As far as web trends go, you can’t ignore the powerful and popular use of sliders and slideshows. Whether that be a full page slider or down to page or article specific sliders, you can’t help but see them in almost all modern web design. Throughout the years, we at WPHR have trialled and tried many slider plugins, and decided to write about our top 3!
Slider Revolution – $25
Our number 1 choice
We have built many websites, and one plugin we absolutely swear by is the ‘Slider Revolution’ by Theme Punch. This plugin not only powers over 4 million websites, but is the most robust, highly customisable and gives you the ability to reach any creative potential possible. Most of all, it has a visual drag and drop builder, that makes it easy to use for anyone.
We will admit that it is a lot to take in at first, but after reading the documentation and playing around with the builder, you will soon have a beautiful slider in no time. It is hard to actually know where to start when describing the features available so we will touch on some of our favourites for this article. We also recommend registering this plugin once it is purchased, so that you can connect to the Theme Punch servers and download the many templates they have set up. Doing this will allow you to see many features in action.
The timeline lets you see all your slider layers in real time, and allow you to apply effect, animations, colours, backgrounds and so much more. You can easily apply fades, parallax effects, blurs, transitions and much more. Not only do you have these options, but you have a free object library with many backgrounds, icons, and transparent pngs.
Theme punch also offer many addons witht his plugin for free. You will need these addons to create some great effects. We particularaly like the whiteboard, typewritter and related post add-ons. If you like 3D movement effects, this comes bundled with a very fancy 3D Parallax effect to make any site stand out.
Responsive design is a must with current web design. You want to be able to have your slider look good on every device. This plugin works with desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones. Not only does it automatically scale and fit the screen device you ar eon, but you can have custom elements display depending on the device being used. For example, you might want to display less on your slider when someone is using a mobile.
Add all sorts of multimedia content, from videos to regular images, posts and social media. Customise your navigation arrows, bullets, tabs and thumbnails. Do all this with the peace of mind that this plugin will do everything it can to optimise your web performance through the use of lazy loaders, seo options and advnced debugging options!
I could write so much more about this essential plugin but will finish up with the support. Need help, not a problem. Theme Punch offer ticketed support, help forums and plenty of video and text based docimentation.
This is one plugin we couldn’t go without!
Layer Slider – $24
Our number 2 choice
LayerSlider is a great plugin, but couldn’t grab a number 1 spot. This is still a fantastic plugin, and one we would very much recommend, however, it just isn’t as feature rich as ‘revolution slider’. The learning curve on this plugin is less than the ‘Revolution Slider’, so it might be a better choice if you want to get going quickly.
LayerSlider was released back in 2012, so as you can imagine, they have had many years to perfect this Add-on. With a growing FAQ database and an experienced support team working day and night, you couldn’t go wrong. Easily construct modern and mobile-friendly slideshows and presentations for your website.
LayerSlider ver 6 has introduced a new animation engine with stunning effects. With over 200 pre-defined transitions, including Ken Burns Effect, hover, loop, play by scroll, layer masks, color animations and many more. The easy editor makes these effects easy to apply and takes the hard work and time out of beautiful slides.
The LayerSlider editor is smart and intuitive drag & drop builder focused on a easy user experience and usability. We really liked the fact that you had the undo and redo options, and liked that you didn’t have to scroll when using this editor. It was great to read that the image editor is actually powered by Adobe Creative Cloud!
If you have a block on creativity, access the premium slider templates. You can load them in seconds, and easily edit the text and images to suit your project. You will save a lot of time and have something that looks professional, sleek and eye-catching. If you have WordPress Posts and articles, easily load them into your slider as dynamic content.
This plugin works well with page optimization, using a range of SEO, browser compatibility and image quality. It also comes with standard responsive features, allowing your slider to show properly on all devices including mobiles.
We really do like this plugin and look forward to seeing how this add-on grows in the future. A very close competitor for the top spot!
Nivo SLider Lite – $0
Our number 3 choice
Not everyone has money when building a website, so we felt it only fair to include a free version for the budget conscious. The nivo slider is one of the worlds most popular jquery image slider plugin for a reason. Remeber, this is the free lite version, so it is very basic, but also very good for basic needs.
What it lacks in features, it makes up in with a fast, easy to use interface. If you are looking for a simple responsive content slider that works fast out of the box, this is your plug-in.
A great feature of this free product is the fact that it is responsive and mobile friendly. No matter what device you view your site in, your slider images will look great.
No coding skill is necessary when using this plugin which again makes it accessible to the masses. However, if you do know advanced coding, you can take things even further. Easily add your slider to any post or page using the simple shortcodes.
Nivo Slider Lite uses the power of CSS to make transition effects display beautifully and cross-browser compatible. You can also build slider widgets in WordPress and show them on any part of your website.
You can upgrade to the pro version, and upload a whole new bunch of features should you choose in the future!