With a massive increase in social media usage over the past ten years, the demand for media is constantly on the rise in what is now a largely image-centric web. More than ever before, this leaves designers and photographers tasked with finding a way to make their work stand out from the noise.
A slideshow is a great way to engage users with your imagery and bring attention to your portfolio. Thanks to the rich functionality of WordPress, there are a few really neat slideshow plugins available. Here are 5 of the best.
1. Meta Slider
With more than 600,000 active installations, Meta Slider is one of the most popular slideshow plugins. Its no-fuss installation, vast array of jQuery slider types, and in-depth styling options make it highly recommended.
The plugin boasts other great features, too, including drag-and-drop ordering, smart image cropping, flexible slide support, and intuitive ease of use. Inserting your sliders into posts and pages is fast and seamless.
However, there are a few common complaints with Meta Slider, including occasional plugin crashes and theme clashes (which, in fairness, may have nothing to do with the plugin). Nevertheless, the overall success rate of this plugin appears high.
Soliloquy – nearing 100,000 installs – is described as the best responsive WordPress plugin – period. But, with Soliloquy having mixed reviews, we took a closer look at the pros and cons of this plugin.
Soliloquy uses custom post types, enabling it to create unlimited sliders and images. It boasts a number of handy features: quick installation, drag-and-drop functionality, and detailed parameter settings. Notably, the plugin’s assets only load on a page where a slide is present, which helps with page speed.
Still, there are downfalls. When using the ‘lite’ version, you can’t use images from your media library, which is a nuisance. Some people have also experienced display issues on various devices, as well as unexceptional support. That said, Soliloquy has around twice as many five-star reviews as it does one-star reviews, so there are clearly plenty of happy users.
Upon looking at Smooth Slider, there was no major individual selling point. But, lots of five-star ratings suggests that there are lots of happy users.
Smooth Slider is a stripped-down option compared to other tools, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It offers responsive design, cross-platform support, and custom slide options, plus recent posts slide support. The control panel grants full control over appearance, and there are multiple transition effects to choose from.
While the reviews are mostly great, the ads on the settings page are over the top and commonly frowned upon. Users have reported issues with slides showing up blank when using shortcode inserts, as well as a lack of flexibility when using multiple sliders.
Meteor Slides is a highly praised slideshow plugin nearing 100,000 installs. Each slideshow scales responsively with seamless touch support among modern devices. This plugin is both visually pleasing and easy to use.
There are more than 20 transition styles for Meteor Slides, and plenty of features including transition time settings, slider sizing, appearance customisation and navigation types. Meteor Slides is one of the easiest slideshow plugins to install and implement, making it accessible to users of all levels.
5. GPP Pro
If you like full-width slideshow galleries with optional thumbnails, autoplay and zoom effects, you might like the new Lightbox Gallery effect that is included in the Pro Versions of all of our newest themes for 2016 (Photolog, Optics, Sider). See it in action.
Which Plugin Do You Use?
In a world that is uploading 1.8 billion photos every month, it’s abundantly clear that anybody working in the visual arts field needs to showcase their work effectively.
Have you had any experience with the plugins above? Do you have other solutions to recommend? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!