If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last two years, you’ll know of the latest design and web development trends for an optimal user experience. WordPress continues to position itself as the number one choice for bloggers, writers, journalists, and brand owners who are passionate about having a solid homepage, as much as they are about having a reliable writing platform. The market and the demand for WordPress-related plugins, themes, and snippets have continued to grow with tremendous power over the last couple of years. It seems that there’s little that WordPress cannot do these days. Some developer somewhere is always coming up with the next big idea.
Content sliders, in particular, have started to appear everywhere, literally! It’s hard to visit a website nowadays without seeing a full-page slider header or a content blog that uses sliders to promote their latest content. We won’t say that it has gotten out of control, quite the opposite. Embracing this design trend has helped readers get accustomed to the content that their favorite sites are sharing. This way, the user can just pick the top content right from the header of the page. Sliders have technically been around since the age of jQuery. That’s when they really started to take off. With the evolution of HTML and CSS, the level of possibility for such sliders has increased supremely.
Our selection of free WordPress content sliders can be applied not only to content but also literally to anything that your imagination wants to do or achieve. That’s the beauty of the diversity of these roundups. We strive to cover the most basic parts but gradually include things that cover the needs of professional and legitimate media publishers who may not get away by using a strict and static implementation of a widget such as a slider. So, you’ll find plenty of dynamic examples and choices.
Web-Dorado has nearly 30 unique plugins published in the free WP Plugin Directory. It has a total number of downloads that exceed 300,000+ active installations. Slider WD is one of its flagship plugins. It is a responsive slider that can do more than just create slides of images. Slider WD can be transformed into a custom widget. You can also use the custom functions to display the slider anywhere within your theme files. For example, use the function to call the slider within your author or category pages.
A great range of custom slider effects is available to use for free. You can upload your files on your slider using three custom options: media library, Web-Dorado custom upload, or through an image from a custom URL as provided by you. You can create filmstrips, import music media, or show your latest posts using this slider.
If you are a serious blogger or run a publishing platform, you may want to grab the pro version of this plugin. It has 25 additional effects, more than 30 layers, custom video and social media support, including social sharing buttons, and different kinds of visual effects like carousels and parallax.
Smuzthemes has a couple of plugins published, but Slider Slideshow is their most popular one. It gives you access to a visual slider builder that will be easy to use for novices in WordPress. Use drag-and-drop to quickly navigate between the unique elements in this plugin. Other features include the ability to preview your finalized slider so you never publish something that looks off. You can overlay your slide images with custom content to enrich the experience further. The premium version covers aspects like Google Fonts and additional support for layers like text, image, video, and HTML. It includes more creative layers and modern integrations for an impressive slider.
Slider Rich Web
Content sliders are some of the most trending elements of a good web design. Whenever a website uses a slider, it helps the reader to quickly navigate through the most important content. So, selecting a slider plugin that is compatible with your theme and design is crucial. Slider Rich Web offers an immense variety of slider types to further enhance the user experience. These include basic navigational slider, content display slider, a fashion-design slider, custom circle images, carousels, and flexible dynamic sliders.
This fully responsive slider will look amazing on any device. Using the plugin interface, you can tailor your slider to meet your exact needs. The CSS3 transitions with jQuery support allow your slider to work seamlessly alongside any device, be it a tablet or a smartphone. It’s all put together so that performance isn’t lost at any point. If you still find yourself struggling with getting the slider up and running, then referencing back to the official documentation is going to give you a proper rundown of how to put this slider plugin to the test.
Image Slider by GhozyLab
GhozyLab has put in the work to publish a beautiful collection of image-related WordPress plugins. Image Slider is one of them. This is one of the best slider plugins that you can download for free. It integrates with your posts, pages, widget areas, and your sidebar instantly. The vast selection of features puts you in total control of the appearance of the slider up to the last possible bit of design. Choose from different navigation styles to enable the slider for different screen sizes. Select custom positions of the thumbnails to best integrate with your existing WP theme. Also, specify the overall dimensions of the slider to fit perfectly into your content or header areas.
Those who run a mobile website can opt to enable the responsive design. You can also turn it off if only a small percentage of your visitors use mobile. Choose from tons of easing transition effects so each of your sliders will look and feel unique.
The professional version adds more than 600+ unique effects for titles and slideshows. It also supports social media sharing, so you can have readers share your amazing content to their social networks without having to click on the posts individually.
Not all sliders are for strict text content only. Nowadays, you can customize sliders to include rich media. You can also have dynamic content directly from what exists on your blog already. The Slider Video plugin enables you to use custom YouTube videos and to display them using a slider widget. You can create a range of design varieties that allow users to browse through your mentioned videos. So, if you use a standard gallery-style sidebar, you could add an unlimited number of videos, and users could scroll through them while also watching a video. This way, you could help sustain a much bigger time spent on site rate as users watch and interact with your interesting videos.
If autoplay isn’t your thing, why not use the carousel/popup feature to show thumbnails of the videos? Upon clicking, users can read the description of the video in a modal box while having the ability to view the video directly.
The Slideshow and Images Slider delivers on its functionality as much as it does on its design. The styling choices are its most appealing feature right off the bat. All sliders can be built to feature a content selection carousel at the bottom of the slider (or at the top if you prefer). You can overlay each image with a custom overlay element that can include a background color (and opacity). Text and description are also important details of your slides.
You can have the slider widget directly in your content display areas. 2J SlideShow supports responsive and mobile design. It lets you upload all your images with a single upload and provides cool effects.
Slider by Supsystic
The Supsystic team is a solid WordPress developer that cares for its users and long-term customers. Each update brings about a new and exciting way to display your content using the slider technique. Whether you want to promote your latest products or downloads, the use of the smart CSS3 and HTML5 technology has made it possible for Supsystic to create a slider that’s comfortable with video content, carousels, thumbnails, and responsive design all within a single plugin package. The carefully designed core of the plugin ensures that your search engine rankings won’t go down after adding the slider. It’s crucial to select a slider plugin that integrates with SEO standards well. Rest assured that this is one of those plugins.
Étoile Web Design gives you a full-page full header slider that’s going to rock the socks off your existing web design. The use of this free slider is limitless. It even expands in the region of product promotion, so you can showcase a large banner of your latest products and directly add a purchase button in any of the slides that you’re showcasing. Multiple buttons per slide are available. Slider Ultimate is friendly to video content as well. So, if all else fails, you can show a product demo video directly on your homepage.
This is one of the very few sliders that take proper WooCommerce integration into consideration. Responsive layout? Check. Ability to display using a shortcode? Check. Insert unlimited slide images per slider? Check. The list of amazing features just keeps on growing. So, check out the demo preview; you may have found the perfection free slider solution for you.
WP 1 Slider
Access Keys, the company behind this slider, has worked with thousands of clients during its run as a creative business. Putting together its accumulated experience and customer feedback, the team has come up with the WP 1 Slider plugin. This plugin is a great choice in terms of features and flexibility. It’s common to see WP developers just stitch together a few jQuery libraries into a WP plugin. Access Keys has a real and tangible experience timeline, which has helped to shape this plugin into what it is today. It has become a leading WordPress slider plugin that sets the standard for any other plugins.
Create unlimited sliders with the option to have unlimited slide images within it. Even on a single web page, you can have as many as 10 unique sliders. It doesn’t really matter because all slides have their own unique HTML structure. We’re particularly in awe of the ways that you can overlay the slides to add extra content on top of them. This way, each of your slides can become a unique part of the website themselves. It is potentially a useful plugin for e-commerce and startup websites that want to use slides to explain products and their features more conveniently.
Ultimate Responsive Image Slider
This slider has tens of thousands of active installs. The continuous updates to its functionality has helped it earn a solid reputation. It is time-tested and has a substantial community behind it. We couldn’t find any serious flaws with this selection, whether you want to display it on your sidebars and homepages, or within your content. Use a simple shortcode, and have the slider appear anywhere on your pages.
Ultimate Responsive Image Slider Pro expands upon the free version. It gives you a more refined set of features, such as unique layouts, touch support for mobile devices, ability to select an unlimited amount of colors, extra integration of carousels, and thumbnail-style sliders. Small-time bloggers and big-time media publishers will find a common ground with this plugin.
Category Posts Slider Pro
There are creative possibilities behind every idea, including traditional content sliders. Developed and published by Neelam Samariya, the Category Posts Slider enables you to create content sliders based on individual categories on your blog or media website. This way, you can tailor a custom slider for each of your categories and further strive for that unique design experience. You can select for each of the slides to fetch the featured image. You can also show the post title and an excerpt in the length as determined by you. Also, you can create one big slider to feature a tabbed selection of the categories that you’ve chosen. This way, you allow your readers to browse through your most prominent categories from the homepage.
Some are beginning to embrace what’s known as mega menus, a menu feature that enlists the content once rolled over. This slider, though, could become a significant alternative without the need to implement a menu that might obstruct the user experience in the long run.
MetaSlider is compatible with four unique slider plugins: Flexslider, Responsive Slider, Nivo Slider, and Coin Slider. Each brings its own benefits and features to the table. Using all four independently across your website can provide a different level of user experience.
The slideshows are optimized for best search engine performance, and each of the systems gives you an assortment of effects and layers to pick from. Another factor in the success of MetaSlider could be its web performance optimization. So, by the time your slides are up and running, your website won’t start to slow down.
Master Slider—Responsive Touch Slider
Master Slider from Averta is another top contender for being an all-in-one solution for all your content slider needs. It seems to be one of the top choices for food-related blogs. It is most likely because of the way that the slider can be configured to display content. You can use a traditional slider without adding thumbnails or display thumbnails on the sidebar. For those who are passionate about showing off content, you have the choice of using the sliders with additional slide info in the form of an excerpt from your post. You can add a unique description for each slide yourself.
Master Slider operates on all modern web browsers and devices. The user interface is friendly to beginners, and the valid markup of HTML5 ensures that search engines will index your content properly. Lots of hardware-based optimizations make a slider like this a perfect choice for content-heavy websites. Despite having such beautiful content displays, your site won’t lose out on performance metrics.
The creator of Soliloquy does an excellent job of fulfilling the requests of plugin users. Since the inception of this slider, numerous large-scale updates have added extra functionalities. Soliloquy has sliders in the form of carousels, featured content, Lightbox, videos, captions, thumbnails, and social media sliders. These give your content the maximum exposure that it deserves. Soliloquy makes the process of adding sliders convenient for everyone. An intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows you to upload and sort through images on the fly.
If you plan to create more than a single slider, then you’re covered. Ultimately, you can create unlimited sliders and versions without having to worry about each one interfering with one another. If you are serious about your SEO strategy, then Soliloquy is an absolute must-have. Each image has its own alternate text and title. Your links can have titles. Captions can accept any type of HTML and text. Every image is preloaded, meaning that this slider is insanely fast (which helps SEO, too). Many top WordPress bloggers have dubbed this the fastest slider plugin on the market. So, that adds more leverage to your process of choosing the best slider plugin for WordPress.
Easing Slider is a good choice for those who only want to display a selection of images in a beautiful and design-optimized slider. It does provide a selection of extensions, though, that could help you enhance the slider experience for your readers. These extensions include a visual customizer, a featured content extension to showcase your latest and best content, a custom captions extension so you can overlay your images in a true quote-like style, and things like touch and swipe support, load images from external URLs, and Lightbox to make the slider more interactive. Whether you want to show simple slides, feeds from your latest posts, thumbnail-based sliders, videos slides, or carousels, the Easing Slider base has something to give to everyone.
Cyclone Slider 2
Cyclone Slider’s new edition gives you a transparent workflow for getting your slides implemented in your website within minutes. The smart design features enable the slider to adapt to any design choice. So, you won’t have to worry about setting custom height and width dimensions. You have the choice of four custom templates, dark or white template and standard (full-screen) or thumbnail-style template.
Those with skills in CSS and HTML can easily transform the templates to their own requirements. If showing sliders on the homepage isn’t your thing, then put them on the sidebars or other widgetized areas of your website. The simple widget allows you to put a custom title and select the customer slider that you’ve built. Everything else (like resizing) is done automatically for you. Adding titles and descriptions for sliders is possible. So, you can customize your slides to better reflect what you’re advertising and/or promoting.
Smart Slider 3
Smart Slider has gone through a number of releases and provisions over the last few years, and this version seems to be topping it all off. There are more than 100 styles to choose from, some of which are premium. They have all been categorized in their appropriate categories, so you can select from slides like boxed layouts, full-width, full-size, block layouts, layouts for landing pages, dynamic source sliders to insert dynamic content, totally minimal styles for journalists and writers, or special designs designed to appeal to a range of audiences in fields like startups and e-commerce.
The user interface has a drag-and-drop interface builder, so even the least experienced WP users can have a go at building a phenomenal slider for their WP website. Smart Slider embraces the mobile revolution and has in-built support for mobile and touch-friendly devices. So, no matter who accesses your website and from where, the slides will never lose their design potency.
WordPress has a good standing in terms of flexibility and the possibility to optimize and customize your website in any way you like, which is why so many websites are switching to WordPress for good. SliderVilla built a name for itself as one of the elite teams that really put their knowledge to the test when it came to creating a WP slider that would trash the competition. The performance of the plugin is impeccable. It provides a concise set of appliances for embedding a slider widget into your own website. Maybe you want to show banners, or perhaps carousels are more of your thing. Even professional authors who do video content can take advantage of the features that Smooth Slider packs within its core.
Premium Sliders for WordPress
A word of advice for new WordPress bloggers—if you can’t decide on a slider that’s best for you, why not look up sites in your niche that are doing great already and see what kind of content arrangements they’re doing. With this inspiration, you could come up with your own unique twist in displaying sliders to your readers.
Below are sliders that come from the most reputable premium marketplace on the web. Many of these sliders have more than 100,000 users, and they’ve earned their status by providing an ultimate collection of features that take care of even the most demanding of tasks.
Slider Revolution Responsive WordPress Plugin
You may have come across the name Slider Revolution on multiple occasions. Even a single query on Google returns millions of results about this stunning WordPress slider. Brought to you by the team at ThemePunch, this is a revolutionary slider that gives you tools like front-end slider editing and takes into consideration factors like security. SR is completely secure and tested by professional security testers to prove the plugin’s viability. Create, customize, and build sliders with classic, hero, and carousel styles. Select between a range of sizes for all of your slides to best prepare them for the content pages that you plan to use them on.
A selection of content sources enables you to show content from your own images, sliders based on your WP content. A WooCommerce product slider is built-in as a demo. You can also apply post streams from the most popular social networks: Flickr, Instagram, Vimeo, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. It doesn’t get any fancier than that! The price is equal to a couple of premium-quality cups of coffee, but we can imagine that the returns would be much higher than that.
LayerSlider Responsive WordPress Slider Plugin
LayerSlider embraces a modern approach to the current web design trends, and the result is a pristine slider component for showing off your best content. The really nice thing about these premium sliders is that their creators have gone the lengths to ensure that basic needs are always met. So, you never have to think twice about whether these sliders will work on mobile devices or whether they’re secure enough to use. These are the core set of features, and all you really need to focus on are the features that these plugins/sliders are able to provide individually.
Built for performance, LayerSlider gives you access to more than 200 transitional effects so that even though someone has a similar design to yours, you can always stand out by using a unique combination of transition effects. Of course, there’s also the choice of a dozen skins that you can apply to your slides globally. Find a style that matches yours, or take it to the next level and build a style of your own. The reviews speak for themselves, too. They are all positive and uplifting, which can only be a good sign for the company who’s behind the plugin.
RoyalSlider—Touch Content Slider for WordPress
RoyalSlider must be among my favorite plugins for my own blogs and projects. The technicality of the user interface makes the process of developing a new slide meaningful and engaging. The timeline of settings required for each slide allows you to spend some time thinking about how to use slides to display your best content. Royal Slider focuses on performance and accessibility for all types of readers. However, the engine behind the plugin shines in all areas of performance, optimization, and customization.
Sites like TinyBuddha have been using RoyalSlider for years now, showing off the dynamic potential of how you can align content in a slider that becomes an integral part of the overall design. Remember to leave no stone unturned when going through the provided demo slides that RoyalSlider offers in its package. All of those demo previews are for you to fully optimize and customize to your own liking.
Master Slider—WordPress Responsive Touch Slider
The pro version of Master Slider gives you animation tools to create interactive slides that you won’t find anywhere else ever unless, of course, the person who has created an animated slide has also used Master Slider.
The animation engine is quite simple. You can select a range of elements or images and then specify their appearance times through a timeline so that at the end you get an interactive and animated slider that pops out content much like an animation video does. Overall, the animation interface reminds us of tools like Final Cut Pro and iMovie where you create something based on the timeline settings.
Not enough to convince you? How about the ability to add “hotspots” over your slide content? These hotspots can then act as tooltips to display vital information about the slide you’re showing off. Essentially, it becomes an invaluable asset for e-commerce digital stores that want to explain products through an interactive slide widget.
Slider Pro—Responsive WordPress Slider Plugin
The Slider Pro solution gives you an AIO (all-in-one) platform to create and modify slides that will appeal not only to bloggers but also to those who do more than just publish stories. The features we found most interesting include smooth animations built using CSS3, a set of animated layers to overlay your images with, a collection of stylish effects that make the slide stand out from the rest of the page, the possibility to scroll through all slides with infinite scrolling (so you can add as much content as you want), lazy image loading to ensure that no performance points are lost during the loading of the site (showing users pictures that they’re trying to view only), and the coverage of search engine performance, so using Slider Pro won’t affect your overall search engine rankings.
Accordion Slider—Responsive WordPress Plugin
Accordion Slider is a creative slider. As the name implies, this slider will show your content in an accordion style. This is perfectly suitable for fashion designer websites that want to promote the latest season sales.
Which slider plugin is the best?
The best choice for you is the one that can meet your feature requirements. Choose one that integrates well with your existing design, but don’t forget that many of these slider plugins do have customization options, which means that their design could be altered to reflect the color and image schemes you’re already using. It’s all about being persistent in using a single plugin and not giving up on it straight away. It certainly is a trend among WordPress bloggers to try something for five minutes and simply trash it. That shouldn’t be the case with these sliders. Although there are many varieties, we made sure to feature only those that have truly helped people to provide a better user experience to their readers.