Table of Contents
Despite the controversy and even demonization, many websites still can’t ignore sliders as a powerful marketing and presentation weapon so the latter are often in high demand. If you are here, most likely you’ve already made up your mind that a WordPress slider plugin is what you need to go further. And we are here to help you choose the best slider plugin for your particular needs.
The main limitation of many free slider plugins for WordPress is that they provide only image sliders with limited layouts and animation effects – but you’re also to discover some that moved beyond these limitations!
Need to create slideshows with a true wow-effect, build sparkling slideshow portfolios, and add WordPress video sliders?
Find your best slider plugin for WordPress in the premium segment (compared).
What is a Slider in WordPress?
A regular WordPress carousel slider with text and media files (images, video, etc) has a simple structure. This element rotates media files automatically or by manual clicking.
But when you use WordPress slideshow gallery plugins, you can do a lot more. You can add fun transition effects, tweak with text, add CTA buttons, and more. A boring layer slider WordPress may turn into an eye-catching hero section that makes your web page stand out.
Many WordPress slideshow plugins, such as ms slider, often repeat familiar performance-related mistakes, such as excessive features that can have a bad effect on the overall user experience on your WordPress website. But it’s not all so one-sided, since some people even build a slider site that comes with tons of slideshows.
Images, as well as videos (especially hosted locally on your website), are one of the heaviest assets of your site. Usually, it’s them that influence the website performance badly – so make sure to optimize images and other media files before uploading them to your WordPress and creating WordPress slideshows.
Best Free Slider WordPress Plugins 2021
For now, let’s go through some best free WordPress slider plugins.
Stratum is a free premium-like bundle of widgets for Elementor. And the Advanced WordPress carousel widget offered by Stratum is very powerful and lightweight. The slider is very flexible in customization: you can change typography, colors, alignment, backgrounds, directions, speed, animation effects and more. It has enough functionalities to build a spectacular slider for any business or creative site.
The widget supports multi-column layouts and posts sliders. See how far you can tweak this slider plugin and give it a try for free if you like it.
Is it for you? Yes, if you build a site with Elementor and need an affordable yet modern and powerful slider solution.
Nowadays most of the WordPress slider plugins have a few years age, while Depicter was just released in the year 2022 and It uses new cutting edge technologies like pure react which makes it a new generation of Sliders. Depicter is a new Free premium plugin, from the author of the popular Master Slider plugin. They have a huge experience in creating Slider plugins and, from what we see on Depicter it seems they really know what the customers’ needs. It gives a modern and easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor with all the possibilities that you need.
Responsive matters and Depicter takes care of this in the best and easy way. You can simply create the slider you want and make sure it is in its best shape on all devices, no matter, desktop, tablet, or mobile devices. It gives you the power of editing your slider and making changes only on mobile, tablet, and or desktop.
Is it for you? Yes, if you prefer an easy and fast slider process. There is a growing ready-to-use template where you can find the slider you need, import it with one click, and start editing it with a highly customizable drag and drop editor. Also, there are a million stock media to use on the editor ( Images, videos, shapes, text blocks, etc)”
A free version of the MetaSlider WordPress image slider plugin is very generous. One of the biggest benefits of this slider is that it’s easy to get started with. You just add slides with all the needed details and edit slider details individually. You can easily reorder slides with drag and drop, link slides, use built-in slideshow themes, and more.
More WordPress Productivity Tools
It works with several WP slideshow modes (they come with a different number of transition effects). The plugin can do the image cropping and help you with the image positioning in an intelligent way so that they won’t look ugly on any screen. To use videos and dynamically sourced website content with MetaSlider, you need a Pro version.
Is it for you? Yes, if you need an all-in-one image-based slider with numerous effects and built-in themes, plus a smooth integration with the translation plugins.
SmartSlider3 is a fast, top-quality, and feature-rich plugin for creating slideshows. It has all you’d expect from a slider plugin, including stunning motion effects and customizable layers, touch-swipe navigation, background animation, full-width responsive modes, etc.
It comes with a few pre-made slides from the Slide Library (more are available in a Pro version), to name just a few functionalities. It additionally allows you to create a fancy offset and other layouts for slides.
It can also easily deal with typography and styles. It’s quite handy in use allowing you to move quickly between settings and create simple and advanced slideshows in no time. The Pro version is widely used by designers and developers.
Is it for you? Yes, if you need the all-around layer-based professional WP slider plugin with support for videos and WordPress posts in a free version.
Update: this slider is temporarily under review on wp.org, so that you can check out its premium version instead.
It’s an easy and intuitive slider for creating responsive WordPress sliders based on images. The MotoPress slider plugin is relatively fast and comes with a huge range of features, for example, you can easily edit slider layers, add images and videos, apply animation effects, etc.
In addition to traditional image sliders, you can create a posts slider and a WooCommerce slider to feature your products.
Although it’s not so promoted as other free slider plugins for WordPress, MotoPress slider is definitely worth checking out since it’s highly rated by its users and overall ships with a lot of functional capabilities. Moreover, the Pro version of the plugin is probably the most affordable among its counterparts.
Is it for you? Yes, if you need an effective WordPress slider plugin with support for WooCommerce custom post types and WordPress posts, plus an ability to upgrade to Pro without affecting your bank balance too much.
The Ultimate Responsive Slider is a great solution among free slider plugins for WordPress. Its free version is primarily aimed at those who need to build image sliders.
The slider created with this plugin is fully customizable, including the ability to update to add extra elements, customize navigation bullets, font styles, colors, and more.
Is it for you? Yes, if you need a plain and simple WordPress slider plugin for building rather classic slideshows.
Slider by Nivo is among the best free WordPress slider plugins. It’s gained a good reputation thanks to a great bunch of tools offered through the plugin and very through-out user experience: you’ll be ready to go in a few minutes with your first slider, without unneeded tweaking! It’s also a performance-first product that will unlikely compromise your site.
The Nivo Responsive Slider WordPress plugin lets you create different types of slideshows, including an image WordPress carousel or a post slider.
Is it for you? Yes, if you prioritize a plugin performance and need a super easy-in-use solution with the bare minimum tools.
This is an old standby on the slider WordPress plugins market so you can be sure it has all for simple and advanced slideshows. It allows you to build an SEO-optimized slider in WP via the drag-and-drop interface.
It stands out thanks to numerous tools for creating image and video sliders with animation effects, even allowing you to start with a pre-made template for consistent slider design. The plugin is also optimized to work with Gutenberg.
Is it for you? Yes, if you need countless features and a trustworthy plugin you can rely on years ahead.
This Responsive Image Slider by 10Web is another really awesome solution with a focus on a modern design yet performance-first slideshow experiences. The free version allows you to feature both images and videos (including direct links from video hosting platforms like Youtube) in slides, plus gives you a chance to add transition effects, add hotspots, marketing buttons, social media buttons, etc.
Is it for you? Yes, if you need slideshow plugins for WordPress with a top-notch design, social media integration, and parallax effects for a portfolio or blog.
Slide Anything WordPress Slider Plugin
Slide Anything is among the most used slider plugins for WordPress. It comes with a slider builder for constructing touch-enabled free WordPress carousels and sliders. The plugin also employs a lazy load images approach to help you in your SEO efforts.
One of its outstanding features is a huge array of transition effects to help you make your sliders more dynamic. Modal popups, hero sliders, and showcases are available in a Pro version.
Is it for you? Yes, if you need to quickly and easily create image-based touch-enabled sliders with the ability to include multiple transition effects.
As its name suggests, you can use this free WordPress slider plugin for featuring WooCommerce products. It allows you to build a carousel slideshow using product details from your WooCommerce store. This carousel slider WordPress will give the needed amount of attention to each product or service you sell.
It’s bundled with numerous tools tied specifically to WooCommerce so you can selectively showcase automatically sourced product information. Since you’ll most likely need to take care of the layout only, it’s going to save you a lot of time.
Is it for you? Yes, if you have a WooCommerce store and want to add extra promotion to your products with ease.
More WordPress Productivity Tools
Best WordPress Slider Block: Sliders Packed with Gutenberg Addons
With the Gutenberg addons market thriving, there is quite often no need to have different plugins for a slider and multipurpose content building tools. Many popular Gutenberg page builder extensions come bundled with different types of slider blocks for WordPress.
Let’s list some of them you might find useful:
We can’t fully refer to Getwid as the best free slider plugin for WordPress. First of all, it’s a library of Gutenberg WordPress blocks for different needs. But among unique blocks and ready-made design templates, you can employ several slider-based blocks (and the fact is, it has the biggest number of dedicated slider blocks).
For example, it has a specific Media&Text Slider block for traditional image sliders, a fully customizable Posts slider, the Post Carousel block, and even the Custom Post Type block that can be used to feature any automatically sourced content of your custom post types (e.g. WooCommerce products). Some of these blocks offer a very flexible slider builder where you can update literally everything from layout to content and typography. Overall, it’s a very lightweight slider.
Offering such a variety of tools, Getwid is still very lightweight and blends just nicely with any WordPress theme. Getwid is one of the most multipurpose Gutenberg slider plugins.
This is one of the most used Gutenberg addons that has a posts slider block to make your posts appear in a carousel. There is a great arsenal of customization tools to help you shape the look of the carousel.
This Gutenberg addon comes with the Advanced Gallery block that, among other things, allows you to add a carousel and a slider block, quite simple and lightweight, without any crazy bells and whistles.
Ultimate Blocks addon provides an Image Slider block. It combines a beautiful and lightweight design. All the Gutenberg blocks from this collection are optimized for search engines. You can enable or disable individual blocks if needed.
Qi Blocks for Gutenberg is a comprehensive collection of custom, highly flexible Gutenberg blocks that add incredibly useful functionalities to any WordPress website. And when it comes to the subject of this list, Qi Blocks has several options to offer.
First of all, there is the excellent Image Slider block, a simple but striking solution that allows you to display your static imagery in an exciting and dynamic way. It comes with some impressive customization options so you can adjust the slider just the way you like it.
You can set loop and autoplay, pagination, you can add buttons, previews, pop-ups, and more. In short, this single block comes with options you’d typically get from an entire plugin.
Image Slider is a free block, but the collection also includes some rather impressive premium slider blocks: Before/After Comparison Slider, Cards Slider, Device Frame Slider, Preview Slider, and Product Slider for shops.
There are also other block plugins that can offer sliders so make sure to check them out as well.
Conclusion: What Is the Best WordPress Slider Plugin?
So what is the best slider for website? We’ve just listed the best free slider plugins for WordPress that are popular standbys and you can surely rely on them in the long run.
Those Gutenberg slider blocks we’ve also mentioned are a way to go when you want to minimize the number of plugins (why install multiple plugins if you can do with one?). They are also being actively developed and can be used without worries.
All the listed WordPress site slider plugins are following the same path at multiple aspects so it all boils down to how advanced features you need and the interface you love working with.
So how will you approach this task of creating an image slideshow in WordPress?
Can WordPress slider block replace dedicated slider plugins?
Which best WordPress slider plugins are better for performance?
Can I create post sliders?