While there’s been some debate recently about whether sliders are a good use of screen real estate or not, they certainly make it possible to display more of your best content in a limited amount of space than would be otherwise possible.
Although not everyone is a fan of homepage content sliders, they remain a popular staple of the best-selling themes for WordPress. So if you would like to add one to your website, or upgrade the lacklustre slider that came bundled with your theme, here are the best free and premium options to match a range of needs and budgets.
WordPress Slider Plugin Options for Displaying Your Content in Style
In this collection of WordPress slider plugins you will find a selection of free and premium tools to suit all budgets and requirements.
Popular features to look out for include mobile responsive sliders with touch screen controls; image, post content, video and audio sliders with auto play; and a range of stunning animation effects that will dazzle your visitors.
Revolution Slider is probably the best selling and most widely used premium slider plugin for WordPress. With over 40,000 sales via the Code Canyon marketplace and its inclusion in countless premium themes sold at the ThemeForest marketplace, it’s definitely a well-used option for adding image, video, and other content sliders to your website.
However, thanks to it massive selection of features and settings for Revolution Slider, it’s very possible to give your website a personalized look when using this plugin, despite the popularity of this tool. The sliders that can be created with this plugin are very impressive and will ensure your website makes an unforgettable first impression on your visitors.
While the front end results are dazzling, the back end is worth a mention too. It’s very easy to create the sliders, thanks in part to the drag and drop visual editor that is used to craft the slideshows.
For some website owners, the fully featured animated sliders, with parallax and looping effects, might be too flash and attention seeking. However, for anyone who wants to make an impact with their images and other content, the Revolution Slider is hard to beat.
Although this plugin is regularly updated, Revolution Slider recently underwent a huge feature update. So even if you have taken a look at this tool before in the past, it’s worth another look in light of the recent update.
If you want something a little more restrained, then the Soliloquy plugin is a great choice. While it’s still packed with useful features, this tool is more about letting your content do the talking, rather than overpowering your visitors with fancy animation effects.
The back end interface for creating the sliders is nice and clean, making it easy to get started with. As this plugin has been created by the developer behind the popular OptinMonster plugin, if you are familiar with that WordPress email sign up form plugin, you should have a good idea of how this plugin works.
When it comes to Soliloquy vs. Revolution Slider, the outcome will largely depend on your target audience and whether you think they will appreciate the razzle dazzle of the latter more than the measured functionality of the former.
While there is a lite version of Soliloquy available for free, if you want access to the best features you will have to update to the premium version. Although the pro version costs a reasonable $19, make sure you check out the prices of the premium add-ons to see what the real cost will be to get access to the premium features you plan to make use of.
Meta Slider is available in free and premium versions. However, with over 1.4 million downloads and an impressive 4.8 out of 5 star rating, the free version is a great choice for adding a slider to your WordPress website today.
The process for creating the sliders is simple and anyone that can add images to WordPress will be able to do the same with Meta Slider. With the free option, there are four different slideshow types to choose from, including Nivo Slider and Flex Slider, giving you plenty of options for creating sliders for your site.
The sliders created with Meta Slider are all mobile responsive, and while the free version doesn’t allow you to create YouTube and Vimeo slides, you can create full width image slideshows with the lite version.
For a tried and tested, feature rich free option, you can’t go wrong with Meta Slider.
Responsive Slider is another popular free option for adding image slideshows to your WordPress website.
This is more of a simple option compared to the other plugins featured here; so if you prefer a more minimal approach to life, then it could be the best option for you.
As the name suggests, the sliders created are all responsive and will adjust to fill the width available in your theme unless otherwise stated. If you are using a responsive WordPress theme and want a quick way to add an equally responsive slideshow, this is a good option.
With a no frills demo to help you see what this plugin can do, Responsive Slider could be just the free tool you are looking for.
Like Revolution Slider, Royal Slider is another big budget production that aims to help you add attention grabbing sliders and galleries to your WordPress site.
Like the other tools covered here, the sliders created with this plugin are responsive for mobile devices. Royal Slider is also touch swipe compatible for a truly immersive experience for smartphone, tablet, and the growing army of touch screen computer users. Non-touch screen visitors aren’t left out as they can scroll through the slideshow content using the arrows keys on their keyboard for added convenience.
With this slider plugin for WordPress, you get access to over 10 templates, 5 skins, and 100 options for customizing how your sliders will look.
Whether you want to display images, video, or post content in your sliders, Royal Slider is a good option for doing so. Make sure you check out the templates to see if this is the best option for your needs.
LayerSlider is another plugin for WordPress that takes the more is more approach to features and effects. As well as the dazzling array of animation effects that can be used for the slide transitions on your sliders, including slide, rotate, face, skew, and scale, LayerSlider also lets you display YouTube, Vimeo, and HTML5 videos, with auto play in your sliders.
Building your sliders isn’t a problem, thanks to the drag and drop WYSIWYG editor with real time preview. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty and create your own slider designs with the visual editor, you can choose from the 13 skins included in the package. These skins can all be customized using the skin editor for further personalization.
The sliders not only scale and respond to the size of the screen they are being viewed on, but visitors can navigate the slider content using the touch screen interface on their device.
With over 200 slide transitions to choose from and the ability to create sliders that contain both posts and static content, there really is no limit to the type of slideshows you can build with the premium LayerSlider plugin.
Whether you want to add an eye catching slider featuring your greatest content to your website’s homepage, or use a slideshow to display your best photos and image on the internal pages of your site, the above options should make it easy for you to do so.
If you have any questions about using a slider on your WordPress website, or have a favourite plugin that’s been left out, please leave a comment below.