Image sliders are one of the most requested features from my clients but try Google-ing for a good one and you’ll find more than you know what to do with. One blog post promised 125 of them!! Don’t wade through that crap. Here are my top choices.
Let me first clarify what I mean by image sliders. This is not a “featured content” slider – so they don’t automatically show your latest blog posts or anything dynamic like that. You manually choose what images you want to put in your slider. This is not for image galleries so there’s no light boxes. This is simply for showcasing images in a rotating display.
Since I have my clients in mind, my basic criteria are pretty simple:
Since I discovered Meta Slider I haven’t looked back because it always seems to do the job. Even on sites where other slider plugins had conflicts, Meta Slider just works and it’s super-easy to use.
A few of its features:
The free version of Soliloquy has pretty limited features. I’m including it mostly because it’s talked about and recommended so much. It does the job and is similar to Meta Slider but has significantly less options. However if I were to buy a slider or need one for development purposes I would mostly likely consider the Pro version of Soliloquy since it has a slew of features and is well-liked by WordPress developers I respect.
Slideshow (quick note – there are a couple of plugins with the same name so make sure you’re installing the right one – the author is Stefan Boonstra) is a really solid plugin but I would only recommend it to “power” users who can handle looking at more options that wouldn’t mean much to a beginner (such as what HTML tag to wrap the title and description in) and perhaps need a few more advanced features like role-based controls for which user levels can Add, Edit and Delete slideshows.
However, the big bonus for some users would be being able to include YouTube videos (but specifically YouTube, not Vimeo or other providers) in their sliders along with images and also the option of text slides. It’s perhaps not quite as slickly designed as Meta Slider but intermediate users shouldn’t have any issues figuring out how to use it. It is responsive, has its own sidebar widget and is developer friendly in terms of being able to customize the slider skins.
Cyclone Slider 2 goes a step beyond Slideshow in that of the free options listed in this post, it has the most flexibility of content types. Cyclone Slider 2 would be worth a look if you want to be able to mix n’ match images, YouTube videos, Vimeo videos, custom HTML and testimonials in your slideshow.
I looked at a number of other plugins as well, but weeded them out for one reason or another. Do you have one that you love that I missed? Leave a comment if so!
Hi! I'm Lucy Beer. I know that WordPress is liberating when you know how to use it, and bewildering when you don’t. I help individuals and businesses learn WordPress for their specific needs. I will accelerate your knowledge and cut your learning curve in half (at least!). Generic tutorials and videos only go so far - when you need specialized knowledge, or a real person to answer your questions, that's where I come in. I help non-techies understand and use the web to empower their personal or business mission.