As the devices by which websites are accessed go from desktop and laptop to smaller tablets and smartphones, website designers must now create a site that can adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions, plus look great, too. One proven solution is a responsive content slider, which provides a central area for showcasing various amounts of text and images, while automatically accommodating the viewing requirements of any device.
Responsive content sliders are seeing a major uptick in usage because they allow website designers to display content in a more organized and interesting manner while still maintaining their creative freedom over the slider design. Most image and content sliders are customizable and provide features and options that enhance website design tools.
The diversity of responsive sliders makes them adaptable as navigation menus or to display e-commerce products, banners, portfolios, corporate products or services, company timelines, image galleries with or without text, 3D animation, videos, mixed content displays, or any large amount of information that needs to be conveyed in a limited space. They also promote interaction by turning a static website into an active, animated web page.
While there is already a large number of free and fee-based responsive content sliders, and still more being developed on an ongoing basis, some are more notable than others for their rich features and varied options. These top 10 responsive content sliders are particularly impressive for their comprehensive functionality, extensive capabilities, impressive flexibility and unique features.
1. Layer Slider
The powerful and features-rich LayerSlider is one of the more advanced responsive jQuery content slider plug-ins available. It comes with 12 customizable skins, or you can create your own skin, and three navigation types: bullets, thumbnails, or thumbnails displayed if hovering on bullets. The slider can be used with any HTML content, such as text, images, forms, embedded videos and flash content. Most impressive are the more than 200 transitions, including 2D and 3D animations that slide, fade, cross-fade, spin, fly rows or columns in any direction, and make turns in specified degrees. LayerSlider, which supports all major browsers, also features five displaying modes, including responsive and full width, that automatically resize images, text and video layers. This responsive content slider offers a lot of unique features, such as auto preview and auto play images for YouTube and Vimeo videos, auto pause of the slideshow when the video is playing, logo feature with link, linking sub-layers to other layers or a URL and multiple sliders on one page, to name a few. A powerful API is built-in and the slider is SEO friendly and offers touch control for mobile devices.
The Sequence jQuery slider is best for customization because it does not have a default theme. But for those looking for pre-designed themes, several free and premium ones are available, among them modern slide, Apple style, split slide and the Ken Burns effect that pans and zooms across still images. Content is easily added to a frame by inserting HTML in applicable list items. The advanced CSS3 transitions provide numerous behavior options for animations and transition effects. Over 40 options allow for plenty of creativity. The fully responsive content slider works on older browsers and supports parallax scrolling and touch devices.
OneSlider is a jQuery plug-in responsive slider featuring interactive content. One of the best attributes of OneSlider is that content can be added to each slider and accented with interactive features and varied effects. The fully responsive slider offers numerous transition effects, infinite slide rotation, autoplay with delay time, four positions for short content, sub content options for each slide and touch swipe for mobile devices. Its unlimited slides and versatility make OneSlider ideal for banners, image galleries, or items.
Four versions of the Parallax slider are available: Classic, Perpetuum Mobile, Mouse Interaction and Ultra. Among the differences between each version are greater behavior options for elements, such as rotary motion, perpetuum move, or continuous move for layers; mouse interaction options; and customized behaviors for multiple background elements. All of the responsive jQuery plug-in versions offer bullet and thumbnail predefined skins, touch screen navigation and responsive design. And all have the option of full width or fixed dimensions. The layered elements feature allows for unlimited layers of text or images, plus text can be animated from any direction. A nice feature is the ability to include YouTube, Vimeo and HTML 5.
There are two sides to the Slidorion slider. There’s the side for images and HTML content and the side for HTML supported navigation. The dual sides allow the fully responsive slider to adapt to any type of content. Both sides can be animated and accommodate lengthy content. With Slidorion, each slide can be individually customized with backgrounds and colors, a feature not often seen in responsive sliders. Content can be displayed using a number of different effects and embedded HTML is also possible. Slidorion was designed as an alternative to a JQuery slider, but offers all the same comprehensive features with some additional options.
As a flexible responsive content slider, the Lush slider performs with CSS3 native transition and animations to accommodate both newer and older browser versions. The slider builder tool was specifically designed with semantic syntax to avoid complex coding. The content slider can be built as a complete interface with elements added using a visual drag and drop interface and animations edited by point and click. A wide range of features allows for 50 kinds of animations, including CSS3 3D animation, shadow images and predefined style classes for text. The Lush slider also provides a preview option to view the design before going live and easy export to the web page.
With UnoSlider, the responsive content slider can be used either as a stand-alone jQuery plug-in or a WordPress plug-in. Both plug-ins are fully responsive and touch enabled and allow for HTML content. Each also comes with 12 pre-built themes, unlimited transitions and animated layers. Both versions also accommodate multiple sliders per page. When used as a stand-alone jQuery slider, there are additional per slide options, public API and full browser compatibility. The WordPress plug-in includes an HTML slides editor, transitions editor and custom CSS.
As major sites like Hulu, Yahoo and Disney demonstrate, responsive content sliders have certainly proven their worth as an essential tool for presenting content in an appealing, interactive and animated way. They have effectively provided a solution to the challenge of centralizing key information in a manner that is compatible with all devices.
Because they are easy to install, have configurable options and plenty of features, responsive content plug-ins can be used on any type of website, but their usefulness shines by allowing specific elements to be showcased prominently on a website while inviting user interaction at the same time. With the ease in which they create dynamic content, it is clear why responsive content sliders are growing in popularity so quickly.