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Oct 15 2016

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Our Top 3 Favorite WordPress Gallery Slider Plugins

by Guest Writer:

~ 4 min read. ENJOY!

Content/Gallery sliders are almost a no-brainer these days. Clients will no doubtably request a few different types of sliders (full width and carousel) on the home page. They’ll sometimes even ask for an option to add sliders on internal pages.

Even though content sliders are frequently used, they are certainly not overused and are extremely valuable to a website. They provide the ability to deliver a great chunk of quick, yet useful, information within a small area of the website. This means you have more possibility for viewer engagement, it also increases the number of internal links (great for SEO), and hey, helping out with aesthetics and functionality of the website never hurt anybody, right?.

I’ve been able to use a few stellar slider plugins while working on WordPress websites for clients over the years. Below you’ll find a few sliders I’ve enjoyed working with so far.

Owl Carousel

Owl Carousel is one of my new favorite sliders. It’s sleek and easy to use. There are plenty of customizable options you can check out here. And if you have a bit of knowledge jQuery, even just enough to be a little dangerous (like me), you can definitely make this slider do some amazing things!

This is a stand-alone jQuery slider, not a WordPress plugin, but if you know how to use WordPress queries, you’ll be able to add this to your website in no time!

Here’s a a of basic snippet using the default post query. We’ll be calling the post’s featured image and link the post itself.

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//Owl Carousel Container
 
<section class="owl-carousel">
    //WordPress Query
    <?php if(have_posts()) : while(have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
    //Item Container
 
<article class="item">
        //Featured Thumbnail
        <?php the_post_thumbnail("full"); ?>
    </article>
 
    //End Query
    <?php endwhile; endif; ?>
</section>

So take a look at their demo section to see all the amazing options and features Owl Carousel provides!

Flexslider

When I started trying to teach myself front-end web development, I tested out a number of different sliders. Not knowing exactly what I was looking for, nor knowing exactly what I was doing (I still make it up as I go haha), it was just a copy-past game, to see what sticks. Even though some things never change, now I do know what to look for, and know how to customize the functionality the way I need.

Before I was able to do that, there wasn’t really any easily customizable slider plugins I was able to play with, until I came across WooCommerce’s Flexslider. This was easy to implement into my websites, it has excellent documentation, and the functionality out-of-the-box was exactly what I was looking for in a slider. On top that, getting it working inside of WordPress was pretty simple as well.

We’ll take a look at a quick snippet below to work with this inside of WordPress. 

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//Flexslider Container
<section class="flexslider">
   <ul class="slides">
      //WordPress Query
      <?php if(have_posts()) : while(have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
       //Item Container
      <li>
         //Featured Thumbnail
         <?php the_post_thumbnail('full'); ?>
      </li>
      //End Query
      <?php endwhile; endif; ?>
   </ul>
</section>

WooCommerce also has a full WordPress Plugin version called WooSlider you can purchase for $49.00 if you’re not interested in manually using the slider. Take the stand-alone version for a spin before you cough up the money. It’ll be worth the effort, and you’ll learn a thing or two!

Slider Revolution

Slider Revolution does not have a stand-alone version, but the amount of options within this plugin is outstanding. It comes fully loaded with drag and drop placement options for adding text, images, links, CSS3 transitions, responsive etc. Pretty much if you think of it, it’ll do it? Sure why not.

It may be something you’ll want to check out if you’re looking for something quick with a vast amount of customization options. Definitely a very impressive plugin to use.

Conclusion

Always find something that works for you. The sliders listed above are invaluable, there’s plenty more out there, I’m sure. Give them a test drive and see how you like em. Let us know in the comments which are you favorites, and what you like best about them.

Topic(s):

  • Programming
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    Variety Studios is based out of Syracuse New York, specializing in web design and brand identity, plus more (just ask). We provide small and mid sized businesses affordable and professional solutions to their design needs.

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