6 Free WordPress Slideshow Plugins Worth a Try

NextGen Screenshot

When I recently went through a site redesign, one of my bigger goals was to have really succinct, beautiful slideshows in the features section and body of my posts, but had some difficulty finding ones that were easy to use without too many hangups.

Pooling my fellow bloggers on what they use would have certainly expedited the research and trial and error process, but at least those of you who are considering using slideshows now have a great resource to reference when selecting a slideshow. Below are five slideshow plugins that have gotten the thumbs up from fellow bloggers, including myself, along with some important aspects to be mindful of, before installing and using:

WP Featured Content Slider

Used by: Me (Julia of Fashion Pulse Daily)
After admiring a dozen high-profile websites with featured content slideshows, my designer and I  decided to use this slider plugin for my features section at the top of the homepage because it has plenty of customizable options, smoothly transitions, and looks very clean. Plus, I can easily select in my posts which one I want to go there via checking a box; I just have to remember to always upload a featured image, and that the title can't be too long or it will get cut-off at the bottom of the slider. The other thing that can be annoying is that when you select a featured image, when it pulls it in it doesn't shrink it, so I always cross my fingers that the photo crops in a way that is flattering or recognizable as to what the object may be.

NextGEN Gallery (pictured above)

Used by: Kristin Booker of Fashion.Style.Beauty “I use NextGEN Gallery, and it's great. I think slideshows are the best within the body of the posts, particularly when you have events and items that require a lot of photos that would clutter a regular post, like Fashion Week, special event photos and look books from brands. It's great for visual impact and it helps with traffic as well.”

Slideshow Plugin

Used by: Karen Klopp of  What2WearWhere
“We use the WordPress Slideshow Plugin, as we find it intuitive to load.  We keep it on the homepage and haven't inserted it into the posts to-date. I think slideshows in advertising are particularly effective and eye catching.” Note: this plugin hasn't been updated in two years.

Portfolio Slideshow

Used by: Me
My first-ever slideshow plugin was the Slideshow plugin, which I still have a fondness for, however I wanted a new one because the width and height of the image was restricted, as well as the number of slides that you can have (10).  My site designer recommendation this one, so I  started using the portfolio slideshow mainly because it had no limitations on the former issues, it's mobile-friendly, and it is easily customizable to truly feel like your own;  there are five different size options, you can designate the slideshow timing/speed, which image-related text appears (image title, captions, descriptions), and where the navigation is displayed (top, bottom, or disabled).

Dynamic Content Gallery

Used by: Lianne Farbes of The Makeup Girl
“I use the Dynamic Content Gallery slider for my blog but I'm about to do an upgrade so it will likely change as this one is theme-specific.  The only thing that I DON'T like about this is you have to be very specific about how things are displayed, or you will end up with a big fat error flying across your screen.  Once you work out how you want your imagery and content displayed (which is a bit confusing, especially for a novice) it's all good, but there is definitely some legwork involved.”

ShowTime Slideshow

Used by: Me
I use this slideshow on one of my websites using WordPress, not on the main homepage, but on another tab/page, which works well since it pulls in all of the images on the post/page as a slideshow. It's super easy to install and set up, and works nicely with lo-res pics without stretching/distorting them. The only downside is that the plugin hasn't been updated in two years, so if it isn't working properly or you have a question about tweaking it, you may be on your own. Also, you need to move your mouse over the slideshow and click for it to move; otherwise a site visitor might not realize it is has a slideshow feature, opposed to being just one, static image.

Which WordPress Slideshow Plugin do you use?

Related Posts

About The Author

Blogging at her site Fashion Pulse Daily since 2008 and working on fashion's editorial side since 2003 has lent Julia the acumen to think creatively and endure in the colliding worlds of blogging, fashion and beauty. New York City is her backdrop for inspiration (and many a outfit photo), where she is often found on her couch, feverishly typing away at her latest post, with her trusty feline at her side. Follow her on Instagram , Twitter, and Pinterest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

9 Responses

  1. Gogui O

    I was wondering, are there any good slideshow pluggings you can use in Blogger other than picasa?


  2. Sheryl Blasnik

    Anyone know of a Slider that can go in a post that can have HTML hyperlinks and will be compatible with an RSS Feed? Looking for a Slider that will only show the first photo when the blog post is fed through Feedburner with a hyperlink to the original post….

    Sheryl Blasnik


  3. Fashnboucou

    I’m currently using the Slideshow Plugin but it does’t display as well as it does on What2WearWhere’s site. I was looking to recreate the slideshow plugin that magazines such as Luckymag, Glamour and Vogue use on their sites. Any suggestions? Thank you. http://www.fashnbeaucoup.com