I'm looking for a plugin that will let me easily place a jQuery based (because I want to avoid the hassle of multiple javascript libraries) slider on my site in various places. I'd like it to be able to handle images as well as html. I'm aware of the Featured Content Gallery plugin, but I would like to find an alternative (partly because of this tweet by Brad Williams, whose opinion I trust).

Ideally, I'd like something that can automatically create a 'slideshow' based on categories, tags, recent posts, etc., but that can also let me manually create a 'slideshow' with whatever post, image, or other content I want to use.

Edit: I'm looking for a WordPress plugin, not just a jQuery plugin.

  • 1
    Sorry, wish I could help you. I always just write my own. I'd be interested to know what others think, though. Commented Aug 20, 2010 at 20:27
  • It might help if you describe how exactly you want your "slider" to function. Do you want an automated slideshow with a text overlay like Featured Content Gallery? Or something else?
    – EAMann
    Commented Aug 20, 2010 at 20:40
  • EAMann - yes, something like that would be perfect. The more flexibility, the better. I'll edit my post to add more. Commented Aug 20, 2010 at 20:57
  • I don't know of one that reproduces that much functionality ... but it's definitely an idea. I'll keep an eye out, but I agree with John that I'm tempted to just write my own.
    – EAMann
    Commented Aug 20, 2010 at 21:24

4 Answers 4


I know you said you are looking for a WordPress Plugin but most of the content sliders are very easy to add manually and will be a lot less bloated because you only have to add the features you want to use. I will give a few options:

JQuery Cycle (by far the simplest for images)

I use this for images and wrote a short code for it so it can easily be added to posts, pages or widgets. To use add the div class and shortcodes for the images:

<div class="slideshow"> [slideimage name=name-of-image-uploaded-to-media] [slideimage name=next-image-name] </div> (This will only work for .jpg's if you want to use .png change the ext to 'png' in the shortcode function

In footer.php just call the cycle.js you download from http://jquery.malsup.com/cycle/download.html and add this between script tags or to your master js

jQuery(function() { jQuery('.slideshow').cycle(); });

function slideimage_shortcode($atts, $content = null) {
    extract( shortcode_atts( array(
    'name' => '',
    'ext' => 'jpg',
    'path' => '/wp-content/uploads/',
    'url' => ''
    ), $atts ) );
    if (file_exists($file)) {
        if ($size!==false) $size=$size[3];
        $output = "<img src='".get_option('siteurl')."$path$name.$ext'   $size alt='$name' />";
        if ($url) $output = "<a href='$url' title='$name'>".$output.'</a>';
        return $output;
    else {
        trigger_error("'$path$name.$ext' image not found", E_USER_WARNING);
        return '';

For Sliders that contain posts, HTML, or pretty much anything I use JQuery Tools Scrollable http://flowplayer.org/tools/scrollable/index.html

The instructions on the jQuery Tools site are very well written and basically you wrap the slider in a div then the individual posts or items are wrapped in another div inside the main one.

You have to call the plugin js in your footer and add the function to your master js or in script tags: jQuery(function() { jQuery(".scrollable").scrollable({vertical:true,mousewheel:false}); });

EDIT: Add query post by category to any template file to allow end user to add posts to the slider.

The following code would add any posts in category 8 to the slider:

<div id="slider">
  <?php query_posts('post_type=post&order=asc&cat=8'); ?>

        <div id="actions">
    <a class="prev">&laquo; Back</a>
    <a class="next">More &raquo;</a>

  <div class="scrollable">
   <div class="items">
 <?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
 <?php the_content(); ?>
<?php endwhile;?>


To make the whole setup more Plugin like, register and enqueue jquery tools in functions.php

if ( !is_admin() ) { // instruction to only load if it is not the admin area
   // register your script location, dependencies and version
       '1.4.2' );
   // enqueue the script

Now add another function to add the slider configuration:

// add jquery tools configuration to footer
function add_jquerytools_config() {
    echo '<script type="text/javascript">';
    echo 'jQuery(document).ready(function($) {';
        echo '$(".slider").scrollable({circular:true}).autoscroll(8000);';
        echo '$(".scrollable").scrollable({vertical:false,mousewheel:false});});';
    echo '</script>';
add_action('wp_footer', 'add_jquerytools_config');
  • 1
    The problem is I need this to be usable by someone who has no html/css/php/etc. experience, thus the need for a plugin. I can get everything setup, but this other person has to be able to use whatever I setup. Commented Aug 20, 2010 at 23:02
  • You could build into a template a query post by category then the user would only have to check the right category to make the post show up. I will add the template code above.
    – Chris_O
    Commented Aug 20, 2010 at 23:41
  • If you set it up to accept a specific category, your user will only have to write a post and assign the category, and it should work out.
    – kevtrout
    Commented Aug 20, 2010 at 23:49
  • @tnorthcutt - can't you build a plugin from the code above? jQuery Cycle is definitely the way to go; I've done tons of research on them and I keep coming back to you. Commented Aug 21, 2010 at 1:08
  • Mike, due to time restraints, sadly no. I've not built a plugin before, and while I plan to start learning how very soon, that doesn't fit into the timeline for this project. Commented Aug 21, 2010 at 3:44

I've settled on the SlideDeck plugin for WordPress for this project. In short, it's very well put together, looks great, is very flexible, etc. etc. I'm pretty impressed thus far. The only drawback is that the free version includes a very small attribution image link, but honestly, it's probably worth the $49 they want for the WP plugin.


I've been very happy with jcarousel. It works well, is easy to use and has some nice features.

  • I see that there is a WordPress plugin for jcarousel, but it looks like it's only for images - more like an image gallery plugin. Commented Aug 20, 2010 at 21:09

Full disclosure, I'm about to recommend a jQuery plugin that I developed. - It's also not a WordPress plugin (I'm working on it though), but can still be used effectively for what you're suggesting (in fact the use you're suggesting was my primary motivation for developing it).

I use Basic jQuery Slider (http://www.basic-slider.com) for my clients WordPress sites in combination with the OptionTree plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/option-tree/) to create featured posts/content slides.

Basic jQuery Slider allows you to use whatever markup you like in the slides, so is perfect for creating a featured post/content slider with an image, heading, excerpt, etc. To allow the user to manage the content of the slides, I use OptionTree, with a simple select field for each slide which contains all of the pages/posts currently in the site. It's just up to you to configure the slider in your templates by pulling out the relevant pieces of content from the posts that the user has selected. Alternatively, you could let the user select a category, tag, etc and pull in content for the slider based on that.

It's also possible using that combination to create and manage multiple sliders on your site.

I'm currently working on turning this in to a full featured (and free) WordPress plugin.

Hope that helps and wasn't too self-promote-y :)

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