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!

Jenny Beaumont

Jenny Beaumont is an Agile Coach and the Director of Delivery at Human Made, makers of Altis DXP. She speaks at conferences around the world (ok, these days only on zoom), and is a former lead organizer of WordCamp Paris and WordCamp Europe.

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