One of the reasons WordPress is such a powerful platform for building great blogs and websites is thanks to the large amount of available plugins. These make it easy to add a variety of elements to your site such as photo galleries, video players, calendars, social media tools, and much more. The best part? Usually a plugin takes just a few clicks to start using.
For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be doing a series of posts about different WordPress plugins and how they can help enhance your website or blog. The first type of plugin we’ll examine: webpage sliders.
Chances are you’ve been to at least one (if not several) websites that feature sliders. They usually occupy the top section of a website, and present large images and bits of information that rotate automatically. Think of them as billboards for a website. They’ve become popular among professional websites and blog sites alike. Sliders not only aesthetically draw in visitors, but provide a powerful medium with which to share information.
If you were to create a slider on your own, the task would be daunting. There’s typically a great amount of coding involved in creating good sliders. But with a WordPress plugin, you’re just a few clicks away from featuring a professional, elegant slider right on your website. Most slider plugins require no coding at all!
There are several hundred slider plugins out there to choose from and it can feel a bit overwhelming when trying to decide which best fits your needs. So to help, we’ve provided a few recommendations here that address a range of needs.
This is a beautiful, free, and easy-to-use plugin. It comes with multiple styling options, such as: image linking, pagination, next/previous buttons, three different shadow types, seven different types of preloading icons, padding and border settings, and lots more. Easing slider also comes in a pro version for those looking for a more unlimited tool. To see a demo of this slider in action, click here.
(image courtesy of http://www.easingslider.matthewruddy.com/)
Nivo is a sleek and powerful slider tool. It has easy-to-use features coupled with step-by-step video tutorials to help you every step of the way. Nivo comes on two platforms: jQuery for advanced web designers and the WordPress version for users who want to avoid the coding hassle. It gives you the ability to create multiple sliders and makes editing them a breeze thanks to simple drag and drop features. Nivo also includes prebuilt themes and the option for full CSS personalization. One the most popular features from Nivo is their automatic cropping and sizing feature. If your image is too big or too small, don’t worry, Nivo will ensure that they come out perfectly in your slider. For a live demo of Nivo, click here.
(image courtesy of http://nivo.dev7studios.com/)
This slider is focused to those looking for a slider featuring content. Content Slider by SlideDeck is capable of incorporating various kinds of media, such as images, video, and audio. This content focused slider is available in both a Pro & Free “Light” version. As a WordPress plugin, Content Slider runs on a graphical interface, so don’t worry about coding. One bonus: all the content included on your sliders is completely indexable by search engines. View live demo of Content Slider by SlideDeck, click here.
(image courtesy of http://www.slidedeck.com/)
These are just a few of the many slide plugins available through WordPress. Hopefully these recommendation can help you find the best slider option to suit the needs of your website or blog. If you need more alternatives, you can find additional sliders plugins here. And if you have any sliders you would like to recommend, just name them in the comments.
Stay tuned for the next part of plugin series: photo galleries!