Call them content sliders, slideshows, rotating images, or anything you want, these effects are here to stay. They’re great at showcasing your portfolio or to highlight some of the best content on your WordPress blog or website.
Here’s a list of the best free and premium content slider and slideshow plugins available for your WordPress sites.
Meta Slider is one of the most powerful slider plugins for WordPress, having a 5 star rating on wordpress.org, and according to its developer, receiving over 10,000 downloads per week. One of the main reasons for this is that it has 4 different slideshow types, all of which implement a drag-and-drop function to select your images from your WP media library, allowing you to edit each one. Be it setting captions for the images, or applying links, you can do all this from one page, while always being SEO optimized. The possibilities with this plugin seem endless, and you can view some of them on this examples page.
Free | 2 Sites $39 | 5 Sites $59 | 20 Sites $89 | Unlimited Sites $149
SlideDeck is an easy to use slider plugin that offers multiple slider types, including images, videos, text and html. Each slider can be of one type, or a mix of different content types (from WP posts to Pinterest), even including multiple layouts and captions. It also has a drag-n-drop feature for the slides which works well with the sleek Live Preview it offers right in the custom UI. According to the developer, its use of 12 lenses and the large selection of sources and options available mean that there are over 29 million possible combinations.
Annual Plan $47 | Lifetime Plan $247
Certainly one of the fastest responsive slider plugins out there, Soliloquy is a great plugin to showcase your images and videos. It allows for an unlimited amount of possible sliders, and the possibility of multiple sliders on the same page. Its UI is very similar to that of WP itself, and it offers a large variety of options to modify your slider. It also uses a drag-and-drop interface, enhanced by Ajax, to sort your images, all of which can in turn have their metadata edited. Another great touch (albeit using a developer license) are all the addons available for Soliloquy, which help you create some awesome looking sliders.
Personal $19 | Multi $49 | Developer $99 | Master $249
Smart Slider 3 is the most powerful and intuitive WordPress plugin to create sliders.
Create beautiful, responsive andSEO friendly sliders in minutes using a visual, drag’n’drop slide editor. If you don’t feel like starting from scratch, you can select from 100+ gorgeous slider templates, which you can fully customize in any way. Smart Slider 3 has more than 20 layers to add content to your slides.
The most popular layers are the heading, image, button, icon, YouTube, Vimeo and MP4 video layers, which you can add to any slide you create. Smart Slider 3 is compatible with Gutenberg editor, and with the most popular page builders like Divi and Elementor.
Free | Single Domain $35 | Business $150 | Unlimited $250
RoyalSlider is one of the most widely-used slider plugins on some of the best designed sites, including that of photographer Pep Karsten. It’s a fully responsive, flexible and fluid slider plugin that offers over 10 templates, 5 skins and 100 options. Not only that – when it comes to content, you can include images, videos, HTML content, and, furthermore, you can populate data from various locations such as Flickr, Instagram, and others. It might not offer a lot of cool transition effects, but what it does offer is a clean, good-looking content slider that works great every time, on every device.
Regular License $24 | Extended License $120
Slider Revolution has been called one of the best slider plugins out there, and with good reason. Its developers call it an “all-purpose slide displaying solution”. Incorporating various customizable transitions, customizable drag-n-drop captions, the ability to pull content right from your posts and customise it, and WPML support, among many others, this is one of the most feature-filled plugins that exist. It even offers full screen possibilities and many, many slide navigation features.
Regular License $26 | Extended License $125
Being one of the best feature-filled slider plugins you can find, LayerSlider is a multi-purpose slider that offers you a vast range of options and customisation effects. The list of features is endless, but the main idea behind this plugin is to give your user the best experience upon visiting your site, while still keeping the slider smooth and responsive. It includes a drag-n-drop slider builder, real-time previews, Google Fonts, and much more. Its compatibility with other popular plugins such asWPML and qTranslate, and support of touch navigation are some of the extra plus points that LayerSlider offers.
Regular License $25 | Extended License $125
Master Slider is a premium high quality designed image and content slider for WordPress with super smooth hardware accelerated transitions. It supports touch navigation with pure swipe gesture that you have never experienced before. It’s a truly responsive and device friendly slider which works perfect in all major devices. Master Slider is an awesome layer slider as well, with the ability of adding any HTML contents (texts, images, etc) in layers. You almost have everything in Master Slider which is the most complete among the best, hotspots, thumbnails, variety of effects, Video support and much more.
Regular License $24 | Developer License $74
SliderVilla is the first WordPress Slider Store with more than 15 best WordPress Slider plugins and 4 powerful add-ons. All sliders are responsive, SEO ready and optimized for the best performance.
As you can see, there are a variety of free and premium options for content slider and slideshow plugins. They all offer something of value that can add that extra spark to your site to entice more visitors to hang around.
Have you used any of the plugins above or any others? What are your thought on them? Leave us a comment below.
UPDATE: This post was updated in November 2018, so certain comments below might refer to plugins that have since been removed. All free plugins were removed from the list as they had either been removed from the plugin repo for one reason or another, or were not updated in over a year.