by Bernadett Toth on October 16, 2020

Are you looking for a Free Slider Revolution Alternative?

Slider Revolution is by far the most popular paid slider plugin for WordPress. But did you know there are more fantastic free Slider Revolution alternatives that are just as good as the Slider Revolution? Yes, that’s right – you can design and build beautiful sliders for your website without having to pay for a premium plugin.

📚 Table of contents

  1. Free Slider Revolution alternatives
  2. Top free slider plugins
  3. About Slider Revolution
  4. Smart Slider 3 vs. Slider Revolution
  5. Alternatives with Smart Slider 3
  6. Creating a free slider
  7. Reasons to choose Smart Slider 3
  8. Smart Slider 3 Pro
  9. Conclusion

Plugins as Free Slider Revolution alternative

Do you want to create a slider for free? Then you may look for a free slider plugin which you can create stunning sliders easily. I collected 11 slider plugins, which you can use.

  1. Smart Slider 3
  2. Metaslider
  3. Master slider
  4. Gutenslider
  5. Soliloquy
  6. Slide anything
  7. Ultimate Responsive Image Slider
  8. Slider by 10Web
  9. Genesis Responsive Slider
  10. Cryout Serious Slider
  11. Crelly Slider

From the 11 plugins I tested 4 which are potential Slider Revolution alternatives: Smart Slider 3, Metaslider, Master slider and Gutenslider.

I plan to choose a Rev slider template, which I’ll try to recreate with each plugin. It won’t be easy, because a free plugin can’t fully replace a paid plugin, but let’s try it! I chose this News slider template. There are thumbnails on the left, and there is a white box with a heading, a description and with a button.

Slider Revolution template

What are the most important features of this slider?

  • Full width layout
  • Background images
  • Layers: heading, text, button
  • Thumbnails on the left
  • Autoplay
  • Fading background
  • Animation on the layers
  • Responsive slider

I will check in each plugin, can I recreate the same looking slider as this template, or what alternatives can I use. Then I will choose the best, and check it for more details.

Smart Slider 3

Smart Slider 3 is a powerful and perfect free Slider Revolution alternative. This is one of the most popular slider plugins in the WordPress repository, has a 5-star rating and 700,000+ active installs. With this plugin, you can create sliders and blocks without coding knowledge.

Free feature slider

Live Preview

The drag and drop editor helps you create the slider as you have imagined, and the available layers can be freely used. The heading, text, images, buttons, YouTube and Vimeo layers help you create a slider that you can structure in rows and columns. You can easily create a responsive slider, and every layer is customizable.

Smart Slider Dashboard

With Smart Slider 3 I could almost fully recreate the same looking slider as the Rev slider template, only one feature is missing: the layer animation. Layer animations are available only in the Pro version.

MetaSlider

With 800,000+ active installs, Meta Slider is one of the most popular slider plugins for WordPress. But is it the best free slider plugin?

Don’t get me wrong, Meta Slider is a great plugin if all you want to do is create a simple image slideshow. The user interface is minimal and easy to understand and use. Creating a slideshow is a straightforward process – just upload your images, add captions, and then you can set the dimensions and transition effect.

Metaslider dashboard

Unfortunately, layers are pro features, so you’ll need to upgrade if you want to create more than just simple image slideshows with this free Slider Revolution alternative.

Master slider

This well-designed slider plugin, Master slider provides an easy to use interface for creating simple sliders. Quickly get started with one of eight free slider templates or build your own custom slider from scratch using this Revolution Slider alternative.

Master slider editing

With the available settings you can configure the dimensions for your slider, basic transitions and speed, and simple navigation settings like thumbnails or bullets. Unfortunately, Master Slider hasn’t option to use layers, it’s a Pro feature.

Gutenslider

Gutenslider is a brand new slider plugin in WordPress, which was created for Gutenberg, the default editor of WordPress. It can be a great free Rev slider alternative, because it’s easy to use. Additionally, you don’t need to learn a new interface because Gutenberg is known by every WordPress user. You can use the known Gutenberg blocks as layers, which is a great advantage of a free slider plugin.

Slider editing in Gutenslider

The top free Slider Revolution alternative plugins

My top four free Slider Revolution alternative plugins (in order) are: Smart Slider 3, Gutenslider, Master Slider and MetaSlider.

Smart Slider
Metaslider
Master Slider
Gutenslider
Full width
Background images
Layers: heading, text, button
Thumbnails
Autoplay
Background fade
Layer animation
Responsive settings

If you want to create a layered slider with text, images and video, Smart Slider 3 is your best bet. For a basic, simple slider, Gutenslider is easy to use, and works well with Gutenberg.

So which option is the best alternative to Slider Revolution? Easy. Smart Slider 3. It’s totally free and offers a lot of features as Slider Revolution. But can be Smart Slider 3 the perfect free Slider Revolution alternative? Let’s see it in more detail.

What does Slider Revolution offer?

Slider Revolution is a responsive Slider Plugin which you can use to create modern sliders for your WordPress site. This is a paid plugin that usually comes with premium themes, but you can buy it if you want.

Slider Revolution has an extensive option where you can use it. What can you use it for?

  • Hero image block. With this plugin, you can create a simple block for your page which can be a great header.
  • Video slider. You can create a video gallery, or you can put videos on your slides.
  • Full-width slider. If you want to create a simple full-width slider, Slider Revolution has an option for that, too.
  • Post slider. You can display your latest post in your slider.

It sounds really good, and Slider Revolution indeed has a lot of options. However, it is a paid plugin, the starter package costs $29/year. If you don’t have a subscription package, the one-time payment is $59 only with a 6-month support. If you have a low budget project then you may have no money for a premium plugin. What can you do? Find a free plugin which can be a really good Slider Revolution alternative. Smart Slider 3 can be a great choice for that.

Smart Slider 3 Logo
The new way to build a Slider
Next generation visual editor, customizable animations & effects, and access to hundreads of premade templates.

Slider Revolution vs. Smart Slider 3

Before you start working with a new plugin, maybe you are curious about what the difference is between Slider Revolution and Smart Slider 3.

Slide editing

Each plugin has a visual slide editor, so you can instantly see the result, and you can customize your slider. I think Smart Slider’s interface is more user friendly, but each plugin has its own logic, where you can find the options.

Interface of Smart Slider and Slider Revolution
The interface of Smart Slider (in the left) and Slider Revolution (in the right)

Layers

Both plugins come with the standard layers – heading, text, button, and image. And you can use them freely. There isn’t a limit on how many layers you can use, you can create your own design with both plugins.

Available building options

While in Slider Revolution you can put layers on your slider to the position where you want, Smart Slider offers 2 options for positioning: a default and an absolute position. The Absolute position is similar to what Slider Revolution offers: you can drop your layers everywhere on the canvas.

In addition, the Default positioning works like a page builder: you can put your layers in rows and columns, and align them vertically or horizontally. To make space between the layers, you can use padding and margins. Why is it good? Because with that, you can create a responsive slider with minimal effort, and it will look great on every device. Also, you have the option to combine these 2 modes by which you can achieve every design as you imagined.

Content and Canvas editing modes
Textual layers in the Default position (blue color) and image layer in Absolute position (purple color)

Animations

Slider Revolution has more options where you can animate your slider or your layers. You can put animation on your layers, on your background, you can use Ken Burns or parallax effect, so there are many options. However, in the free version of Smart Slider, you can use only background animations. Layer animations and a lot of other effects are available only in the Smart Slider Pro.

Speed

I have created a Smart Slider 3 free demo with Slider Revolution to test the speed of each plugin. I published both sliders into a new empty page.

  • In each slider, I used the same images, sizes, and fonts
  • I tested them with other plugins deactivated
  • Cleared the cache before the speed test
  • I used Gutenberg to publish the sliders.
Free Slider Revolution
Free Smart Slider 3 demo created with Slider Revolution

Let’s see the results.

Smart Slider 3 Free Slider Revolution
Requests 20 21
Page size 709 kB 1 MB
Load time 199 ms 316 ms

As you can see, Smart Slider was faster than the Slider Revolution, and also the page size is less than the other plugin’s page. I didn’t use any optimizations settings, which can speed up the results – so the speed test was made with the basic settings of each plugin. As we can see from the results, we can say that Smart Slider is faster, which isn’t bad from a free plugin, right?

Free Slider Revolution alternatives with Smart Slider 3

Smart Slider 3 can be a great free Slider Revolution alternative because you can create more kinds of sliders with this plugin. Let’s see some examples of what kind of sliders you can create with Smart Slider as with Slider Revolution.

Hero image block

Free security hero block

Live Preview

If you want to create a hero image block to your site, Smart Slider can be a great free Slider Revolution alternative. With Smart Slider, you can put Heading, text, image and button on your slide, and you can position it where you want.

Hero image blocks can be used as the header of your page, and with Smart Slider, you can easily create it. Just select the layers you want to use, and then publish them on your site. There are more templates which you can start with, but you can build your own design, too.

Video slider

Free video slider

Live Preview

Revolution Slider offers the opportunity to create video galleries. Smart Slider 3 free has the option to create video sliders, too. There are 2 video layers available: YouTube or Vimeo. There aren’t any other free slider plugins that I’m aware of that offer that kind of functionality.

A lot of people use YouTube or Vimeo videos on their website because these media elements can call the visitors’ attention. These layers are simple, because Youtube and Vimeo host the videos, so you don’t need to download any video on your site. All you need is to copy the video’s link or id, and you can create a free responsive video gallery.

🎓 Mp4 background videos are available in the Pro version of Smart Slider.

Full-width slider alternative

Free fullwidth slider alternative

Live Preview

Free Slider Revolution slider alternative can be the full-width type slider of Smart Slider. A full-width slider fills the 100% width of your screen, and it looks good on any page. Using this kind of slider is a great way to highlight your product or content on your page, and it also looks good.

You have the option to design the controls like bullets or arrow, use a background color or image, and you can put layers on your slider. It’s up to you what kind of slider you want to create.

Post slider

Free Post Slider

Live Preview

Post Sliders can be very useful parts of your website. They show all the recent or featured posts to catch the visitors’ attention, and they encourage your visitors to spend more time on your blog. Smart Slider offers variables that you can use, and these variables change dynamically depending on the content of your posts.

Can you create the same looking slider in Slider Revolution and Smart Slider 3 free?

Maybe you have questions about a free slider plugin that can be a premium slider alternative. Let’s check a Slider Revolution example from their library, and see how we can create a similar layout with Smart Slider 3 free.

I choose a hero image from the Slider Revolution’s templates. This block has a grey background image, a heading, 2 texts, and a CTA with a hover effect on the left side, and 3 images that overlap each other on the right.

Slider Revolution Example
Slider Revolution Example

This layout can easily be created with Smart Slider 3 free. I have created a 1 row – 2 column structure. I’ve put two heading layers, a text layer and a button into the first column. Into the second I’ve put an image from a laptop. The mobiles are in the column but in absolute position, so this image is above the laptop image. Between the texts, I’ve set some padding which makes space between them.

Slider Revolution free alternative
Slider Revolution’s template alternative created with the free version of Smart Slider

With Smart Slider 3, you can easily create a responsive slider. In most cases, it is enough to make the font-size smaller on different devices with the text scale. If you use a row, then it can be a great solution to wrap the columns below each other. Also, you can change the order of these columns, so you can put the images on the top.

Free responsive slider
Mobile view of the slider

Can do:

  • Layers in a structure
  • Overlapping images
  • Responsive on mobile
  • Customizable typography and colors
  • Background color or image

Can’t do:

  • Layer animations
  • Layer parallax

You can use animation and effects in the Pro version of Smart Slider 3.

Reasons to choose Smart Slider 3 as free Slider Revolution alternative

  • Free: Smart Slider 3 is a free plugin with premium features. If you don’t want to pay for a plugin, it can be a great alternative.
  • Layers: Heading, text, buttons, images or videos. Create the slider that you’ve imagined.
  • Create the layout you want: You can create a complicated layout thanks to the rows, columns, and the positioning options.
  • Customizable controls: You have the option to customize the arrows, bullets and thumbnails. Position them, change their colors, or hide them on devices.
  • Ready to use templates: Smart Slider has a template library as Slider Revolution. Just choose one, change the content, and publish it.
  • Free caption slider

    Live Preview

  • Responsive sliders: You can create a slider that looks good on any device.
  • Free support: It’s also important to mention that Smart Slider 3 offers free support to every user. Also, you don’t need to wait weeks for a response.

What more can offer Smart Slider 3 Pro?

You may think that Smart Slider 3 free doesn’t have a lot of features like Slider Revolution, however, the Pro version of Smart Slider 3 has a lot. You can consider choosing the Pro version. Why? The Single domain package costs $35 and you will get lifetime support and updates while Slider Revolution’s one-time payment package costs $59 only with a 6-month support.

Slider Revolution Smart Slider 3 Pro Smart Slider 3 Free
Price Support Price Support Price Support
1 domain $59 6 months $35 lifetime free lifetime
10 domain $489 6 months $150 lifetime free lifetime
Unlimited $250 lifetime free lifetime

Smart Slider 3 and its 24 layer types give you much more creative freedom. If you do choose Smart Slider 3 as your new slider tool, then layers for icons, progress bars, counters, and even mp4 videos can be used to add content-rich slideshows to your website.

Premium Smart Slider template

Live Preview

The pro version offers lots of effects that you can set, like Parallax, Ken Burns, Particle, Shape Divider. All of them are customizable and can cheer up a single slider, too. You can add layer animations on the individual layers of your slides. They can come in, loop, go out, repeat, so you can create even complex animations if you want.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that Smart Slider 3 is a free plugin, it offers solid features that are on par with Slider Revolution. The Default and Absolute positions, drag and drop slider building, rich layers, and stunning templates, let you build impressive sliders that leave basic scrolling sliders in the dust.

Not convinced? Check out Smart Slider 3’s example sliders and see for yourself. It’s easy to put a slider together in just a few minutes. It’s totally free, what can you lose?

Bernadett Toth

About Author

I’m Bernadett Toth and I’m a member of Nextend‘s support team.
I have two dogs, in my free time I teaching them. Besides that I often ride a bike, watching movies or reading.