Best WordPress Slider Plugin: A Step Beyond Simple Slideshows

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Slider Revolution logo
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Layerslider logo
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Soliloquy logo

Pictures speak louder than words, perhaps nowhere better than on a website. But if you really want to wow your site’s visitors, simple pictures simply won’t suffice anymore. That’s where WordPress slider plugins come in, allowing you to do much more than display captivating images. The best WordPress slider plugins can give your site a dynamic, interactive experience for your visitors, complete with videos, improved navigation, highlighted site content and much more. Here, we review the best WordPress slider plugin options on the market with feature outlines, pros and cons, support reviews and more.

Best WordPress Slider Plugin Winners

Are you looking for a WordPress responsive slider? We’ve got you covered. All of the plugins we’ve reviewed here are fully responsive, meaning your site’s sliders will look outstanding on any device (the slider “responds” and resizes accordingly to the screen size, from a large wide projector screen to tiny flip phone). Other features we considered in our rankings include page load speed, usability, customization options, features, tech support and more.

Before we launch into our reviews, a word of caution about page load speed when using sliders. Sliders can really slow down your site if you’re not careful with your file sizes. And slider plugins use Javascript, typically jQuery, which load separately as scripts, so this too can affect your site’s performance. All of the WordPress slider plugins included in our article have solid reputations for fast loading speeds.

Slider Revolution Review

#1

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Slider Revolution is the best-selling WordPress slider plugin on CodeCanyon and our number one winner. This plugin comes loaded with robust features and the ability to create stunning, dynamic sliders. You can easily pull content from WordPress posts, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr. Slider Revolution also supports an unlimited number of layers with each slide, which allows you to stack multiple media in one place, including text, images, videos, buttons, shortcodes and HTML content. Slider Revolution has so many advanced features and custom options that it can take beginners some time to master this plugin. But their tech support gets rave reviews from users, in case you run into any problems. And their site resources are excellent for beginners and pros alike.

Slider Revolution screenshot

Pros

Cons

  • Advanced drag-and-drop WYSIWYG slide editor
  • Optimized performance with lazy loading and automatic file size scaling
  • Fully responsive and can customize for different devices
  • Excellent social media support, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and more
  • Timeline mode lets you edit timing for each layer
  • Slider template library and free slider exchange
  • Compatible with WooCommerce
  • 4.79/5.00 user ratings on CodeCanyon
  • Slight learning curve for beginners
  • Only one site per license (no multisite licenses available)

Pricing

A Slider Revolution license comes with 6 months of support and future updates. You can extend support to 12 months for an additional $7.88.

  • $25 for Regular License
  • $120 for Extended License (allows you to sell your end product)
  • One site only per license
  • Buy now

LayerSlider Review

#2

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Our number two pick, LayerSlider, could be your perfect choice if you’re looking for mind-blowing visual effects. This plugin has a great reputation for its stylish animation features. LayerSlider includes 13 unique skins and more than 200 transition effects (more than any other WP slider plugin), including 2D and 3D effects. And LayerSlider supports video, audio, featured content slides, themes and more. You can add unlimited layers to each slide and customize just about every aspect. Like Slider Revolution, LayerSlider may not be the best choice for beginners — it’s pretty advanced and has a ton of features that can make slide creation a bit complicated if you’re new to sliders. Otherwise, this slider plugin is a fantastic choice.

LayerSlider screenshot

Pros

Cons

  • Advanced drag-and-drop WYSIWYG slide editor
  • Fast loading time with lazy loading
  • Fully responsive
  • Huge number of transition effects and customization options
  • Timeline editing available
  • Compatible with WooCommerce and Visual Composer
  • Excellent tech support
  • 4.74/5.00 user ratings on CodeCanyon
 

  • Learning curve for beginners (user interface doesn’t match the WordPress UI, and all the features can get overwhelming)
  • Limited social media features compared to Slider Revolution
  • Only one site per license (no multisite licenses available)

Pricing

A LayerSlider license comes with 6 months of support and future updates. You can extend support to 12 months for an additional $6.75.

  • $22 for Regular License
  • $110 for Extended License (allows you to sell your end product)
  • One site only per license
  • Buy now

Soliloquy Review

#3

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Soliloquy wins our number three spot as the best WordPress slider plugin. Soliloquy is an excellent choice for beginners, people who want a low-frills, easy way to set up sliders or developers who want a slider plugin for multiple websites. Although this plugin doesn’t have all the visual bells and whistles of our top two picks, Soliloquy gives you all the tools you’ll need to create slick slideshows with a lot of customization capabilities.

This plugin’s drag-and-drop builder makes it incredibly easy to create a polished slider within minutes. You can upload video from YouTube, Vimeo and Wistia and use CSS customizations, all with the basic plugin. Upgraded versions give you up to a dozen add-ons, including WooCommerce, Instagram, Pinterest and advanced effects like carousel, scheduling, the ability to disable right-click and much more. You can’t go wrong with Soliloquy if performance and ease of use are top priorities.

Soliloquy screenshot

Pros

Cons

  • Easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder is great for beginners
  • Fastest slider plugin on the market with dynamic asynchronous ajax pre-loading capability
  • Fully responsive
  • Good customization with skins, hooks, filters, themes, transition styles and more
  • 14 add-ons, including WooCommerce, social media and more
  • Multisite licenses available
  • Excellent tech support and site resources
  • 14-day money back guarantee
  • On the pricey side
  • Not as feature-rich as our top two picks
  • Lacks advanced animation effects
  • Doesn’t offer timeline editing mode
  • Can’t import prebuilt or demo sliders

Pricing

Soliloquy offers a 14-day money back guarantee. Visit their website for all license and pricing options.

 PersonalMultiDeveloperMaster
License Price$19$49$99$249
Number of Sites13UnlimitedUnlimited
Updates1 Year1 Year1 YearLifetime
Add-ons161414

See Soliloquy in Action

Watch this brief video to see the sweet simplicity of Soliloquy’s user interface.

Other Best Slider Plugins for WordPress

We couldn’t limit our best WordPress slider plugin reviews to just three products! The following three plugins are each worthy of consideration, depending on your needs.

Meta Slider | Nivo Slider | Royal Slider

Meta Slider Review

Meta Slide logo

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Meta Slider packs a pretty powerful punch for a free slider plugin. Meta Slider’s free version offers four different slideshow types, combining the functionality of Flex Slider, Nivo Slider, Responsive Slides & Coin Slider plugins. This combo deal gives you touch-enabled, fully responsive sliders, carousel mode, 22 transition effects, and four unique themes, all for free. If you want more features, Meta Slider’s Pro version gives you animated layer slides, post feed slides, video slides (supports YouTube and Vimeo), HTML slides, and thumbnail navigation. Meta Slider is a good choice for beginners or developers looking for multisite license options.

Meta Slider screenshot

Pros

Cons

  • Free version
  • Easy drag-and-drop slide builder
  • Fully responsive and touch-enabled
  • Multisite licenses available
  • Fast tech support
  • 4.5/5.0 user ratings on wordpress.org
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Not as many customization options
  • Limited animation and transition effects compared to our top picks
  • Doesn’t offer timeline editing mode
  • No social media or WooCommerce compatibility

Pricing

Meta Slider offers a free version and a 30-day money back guarantee for its paid Pro versions.

 PersonalMulti-SiteDeveloper
License Price$19$39$99
Number of Sites15Unlimited
Support & Updates1 Year1 YearLifetime

Nivo Slider Review

Nivo Slider logo

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If simplicity and high performance are your top priorities, Nivo Slider could be the slider plugin for you. This plugin doesn’t support videos or other multimedia, and it’s not as feature rich as some of our other reviewed plugins. But Nivo Slider makes building and managing multiple sliders on your WordPress sites a breeze. You can add unlimited sliders into your posts and pages using a simple shortcode. And Nivo Slider gives you a host of pre-built themes, automatic image cropping,16 transition effects, ranging from slicing and sliding to fading and folding, and more.

Nivo Slider screenshot

Pros

Cons

  • Easy-to-use interface (no coding required)
  • Excellent performance with fast loading speed
  • Fully responsive
  • Good pre-built themes and transition effects
  • Multisite licenses available
  • Fast tech support
  • On the pricey side (must renew your license each year)
  • Doesn’t support videos or other multimedia
  • Far fewer customization options than our top three picks
  • No social media or WooCommerce compatibility
  • No timeline mode editing

Pricing

  • $29/year Personal License for 1 site
  • $59/year Business License for 3 sites
  • $99/year Company License for 30 sites
  • Buy now

Royal Slider Review

Royal Slider logo

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Royal Slider is a popular responsive touch-enabled WordPress plugin found at CodeCanyon that gets high praise from users for its solid performance, stability and full SEO optimization. This plugin doesn’t have all the snazzy effects you’ll get with Slider Revolution or LayerSlider, but it still supports many customizations, including a variety of slider templates, five different skins, animated blocks and more. You can even pull images directly from Flickr, Instagram, 500px, or featured posts of any type, like WooCommerce products. And Royal Slider supports YouTube and Vimeo videos.

Royal Slider screenshot

Pros

Cons

  • Intuitive interface is good for beginners
  • Excellent performance, including lazy loading
  • Fully responsive and supports touch screen
  • Integrated with Instagram, Flickr, 500px and more
  • Fantastic tech support
  • 4.65/5.00 user ratings on CodeCanyon
  • Fewer customization options than top-rated premium plugins
  • Lacks most social media features
  • Doesn’t offer timeline mode
  • Only one site per license (no multisite licenses available)

Pricing

A Royal Slider license comes with 6 months of support and future updates. You can extend support to 12 months for an additional $7.13.

  • $23 for Regular License
  • $115 for Extended License (allows you to sell your end product)
  • One site only per license
  • Buy now

Kick up Your Visual Effects

There’s a ton of pressure these days to have the most interactive and visually appealing site for your visitors or customers. After all, you want that wow factor to keep their attention once they get to your site. The best WordPress slider plugins deliver on that front as well as helping you steer your audience to the most important content on your site — all for a minimal cost.

What advice do you have for building sliders in WordPress?

Sally has coupled her passion for writing with her (slight) obsession for the latest high tech gadgets. While she’s not daydreaming about the beach, she’s taking advantage of all the activities her hometown has to offer in the Blue Ridge foothills.

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1 Comment on "Best WordPress Slider Plugin: A Step Beyond Simple Slideshows"

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Casey N
Casey N

I thought most WP sites had slider functionality built in but I guess not, good to know about these then!

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