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