WordPress image slider is great way to display videos, images and other graphic designs and make site more appealing. They have advanced so much that you can combine video and images, add various effects or even audio.
Sliders (AKA carousels or rotators) have become incredibly popular on WordPress websites. They can draw new visitors to site and capture attention. There is huge number of WordPress image sliders available. Free or paid, choice is overwhelming.
They are frequently used on home pages, but can appear on any page. The problem is, sliders may not always be the best choice when it comes to website image display.
Various studies don’t go into favor of WordPress image sliders. Industry experts agree that sliders cause confusion and impact negatively on SEO. They sometimes affect website loading times, click-through and conversion.
WordPress Image Slider – Yes or No?
Some studies indicate that sliders perform poorly when it comes to conversion. They rarely generate high click-through rates. Website visitors often view them as spammy advertisements.
Studies say only 1% of people actually ever click on an image included in a slider or carousel (usually the first one). Image sliders tend to slow down websites.
That results in negative SEO impacts, as well as reduced conversion and click-through rates. If your website is an e-commerce platform, this has the potential to impact your sales figures and the bottom-line of your business.
Sliders often don’t perform well on mobile devices. WordPress image sliders are often to big. That they occupy an entire screen. That results in no actual content on a web page until after the fold. According to Google, this is not good.
Sliders can cause confusion for your website visitors. All of a sudden there are multiple messages. If you don’t know what the most important piece of information on your website homepage is, how are your website visitors meant to know?
But on the other side, people like looking at pretty pictures. A Homepage is the front door to any website, and sometimes banners make a nice welcome.
Click-through rates are indeed low on sliders, but that doesn’t mean people completely ignore them. With the right treatment, the homepage banner area can strengthen branding. Banners are also a great way to promote things like specials and discounts.
If you don’t use large images and too many image slides, there shouldnt be significant impact on website speed. Try putting maximum of three slides that use optimized images. This ensures fast load times that preserve SEO value.
If WordPress image slider on your website doesn’t perform well on mobile, disable it for handheld devices. Slider Revolution and Layer Slider are great examples of responsive WordPress image slider plugins.
There are clever ways to segment an overall message into two or three mini-messages if you don’t want to confuse visitors with multiple image sliders on your WordPress website/blog.
WordPress Image Slider Cons
- Sliders decrease conversions
- People ignore sliders, often assuming them to be ads
- People rarely click slides
- Sliders can distract from important content
- Sliders annoy people who can’t read the slides fast enough
- Your message loses focus
- Sliders sometimes don’t work well on mobile devices
- Sliders can slow down your site
- Sliders can negatively affect SEO
WordPress Image Slider Alternatives
- Show a single, static message/offer in text, possibly complemented with static images
- Show a single, static call to action (CTA) in text, possibly complemented with static images
- Show an engaging video
- On homepage, show main message/offer/CTA, and below show other messages/offers/CTAs in static featured areas
- If displaying photos, use static photo galleries
If You Must Use A Slider
- Use the same message/theme for all slides in the slider
- Don’t automatically scroll. Let people manually scroll
- Use few slides (2-5)
- Make navigation obvious and simple
- Make sure it loads quickly
- Make sure it’s mobile-friendly
- Use simple transitions
- Make sure that you select a slider that is responsive
Stick with just one offer, message or written content. Keep your sliders in sync if you use them. Each slide should represent something of an overall topic for that slider.
Don’t have a homepage slider where the first image is a banner for an event, the next one for your services, and the third a banner for your contact form. That’s too much.
If you have three or more images rotating be sure that each shows same message placed in the same position. At least this way, you overcome the issue of multiple messages fighting for attention within the same space.
Give users the ability to completely control your slider. Turn off automatic sliding. Let your visitor navigate when he wants it to. Include left and right arrows on the sides of each image in your slider.
Make sure image in slider arent to big. It shouldn’t occupy the entire area above the fold. There should always be some written content at the top of your web page, somewhere.
Keep track of the statistics associated with your slider. See if people are actually clicking. If so, which sliders are they clicking on? Try removing and adding sliders to see which ones perform best.
If you must use a slider, use it for display purposes, and preferably not on the homepage. Because you want the homepage to load fast. Google likes that. And your visitors will appreciate it.
If you include a call to action for your slider, use only one and make it visible on each slide. That way, the images in the slides are still for display, but the call to action is the same on each. If you feel like you need a different call to action for each slide, rethink your use of a slider.
Are WordPress Image Sliders Bad For Website? Summary
There are clearly some disadvantages of having WordPress image slider plugin installed on your WP site. But it looks as the major image slider WordPress plugins are starting to combat some of these cons. Both Meta Slider and Soliloquy have built-in some SEO functionality.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your website visitors enjoy when browsing site. Be sure to test and make sure that an image slider really is the best option for your site.
There are plenty of other ways to add images and effects to WordPress site without using sliders. Don’t feel like you’re ‘missing out’ because you have to sacrifice a slider. Leaving the slider out doesn’t mean you won’t have a great website.
Just because your competitors have sliders, doesn’t necessarily mean they know what they’re doing. You don’t have to copy them.
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