Every website today needs a slider somewhere, if not in the main page’s header. It is an elegant solution to showing off the content of your site and allowing users to select from a showcase. Put up graphics, posts, pages, media, or social content into the slider. Your site will come to life. Think of it as a hybrid design improvement and navigation enticement.

Easing Slider Download
This is the free version of Slider Pro. It is made to be a little difficult to work with, in hopes that you will upgrade to pro. However, if you can get the code right and in the right place, the slider looks quite nice on the site. I would not bother with this one if you are looking for something simple, since you have the likes of SlideDecks among the free plugins.

Features:

  • navigation buttons
  • various pre-loading icons
  • image links
  • control the padding
  • set borders

SlideDecks Download
Here is a well-organized slider. You can choose based on the type of content and then by the source. It is perhaps the simplest implementation of a slider, but beautiful. Show off images, posts, social content, videos, or feeds. Anyone can operate this one without problems.

Features:

  • absolutely no coding
  • choose the starting slide, randomize slides, autoplay, autoplay interval, looping
  • animation speed and easing
  • custom dimensions per Slide Deck
  • lens variation of dark or light
  • frame style
  • accent color
  • navigation type, style, and arrow style

Smooth Slider Download
They have put this free slider out to promote their premium slider plugins under SliderVilla. For SEO purposes SmoothSlider uses both JavaScript and text. It has a well thought out admin area and intuitive.

Features:

  • customize the link for the slide
  • no coding necessary
  • control slide order, including random
  • transparent background, used for rounded corners
  • preview in admin panel

Slideshow Gallery Download
This is easy to set up in a matter of three clicks. There are thumbnails of the slides as the navigation. This plugin, though, requires a bit of coding, not an elegant solution. It is not for the beginner.

Features:

  • choose which images to exclude
  • hardcode the gallery into your theme

LayerSlider WP Download
This is a premium plugin that lives up to its price, at $15. The editor alone is worth that, but the effects are amazing and add even more value to it. Lay elements on each other like layers in a graphics program. When the slide enters the elements enter at varying paces, with rubber band effects.

Features:

  • many easings and animations
  • ability to pre-load images
  • WYSIWYG graphic editor
  • choose your own type of content
  • infinite layers

This is one category where spending a tiny amount of money will actually get you the best slider and will make your WP life far easier. Even if you opt out for a free plugin you can find one robust enough to do the job. Among the free sliders, we recommend SlideDecks. It is easy enough for anyone to operate and quite beautiful. The more advanced user might prefer a coding approach, as in Slideshow Gallery plugin. Whichever slider you choose, you must employ one on your site. Without it your WP site will look like a dinosaur.