can also set your gallery to use particular filters. Your URL will then remember these filters, allowing you to share a gallery in it’s filtered state. Similarly, if you use pagination, you can use deep linking to link to a specific page of a gallery. Again, this makes it easier for you to share specifics wit your audience.
How Deep Linking Works
Let’s take a look at an example. Below is a gallery that uses frontend filtering. It allows visitors to view images that apply to one or more of the filters.
If we were to select the Blue and Red filters, then the gallery would show images that fall into either category. The URL would then appear as https://fooplugins.com/deep-linking-foogallery-foobox/#foogallery-178614/f:Blue+Red and clicking on this would open the page with the gallery showing the Blue and Red filters. In this scenario, deep linking enables the URL to remember the gallery state. This allows you to link to a specific filter or page of a gallery.
Likewise, you could open the image of the dahlia, and then share this link: https://fooplugins.com/deep-linking-foogallery-foobox/#foogallery-178614/i:5. Clicking on the link opens that particular image in the lightbox. Here, the URL links to an image in the lightbox.
As you can imagine, this can save a lot of time when sharing something more specific than just a page. Instead of sifting through a large gallery, or scrolling down a lengthy page, deep linking allows you to go directly to a specific image or item.
Enabling Deep Linking
With FooGallery, you can enable (or disable) this feature for each gallery. In the gallery settings, go to the Advanced tab. You’ll see that deep linking is automatically enabled, but you can also disable it here, should you need to.
With FooBox, deep linking is enabled by default for all images or items opened in the lightbox. This is a global setting, which can be found under FooBox –> Settings –> Functions.
For both FooGallery and FooBox, you can change the URL prefix or mask to suit your needs. This change will then reflect in the URL when shared.
Using deep linking is simple with FooGallery PRO and FooBox PRO. In fact, you don’t have to do anything, as it is automatically set up for you. It can also be of benefit for your visitors, either when they want to share certain items from your site or when you want them to find something specific.