A featured slider is perfect for highlighting the newest blog posts, maybe a range of e-commerce products or just some graphically appealing slides. It helps bring your site alive.
The simplest way to add a featured slider for your WordPress website is to add the plugin MetaSlider which is free to use. Here you can easily show custom slides, your latest blog posts or even your e-commerce products.
Now, this is one way of setting up a featured slider. There are other ways more suited for specific use cases, and before we dive into them, let me briefly dive into what a featured slider is.
What Is A Featured Slider In WordPress?
To briefly explain, a featured slider in WordPress is a block in your design where you switch between blocks horizontally or vertically, depending on your taste.
The content sliding can be multiple blog posts, e-commerce products, or custom slides you’ve set up.
A slider is perfect if you want to make your website feel more alive, as it’s opposite static content which is just loaded without any functionality.
What’s more important than ever is to make your website stand out, and with a slider, you make your website more unique than many of your competitors. At the same time, it’s a great way to show a bunch of content more visually.
Sliders Best Practices
Don’t use a slider in the hero section of your front page. This should be reserved for identifying your brand immediately; a slider often confuses the visitor.
Don’t use a slider in your articles. An article is the deepest point on your website, and here you should display all information. A slider is to show small bits of information but as a teaser, and this does not work well in articles.
Use a slider when people expect it. If your website is all about sliders, like LinkedIn SlideShare, then you expect to see a slider as it’s part of their DNA, both on their website and when they share content on social media.
Use a slider when people save time using it comparing. For example, if you have a category of products you sell on your e-commerce site where people quickly want to skim through them, then a slider is perfect as they don’t have to wait on page loading every time.
Use a slider when the content is visual. Whenever you want to show multiple things and the visual is essential, then a slider is perfect.
Don’t autoplay your slider. It’s essential you put people in control of your slider, don’t let it autoplay, as it often creates confusion, and they lose the last step they were on. Add arrows, numbers and navigation to help them navigate your slider.
Keep your text short on your slider. If you’re using text on your slides, keep it short and to the point. A slider is for visual elements, and if your text exceeds a specific limit, you’ll be better off just writing it as a paragraph and supporting it with an image.
Don’t duplicate your headings. I often see people add a slider in an article or on a page and then just add the text from their H1. Don’t do this, and this is just duplicate content and doesn’t bring any value to your visitors.
Ensure your slider is responsive. It’s so important today that your slider works well on mobile and is touch-friendly. If this is not the case, I recommend you disable it on mobile to avoid creating a bad user experience.
Add A Featured Slider Using MetaSlider
MetaSlider is one of the most used sliders WordPress plugins, and for a reason. If you go to their website, it looks like they only have a premium version, but they have a free version you can download through the WordPress plugin directory or right down below.
As long as you don’t need video slides, multiple-layer slides, thumbnail navigation or this kind of advanced settings. Then the free version is more than feasible for you.
You can see a comparison here between the free version and the paid version.
If you do need these settings, then the pro plan starts at $79 per year for one site.
When you have the plugin installed, creating your first slider is super simple. If you want to create an image slider, then you just upload all the images you want to be part of the slider, choose the type of slideshow and press to create slideshow.
After this, you’ll now have your first slider, where you can edit it to your liking. Change the width of it, change settings such as autoplay, navigations and much more.
When you’re done creating your slider, the last step is to implement it where you want it to show on your WordPress website. To do this, I recommend you grab the shortcode in the bottom right of the editor. Here we only need the following.
Then you go to the page where you want it to show, add a shortcode widget, and insert the code you just copied, and then you have your first slider without paying a penny. It’s responsive and touch-friendly.
Add A Featured Slider Using Elementor
Another method is using Elementor, and this is super simple and straightforward. It does require Elementor Pro to have the built-in one. If you don’t have Elementor Pro and you don’t wish to upgrade, then I’ll recommend you use MetaSlider.
But open up the page where you wish to display the slider. And then, simply drag over a slider element where you want it placed.
When you drag it over, then you have all your settings on the left side and the slider showing visually in the middle of your screen. What I really like about this is you can visually see all your changes in real-time.
Add A Featured Slider For Your WooCommerce Products
For your WooCommerce shop, a slider is often perfect in categories where you want your visitors to be able to compare the products easily. This is something that will save time for your visitors and create a better experience which, in the end, increases your conversion rate.
For this, I would still use the MetaSlider unless you’re using Elementor, then use the built-in slider from Elementor.
With MetaSlider, simply install and activate the plugin and then go and set up your first slider. Ensure you set the settings to products. And then, you choose the products you want to be part of the slider.
Again like before then, you get a shortcode which you can insert where you would like, and then you have your product slider for all your visitors to save time and choose the right product for them.
It does require the pro version of MetaSlider to achieve this. Suppose you wish to do it with a free plugin. Then I can recommend looking into Product Slider for WooCommerce.
How do I create a popup slider in WordPress?
To create a popup slider, I would install 2 plugins. First, I would install Popup Maker and MetaSlider. Then create a popup and a slider, and then copy the slider shortcode and insert it into the popup.
Then you have a responsive popup slider, touch-friendly and works perfectly.
How do I add a featured slider in WordPress?
The most straightforward way to achieve this is to add a plugin like MetaSlider. Install and activate it, and then head over to the plugin’s settings, where you can set up your slider. After setting it up, you get a shortcode you need to insert where you want the slider displayed.