Royal Slider WordPress Content Slider Review

You all know what a content slider is, they've been some of the most popular and sought after elements on websites for the past few years now. There's a whole sea of free and premium sliders, but only a few stand head and shoulders above the rest. I believe Royal Slider is one of them.

You all know what a content slider is, they’ve been some of the most popular and sought after elements on websites for the past few years now. There’s a whole sea of free and premium sliders, but only a few stand head and shoulders above the rest. I believe RoyalSlider is one of them.

What is RoyalSlider?

RoyalSlider is powerful image gallery and content slider plugin.

The slider script is available both as jQuery stand-alone, and as a WordPress plugin. Today we will focus on the WordPress version.

royalslider

This slider is incredibly popular, having sold more than 7,800 licenses, and having a 5 out of 5 star rating based on 800 reviews. For most of you, that will be enough to convince you to buy this slider. For those others who like to do a bit more research before committing to a product, I’ll be doing my best to highlight all the features of this plugin in this review.

Features

RoyalSlider is probably one of the most feature-packed slider plugins I’ve come across. Nonetheless, the UI is very intuitive and little help snippets are sprinkled all over, making sure even beginners won’t be lost when setting up their slider.

At its most basic level, RoyalSlider can be used to create any of the following types of sliders:

  • Custom slider
  • Slider from your posts
  • 500px gallery
  • Flickr gallery
  • Default WordPress gallery

I guess the first two options are the ones that are most popular, but the integration with 500px and Flickr is extremely useful to photographers. Indeed, I get the impression that photographers have been kept firmly in mind throughout the development of this plugin.

Easily create beautiful sliders.
Easily create beautiful sliders.

You can mix and match content in the same slider, for example text, image and video, as seen in this example.

Another excellent example of this plugin’s usage is one that uses video and displays them in a playlist style, with the video playing on the left, and the list of videos on the right.

There are actually eleven templates that come with the RoyalSlider plugin, and they are an excellent start off point to creating your own sliders. Check out the full-width template, one of my favourites, it looks gorgeous on a minimal theme.

Templates RoyalSlider
Eleven templates, and counting…

Think of templates as the content structure of your slider. The look itself (colours, fonts etc.) are controlled via CSS, but there are also 5 skins you can choose from using a dropdown when creating a new slider.

Direct previewing in admin is a great feature, it speeds up the slider creation process considerably, as you avoid having to go back and forth between your admin and website front end to view the results of your tweaks.

Slider preview in admin
Slider preview in admin

Nowadays everybody wants things to be responsive, and RoyalSlider doesn’t let us down in this aspect either.

It’s nice to see attention given to performance too. RoyalSlider caches all sliders using WordPress Transients API, so having sliders on your page, even multiple ones, won’t significantly impact your page loading time. The only difference from a normal page will be that the JS and CSS required by the plugin will also be loaded. This will result in only fractionally longer loading times, and is standard practice with all WordPress plugins.

If you ask me what the best feature of this plugin is, my response would be its flexibility. It’s so easy to tweak it into exactly what you need. The templates certainly give you a jump start, as they pretty much cover all the most popular slider configurations we’ve seen circulating in recent years. But there’s always that small tweak to get it looking exactly like that idea in your mind. The use of Mustache tags is very clever, and allows you to easily create your own templates. Here’s a peak at all the tags that can be used in your RoyalSlider templates.

Editing a slider template
Editing a slider template

The final looks-wise feature I’d like to highlight is the so-called animated blocks. You can take a look at this example to see what I’m talking about. Basically this feature allows you to add overlaid text on your slides. What’s more, you can even animate them! Ain’t that grand?

Pricing

At only $20, RoyalSlider is absolutely one of the lowest priced sliders for WordPress you can lay your hands on. No complaints about this aspect of the plugin. The plugin is available from Codecanyon.net.

codecanyon

Many theme developers use it in their own themes, which they release for public consumption. If you are one of these developers, the price for extended usage is $100, and in that way you can bundle the plugin within your own themes.

Support & Documentation

Support is provided through a private forum, not through Codecanyon itself. This allows the developer to exercise more control over his support, and is probably a better choice. In fact, I’ve seen many of the top plugin authors on Codecanyon implement their own support forums. This also helps them prevent being too tied into this marketplace, allowing them to breakaway in the future and without leaving all the support knowledgebase behind.

All support tickets are answered within 12 business hours, that’s a great response time by any means. You will also have access to a support desk with video tutorials and documentation.

Documentation RoyalSlider

While the support desk and knowledge base are private, you can take a look to the public documentation, which can give you an idea to the kind of clear instructions that are given by the developer.

Updates

All updates for RoyalSlider plugin are free, for lifetime. No one year support or update licence restrictions to worry about.

Video Walkthrough

Here’s a short video I’ve recorded, in which I show you how easy it is to create a slider with the RoyalSlider plugin. I also go through some of the options that help you customise the structure and design of sliders to match whatever you have in mind.

Conclusion

This is one of the top sliders out there, no doubt at all. It is the most flexible slider I’ve tried out till now when it comes to presentation options. To be honest there is really nothing I can think of changing in the way it works. It manages to strike the perfect balance of usability that makes it great for beginners and experienced developers alike.

Download RoyalSlider

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Jean Galea
Jean Galea
Jean Galea is an investor, entrepreneur, and blogger. He is the founder of WP Mayor, the plugins WP RSS Aggregator and Spotlight, as well as the Mastermind.fm podcast. His personal blog can be found at jeangalea.com.

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10 Responses

  1. So, to use Royal Slider, you have to add code to the template files. I have tried to find easy-to-use instructions for this plugin, but they don’t seem to be available. That means that most of my clients and students, who like to add their own plugins, can’t use it. (We do go through a lesson on how to evaluate the quality of a plugin with them.) I will have to let all my clients and students know that this is not a plugin for them unless they want to pay me to code.

    What a shame!

  2. Hi Nora,

    You’re not obligated to modify template files to add slider to page. Slider can be added in any place via shortcode (where shortcodes are supported), widget (where widgets are supported), or PHP function call. Not sure if I understand what’s the issue is about.

    Please visit plugin knowledge base http://help.dimsemenov.com/kb and watch at least one video installation video.

    Best,
    Dmitry

    1. Dmitry,
      Thank you for your response. Based on the website for your slider, I recommended it to two of my WordPress clients. Since installing it, we have had nothing but problems.
      Problem 1: There is no obvious place for my clients to add images to the sliders. The assumption is that a slider is like a slideshow. You set up an instance of a slider and you add photos to it. We can set up the instance, but there is no place for them to add images. We do not want to pick up images that are already in the posts.
      Problem 2: Since is seems like such a simple thing that you should be able to have images in a slider, I tried to go to the forum for the plugin. I have three screenshots of how it doesn’t work, The first screenshot shows how the forum login picks up the API key where the email address should go. The second screenshot shows how when I put in the email, it is not correct, even though it is the same email address that the order confirmation went to. The third screenshot shows how if I try the password reset it says that the email address isn’t recognized even though it is the email address that your system used to confirm the purchase.
      Problem 3: There is no other way to get information to you. So, if you can’t log in you can’t get information. So, I have resorted to looking up forum and blog posts about your product and leaving notes in all of them hoping to get an answer.

        1. Dmitry,
          When a client indicates a problem, the first solution is to ask them what steps they took. This type of feedback could also be averted through walkthrough testing. So, since you insist on scolding me, instead of listening, I will pretend that you asked the right question and give you an answer. If you need more screenshots of how I finally found your public documentation and got lot in it, I will be happy to provide them.

          Here is my process for trying to find help on Royal Slider:

          1. Do a Google search.
          2. Go to http://dimsemenov.com/plugins/royal-slider/wordpress/?s=cwp. This page has lots of words very few links to helpful information 🙁
          3. Oh, there is a documentation link at the bottom, but the Knowledge Base mention does not have a link. The documentation link goes to http://dimsemenov.com/plugins/royal-slider/wordpress/?s=cwp, which is all about code. So, a rational viewer could assume that the only way to work with Royal Slider is in code.
          4. Oh, there is an open ticket link where I think I can ask a question. The link goes to http://thecomputergal.com/Images/ScreenShots/Websites/Errors/RoyalSliderSupportLogin.jpg which picks up the product code automatically, but that field is supposed to hold an email address.
          5. So, I change it to an email address and it reverts to the product code. http://thecomputergal.com/Images/ScreenShots/Websites/Errors/RoyalSliderError.jpg
          6. So, I try to reset the password, in case that is the problem, and I get. http://thecomputergal.com/Images/ScreenShots/Websites/Errors/BadEmailAddress.jpg
          7. I was careful to enter the same email address where the client received the order confirmation.

          Definitely a user interface problem!

  3. I bought Royal Slider after getting a refund for another very popular WP slider that cost me $70(with a big discount) because it didn’t meet my needs or expectations.

    I can only say good things about Royal Slider. No problems using it for me and I haven’t found it complicated to set up, use or modify. If you know how to create a gallery in WP, then you’re golden.

    Well worth the 20 bucks in my opinion.

  4. Hello,

    Slider seems really great.
    Can I get it for demo license for 2 weeks or so. So i can check if it fulfills all my requirement and later I can surely buy it.

  5. Unless you know your way around css and java, I’d stay away and turn to Revolution or Master sliders. Royal is just too ugly and too hard to navigate and use unless you are have lots of coding knowledge. I had it and could not use it. Any changes require a lot of work. It does offer a lot of options to modify the slider on the good side. If you are a coding pro, this slider is for you!

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