What is a slider?

WP Rocket - WordPress Caching Plugin

A slider (also known as carousel or slideshow) is a web page visual element used to display a slideshow on your website.

A slider is typically located at the top of the web page to showcase images, videos, or text, one slide after another. This transition usually takes place automatically or with the click of a button.

Adding a slider could help in visually capturing the attention of your visitors and engaging them on your homepage, landing page, or even blog posts.

In this article, I’m going to present to you the 6 best freemium WordPress slider plugins!

What to look for in a slider plugin

Here’s a word of caution for you; not all sliders will do wonders on your WordPress website.

There is a lot of buzz going around that sliders will negatively impact your website’s performance on SEO, page loading time, user experience, click-through rates, and even conversions.

So, before you add a slider plugin on your web page, make sure it includes these must-have features:

  1. Speed: The first thing that you need to make sure of is that the slider images load instantly;
  2. Responsiveness: Select a slider that is fully responsive and works flawlessly on any mobile or tablet devices;
  3. SEO friendliness: Slider images should include title, alt text, links, etc., but not H1 tags (at least not on every slide) and flash usage;
  4. Ease of use: Simple drag and drop feature, with shortcodes, lets you create sliders within minutes;
  5. Customization: The ability to change the look and feel of your image slider in order to add that special touch.

Top 6 WordPress slider plugins

To make things easier for you, I have shortlisted the 6 best slider plugins for WordPress.

1. WP 1 Slider

WP 1 Slider

The WP 1 Slider is feature-rich, with premium-like qualities for free! It comes with several important features that any webmaster would want.

  • Unlimited sliders;
  • Separate slider, caption, and page settings;
  • Easy to use;
  • Easy enable/disable option;

WP 1 Slider offers you a highly customizable, easy-to-use plugin that any WordPress novice could use. Yes, even your grandparents!

2. Responsive Slider by Motopress

Motopress slider plugin

Another easy to use slider is Responsive Slider by Motopress. It’s built-in drag and drop functionality allows you to create tons of sliders with no hassle and in no time. It also offers SEO-friendly slides, so you don’t have to worry about trying to figure that part out!

  • Intuitive drag and drop interface;
  • Swipe navigation;
  • Layer effects and styles.

3. Soliloquy Lite

Soliloquy Slider Plugin

Soliloquy is a secure and robust slider plugin. It’s optimized to give you the best performance. With 3 available tabs allowed, it won’t be hard to master this SEO-friendly, responsive slider plugin.

  • Featured content slider;
  • Lightbox / PDF / WooCommerce slider;
  • Schedule slides;
  • Very easy to use.

For extra useful features, such as native video support and 10+ add-ons that can extend the functionality of the slider, check out the Pro version (affiliate link).

4. Slider WD

WD Slider Plugin

Slider WD could easily be the best slideshow plugin. It includes:

  • Full-width support;
  • Live previews;
  • Design customization;
  • Post slides;
  • Filmstrip and video slider support;
  • Layers.

Slider WD has a highly customizable process, which may take you a little bit to learn, but once you do, it will be worth it. You can define dimensions, alignment, effects, and background.

Even if it can take a bit to get used to it, it doesn’t require you to be an experienced webmaster, so don’t be scared.

5. SlideDeck

SlideDeck Slider Plugin

Since it’s inception, SlideDeck has evolved from a mere image slider to a feature-rich content slider. With SlideDeck’s latest version 5, it gets even more easy to create an SEO friendly WordPress slideshow, with a responsive slider and smooth transitions.

  • Fully responsive slider;
  • Touch swipe;
  • Social media slides;
  • Mixed slider (image, video, and text);
  • Quick support.

You can download SlideDeck for free and make your first responsive slider within minutes. Yes, it’s that easy!

6. Smart Slider 3

smart slider

Smart Slider 3 can be a great free alternative of many premium sliders, but it’s much more than a simple image slider.

It has a live visual editor that allows you to design each slide with layers the way you want.

It comes packed with great features, such as:

  • Slide library;
  • Responsive and mobile friendly;
  • Dynamic source (Post slider);
  • SEO;
  • YouTube and Vimeo slides;

Smart Slider 3 is the most popular in terms of active install growth in 2019. Also, it’s the best-rated slider, with 500+ 5-star reviews.

The free version is really outstanding, but if you want more than that, you can buy Smart Slider 3 Pro which has even more features.

Conclusion

The best WordPress slider will depend on what exactly you’re looking for.

Whether you’re in the market for the best slideshow plugin, like Slider WD, or the best slider in general, like SlideDeck, it all depends on your knowledge level, personal preference, and what you want to use it for. In the end, you can’t go wrong with any of these five plugins.

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