If you have a lot of content pages on your blog, it may become increasingly hard to show off the very best of them on one page. For long years dynamic image sliders (or sometimes called carousels) tried to help you achieve exactly that. While the variety of these seems endless, the current trend is to display one gigantic photo after another with a pause of 2-3 seconds between them.
The problem is: nobody waits that long staying on your homepage just to see another photo. A regular visitor comes across hundreds (if not thousands!) of images every day online and has an extremely short attention span. Statistics say it’s not more than two seconds…
Just like with (almost) all problems online: there’s an app for that! Well that is if you consider plugins as Apps for WordPress.
Introducing the Infinite Slider
A newly released plugin, called Infinite Slider, is adding a twist to regular image sliders by displaying at least twenty pictures at the same in an organized, but random looking tile that has a focus area with a title, description and a read more button. If you are already using the Featured Images option of WordPress for posts and/or pages (or maybe even some Custom Post Types) then you’ll just have to activate the plugin and insert a shortcode into the desired location on your site: maybe below the header section, or in another focus area.
Infinite Slider supports a full-width and a boxed display option, however we imagined it being used as a full-width slider so it has a true “infinite” effect on your site.
Now if you only have a couple of posts on your site, this plugin may not be for you. Based on our tests you’ll have to add a minimum of ten images for it to look good but having more than twenty is much better. Of course it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these kinds of plugins work best if you have dozens upon dozens of featured images, one added to each of your posts.
What kind of sites would we recommend to use with Infinite Slider? As mentioned previously: sites with a lot of beautiful images, for example travel sites, car blogs, fashion magazines, sites for foodies and so on. In fact it would be an excellent idea to increase the appetite of the visitors of a beautiful recipes blog with the help of the Infinite Slider.
I can also imagine a scenario where a WooCommerce based ecommerce site would use this plugin to feature the latest – or the best selling! – products on the home page. People are a lot more inclined to interact if they see an endless flow of product images instead of just 2-3 in a static box. That will just not cut it in 2014!
These are just a few examples, the use cases for this plugin are infinite (no pun intended).
Usually the hefty price tag is what keeps webmasters from installing modern sliders on their sites. Although a $30-40 fee might not be much for established brands, it could easily discourage people with smaller budgets to use premium plugins. That’s understandable, however, fortunately that is not the case with Infinite Slider.
The plugin is available from the official WordPress.org Plugin repository and as all plugins there it’s free to download, use and share! You could also make changes to it and distribute your version if you license it with the GPLv3 or later just like the original one.
There’s an Option for That!
What would a WordPress plugin be without a detailed options panel? Infinite Slider has a nice amount of switches and custom settings that you can fine-tune to your liking. You can turn off the auto sliding feature and/or control the amount of time of the transition, change the style of the gird and the overlay pattern, set the post type of WP_Query in order to load featured images from pages or any other custom post type that you might have (because of your theme, a plugin or if your functions.php is customized), you can set font families, sizes and colors for all the texts that appear on the slider and more!
I strongly believe that Infinite Slider is an innovative plugin that could benefit most of the WordPress based site owners out there, who would like to try something new and impress their visitors at the same time. Increasing interactivity will lower bounce rates, and who knows, maybe those visitors who you would’ve lost without Infinite Slider will instead play with it because it’s something new and they’ll stay on your site and click through to a couple of your articles. After all, that’s all we can ask (and hope) from them!