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The Best Free And Paid WordPress Slider Plugins

Posted on May 1 by in Resources | 88 comments

The Best Free And Paid WordPress Slider Plugins

Sliders are great for highlighting your best content, publicizing important news, and showing off cool photographs and videos. Online shops also use them to promote special offers and important products.

Over the last few years, I have noticed that sliders have become an integral part of many free and premium WordPress themes. These themes allow you to highlight key content on your home page.

Do not worry if your theme does not have an option to display a slider as there are many plugin solutions available that let you insert a slider directly into your website. These plugins can be used to insert a slider into your website design or your content area.

In today’s article, I would like to show you the best free and premium slider plugins that are available for WordPress. I hope you enjoy the list.

Len Slider (FREE)

Len Slider is a slider plugin that uses jQuery and CSS3 effects for animations. It can be used to develop carousels or slideshows. Many different skins can be selected too.

With the plugin only adding one query to your website, Len Slider is one of the most efficient slider plugins available.

Len Slider

Len Slider is a simple slider solution that allows an unlimited number of sliders.

Soliloquy (FREE / $19+)

Soliloquy is a responsive slider plugin that lets you create beautiful sliders in just a few minutes. It allows meta information to be added to images to improve search engine optimization and supports swiping for touch enabled devices.

The pro version of the plugin includes support for video playback. It also includes a range of add ons including Instagram integration, Pinterest integration, lightbox support, cropping, and thumbnails.

Soliloquy

Soliloquy is easy to use and the final output looks fantastic.

Cyclone Slider 2 (FREE)

Based upon the jQuery powered slideshow plugin Cycle2, Cyclone Slider 2 is a versatile slider that supports images, videos, testimonials, and HTML.

Slides are responsive so look good on any device. It also supports random slides and comes with a widget to display sliders. Images can also be imported from NextGEN Gallery.

Cyclone Slider 2

Cyclone Slider 2 is easy to use and supports videos and HTML.

Smooth Slider (FREE)

Smooth Slider is a useful WordPress plugin that lets you create slides for featured posts, pages, images, and custom post types. It has a responsive design and features six transition effects.

Slides are optimized for search engines and for mobile users. Recent posts and categories can be used to power slides and you can customize the background of each slide.

Smooth Slider

Smooth Slider may not be as stylish as some other slider plugins, however it has a lot of great features.

SlideDeck 2 (FREE / $49+)

SlideDeck 2 is an interesting plugin that lets you create responsive slides from almost anything. The free version of the plugin allows you to pull content from your blog posts, YouTube, Flickr, and Pinterest. The premium version offers ten more content sources such as Google+ posts, Facebook, Instagram, and Vimeo.

Unique styles can be applied to slides. Known as lenses, these styles allow you to change the look of slides in many unique ways. Three lenses are included with the free version, though more are available if you upgrade.

SlideDeck

SlideDeck is highly configurable and very simple to use.

Easing Slider (FREE / €19.99+)

Easing Slider is a lightweight responsive slider that only adds 16kb to your total page size. It features CSS3 transitions, preloading functionality to ensure your slider loads right away, and a visual editor for styling your slides. Images can be added to slides directly from your existing WordPress media library.

Easing Slider Pro includes support for YouTube and Vimeo video playback. It also includes technical support.

Easing Slider

Easing Slider will help you create beautiful slides in minutes.

EasyRotator (FREE)

EasyRotator is a handy plugin that lets you add responsive photo rotators and sliders into your posts or pages. A widget is also available to let you add images directly into your website design.

Slides can be created with recent posts or featured posts. Video and audio is also supported and mobile users can use touch to move through slides. Forty five templates are included with the plugin so you have a lot of flexibility over how slides are displayed. EasyRotator is also optimized for search engines.

EasyRotator

EasyRotator is a practical solution that has support for images, video, and audio.

Meta Slider (FREE / $19+)

Meta Slider is a fast slideshow plugin that can pull images from your WordPress media library. It includes four types of slider: Flex Slider 2, Nivo Slider, Responsive Slides, and Coin Slider. Slides are optimized for search engines and can be inserted into widgets or into content with shortcodes.

The pro version of the plugin features animated layer slides, post feed slides, video slides, HTML slides, and thumbnail navigation.

Meta Slider

The free version of Meta Slider offers four different types of slides.

Responsive Slider (FREE)

A basic slider solution that lets you add a responsive slider to your theme, post, or page. In comparison to other slider plugins, it does not offer many settings.

The width and height of slides can be defined in the settings area. You can also choose the time delay between slides and the length of time for animations to execute.

Responsive Slider

Responsive Slider is a simple slider that comes with two transition effects.

WOW Slider (FREE)

WOW Slider has a peculiar set up. Rather than upload your slides directly, you need to download the WOW Slider application for Windows or Mac. You then create your slides on the application, save your slide as a zip file, and then upload that zip file to your website. Next, you insert the slides you created into your post or page using a shortcode.

The application features lots of templates and produces search engine friendly slides that are optimized for touch enabled mobile devices. It is a lightweight solution too with slides only adding between 4kb and 12kb to your total page size.

WOW Slider

WOW Slider has a huge number of slide templates available.

Slider Revolution ($19)

Slider Revolution is the best selling slider plugin on CodeCanyon. It is easy to see why. The plugin can produce beautiful slides from your posts, images, videos, and more.

It offers a huge amount of options on how navigation, captions, and transitions, are displayed. Slides are responsive and allow mobile users to navigate by swiping. Check out the demo to see how good its slides are.

 Slider Revolution

Slider Revolution looks fantastic and boasts a huge amount of features and customization options.

RoyalSlider ($24)

RoyalSlider is a responsive touch enabled slider that allows you to display posts, HTML, Videos, Flickr, Instagram, and custom post types such as WooCommerce items.

Multiple sliders can be added to a page and there are four unique skins that can be applied to slides. The CSS of skins can be edited directly through the plugin.

RoyalSlider

RoyalSlider can display slides from many different sources.

LayerSlider ($18)

LayerSlider is a beautiful responsive slider plugin that is known for its stylish animation effects. It features over two hundred transition types, three navigation types, and thirteen unique skins.

The plugin is optimized for search engines and uses lazy loading to ensure fast loading of slide content. Images, video, and audio, are all supported. Every aspect of slides can be customized through the admin area, from the styling of slides, to the way that videos play.

LayerSlider

LayerSlider offers a huge number of transition effects and customization options.

Slider PRO ($25)

Slider PRO is a useful slider plugin that features over one hundred and fifty options and over one hundred possible transition effects. It can load any type of content from your website including posts, pages, and custom post types. It can also display images, Flickr photos, and videos.

Slides are responsive and touch enabled for swiping through content. It also includes fifteen different theme skins for styling your slides.

Slider PRO

Slider PRO offers includes over one hundred transition effects and allows multiple sliders on one page.

TouchCarousel ($21)

TouchCarousel is a cool slider plugin that displays your posts in slides. As the name suggests, the plugin allows mobile users to navigate through slides by swiping. It is optimized for search engines and offers twenty different options over your layout and the way slides are displayed

Four unique layouts for slides and five different skins are included. Slides can be inserted directly into templates using PHP or into posts and pages using shortcodes.

TouchCarousel

TouchCarousel is optimized for mobile devices and features beautiful CSS3 transitions.

Responsive Zoom In/Out Slider ($18)

A beautiful responsive slider plugin that zooms into the image that is being displayed. It also supports YouTube and Vimeo videos.

Three skins are included with the theme and you can display animated text on top of slides. The final result looks very professional.

Responsive Zoom In/Out Slider

Responsive Zoom In/Out Slider helps you create professionally styled slides in minutes.

Next Slider ($20)

Last on our list is Next Slider; a responsive jQuery powered slider that has support for images and videos. Built upon WooThemes’ FlexSlider toolkit, it allows multiple sliders to be added to the same page and features slide and fade transitions.

Multiple settings can be controlled via the admin area including the transition effect and the time that a slide is displayed.

Next Slider

Next Slider

Did your favorite WordPress slider plugin make the list? If not, please feel free to share it with us in the comment area below :)

88 Comments

    • I would suggest to checkout SliderVilla for deeply integrated sliders with WP. I am talking about fetching and placing different meta information and playing with data on featured slider.

  1. I loved it!, Especially Revolution slider, which I have used in some projects. However, did you include some of these transitions in Divi 2.0? I love using the Divi Slider, although it has some limitations. Would be great if you include more dynamism in the slider.

  2. I just added the Cyclone Slider 2 to the right sidebar on my homepage if anyone wants to take a look: http://firstquarterfinance.com

    The plugin is really beautiful and intuitive. Can’t wait to keep playing around with it.

    Thanks, Kevin for another killer post!

    • Yes william, is a handy slider! thanks for the experience

    • Adam – slider not showing up for me from that link… just a shadow. Wait… images just showed up… took about a minute. Not a good ad for Slider Pro. Now images are gone… just a shadow. Maybe a group of slides are not loading?

      • It loads immediately for me. What browser are you using? Thanks for the feedback!

        • I’m using Chrome… just checked it in Firefox – same thing. Could just be me… ask a friend to check it out. Clear your cache and try again – just in case.

        • Hi Adam,
          Nice looking website!

          My experience was similar to Bob’s. Using Firefox, it took over a minute for the slider to begin showing. Then after showing more than a dozen (very nice) photos, it went blank, showing just the shadow for another minute+.

          Then it started the show again. It acts like it needs to reload the entire photo set after showing it once.

          Stacy

        • Adam – I have the same problem with Chrome on Mac, just see shadow on all the pages except the home page. Never see the actual slides.

      • Adam, just a shadow for me in FF, no pictures.

  3. Awesome list! Definitely would have come in handy when I was looking for a new (free) slideshow option for my own site. I’m newly a fan of the Meta Slider plugin (http://wordpress.org/plugins/ml-slider/) for simple, clean, and unobtrusive slideshows. There’s a pro upgrade available, but I’m more than happy with the free version.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Thanks Kristina. Meta Slider seems to be growing in popularity. I have seen a few websites using it.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      The second design looks great. Are you from Barranquilla yourself? :)

        • Because this post i decided it to buy the LayerSlider for my web site which is great, thank you kevin for your great post.
          here is my site
          ww.agenciadigitalcolombia.com.co/

    • Great Job, Thanks for the slider tip. Divi’s amazing isn’t it? :-)

    • Nice clean Divi look. I’m finding hard NOT to build with Divi!

  4. Hi Kevin
    I like the look of LayerSlider ($18)

    I’ve never bought anything from CodeCanyon / Envato and it looks as though you have to subscribe.

    Anybody using LayerSlider?

    • I’ve tried LayerSlider, but I like Slider Revolution better. Especially if you want a full screen slider.

      • I found Layer Slider easier to setup than Revolution. Both came with a theme I’m using. the Layer Slider is on the home page http://betteconsulting.com/

        It is set to be full screen and responsive.

    • Hi Keith,

      I personally started using CodeCanyon about half year ago and I am loving it so far. There are so many talented plugin developers out there.
      And at the very beginning I have bought Royal Slider plugin and it was and still is by far the best slider plugin I have ever used. Highly recommend!
      It’s also one of the highest rated plugins on CodeCanyon.

      Timur

      • Kevin Muldoon

        Yeah there are a lot of great developers working through there. Some fantastic plugins can be purchased for just a few dollars.

    • May be Royal Slider wouldn’t the most convenient slider if you are going to use layers a lot as you would need to write HTML markup for layers to work, but apart of that ticks all the boxes for me :)

    • Keith – I’m using LayerSlider on this site http://www.wpbowlingsupply.com/ home page. I found it easy to setup. I played with the text slide in timing settings and effects. Still learning.

    • Layer Slider is fantastic. Allows the user to be very creative with it if you are willing to put in the time.

      Doing some experimentation with it and Divi here http://www.mementofilm.net/demoslider2/ Seems to work except I am having some sizing issues when it comes to embedded videos.

      The URL above is also using it although the wordpress theme is not made by Elegant Themes.

    • Yeah, LayerSlider “looks” good, but don’t go near it. I’m now on my third paid theme that states it supports LayerSlider, but not one of them do. Some sliders are missing images, all those great transitions promised don’t work. Even the promised export/import feature didn’t work for months until they finally acknowledged it and issued a new release to correct it. Oh, and it’s not a release you can get if you got it bundled with a theme. You’re stuck.

      Kreatura blames the theme developer. The theme developer blames Kreatura and you end up holding the bag. It’s cost me at least two hundred hours of grief, not to mention my site has been down for over a month while they fight it out. Find a slider that actually works. Stay away from this one.

  5. Eclat Kevin, next is how to integrate any of these sliders into Divi. While I love layered and Revolution sliders, it takes a designer and detailed part of psyche to get up the sliders to work like pro. Edwin tried but the fascinating gem of rev slider wasn’t shown really (Edwin I’m not picking on your work ok). However, Kevin, I need your aid here, what plugin can I use to slideshow my blog post that will look or have a close operation like this medical site? http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/living-with-insomnia-11/slideshow-insomnia

    Thanks for the premium posts. Cheers:D

    • Kevin Muldoon

      I am not sure if a specific plugin matches that exact design, though many of the plugins mentioned in this article come with dozens of templates and skins. I imagine there is a solution out there that will do something similar.

      • ok kevin, thanks.

  6. +1 for Meta Slider – really easy to use and even the free option is fully featured.

    Loving all the blog posts at the moment as well. I am getting to the stage where I am looking forward to them in the evening now :) Well done

    • I must agree @Steve, I really like the Meta Slider… Sometimes effectiveness is found most within simplicity. Love the blog Kevin! I must say… I tried out the WOW Slider – totally excited! – installed and creating my first slide and then — BAM! — Total disappointment to see their stupid watermark in my images…

      Might as well not make a slider free if you’re gonna watermark it… guess that’s marketing though and great marketing… Cheers!

  7. Thanks for the fine post.

    I’ve been a happy user of Slider Revolution for a couple of years now, and it was nice to see your views on some of the others….

    ==>jim

  8. So …. everyday you add a new post to your blog. it’s nice …. but it’s definitively not for read your blog than we paid a yearly membership … Since the 18th july, you have released only one theme. One theme in 9 month … I think i will not renew my membership and see elsewhere where they release at least 1 theme by month

    • You can read about our new theme development in the Theme Sneak Peeks category. If you are not interested in any of our other posts, then there is no need to browse other sections. Our blog team and development team are completely separate, and these posts do not affect the progress of new themes.

      Creating a new theme every month is not our plan. We already have a ton of great themes, and from now on we will be spending much more time on the products we create to ensure that they are truly spectacular and can actually add value to our offering.

      • Nick,
        Well said!!!
        I am very happy with your new approach to Elegant Themes. The development side is so much more strategic and the blog posts these days are so helpful.
        I applaud the company’s new direction and look forward to using more of the wonderful resources you are designing for elegant theme members.
        Divi Rocks – btw…
        Thanks for everything…

  9. Great list. I personally like and us the revolution slider. I’ll take a look a some od the others you’ve mentioned.
    Thanks

  10. Thanks for all these awesome blog posts recently.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      You’re welcome Dan. More great posts are in the pipeline :)

  11. Thanks Kevin, incredible collection. I’m quite familiar with the premium segment, but free sliders came as a great surprise. Easy Rotator has the exact functionality I was looking for.

    Thanks a lot.

  12. I’m looking for a best slider for my homepage and I found huge collection of that,thanks for sharing.

  13. Hi Nick

    Thanks for the awasm post on slider, I was looking for that.

    pradip

  14. Great post… frustrating the Divi doesn’t allow third party sliders, any plans to change that??? :)

  15. Help needed peeps – which one to buy:

    Slider Revolution ($19)

    Or

    LayerSlider ($18)

    They both look fabulous.

  16. As an update to my previous post, I spent about 6 hours yesterday testing sliders. I was going to go with Soliloquy because I love the developers other plugin OptinMonster. Having tried it though, despite the speed claims on their site, I found it to be a lot slower than some other options. In the end I implemented MetaSlider to the front page of my Divi Template at http://www.dancarrphotography.com . I found that MetaSlider loads things incredibly quickly and doesn’t display a “loading wheel” which always puts me off. Their support was also very responsive to a question I had and the interface is intuitive. Another note is that I also have tried WooSlider, don’t worry…. I understand why this wasn’t on your list, but I don’t recommend it anyway. It was also a lot slower than some of the other options out there. So for me -> MetaSlider for the win and it’s also one of the cheapest options to get Post sliders or Featured Content sliders, an option that many sliders don’t have, or charge extra for.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Glad you found a good slider. Sounds like MetaSlider is a great option.

  17. Bookmarked it to my WP resources folder :) Definitely a great resource. I’ve personally never used any paid sliders, put I think I might give Slider Revolution a try. The one that i am currently using is WOW slider, and it’s great!

    Thanks :)

  18. SliderVilla http://slidervilla.com is a hub of WordPress sliders with awesome features and deep integration with WordPress. Some of the exclusive features are,

    1. Author based slider
    2. Unlimited Setting Sets to get Unlimited Sliders
    3. Multiple Sliders on Single Page
    4. 100% customization ready
    5. RSS Feed based Slider
    6. Auto fetch images from multiple sources
    7. Lifetime support and updates, no recurring charges
    8. Very lightweight plugin and SEO ready

    Even Smooth Slider is developed by the same developers who are behind SliderVilla.

    This is a really nice list on Elegant and I liked it but one should definitely checkout SV for multiple designs and 12+ different sliders for WordPress.

  19. It’s very useful, thanks a lot!

  20. Whilst the round up is very comprehensive it leaves one more confused, it would have been better if you created some means of grouping and comparing them, perhaps testing speeds of pages with the sliders installed using the same basic slides.

    Perhaps other members of the community could add the issues they have had with sliders, incompatibility, too complex to implement, not portable between themes as well as the minimum featureset they now demand, then you could create a followup providing some comparison testing etc.

    Also you do not choose your top choice or top three.

  21. Kevin, which slider is used in the Elegant Themes responsive themes? We are looking at switching to one of your themes.

    On another site we are using a theme that came with the Revolution Slider but it was absolutely tanking the site! Really slowing it down. I have see other similar comments about the Revolution Slider out on the web.

  22. Is there a slider included with Divi that allows dynamic selection of slides from posts or categories, or custom post types?

  23. Have you ever used Smart Slider 2? I was looking at using it or Revolution Slider. What do you think?

  24. I have recently installed Divi 1.4 in a wordpress 3.9.1 setup, and can´t use the sliders (“regular” and full width). The ADD NEW SLIDE button doesn´t react, and if I load a sample layout, it works in the front end but it´s not possible to edit the slider.
    Does it have a solution (other than downgrading to the previous wordpress version) or I need to renew my suscription to purchase Divi 2?
    Thanks in advance. BTW amazing themes and plugins!

  25. Hi nice article.
    It did help me in picking up a nice slider for one of my website clients.
    I do recommend Meta Slider that is here in the list. I am using it and I do think it is very useful.

  26. Great set of sliders. Ended up getting the RoyalSlider and loving it. Works great with my freebie NextGen 2.0.

  27. RokSprocket is a premium free.

  28. I like Easy Rotator Slider and its just a awesome plugin because it is lite weight plugin and loads images quickly.It attracts the user to click the image easily.Thanks for sharing additional slider’s,Will try them also.

  29. Great post! Sliders are a great and innovative way to publish design themes. Also, the plug-in options for this are extensive, but easy to use.

  30. I have a massive amount of slides to publish in a slideshow, can you recommend a slider without an upload limit?

  31. Summing up that slider will be the best choice in terms of safety?

  32. Wow, wonderful collection and many of them i have not heard before. Thanks for sharing.

  33. Glad to see your recommending the Revolution Slider, i’ve used it in conjunction with your Divi theme however the only part that doesn’t work is that when it is displayed on a smartphone i.e. iPhone your theme disables it and doesn’t show it. Any way of fixing this?

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