The State of Responsive Sliders
A couple of years ago I wrote a post about how Flash was dead and introduced a ground breaking new image WordPress slider solution called the Revolution Slider. This slider, along with a couple others such as the Layer Slider and Master Slider have quickly become the top selling WordPress slider plugins on the market, with sales in the thousands. Due to overwhelming demand for these sliders the developers had the resources to further the development of their products. It’s amazing how far these sliders have come, from the drag and drop features to the advanced animations.
A New Competitor Arises
Recently I was contacted about a new advanced WordPress slider plugin which was just introduced to the the market and I decided to take a look at what it has to offer.
The intro had me interested enough for everyone’s first question, “How Much?”. One thing that instantly sets the Smart Slider apart from the competition if that there is a free version of the slider available. This is great news for people that want to setup a simple slideshow on their website.
Although there is a free version the real value comes with the purchase of one of the 2 available license options. Why is it worth purchasing a license? Use your own judgment of course but I tested the full version and it’s definitely worth it. The full version offers additional modes, layers and animations.
Most importantly purchasing a license gives you access to a TON of different pre-built sliders which you can import to give yourself a jump start. The pre-built sliders are the most impressive that I’ve seen, of any premium slider. There is a large variety of sliders from your typical image sliders to tabbed sliders, carousel, product sliders, one page layouts with nav, restaurant menu setups, modal windows, contact forms and many more. Check out this demo page I created when testing a few of these available sliders, I’m sure you’ll agree they’re impressive.
Which license version should you purchase?
There are 2 available licenses to choose from, each with increasing options. If you’re a developer who works on multiple sites you may as well purchase the Lifetime license which gives you unlimited support and allows you to use the slider on 50 domains (the equivalent would cost you $950 with the Revolution Slider).
Using the Smart Slider
After purchasing your license you will be able to quickly install your WordPress plugin and activate your license code. Next select a pre-built slider to import and you’ll be ready to go. The editor is really impressive with a 2 column layout which you can collapse into a one column layout for ease of use. I was impressed by how quickly I was able to figure out where the different settings were (who enjoys reading documentation).
One of the most important features is the ability to edit the slider at different breakpoints. One of the most complicated issues to deal with when creating a responsive slider with multiple layers is what happens when the slider gets down to a tiny size. The Smart Slider has this figured out, now you can readjust everything for the different breakpoints easily with the drag and drop interface.
One thing I loved was the live previewing ability of animations and the full slider. As seen below you can choose an animation effect and view it instantly. You can also click play on the slider right from the editor to view what you’re building. Both are obviously super helpful when creating complex slides with multiple layers and animations.
One other unique feature I’m a big fan of is the ability to export the slider to HTML. This is useful for a variety of reasons.
When contacted about the new slider called the Smart Slider I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m contacted by the developers of a lot of new software products but often times their product offers nothing unique and is just a bland copy of a product already on the market. In this case the opposite was true. I was actually blown away by the features and quality of the Smart Slider. They took an interesting approach with their sales model by letting you try the slider for free and then offering license options with more options and pre-built sliders for once you’re hooked on the product.
Grab your Smart Slider today and let me know if you agree.