Whether a blog or website, a slideshow functionality is a popular blog design trend. A slideshow showcases a variety of information in a small space, and it is interactive for the reader.
Slideshows can also be a fickle element for designers and developers. When trying to find the best slideshow for my clients needs, I considered the following:
- Ease of use for the customer – whether automated or manual;
- Loading time: how quickly the slider loads? Does it hold up other elements of the site;
- Responsiveness: the functionality and presentation on mobile;
- Customization potential for me as a designer and the client/
Loading time and ease of use are the two biggest factors that influence my decision. As a result, I have come to these two resources – Soliloquy and Slick – for the sites I build. Soliloquy is an excellent resource for non-developers, and only developers can set up and use SlickJS.
This post is not sponsored, and there are no affiliate links. I’m sharing two resources that I would recommend for my site.
Soliloquy | Unlimited Customization Potential
Soliloquy is a great premium slider plugin. As a stand alone slider, you can add images and customize the HTML for your needs. However, it is the add-on functionality that takes it to the next level. With the Featured Content Add-on (more on this with SlickJS), your post recent posts can be displayed as you hit publish. Involves no maintenance at all. You can customize the dashboard to show the title, category, excerpt, or read more link. My other favorite add-on is the carousel, which allows you to display smaller images in the carousel functionality. Dynamic Add-on and Schedule Add-on are both great features too.
You might want to consider this slider if you are DIY your blog, you can add Pinterest and Instagram shortcode sliders to your sidebar via Soliloquy, and display WordPress galleries via Slider.
When do I use it? I use Soliloquy for clients who want to control their slider manually with static images, mainly static websites. The client can easily change out the image without impacting the design or code of the site. I try to make things as easy for the customer as possible.
When I first discovered Soliloquy, I was excited about it. Unfortunately, loading time is not as fast as I would like, especially with blogs. Blogs tend to use too big of images along with clunky ad codes. As a result, the site loads slowly. Yuck!
Then, I started working with Slick for my sliders! Fast loading times, easy to customize and design on my end! They are my ideal slider. I set up carousel’s to display recent posts, sticky posts, relevant posts, etc. I can customize the slider to be a carousel or a single item, and I can also display it at different places within the website.
I build Slick into the code of the theme. Therefore, it is both positive and negative. It is one less plugin that I have to install in the site (yay!), but at the same time, the client cannot customize anything on his/her own unless I’ve built it to the function that way. If I have a client who prefers to upload images manually, then I use Soliloquy.
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