Best WordPress Sliders in 2012

Slider (Slideshow/Content Slider) plugins for WordPress are always in demand, and there are also quite a few to choose from. We’ve already done a review of content slider plugins last year, and here we are again to update the list with what we believe are the very best WordPress slideshow plugins in 2012.

This time, we’re only reviewing slider plugins which have a management WordPress interface. There are so many plugins to choose from that we had to narrow it down to those which are most user-friendly and will ultimately help you get the job done faster.



This is one of the newest and best jQuery sliders you can lay your hands on. It has a whole plethora of features you can choose from and it is very easy to implement. There is an online documentation to walk you through setup, and as regards to effects and styles this it probably the most feature rich plugin of the bunch.

Get JquerySliderShock


uBillboard is a Premium Slider plugin for WordPress. It is a jQuery based slider with a multitude of transitions and options for you to be able to customize it to your needs while not overwhelming you with options you never wanted or needed. Version 3 is a revolutionary release with most of the codebase rewritten from scratch.

Get uBillboard

Nivo Slider for WordPress

The official Nivo Slider WordPress Plugin allows you to combine the beauty and elegance of the Nivo Slider with the robust and familiar content management of WordPress. Without touching any code you can create multiple sliders that can be included anywhere and customized using the familiar WordPress backend.

Get Nivo Slider for WordPress

Sugar Slider

Sugar Slider makes it as easy as it could possibly be to create gorgeous sliders in WordPress powered site. Forget nasty custom fields and image URLs. You can even forget about manually resizing every image before you upload it.

With a huge list of features, Sugar Slider is easily the most advanced and powerful slider manager for WordPress.

With Sugar Slider you can create an unlimited number of sliders with customized settings for each one, and place them anywhere on your WordPress website with ease.

Get Sugar Slider

Estro jQuery Ken Burns Slideshow

This WordPress slider plugin includes a smooth and powerful Ken Burns effect which is completely configurable and compatible with all major browsers (including ie7 to ie9, Firefox Chrome, Opera, Safari) and mobile platforms like iphone / ipad. If the Ken Burns effect is not your thing, that’s OK because the “Estro” slider also includes a 2-way “Swipe” mode with configurable transitions.

Get Estro Slider 

Riva Slider

Create and display slideshows within minutes. No commotion and designed for ease of use, saving you tonnes of time to spend on things that matter. Intelligently constructed styling panels allows you to completely customize each slideshow, unlike any other plugin of this kind. Purchasing the Riva Slider Pro also includes premium support & help documentation, if you ever run into trouble. Riva Slider really is the complete WordPress slideshow package.

Get Riva Slider


DDSlider introduces a new easy-to-go WordPress slider plugin with 9 different unique transitions (+fading & random—11 total) that support Inline Content. You can also have multiple sliders in the same page.

Get DDSlider


This is the WordPress plugin of LayerSlider. You can create as many layers and sublayers as you want. You can use unlimited images with links. The script is very user-friendly, you can add global settings or local (per slide) settings to each layer or sublayer. You can change delay times, easing types, durations and much more.

Get LayerSliderWP


Slider PRO is one of the most powerful slider plugins for WordPress on the market. The slider offers you 100+ customizable properties, 100+ possible transition effects, 10+ skins and much more. Also, the slider’s administration area is very powerful and uses the default WordPress design, which WordPress users are already familiar with. This slider plugin is carefully coded, using WordPress development best practices, to avoid conflicts with other themes and plugins that are well coded. Please take a look at the list of features below and visit the slider’s dedicated website,, for more information, screencasts and examples.

Get SliderPro

Royal Slider

RoyalSlider for WordPress is a cross-device jQuery content slider with touch-based navigation and a fluid layout. It has an amazing user-friendly admin area where you can manage slides, change slider settings, customize interface and add blocks-captions using a custom WYSIWIG editor. It has been tested for use on multiple devices including Macs, PCs, iPads, iPhones, Android devices and Blackberrys. It’s even been tested on the Amazon Kindle. Definitely one of the best sliders you can get your hands on.

Get Royal Slider


The o’Slider plug-in has a lot of features of a regular slider. Some of them are auto play, stop on hover, show/hide navigation, bullets list or thumbnails for a navigation, captions and in-line content. But the main cause for creation of the plug-in was to give websites’ users amazing live-background experience, which is something unique amongst the sliders we reviewed. You can use as many background layers as you want and the effect truly is original and very effective.

Get O’Slider

Have you used any other sliders and feel they should be included in this list? Let us know in the comments section below.

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About Jean Galea

Jean Galea is a WordPress developer, entrepreneur and padel player. He is the founder of WP Mayor, the plugins WP RSS Aggregator and EDD Bookings, as well as the podcast. His personal blog can be found at

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11 Responses

  1. Nebulas Website Design Chelmsford
    Nebulas Website Design Chelmsford February 24, 2012 at 11:14 | | Reply

    Some really nice sliders. There are a lot around for free but the premium ones do look better and have more features.

  2. Carma Leichty
    Carma Leichty February 24, 2012 at 13:43 | | Reply

    Very helpful review, Jean! ..and timely. I’ve been looking for a better slideshow plugin. I can’t wait to explore a few of these in depth. Thanks!

  3. AndyiBM
    AndyiBM February 25, 2012 at 22:21 | | Reply

    Thanks Jean. Up until now I tended to hand-code my sliders based upon a trustworthy source, which gave reliable results but was very underwhelming in terms of style. This collection is making me rethink what I can (and ought to) offer to my clients – I need to test a few myself, but this list is VERY helpful.



  4. Ricardo
    Ricardo March 16, 2012 at 14:04 | | Reply

    Where is the free slider plugins? :/

  5. mark
    mark March 24, 2012 at 20:44 | | Reply

    Is O’slider actually a WordPress plugin?
    seems to be more a set of Jquery code you need to implement into your theme

  6. Kevin
    Kevin April 7, 2012 at 23:09 | | Reply

    Ricardo…..By “Free” I think they mean free not to buy.

  7. Beny Hirmansyah
    Beny Hirmansyah April 12, 2012 at 05:51 | | Reply

    Good review here Jean!. I’m confuse when trying to buy one of the slider on CodeCanyon website. After reading your review, I will give a try for Royal Slider. Looks like it will be perfect to promote my products. Many thanks!

  8. Bughunter
    Bughunter May 5, 2012 at 02:12 | | Reply

    this is a bad review, your other posts are much better. you just reiterate marketing-bla here – instead you should describe what exactly are the differences, what are the limitations and problems of the sliders and what should anybody who needs a slider think about before messing up his site.
    e.g. one most important category to think of is: where does the slider take the content from? Featured Images? Galleries? Posts?
    “Do not have to resize manually” made me laugh – this is really oldschool 😉

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