WordPress plugin review: Slider Pro

Sliders hit the web scene a couple years ago and got everyone “oohing” and “awing” by their sleek, dynamic and space-saving way to display images and other content on a website. Unless you can integrate your own jquery, however, getting them to look the way you want and function the way you want is easier said than done.

I’ve burned through a lot of slider plugins for WordPress before finding “the one”. Slider Pro, by bqworks, has become my go-to slider plugin in recent months, offering the most comprehensive list of features I’ve seen to date, and boasting a simple back-end with a host of skins to get you going.

Where some of the other plugins I’ve tried fall short:

  • They limit the number of sliders you can create, and/or the number of slides per slider.
  • They only offer a manual option, meaning you have to actually define each individual slide each time (who has time for that?).
  • The slider skins aren’t externalized, so that any changes to the look get overridden with every upgrade.
  • They don’t offer a mix of content, so they don’t meet the needs of every context you might want to use them for.
  • They offer this navigation system, but not that one. Or vice versa.
  • Some of them are bleeding expensive, and you don’t feel like you get what you paid for.

Where Slider Pro excels:

  • You can create dynamic sliders that are linked to either gallery or post content, perfect for a Home page OR a single Post page.
  • You can create unlimited sliders, each with its own skin and set of options.
  • You can even create a mix of dynamic content with static content, include videos, outsource Flickr content – you can go nuts!
  • Want thumbnails? BAM. Want tooltips? BAM. Want arrows, slider buttons, captions? BAM BAM BAM.
  • It sells at a fair price and comes with excellent technical support.

I’ve had the pleasure of contributing a couple of little add-ons, that I hope will make it to a future version:

  • Creating a “category” shortcode for dynamic post content slides to display that post’s category.
  • And a quick edit to make post content permalinks show up all nice and pretty.

-> Send me an email if your interested, I’d be happy to share.

You can see examples of this plugin in use on websites I’ve produced:

  • www.yooko.fr (Soon on the Home page, currently both on Magazine single post pages, as well as Network member profiles – Home, news and portoflio items).
  • www.footconcert.net (Livre d’Or, Photos, Foot Concert 2012)

What’s the difference between a slider and a gallery? A gallery is a very basic way to display a series of images, often including both a thumbnail list display and some kind of image rotator. Whereas a slider is that and so much more. Because they can take on so many different forms and looks, and because they are such great space-saving devices, I doubt they will be going out of style anytime soon. Happy sliding!