Finding the perfect WordPress slider plugins for your site is by no means an easy task. At last count, there were 690 sliders in the WordPress Plugin Repository. Who’s got time to test every plugin? To help you separate the wheat from the chaff, I’ve ranked and reviewed the top 10 most popular free slider plugins available in the repository.
All the free WordPress slider plugins are fully compatible with any of our Visualmodo WordPress themes
Free WordPress Slider Plugins List:
Meta Slider is by far the most popular slider available for WordPress, with a massive 467,707 downloads to date.It comes with four jQuery sliders –Nivo Slider (responsive, 16 transition effects, four themes), Coin Slider (four transition effects), Flex Slider 2 (responsive, two transition effects, carousel mode), Responsive Slides (responsive, fade effect only).Creating a new slider is simple – add your image, select which slider you want to use and the plugin will spit out a shortcode you can insert anywhere in your site.There’s also a pro version of this plugin if you want to pay money for more features.
Interested in Meta Slider?
Easing Slider “Lite”
With almost 400,000 downloads, Easing Slider Lite is the second most downloaded slider plugin in the repository.
This lightweight plugin allows you to set the dimensions and duration of your slider and includes the option to make your slideshow responsive. There are two transition effects, fade and slide. Like many sliders, you will need to use shortcode to add your slider to a post or page.
You can only create one slider with this plugin, so if you want to have more than that in your site you should look elsewhere.
Smooth Slider offers a content and image slideshow with a customizable background and slide intervals you can place anywhere on your site.The plugin’s features includes a responsive design and six transition effects. It also support custom slider, category slider and recent posts slider. Template tags, shortcode and a widget are included.I did try to use set up a new slider but the plugin crashed my site every time I tried to go into the plugin’s settings. I checked out Smooth Slider’s support page on the repository site and it seems other users with up-to-date versions of WordPress have also been having issues.
Wow Slider is unusual in that you need to download a separate program, WOWSlider wizard, to create a slideshow. Once you’ve put together your slideshow, you can then upload it to the plugin. You’ll need to copy and paste a shortcode to insert your slider anywhere on your site.The plugin’s website includes fairly comprehensive documentation to help you if you run into any problems.
Interested in WOW Slider?
vSlider Multi Image Slider for WordPress
vSlider allows you to display an unlimited number of image sliders on your site, though it makes me wonder, how many sliders is too many?You can insert sliders into your site either with shortcode, a custom widget or by using it as a function in your theme.The plugin comes with a helpful FAQ and a video tutorial that walks you through how to set up your first slider. There’s also a forum available if you run into any problems.
Interested in vSlider Multi Image Slider for WordPress?
SlideDeck is a popular and comprehensive premium plugin that offers advanced functionality if you’re after a feature-packed slider. But if you just want to get started with using sliders on your site, the lite version, which has just had a big update, is worth trying out first.
Interested in SlideDeck?
EasyRotator for WordPress – Slider Plugin
EasyRotator promises that users “beautiful, responsive photo rotators and sliders to your WordPress site in seconds,” but it actually takes a bit of setting up. First you’ve got to install Flash software to create your slides – or rotators – on your local machine, which I admit I found annoying. Then you can create a new rotator from within the page or post editor. You can also use shortcode to insert a rotator in your site, or add a rotator to your theme using a function call.After going to the trouble of installing the Flash program, it didn’t work when I tried to set up a basic slider from the Post Editor. After a bit of digging around, I discovered this plugin doesn’t work with Safari/Chrome.
Interested in EasyRotator for WordPress – Slider Plugin?
Responsive WordPress Slider – Soliloquy Lite
Soliloquy is one of the more well-known sliders out there and for good reason – it’s simple to set up, you don’t need to download flash software to create and upload sliders or mess around with the settings. It just works.After you’ve added your images, select your slider size, slider speed and hit “publish.” Then you’ll need to copy the resulting shortcode onto any page or post where you want the slider displayed.While this is a lite version, it still comes with enough features to make it worth trying out.
Interested in Responsive WordPress Slider – Soliloquy Lite?
Cyclone Slider 2
Cyclone Slider 2 takes sliders back to basics. It offers a straightforward plugin setup that display a simple image slider and includes options such as delays, dimensions and pause on hover.The plugin supports image, YouTube, Vimeo, custom HTML and testimonial sliders. You can drag and drop to re-order your slides, and the sliders are responsive.This plugin also comes as a pro version.
Interested in Cyclone Slider 2?
Responsive Slider is a very simple slider plugin, which comes with few settings but makes up for it in easy of use.Adding new slides is a snap and you can place them anywhere in your site with a shortcode, or into your theme with a function call.The settings allow you to change the width and height of your slider, add a transition effect, a delay, animation duration and automatic start.This plugin is for single sliders only, so if you want to set up multiple sliders on your site you should check out a different plugin.
Interested in Responsive Slider?
The Most Popular Slider is Also the Best And the winner is: Meta Slider.
The WordPress community knows a good plugin when it sees one.
Meta Slider is not only the most downloaded slider plugin, but it has also received the highest rating from users in the community.
I found it a pleasure to use, with a nice balance of features and functionality – and all for free.
vSlider Multi Image Slider, SlideDeck 2 Lite and Soliloquy Liteare also great slider plugins if you have an image-heavy site and want to make the most of sliders. These three themes have been developed by professional outfits looking to draw in customers – and more sales – with free products.
If you just want a very simple slider with no bells and whistles, definitely give Cyclone Slider 2 a go. It’s a great basic slider that is easy to set up and isn’t weighed down by countless settings and options.
But if you’re after something with more sites, with greater features and the ability to place multiple sliders on your site, you can’t go past Meta Slider.