I work with a lot of creative professionals and almost all of them request a slider on the homepage or in their galleries. After trying out so many slider plugins for WordPress, I’ve narrowed down the list to 3. These are the easiest to use, they load fast, have tons of customization options, and are also responsive. In no particular order, my top picks are:
1. Meta Slider – this one is fantastic! I discovered it when I was looking for a responsive slider that allowed thumbnails, and supported different image widths. The interface is well-designed and very easy to figure out. You also have so many customization options regarding backgrounds, navigation, animated layer slides, autoplay, etc. I loved it. And it loads really fast. The pro version includes post feed slides that automatically show latest blog posts, products, or events.
2. Soliloquy Slider – this has been my go-to slider for years. The Soliloquy lite version is easy to use and integrate via shortcode, it is fully responsive, and also easy to customize. I really like that I can tweak how it looks using css (like replacing navigation arrows with custom ones). However, if you want thumbnails, carousel and retina support, and full-width images, you will have to upgrade to the pro version.
3. Master Slider – I love that Master slider loads really fast. It has starter templates that make it easy to create slides of different styles. All you need to do is choose the layout you want and upload your images. Transitions are very smooth, and you can control how images fit into the slide.
The best part? They come in free versions that you can install directly from the WordPress plugins repository. If you need more features, you can purchase the pro versions. These are the three plugins I use most often for business/portfolio sites. For blogs, however, I often use the Genesis Responsive Slider, which uses the featured images of your posts or pages. If you use featured posts, then the slides are automatically updated each time you publish a new post.
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