Call them content sliders, slideshows, rotating images, or anything you want, these effects are here to stay. They’re great at showcasing your portfolio or to highlight some of the best content on your WordPress blog or website.
Here’s a list of the best free and premium content slider and slideshow plugins available for your WordPress sites.
Meta Slider is one of the most powerful slider plugins for WordPress, having a 5 star rating on wordpress.org, and according to its developer, receiving over 10,000 downloads per week. One of the main reasons for this is that it has 4 different slideshow types, all of which implement a drag-and-drop function to select your images from your WP media library, allowing you to edit each one. Be it setting captions for the images, or applying links, you can do all this from one page, while always being SEO optimized. The possibilities with this plugin seem endless, and you can view some of them on this examples page.
Personal $19 | Multi Site $39 | Developer $99
SlideDeck 2 is an easy to use slider plugin that offers multiple slider types, including images, videos, text and html. Each slider can be of one type, or a mix of different content types (from WP posts to Pinterest), even including multiple layouts and captions. It also has a drag-n-drop feature for the slides which works well with the sleek Live Preview it offers right in the custom UI. According to the developer, its use of 12 lenses and the large selection of sources and options available mean that there are over 29 million possible combinations.
Personal $49 | Professional $99 | Developer $119
Certainly one of the fastest responsive slider plugins out there, Soliloquy is a great plugin to showcase your images and videos. It allows for an unlimited amount of possible sliders, and the possibility of multiple sliders on the same page. Its UI is very similar to that of WP itself, and it offers a large variety of options to modify your slider. It also uses a drag-and-drop interface, enhanced by Ajax, to sort your images, all of which can in turn have their metadata edited. Another great touch (albeit using a developer license) are all the addons available for Soliloquy, which help you create some awesome looking sliders.
Personal $19 | Multi $49 | Developer $99 | Master $249
RoyalSlider is one of the most widely-used slider plugins on some of the best designed sites, including those of Ralph Lauren and of photographer Pep Karsten. It’s a fully responsive, flexible and fluid slider plugin that offers over 10 templates, 5 skins and 100 options. Not only that – when it comes to content, you can include images, videos, HTML content, and, furthermore, you can populate data from various locations such as Flickr, Instagram, and others. It might not offer a lot of cool transition effects, but what it does offer is a clean, good-looking content slider that works great every time, on every device.
Regular License $22 | Extended License $110
The Nivo Slider is world renowned and this jQuery plugin is completely free and open source receiving more than 3,000,000 downloads since launching in 2010. It makes displaying your gallery of images a beautiful experience, by using amazing transition effects ranging from slicing and sliding to fading and folding. The Nivo Slider WordPress plugin makes it super easy to create and manage multiple sliders on your WordPress sites. Using the WordPress backend you can create as many sliders as you need and include them in your posts and pages using a simple shortcode. You don’t need to touch any code!
Single Site License $29 | Extended License $49 | Developer License $99
Slider Revolution has been called one of the best slider plugins out there, and with good reason. Its developers call it an “all-purpose slide displaying solution”. Incorporating various customizable transitions, customizable drag-n-drop captions, the ability to pull content right from your posts and customise it, and WPML support, among many others, this is one of the most feature-filled plugins that exist. It even offers full screen possibilities and many, many slide navigation features.
Regular License $18 | Extended License $90
Being one of the best feature-filled slider plugins you can find, LayerSlider is a multi-purpose slider that offers you a vast range of options and customisation effects. The list of features is endless, but the main idea behind this plugin is to give your user the best experience upon visiting your site, while still keeping the slider smooth and responsive. It includes a drag-n-drop slider builder, real-time previews, Google Fonts, and much more. Its compatibility with other popular plugins such asWPML and qTranslate, and support of touch navigation are some of the extra plus points that LayerSlider offers.
Regular License $17 | Extended License $85
A very powerful and fully responsive plugin, Slider Pro gives you over 150 options and over 100 possible transition effects, ranging from simple ones such as slide, to complex effects like slice. You also get more than 15 skins, 7 scrollbars, and many more features ranging from dynamic content to video integration. Its admin area is very similar to the WordPress design, making it very user friendly for anyone, even the most beginner of users.
Regular License $28 | Extended License $140
Accordion Slider is a fully responsive and touch-enabled WordPress plugin that combines the functionality of an accordion with that of a slider. The Accordion Slider plugin brings the best of both worlds, offering a modern, intuitive and engaging user experience.
Regular License $20 | Extended License $100
Master Slider is a premium high quality designed image and content slider for WordPress with super smooth hardware accelerated transitions. It supports touch navigation with pure swipe gesture that you have never experienced before. It’s a truly responsive and device friendly slider which works perfect in all major devices. Master Slider is an awesome layer slider as well, with the ability of adding any HTML contents (texts, images, etc) in layers. You almost have everything in Master Slider which is the most complete among the best, hotspots, thumbnails, variety of effects, Video support and much more.
Regular License $19
UnoSlider is a jQuery content slider plugin with unlimited transition animations and a wide range of a features such as being touch enabled, having a mobile optimized interface, animated layers, responsiveness and a lot more. UnoSlider works in all modern browsers and mobile devices, as well as in older browsers, including IE7 and IE6.
Regular License $10 | Extended License $50
Show off your content the real way using the Premium Featured Posts Slider. Feature any post, page or custom post type with this plugin that includes 6 predefined layouts, global and per-post options and an intuitive admin GUI with inline help. It also includes features such as thumbnails, arrows and pagination slide controls, and it even uses your theme’s CSS styles.
Regular License $22 | Extended License $110
Meteor Slides makes it simple to create slideshows and publish them with a shortcode, widget or template tag. The slideshows scale with responsive and fluid themes to fit any device and have touch support. It’s powered by jQuery Cycle with over twenty transition styles to choose from.
Smart Slider 2 comes with an intuitive interface for backend, which makes easy for anyone to design beautiful sliders in minutes. Grab a new layer, move it on the canvas, finally drag&drop some items with your mouse and your slide is ready.
Cyclone Slider 2 is an easy-to-use slider plugin with an intuitive user interface. It leverages the built-in features of WordPress. It uses custom post for the slider, custom fields to store settings, and media uploader for the images. It also uses a template system that allows developers to easily customize the look and behavior of the slider. It’s a simple and flexible slider plugin.
With this gallery plugin you can easy upload images, create music and video playlists, create photo gallery, group pictures in photo slideshow and add descriptions for each image, mp3 or video – Grand Flagallery is the smart choice when showing the best of your product or describing in brief any event. Grand Flagallery can easily beautify your site with photo gallery, mp3 player, video player, banner rotator, nivo slider or nice slideshow widgets. It’s SEO optimized and even compatibile with Google Reader, FeedBerner, etc.
Easing Slider is an extremely easy to use slider plugin for WordPress. It is built to be lightweight and simple, enabling you to create beautiful sliders quickly and efficiently. It comes with many great features, some of which include being fully responsive & mobile ready, bulk image uploading, integrated with the new WordPress Media Library and CSS3 transitions for ultra smooth transitions.
Huge-IT Slider is a quick and easy way to add custom sliders to the WordPress websites (both to templates and posts/pages). The slider allows having unlimited amount of images with their titles and descriptions. The slider uses autogenerated shortcodes making it easier for the users to add it to the custom location.
SliderVilla is the first WordPress Slider Store with more than 15 best WordPress Slider plugins and 4 powerful add-ons. All sliders are responsive, SEO ready and optimized for the best performance.
As you can see, there are a variety of free and premium options for content slider and slideshow plugins. They all offer something of value that can add that extra spark to your site to entice more visitors to hang around.
Have you used any of the plugins above or any others? What are your thought on them? Leave us a comment below.
This post was updated on 22nd January, 2015, so certain comments below might refer to plugins that have since been removed.