There is only a handful of truly special WordPress plugin types and sliders have to one of the best. In fact, sliders are probably the most modern and popular plugin type for WordPress blogs. With a slider, you can highlight featured content, publish important announcements, and display your best content in a stylish fashion. Since a few years ago, sliders have become just as important for eCommerce storefronts. With the ability to display featured products and promote special deals, the need for slider plugins continues to grow and flourish.
We’ve covered the topic of content sliders extensively, so please explore our other posts for further inspiration:
- Best CSS Sliders for Web Developers
- WordPress Slider Plugins
- Best Responsive WordPress Themes With Slider
Then again, finding a plugin that flawlessly adapts to your theme isn’t the most straightforward of tasks. It’s true that many new WordPress themes come with some sort of slider support already, but depending on your website requirements you may want to consider external options. As a result, we have handpicked only the best and only free to download WordPress slider plugins. These sliders range from simple header image displays, to fully optimized sliders for established business and media websites. As is always the case with WordPress developers, some people like to go the extra mile to provide an outstanding user experience.
Meta Slider is one of the most frequently installed slider plugins for WordPress. It’s due to its intuitive and simplistic interface that makes it quick to create a slideshow of your liking. You can drag and drop your preferred images directly from your Media dashboard. When you do, adding captions and custom slide data is easy. At this time the Meta Slider supports four unique slider types: Flex Slider, Nivo Slider, Coin Slider, and Responsive Slides. In addition to ease of use, Meta Slider can automatically adjust SEO data for you.
Here are some of the best features:
- Full-width support for large images.
- Drag & Drop user interface for organizing slides.
- Real-time slide preview in the admin dashboard.
- Sophisticated cropping engine for adjusting image size.
- Support for shortcode and widget display.
- Custom effects and animations.
- Compatible with plugins that provide translation options.
- API access for developers who want to build on top of this plugin.
Once you have played around with the free version you might want to consider upgrading. The Meta Slider Pro includes additional tools for slider management. For example, you can add video files, load up backgrounds and animations using CSS3/HTML5. Furthermore, the premium plugin includes dynamic content sliders, premium themes, and a customer support service.More info / Download Demo
Responsive Slider by HUGE-IT
If you are craving for a way to improve your slider display on your blog, then Huge-IT Slider is for you. This slider plugin isn’t just about pretty design but also functionality. It bridges together two things, modern design and concise features for best possible slider display. Its performance is unmatched in this niche, especially in terms of import bulk amounts of images at once.
All images that you are adding can be managed using the drag and drop panel. It seems that majority of slider plugin developers are now adapting to the idea of adding a drag and drop functionality for slideshow management. If you want to place your final slideshows in custom areas of your site, then you can do so using a shortcode. Most of all, this is not just another attempt at getting onto the market. Sometimes designers create plugins that are useful only for a handful of sites due to their design limitations. In the case of Huge-IT Slider, you can adapt your slider to match the primary design palette of your site.
If you are planning to use this slider plugin for a serious publishing website, you may want to think about upgrading. The upgrade to the pro versions of this plugin brings in some additional features. Features such as, the ability to add video sliders, create sliders from blog posts, and full customization options of the appearance of each slide you make.More info / Download Demo
Master Slider is another community acclaimed slider. It boasts upwards of 100,000+ active installations and provides an insane amount of features. The Master Slider plugin is responsive design friendly, with the option to showcase content or static image slides. The transition effects of sliders are amplified with hardware acceleration, especially useful for mobile displays. Furthermore, it integrates touch and swipe features for better mobile experience. Because it is built based on the best WordPress development practices, you will experience performance levels like no other.
This plugin supports older versions of Internet Explorer (up to 8+) and works fine on every other modern web browser. Transition effects use CSS3 for animations and jQuery for loading them smoothly. The free plugin includes several slider transition effects at no cost, and also eight custom themes you can use. It is translation ready, compatible with multi-site blogs, and has an extended API for WP developers to use for their personal projects.
Despite its substantial feature base, the Master Slider remains as lightweight as possible. It prioritizes the performance of loading times more than anything else. If you upgrade to the pro version, you get loads of additional slider options. For example, the Pro upgrade includes sliders for WooCommerce, Facebook, and Flickr. Most of all, it adds superb background image and parallax effect tools.More info / Download Demo
Smart Slider 3
Smart Slider 3 is one of the newest slider plugins available for download, yet has surpassed the success of many other plugins. In addition to being an intuitive plugin, the Smart Slider delivers an exceptional workflow for adding any WordPress-based slider to your blog. The powerful features make up for the 80,000+ active installs this plugin has already. For example, using the accessible editor dashboard, you can create sliders using drag & drop with real-time preview. The Smart Slider is super compatible with WordPress, including the Media Library, Shortcodes, Widgets, and Posts.
The free version, which is enough by itself for medium sized blogs, gives you a choice of four slider templates. Nevertheless, adding new fonts and styles is not a big deal. Each slider item is layered based on six factors: the image, header title, custom text, extra button, and any additional video content from YouTube you may want to add. The back-end codebase scripts of Smart Slider are optimized by default and also adapt to SEO standards. If you are adding background images, you can select custom filler modes, like “fill screen” or “Stretch.” Likewise, the slides can play automatically, or you can enable manual browsing. Our best advice is to experiment. Not all themes/websites are compatible with auto-play features as they might hinder the user experience.More info / Download Demo
Slider by WD
With Slider WD you can build beautiful and responsive content sliders for your WordPress blogs or websites. This powerful plugin is perfect for quickly adding mobile-optimized sliders to your homepage or posts pages. Because Slider WD is based on a widgets concept, you can call the Slider WD function anywhere on the site. At this time, the Slider WD plugin supports adding videos from Vimeo and YouTube platforms. Most of all, the massive library of custom effects adds a unique feel to your slides.
When you add new images to your project, you can choose to upload using WordPress or by using an external image URL. Whenever you write posts with multiple image galleries, you can use the shortcode to insert your slider, rather than using WP galleries. Custom features include image watermarking, protection from image downloading, and universal design customization. Furthermore, when you upgrade your plan to Pro, you can enjoy additional benefits of 26+ transition effects and more than 35+ layer effects. Finally, the Pro upgrade adds social media buttons, parallax, carousel, and hotspot layers.
This slider plugin is of excellent caliber, please do yourself a favor and extensively study the documentation. You will find that it explains many unique ways of using Slider WD, for example, how to use the 3D effects.More info / Download Demo
Slider by Soliloquy
Soliloquy has a reputation in the WordPress community. These guys have built amazing products before, but their responsive WordPress slider is one that stands out the most. It’s easy to use, yet with powerful features, slider solution for personal blogs and business websites. If only they made it available for systems outside of WordPress. So, what makes Slider so amazing? First of all, it’s the Drag & Drop builder with support for Video and Image sliders.
Next up you have a responsive design, which automatically resizes your sliders for tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers. In addition to that, you do not have to design anything as there are free templates inbuilt into the slider dashboard. This Slider plugin is also the first one in our roundup that supports product slider displays from WooCommerce stores. The dynamic sliders option includes things like showcasing blog posts, social media posts, and things like testimonials.
The Soliloquy team has made sure that their competition will have a difficult time matching their perfection. Things like improved security and performance is what continues to attract new users each day. The team at Solilquy had one of the lead developers from WordPress to audit the codebase. Finally, independent benchmark tests have shown that this Slider plugin is up to twice as fast as the nearest competition.More info / Download Demo
Ultimate Image Slider
Weblizar is a reputable name amongst WordPress users. With countless successful plugins under their belt already, you can count on the Ultimate Responsive Image Slider to be of excellent assistance to your slideshow needs. The number one feature that Weblizar developers highlight themselves is the “limitless” capacity. Whether it is blog posts or homepages that you wish to add your sliders to, nothing is standing in your way to add unlimited numbers of sliders anywhere on your site. Save yourself some extra time by uploading ALL of your images at once. As we said, you can display multiple sliders on a single page, including, WordPress Pages and Posts. Elements like titles, descriptions, buttons, and thumbnails can be enabled or disabled on an individual basis.
The free version of the plugin is sufficient for any personal blog or a small business. However, you might be running a more editorial-oriented platform and do need a bit of extra functionality. In that case, consider investing in the PRO version. It is further provisioned with features like touch and carousel sliders, auto image adjustment, and additional layouts.More info / Download Demo
Instagram like any other social network is all about building a brand image. Whether you are a solo writer or a small business company, being engaged on Instagram is helpful to your business. You might think to yourself that sites like Facebook drive more customers to you, but the simple fact is that you never know where exactly the next customers is going to arrive from. It could be Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram as a matter of fact. It’s such an easy social network to use as well. Moreover, with hundreds of millions of monthly users, you don’t want to miss your chance at getting a slice of that pie.
The Instagram Slider Widget gives you a smooth widget that you can add to your blog. It can grab photos from any public profile, or from a specific hashtag. All images that this plugin shows are automatically downloaded on your WordPress website, and shown as local images. You can order Instagram photos by their date, how popular they are, or show them randomly. So in essence, it is a multi-functional Instagram widget. It’s slightly different from what you would expect for a standard WordPress slider to be, but we know the value of having as much social exposure on your site as possible.More info / Download Demo
Crelly Slider was one of the first sliders to integrate element animations, similar to what you would see in slideshow software like PowerPoint. This open-source slider feels friendly and meets the criteria for numerous occasions. Without any prior knowledge in programming, you can customize background images, background colors, and transition effects. The animated effects are done by jQuery, and tests have shown their compatibility with modern browsers, but also devices based on iOS and Android.
Because Crelly Slider has this animation engine, the best way to manage it is using the drag and drop interface. Instead of having to tinker with options panels, you can align images based on your creative goals. Likewise, you can switch from full-width to fixed-width, depending on your website style. At the moment the Crelly Slider serves roughly 10,000+ users, so you’re in good hands for sure.More info / Download Demo
WooCommerce Product Slider
What would eCommerce look like if it wasn’t for WooCommerce? It’s a tough question to answer, but regardless of what the answer might be, we are happy that this amazing plugin has remained consistent with quality and functionality. Unfortunately, not all WordPress slider plugins can integrate WooCommerce products, and while some do, it’s best to use a direct solution such as this plugin. The WooCommerce Product Slider allows you to display your products in a slider display style. The most prominent feature this slider has to offer is its countless slider styles. These styles cover the needs of the most popular WordPress themes.
It’s mobile ready, and equivalently to other plugins offers a limitless number of slider displays. You can set any number of items to show per any one slider; you can, in the same way, customize how many items to show in a single column. If you run a website with a boxed layout, it’s likely best to stick to smaller column sizes. The product slider navigation features include auto play, stop on hover, and also touch/mouse dragging. It’s a comprehensive plugin with thousands of users already and is surely amongst the best.More info / Download Demo
WordPress provides its users with an excellent blogging platform. Even without additional plugins or themes, the WordPress software is reliable and meets professional standards. However, thankfully, WordPress uses a separate Themes and Plugins system. This approach of external addons has helped WordPress to become the most popular blogging system in the world. Moreover, one of the best, if not the best, ways of making your site look and feel more authentic is through content sliders. These days you can’t spot a magazine or editorial blog without a slider added to it. It’s the easiest method for promoting your best content, and it’s also the philosophy that Smooth Slider is using at its core.
Smooth Slider functions as a carousel image slider at its core, but is flexible towards content sliders, page sliders, video and gallery sliders as well. This plugin is under the development of SliderVilla, which is another premium slider plugin that these guys are offering, and their quality of work is exceptional. You can go all in with customizing the URL structure of your slides while having the ability to limit the number of slides being shown. Moreover, if you own more than a single WordPress site, you can export your existing settings to use on your other sites as well.More info / Download Demo
Slider by Supsystic
Supsystic has published roughly 20~ WordPress plugins to date. The total number of users is in the 200,000~ range. For you, as a WordPress blogger, this means you are getting some high-quality work. Slider provides your WordPress website with a professional slider solution for images and blog content. You do not have to know any coding before using this plugin. It’s built with fully responsive design in mind, so naturally, it adjusts its design to modern smart devices. The main features are custom themes, custom slide building interface, shortcode support, custom captions, and thumbnails slider. If you want to go the extra mile, you can always grab the Pro version which gives you slider options for Video, Post Feeds, Carousels, and HTML Layers.
The main purpose of Slider by Supsystic is to engage your readers with stunning slideshow displays. The simplicity of this plugin is outstanding. Simply select the images you want to add, and quickly enter their titles and descriptions. That’s it. There’s nothing else left to do beyond that point. At the moment there is a special offer going around where you can get the PRO version at no cost to you, in exchange you have to translate the Slider into your language! Some of the languages available already are Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, and a few others.More info / Download Demo
Slider by GhozyLab
GhozyLab develops both themes and plugins. Their main niche for plugins is anything to do with images or visual graphics. With years of experience in the field, the GhozyLab team gives WordPress users a stellar, and free, solution for adding a custom slider to their site. The business module of GhozyLab is to provide two alternative versions of this plugin. First one is the Lite version, which you can download for free. The other one is the Pro version, which includes additional tools and functions to enrich your WordPress sliders. As for the Lite version, it’s perfectly suitable for any size website. You get a responsive slider that can show slides of images with custom animations and text. Furthermore, using a shortcode widget, you can put your sliders inside a post, a page, or a widgetized WordPress area.
Most of all, there’s nothing like having a simple interface that does most of the work for you. The best plugins are typically those that can achieve their intention with the least amount of required action. In the case of Slider by GhozyLab, you can start displaying your first sliders in just a few minutes. It’s remarkable the level of simplicity a slider plugin like this has to offer.More info / Download Demo
Easing Slider is an industry grade slider solution from Matthew Ruddy. It’s currently utilized at 80,000+ sites (the free version) and with many more thousands of premium users. While numerous WordPress plugins try to hit the nail in the coffin, it’s Matthew’s belief that his plugin that manages to hit the sweet spot. Without a doubt, the Easing Slider is integrated with amazing features, but that’s not the main focus. The focus of Easing Slider is to get your slides up and running in as quick fashion as possible. There’s almost zero learning curve you have to go through. The number of intuitive options remove the need to study the documentation extensively. However, as with any plugin, the documentation is the best place to learn how a plugin works.
So, one of the main things that set the Easing Slider apart from other similar plugins is the Addons extensions. With custom addons, you can add more tools and features to your existing slider workflow. For example, the basic addons include a lightbox, captions, and external images. The addons that are more advanced include thumbnail navigation, content feeds, carousel slides, and video format sliders.More info / Download Demo
In this roundup of the best free WordPress slider plugins, we are trying to emphasize a range of slider types. First and foremost, it’s the traditional sliders that you see on nearly every homepage these days. Then we have sliders like this, and a few others we mentioned already, that provide a utility for displaying other types of content within the slider format. In the case of Testimonial Slider plugin, you can add your personal customer feedback and reviews within a slider layout.
Typically, you will not be adding review sliders at the top of your page. However, they can be incredibly helpful somewhere within the homepage area. Most WordPress themes today support the full-on functionality of plugins like Visual Composer. If you can combine a layout builder with a smooth testimonials slider like this one, then you have a solid recipe for earning visitors trust. It’s no secret that users take reviews seriously, and what better way to showcase your professionalism than by putting the reviews out there yourself.
Furthermore, the testimonials have their post type. You can edit your customer reviews as separate posts and then edit or delete them accordingly. The input data available for each review includes a photo, name, business name, and website address. Of course, the description input as well. For now, you can select up to five free themes, and also filter testimonials based on categories.More info / Download Demo
Featured Content Slider
When you write an amazing blog post or an article, you naturally want to put it in front of your readers. Now, there are countless ways to do this. Each one different from one another. However, it seems that the most popular of them all is specific content sliders. As for this plugin, the WP Featured Content; you can create sliders with exactly that. Your best content. You can make two-column grids, or individual “featured” boxes that can be put anywhere using a shortcode. Similarly to the plugin above, the WP Featured Content module uses its custom post type. So your featured pieces are always separate from your main blogging posts.
There can be downsides to this, but it’s all about your intention for using this plugin. In our perspective, this plugin would be super useful for creating highlights of posts that would somehow benefit your business. For example, you could add featured content box at the end of each article where you promote your book. The way that the Featured boxes are displayed makes it a reasonable use option. With the shortcode, you can add many custom settings, like the design, grid style, category id, excerpt limit, display the read more button, and similar settings.More info / Download Demo
Cyclone Slider 2
Nico Amarilla is a passionate WordPress developer with a handful of successful plugins in his portfolio. One of which is the Cyclone Slider 2. An upgrade from the previous version, and has already accumulated over 70,000+ active WordPress installations. It’s something to be proud of, but we have to ask, what has made Cyclone Slider 2 so popular? Well, for starters, it’s an absolute breeze to use. The intuitive user interface comes forward every time to give you a streamlined slides structuring experience. It’s as simple as adding images, managing the settings, picking a template, and you can already publish. If only everything in life was that easy!
Cyclone Slider currently supports images, videos, HTML, and feedback sliders. It’s ready for translation with native RTL support. Moreover, if you don’t feel satisfied with the default demo templates, of which there are four, you can tap into the documentation to learn how to use the advanced templating system. It’s intended to be used by developers, so if you are a business with a contract developer, he will be able to edit the templates with ease.More info / Download Demo
The Slide Anything WordPress plugin is based on the Owl Carousel library. Owl Carousel is built with jQuery and supports both modern browsers and modern devices. So, the name is trying to tell us something. Slide “Anything,” but what does it mean? First of all, this plugin is mobile responsive with touch-enabled features. You can bootstrap slides for virtually any kind of content. Even if it’s plain HTML5! Needless to say, adding multiple sliders on the same page with a different design for each of them is just as amazing!
Once you install Slide Anything, you will see an added Sliders dashboard panel. Once you go in there, you can click the Add New Slider button and tap into the beautiful user interface. From this UI you can add your slides, and customize even the smallest of details. The final output is beautifully organized slides, ready to promote your amazing content to your audience.More info / Download Demo
iFeature Slider for CyberChimps is a trending WordPress slider with simple functionality. Sometimes that is all you ever need, just a little bit of simplicity. After installing the plugin, you can head over to the iFeature’s menu where you can either upload new images or use existing images from your Media Library. As soon as an image or images have been added, you have the option to customize the delay of slides, to change their transition time, or enable automatic sliding. While the iFeature Slider keeps its feature list modest, it’s still fully responsive and delivers on the promise of simplicity.More info / Download Demo
Slider Ultimate from Etoile Web Design is an up, and coming slider plugin with more than 3,000 installs already. It has managed to captivate the interest of WordPress bloggers with its impeccable design qualities. Within minutes of adding this plugin to your site, you can insert smooth and clean sliders (with responsive functionality) in any part of your site. The fact that it uses shortcodes helps you to insert your slides virtually in any location amongst your WordPress pages or posts.
There are no limits for how any slides you can create for each slider. Once you go deeper into the features, you can choose to create category-based sliders for unique content areas. Furthermore, the Slider Ultimate integrates with plugins like WooCommerce and Ultimate Product Catalog. So, the plugin is also perfect for WooCommerce stores. We had a thorough look at the demo examples, and we can see that the modern design and clean quality of the slides are what has made Slider Ultimate so successful already.More info / Download Demo
For example, if you are planning to create a posts-based carousel, you can choose from specific posts, or use custom categories and tags. The WooCommerce integration is an awful lot similar, where you can choose products based on tags, categories, ratings, and their selling ratio. Furthermore, it’s super lightweight because it does not load any junk files whenever they are not necessary. Instead, the Carousel Slider loads only the required files for one specific page. If you own a copy of Visual Composer, then you will also get a separate widget within the VC dashboard.More info / Download Demo
So, that was a great roundup of the best sliders for WordPress (free), but we have one more to highlight. It’s a newcomer to the market, but we couldn’t ignore the fact that Sangar Slider uses a very modern and high-quality dashboard interface. It’s similar to Revolution Slider in some ways. If you have used or seen RS before you will know how it works. The process of creating slides is much more streamlined. Instead of putting in random options, you can drag and drop every element and feature onto the image itself. It’s a lot like building a page with a page builder, with the only exception that you are building a slider!
Sangar has an optimized codebase which provides smooth animation effects. Developers can use the API to build addition features or extensions. Anyone can live-preview the Sangar Slider by using the demo login details provided on the download page. Have fun with this; it is pretty rad!More info / Download Demo