jQuery Slider plugins are very useful and increasingly popular web page elements used for highlighting important content.
By using a jQuery slider plugin, one can create amazing HTML slider effects with fancy animations of content elements like text and images. jQuery takes care of the difficult aspects like browser support and typically when using jQuery plugins it can be done with very little coding effort.
This is the reason why jQuery sliders and jQuery banner slideshow scripts have become very popular on most types of websites. They are are typically used to feature multiple products, news, video etc. without taking up a lot of space on the pages. In fact, we see sliders on most news and business websites today and they are placed on the most important location over the fold on the front page.
The jQuery library has undoubtedly made the life of web developers easier and made it possible for non-experts to do fancy stuff themselves. With jQuery, we can do many really advanced and dynamic things by writing just few lines of codes and without having to add proprietary plugins like Flash.
Because jQuery effects work wonders in our web designs, it makes sense that we take steps to acquire a size-able collection of ready to use plugins in various categories. To make life easier for you, I have put together a sizeable collection of both free and premium jQuery slider solutions. I hope this can save you time find the right solution for your projects.
There are different types of sliders to choose from and it is important to review the options to get the right slider design for your site. I have included basic image sliders, mixed content slider, gallery sliders, carousel sliders, banner rotators and some even have fully responsive support.
I added some tips for choosing the right slider as well at the end of the post – read through this to be clearer on the requirements you have for your slider solution. I update the article often and add new cool jQuery sliders, check all links etc. My latest update focused on adding responsive sliders, as jQuery plugins for creating responsive layouts are so hot and on removing old and obsolete scripts!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links (at no extra cost to you). I recommend that you do your own independent research before purchasing any product or service. This article is not a guideline, a recommendation or endorsement of specific products.
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RoyalSlider – Touch-Enabled jQuery Image Gallery
If you want a flexible slider solution with support for multiple slider types, I think RoyalSlider is one of the options to check out. This script includes more than 10 slider templates and it will work well for featuring content in many ways. RoyalSlider is great for creating HTML content sliders, image sliders, image galleries, video galleries, banner rotators and carousels for that sake. To catch visitor attention the plugin plenty of effects and animated captions to get the message out. This jQuery slider plugin have a fully responsive layout and for mobile users there is touch event support.
Revolution Responsive Slider jQuery Plugin
Adding the mature Revolution Responsive Slider plugin to a web page opens up for a lot of cool possibilities for featuring content using the popular slider technique. Revolutions is one of the popular premium slider plugins and it is filled with useful slider features and it is easy to set up. Since the content in hidden slides is available for search engines, it is a SEO friendly slider solution.
To ensure best possible performance the plugin is using CSS animation with fallback to jQuery on some browsers. The jQuery slider plugin comes with many transition effects and caption animations.
Lush – Content Slider
The Perfect slider for people with minimal developer experience. With an almost endless supply of jQuery slider plugins, it is difficult to choose the right one. Lush slider, however, is one of the solutions one need to check out. What makes it stand out for sure is the slider builder tool addon. This is so powerful and not a solution we typically see for jquery sliders. This tool makes creating the slides a walk in the park… and it makes me think of similar solutions found in WordPress slider plugins.
For optimal performance, this slider make use of CSS3 native transitions and animations and this makes sure it takes advantage of the modern browser features, while preserving compatibility with older browsers. Lush is easy to set up even if you do not use the builder tool. It makes use of a semantic syntax to describe the animation timeline and this way one avoid the task of defining complex attributes and keywords.
All Around – jQuery Content Slider / Carousel
With the All Around content slider you get a cool multi-purpose all-in-one slider script. This jquery slider supports both images and video. The slider offers six slider and carousel layouts and this makes it a good fit for most website designs.
Layer Slider (Must see parallax effects)
This is the slider that will make you turn your head! Layer Slider is one of the most feature packed jQuery content sliders on the market. First, it makes it easy to add amazing layered effects to your website and of course, you can use the popular parallax-effect. For transitions between slides, there are more than 170 effects to choose from and this will make your slides stand out! There are five presentation modes to make the slider fit into your web design such as full width, responsive etc.
Layer Slider, as the name says…. Allows you to create multiple layers of content. You can add any content to the slides such as videos, images, forms, basic text etc.
Parallax Slider – Responsive jQuery Plugin
With the Parallax Slider plugin one get a solution to add slides using the popular parallex effect and this will for sure give the visitors a wow experience. The plugin offers a collection of slider types one can choose from: Classic, Perpetuum Mobile, Mouse Interaction and Ultra. For each slider type there are two available templates and this gives great design flexibility. In addtion, this jQuery slider plugin can be used as fixed dimensions or as full width slider.
All in one jQuery Content Slider
With the All in one banner rotator plugin you get a all round slider script. It can be configured to act as banner rotator for using jquery banner animation style. It also supports thumbnails banners, banners with playlist, sliders and carousels with html content. The All in one Slider is responsive and it will adapt to fit tablet and mobile screens.
Full Width Slider 2.0
If you want the perfect full width slider for a responsive website you should have a look at Full Width Slider 2. This is a jQuery image slider specifically optimized for full screen width and with support for responsive layouts. It is possible to add title, description and a link to the slides and this way make them lead visitors to pages on the websites.
jQuery Banner Rotator
Most webmasters love to do great things on their website and give visitors a better experience. Adding an image slider with some really cool transition effects is one of the most popular options at the moment. jQuery Banner Rotator is special and a very hot slider script one can use to do sliders the way users love them. It is a classic image slider solution but with amazing transition effects that makes us stop and watch!
Translucent – Responsive Banner Rotator / Slider
Translucent is a cool responsive slider and banner rotator plugin with cool transparency effects on captions / descriptions. There are six layout templates included making it a flexible solution and useful for most websites.
With Translucent, one get a slider that supports both responsive and fluid layouts. In addition, it works well with mobile device touch swipe navigation on e.g. iPad and Android tablets.
SlidesJS (Free Slider)
One of the best free responsive slideshows I have found so far is SlidesJS. I comes with touch support and CSS3 transitions. Use of CSS3 animations ensure smooth effects on modern browsers.
Galleria Responsive Slider
This is the Galleria Responsive Slider. It is a free script with some really cool image presentation features. The slider includes a thin bar at the bottom with various image display possibilities and it makes Galleria one of the free options to check out first.
Blueberry slider is a mobile first and fully responsive jQuery image slider
jQuery Slider Evolution
What you see here is the jQuery Slider Evolution. Help you to set up cool image slides with great transition effects.
Agile jQuery Carousel
Agile jQuery Carousel comes in multiple flavours and it means it support different slider types. The plugin use JSON data format to define slide data and therefore it is easy to set up integration with external data or data from a CMS like WordPress.
Smooth Scroll is a simple jQuery slider plugin by Thomas Kahn. It scrolls content horizontally slowly either in left or right direction.
Coin Slider is not one of the most recent jQuery slider plugins but it is worth checking out. It is simple and lightweight and have cool transition effects.
BxSlider is a jQuery content slider and image slideshow that features horizontal, vertical, fade transitions and display and move multiple slides at once (carousel).
jQuery Grid Style Slider
jQuery Grid Style Slider help you create grids of images that users can slide through. It is possible to customizable the number of columns and rows in the grid.
Before you decide on a specific slider script there’s a few tips and considerations I would like to share with you.
- Look for recent updates and support: While we try our best to keep this article up to date there is always a risk that plugins are suddenly not supported any more. The risk is highest with free plugins but developers of premium plugins can also drop the project.
- It is often possible to find a good free slider script that is still updated and supported by the developer. Having said that it is more likely that a free slider plugin will be unsupported over time compared to premium plugins. If you are Ok with this and able to replace the script with another free plugin at that time I recommend you check this section first.
- Be clear on requirements and choose the right slider type: 1) Standard Photo Slider: specifically designed for making it easy to highlight images in a great looking way. However pure image slider plugins will not accept HTML content, video etc. 2) Gallery Style Slider: This is a slider used to showcase multiple images and typically it includes thumbnail previews of the images. 3) Mixed Content Slider: This type of slider looks similar to image slider but also allows you to have HTML content, video, text layers etc. 4) Carousel slider: Again this slider design is similar to image sliders, but this slider type have more than one image visible at the same time and often the transition effect simulates a moving carousel.
- Lightweight or do it all: Everything added to a web pages takes time to load. The more features a plugin have build in the more heavy it is likely to be. Check the script size if performance is a really critical factor
- Further consider your needs for text overlay (captions) – how flexible should it be to cover future needs?
- What data sources will be needed – just images on a disk or automatic data pull from feeds and popular content services?
- What web clients to support? If your site is responsive or if you have a dedicated mobile site you may want a responsive slider. And further a slider that have build in support for tough interactions.
- Controls… both related to users and what you need to configure as default actions. This could be everything from auto-play, delay between slides, look and feel / graphics used for controls etc.
- Consider what animations and transitions you need (the x-factor): Recently sliders have been equipped with awesome layered parallax effects making elements fly in from all sides. However this takes extra effort to setup and may be too fancy. Another popular animation is the Ken Burnes zooming effect.
- For performances and usability considerations it is a good idea to look for sliders that use HTML5 canvas and CSS3 animations as default. It is important that the slider fall back nicely to jQuery effects on older browsers.
Lars is passionate about web design, web development, SEO, social media and loves to look into new technologies, techniques, tools etc. and to write articles for tripwire magazine readers.