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!
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.
When you need to create slideshows with a true wow-effect, build sparkling slideshow portfolios, add WordPress video sliders, make sure to check out our collection of the premium WordPress slider plugins (compared).
Stratum Slider widget for Elementor
Stratum is a free premium-like bundle of widgets for Elementor. And the slider widget the Stratum addon offers 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.