Using an interactive carousel slider on your WordPress site is a creative way to present web content.
Adding visuals such as photos and videos to a website gets visitors’ attention. It also enhances the user experience.
For a design or photographer website, placing images in sliders or photo carousels makes them more interactive. And that isn’t the only practical use. Two quick ways where you can use carousel sliders are in sites presenting news, or e-commerce sites presenting products.
What is a WordPress Carousel Slider?
A carousel slider is a slideshow of photos in WordPress.
It can slide automatically at a certain motion, speed, and time. Or users can navigate through it manually.
It enables a site to display multiple media files without taking too much space.
A lot of web designers used to express their aversion to carousel sliders. But now it has become a common design element.
It is often used by modern websites to present content with a higher degree of interactivity.
Carousels prove effective at keeping visitors interested in the page content. The images and videos lead the visitors to explore and learn more about the website.
Types of slider
Is the carousel the same as the slider? In context, they are the same.
They both have the same function: to display photos or other media files in the form of a slideshow. This is either automatic or manually controlled.
However, sliders only display one slide at a time. Whereas carousels allow users to see multiple slides at once.
There are two types of sliders, one is the simple slider – the most common one – and the other is the carousel type.
The simple slider only displays one image at a time. It helps visitors focus on the message, which is ideal for headers and galleries.
The carousel type shows many slides at once, allowing users to browse content faster. It is perfect for displaying products and blog posts.
Components of a carousel slider
A carousel is made up of:
- Div class or “container”.
This is an attribute that groups or contains HTML elements together. It also separates them from other classes.
This is where the designer places the content.
- Navigation, or the control icons or keys.
These include left and right arrows, “prev” and “next” buttons, the pause and play icons. Or the set of controls similar to that of a music player that let people control autoplay and pause options.
- Responsive pagination or another option for navigation.
This is a series of bullets, short lines, or numbers found at the bottom of the slide. It helps to indicate which slide in the series you are at.
Tips for Using Image Carousel in Web Design
The carousel slider is ideal for e-commerce, news, photography websites, or other sites using heavy visuals. Many websites use image carousels to:
- Maximize space, time, and clicks
- Put more focus and emphasis on key messaging
- Sort large amounts of related page content
A lot of WordPress carousels offer additional features that are completely customizable. However, added features are sometimes not practical to use.
Remember, a good website must be easy to navigate. Thus, it’s vital to choose a carousel that will enhance usability.
To put sliders to good use and maximize their functions, keep the following practices in mind.
Provide Users with More Control
People hate it when they can’t do much on a website. They think websites are created for their consumption and they are right.
Thus, it is important to give them a little bit more control over the interface. With sliders, adding navigation keys or icons like arrows and dots enables visitors to browse through as they please.
Keep the Text Short but Clear
If the image movement is automatic, make sure that the copy is short yet clear for every slide.
To check if the copy is short enough, try to read the text at a normal, natural pace before it turns to the next slide. If you can read all of the text without catching your breath before it advances, then it is short enough.
Never forget to add navigation
Don’t you hate it when you can’t figure out how to go from one slide to another? Or how a certain plugin works on a website?
One sure way to decrease website retention is to confuse the visitors.
To prevent this and to avoid losing a potential customer, always add navigation. The more visible those arrows are the better.
Place the Carousel Slider at the top of Web Page
One reason to put a carousel slider on a website is to grab the attention of visitors immediately.
The most ideal spot to place a carousel slider is at the top of the web page. Placing them in other spaces on the website has less impact.
Use Compelling and High-Quality Media
Using an aesthetic carousel slider to display low-quality, irrelevant photos is pointless. A carousel slider works best if the images and videos are high-quality and compelling.
Always use the highest quality of media available.
Other reasons for putting a carousel slider on websites
- Create an impression on the hero section of the page
- Boost the impact of the web design and user experience
- Feature highlights to engage users before the main page content
- Support the main content with visual materials
- Display multiple offers
- Draw the visitor’s attention and focus it on a single slide
- Show text snippets in an aesthetic way
- Enhance content with information right inside the reading flow
- Make a landing page for promotional products
- Improve narrative or storytelling experiences, especially for presenting a bulk of information
Best Examples of Carousel Sliders
WooCommerce Slider Pack
This slider pack for WooCommerce offers a variety of sliders and carousels. They are especially built for product display.
Users can select the product categories and the slider automatically loads the products. The pack contains 3 sliders that can either run on automatic or manual.
Cyber Carousel With Lightbox
This fullscreen carousel has vertical navigation tabs. It also has a lightbox modal and an autoplay feature.
It is customizable. Users can edit the content and change the settings with one click.
Corporate Carousel With Lightbox
This carousel has tab navigation at the top of the slide. There is a lightbox modal that can display added content.
Users can also navigate through the slides by swiping.
Food Recipe Carousel
This carousel is very easy to use. There are three ways to navigate through the slides:
- by swiping
- by clicking the dot navigation
- by clicking the arrows
The slides are in a linear arrangement. Visitors can hover over each image and click each slide to view full details.
Travel Blog Carousel
This carousel slider is perfect for travel blogs. It shows parallax and ken burns effects when swiping through.
This makes still images look more appealing. It also features other animations that make every slide stunning.
This carousel slider is perfect for presenting photography projects in a creative way. It has swipe-based navigation and numbered slides.
Browse different projects by clicking and swiping the thumbnails in a thumbnail strip located at the bottom of the slider.
This carousel slider is ideal for posting news articles. Each slide displays the news headline, type of news, and time posted.
It displays the articles in a single row. You can browse through different headlines by clicking the arrows.
This carousel has a vertical navigation tab. It also has an autoplay feature for HTML5 video content.
Users can also swipe through images and videos to navigate. It also features a fullscreen button and a subtle parallax effect for still images.
This carousel features an image tab navigation. Users can either hover over the images or swipe through to browse the slides.
The carousel is also automated. It turns over the next slide at a slower speed.
This carousel has three ways of navigation:
- swiping through
- clicking the thumbnails
- clicking the arrows
It also features a pop-up box that contains further details for every slide.
This carousel has swipe-based navigation. But you can also click the arrows and the thumbnails at the bottom to browse through.
Hover over arrows to find out which slide comes next.
This carousel is perfect for a product showcase. Unlike other sliders, the products have no copy and have rather transparent backgrounds.
Navigate through by clicking the arrows and the thumbnails at the bottom.
Photography Carousel Website
This photography carousel has swipe-based navigation and static copy. It also has a small strip of thumbnails at the bottom that users can click to navigate through.
Media Carousel Autoplay
This carousel can show HTML5 embedded videos as well as video content from YouTube and Vimeo. Control this slider by clicking the arrows or by clicking the video thumbnails.
This carousel slider is different from other sliders in terms of navigation. Users can control this carousel by swiping the slides.
It also has 3-tab navigation that users can click and swipe through to go to a different slide.
FAQs about carousel sliders
1. What is a carousel slider and how does it work?
A carousel slider is a common design element in web design that rotates a number of photos or bits of material. Users can scroll through the material when it appears as a horizontal row of photos that automatically move left or right.
2. What are the benefits of using a carousel slider on a website?
Multiple products or pieces of content can be effectively displayed using carousel sliders in a small amount of web space.
Additionally, they enable page designers to add visual interest and interactivity, which can increase user engagement and keep visitors on the website for longer.
Carousel sliders are a useful marketing tool because they can also be used to promote particular content, like promotions or new products.
3. What are some best practices for designing carousel sliders?
The user experience must be taken into consideration when creating carousel sliders. Slides should load quickly and be simple to explore, and the slider itself should be accessible and simple to use.
Additionally, since too much information can be overwhelming for users, designers should take into account the number of slides and the amount of content on each slide. In addition, make sure the slider is responsive and looks excellent on all devices by selecting high-quality photos.
4. Can carousel sliders negatively impact website performance?
Yes, improperly implemented carousel sliders can have a negative impact on the performance of a website. Large photos or an excessive number of slides might cause page load times to be long, which can negatively affect user experience and search engine rankings.
Designers could utilize compressed file formats like JPEG or PNG and optimize photos for the web to prevent this from happening.
They should also employ lazy loading to delay the loading of images until they are required, and they should keep the number of slides to a minimum.
5. How many slides should a carousel slider have?
The use case and the presented information will determine the optimal number of slides for a carousel slider. Generally speaking, it’s ideal to limit the number of slides and concentrate on showcasing the most crucial information.
A news website might use a slider to show the most recent headlines, or an e-commerce site might use a carousel slider to highlight new products or special offers. A decent general rule of thumb is to keep the number of slides to five or six at most.
6. Is it better to use a carousel slider or static images on a website?
The exact design objectives and the content being presented on a website determine whether to employ a carousel slider or static photos.
While static images may be more suitable for highlighting a single piece of content or for making a particular visual impact, carousel sliders can be useful for showcasing multiple pieces of content in a constrained space.
The decision ultimately comes down to the project’s individual requirements and user experience objectives.
7. How do you optimize a carousel slider for mobile devices?
Designers should take the size and orientation of the screen, the amount of content being displayed, and other factors into account when creating a carousel slider for mobile devices.
To make sure that the slider looks beautiful on all platforms and that users can easily explore it using touch controls, responsive design approaches must be used.
In order to make sure that the slider loads quickly on mobile devices, designers should also take the file size of the photos into account and use compressed formats.
8. What types of content work well in a carousel slider?
Carousel sliders can be used to display a variety of content, such as screenshots of products, endorsements, blog entries, news articles, and more.
The secret is to concentrate on information that consumers are likely to interact with and that is visually appealing. A news website might use a slider to show the most recent headlines, or an e-commerce site might use a carousel slider to highlight new products or special offers.
A carousel slider may also effectively display customer testimonials and reviews as well as before-and-after pictures to highlight the outcomes of a good or service.
9. How can you make sure that a carousel slider is accessible for all users?
Designers should take a number of elements into account to make sure a carousel slider is usable by all users. The slider should first be keyboard-accessible so that users may use the tab key to move it.
To further assist consumers in using the slider, designers want to provide labels and directions that are both clear and concise. Additionally, it’s crucial to use alt tags to describe images and make sure the slider is compatible with assistive technologies like screen readers.
10. What are some alternatives to using a carousel slider on a website?
The use of static photos or videos, developing a grid layout to display several pieces of content, or utilizing a single, sizable hero image with a call-to-action button are some substitutes for a website’s carousel slider.
Another choice is to add visual interest without the need for a complicated slider by using an animated GIF or SVG. In the end, the design element picked will depend on the project’s unique requirements and user experience objectives.
Final thoughts on using a carousel slider on WordPress
Presenting visuals on a website can be challenging. Especially when displaying several images or videos.
To organize a bulk of media or page content on your website, adding a carousel slider should do the trick.
When adding a carousel slider, remember to include navigation controls. The more obvious the controls are, the better.
Try to keep the copy for every slide short and clear. Also, remember to use high-quality media to draw visitors’ attention.
If you liked this article about carousel sliders, you should check out this article about mobile carousels.