Adding visual flair and points of interest within limited screen estate is an ongoing design challenge for site owners, but fortunately there are plenty of established ways of solving the issue. Judiciously employed, sliders are at the top of that list of solutions.
Sliders help pack a large amount of appealingly presented information into the smallest of places, and modern versions work smoothly across all devices. They’re not just limited to still graphics either; the last five years has seen an explosion in video slider options to help you wow site visitors and keep them on your site longer.
In this piece, we’ll take you on a whirlwind tour of four of the best video slider plugins on the market, including both free and premium solutions.
The Video Gallery plugin is designed to work with YouTube and Vimeo content and offers seven different display modes – including several gallery options – and two specific slider solutions: video slider mode and content video slider.
A premium version of the plugin is also available, which includes more advanced styling and lightbox options. Video Gallery is made by Huge-It, who produce the popular Huge-It Slider plugin, which also includes video slider support in the its premium version (pricing starts at $15).
Slider Revolution is the top-selling slider plugin on CodeCanyon, with over 95,000 sales and an extremely solid average satisfaction rating of 4.79 out of five. Its standard retail price is $19, though you’ll often find it bundled with popular themes as an add-on.
A quick look at the available features shows what lies behind that popularity. Slider Revolution is fully responsive and ships with a number of stylish 3D effects, intuitive page and slider designers, and a codebase that’s been comprehensively vetted by Dewhurst Security.
Smart Slider 3 is the latest iteration of the popular Smart Slider series of plugins and provides an impressive amount of functionality in the free version, including support for Vimeo and YouTube content.
The free version of the plugin is fully responsive and comes with a user-friendly editor, four built-in sliders, and nine default slide backgrounds to kick things off. Online documentation and demos are also readily available and the level of activity in the support forum is also highly encouraging.
Upgrading to the premium version for $20 unlocks a further set of slider and layer animation options in addition to a host of other advanced features.
The basic Master Slider plugin is a popular slider solution for WordPress sites largely due to the genuinely impressive range of functionality and features that it packs in for free. Unfortunately, video support isn’t included in the WordPress.org version of the plugin, but a quick upgrade to the premium version for just $20 makes it possible.
The premium version comes with a suite of features that stand comparison with Slider Revolution. You’ll find WooCommerce and Visual Composer integration as standard, and the plugin is ready for multilingual and multisite content right out of the box. Drag-and-drop slider timeline animation options also make this a compellingly easy to use solution.
The premium version includes support for Vimeo and YouTube as expected, and can also include iFrame content to enable you to add services such as Wistia to the mix. You can take Master Slider Pro for a spin free of charge prior to purchase by checking out their fully functional demo.
Slider plugins have come a long way generally in the last five years, and the support for video you’ll find in the leading versions we’ve selected above is truly impressive.
If you’re operating on a very limited budget, the Smart Slider 3 and Video Gallery plugins will give you straightforward options to experiment with completely free of charge and, particularly in the case of the former, a clear upgrade path when you want to get fancier.
On the purely premium side of the fence, both Slider Revolution and the Master Slider Pro plugin will cover you for all your video slider needs at an incredibly affordable price point.
Are there any great video slider options we’ve missed that you’ve had success with? Let us know by getting in touch via the comments section below!