Slider Revolution is by far the most popular slider plugin for WordPress. But did you know there are some fantastic free Slider Revolution alternatives that are just as good as – and often better than – Slider Revolution?
Yes, that’s right – you can design and build beautiful sliders for your website without having to pay the $25 fee Slider Revolution charges for its premium plugin.
Below, I’ve put together a collection of the best free Slider Revolution alternatives for WordPress, which you can download for free from the official WordPress.org plugin repository. You’ll also find a round-up of each plugin’s features and examples of what their sliders look like.
I tested each of the plugins in this post. Each option is compatible with WordPress 4.9.4, the most recent version of WordPress at the time of writing.
1. Smart Slider 3
Let’s kick off with my all-time favorite slider plugin, Smart Slider 3. It’s one of the most feature-packed plugins I’ve ever come across in the WordPress.org repository, and I’m not just saying that. Seriously, you get premium-level features for absolutely nothing.
Smart Slider 3 is powerful and the perfect Slider Revolution alternative. Using the content and canvas editor, you can use drag and drop headings, text, images, buttons and video to build your slides, create layers, and everything from your typography and navigational arrows to your animations and autoplay. All without touching code. But if you do want to touch code, you can edit the CSS to further style your slides.
If you’d rather not design your slides yourself, there are eight templates to choose from, which you can import and edit to suit your website. Here’s an example of one of Smart Slider 3’s templates:
Notice the “Download” CTAs and video? Not only can you include buttons in your slides, but with Smart Slider 3 you can add YouTube and Vimeo clips that play within your slides – there aren’t any other free slider plugins that I’m aware of that offer that kind of functionality.
You can upgrade to the premium version of Smart Slider 3 for $35 and it includes even more features (which in my opinion knock Slider Revolution out of the park) including 100+ slider templates, 21 layers, 22 dynamic generators, five slider types, animated shape dividers, and slide mixing.
2. Soliloquy Slider
With 80,000 active installs, Soliloquy Slider offers easy drag and drop slider creation if all you want to do is create a basic slider and don’t need all the bells and whistles.
There is one slider type available, Native Slider, and two themes, Base and Classic. It’s easy to get started, just click “Add New” like you would when creating a new post in WordPress. Then you can upload images files for your slider and configure your settings for dimensions, transitions, transition duration and speed, and ARIA live value for accessibility.
But if you want to do anything else, like customize mobile settings or create dynamic sliders, you need to upgrade, which makes the free version of this plugin extremely limited. Neither the free or pro versions offer layers, which gets a thumbs down from me. Why? Because it means you can’t add CTAs or overlay text on slides, just build basic scrolling sliders. Here’s an example of the kind of slider you can build with Soliloquy:
That being said, if all you want to do is create a simple slider with images and captions without spending a buck, you can’t go wrong with Soliloquy – it’s a great free Slider Revolution alternative.
3. Master Slider
This well-designed slider plugin 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 Slider Revolution alternative.
With the available settings you can configure the dimensions for your slider, basic transitions and speed, and simple navigation settings. There are also 12 different skins, and you can customize the background image for your slides. For those who want to go deeper with customizations, you can create class names and custom styles via CSS.
Here’s an example of a Master Slider slider:
In order to access features like animated layers, 70+ templates, dynamic content and layer transitions, you’ll need to upgrade to the pro version for $24.
4. Crelly Slider
Crelly Slider is an open source slider plugin that is gaining in popularity with 20,000+ active installs. Unlike other free Slider Revolution alternatives on this list (except Smart Slider 3), this plugin supports layers, which gets a big thumbs up from me.
Why are layers so important? Because it means you can create rich sliders with slides that feature images layered with text and/or video, rather than just basic scrolling slides with captions. Here’s an example of a Crelly slider so you can see what I mean:
See how much better it looks than a basic slider with just images?
The developer has obviously put a lot of work into developing this free product, which, mind you, isn’t the lite version of a premium plugin. The plugin offers solid features, like a drag and drop build for position elements on your slider, transitions and animations, a user-friendly admin panel, and full and fixed width modes.
While the user interface is somewhat clunky to use (at least compared to Smart Slider 3, which is a dream to use and has a gorgeous interface), it works well and has a lot of fans – it has 4.9 out of 5-star rating on WordPress.org.
5. Slider by WD
If you want to quickly put together a simple image slider and add it to your site, Slider by WD is a good free Slider Revolution alternative. This plugin lets you create basic scrolling sliders, with options for customizing slide dimensions, transition effects and duration, right-click protection, autoplay and music.
There are options for controlling how the navigational arrows look on your slider and where they’re positioned. You can also enable a timer bar, which displays the time left until the slider switches to the next slide on autoplay.
Here’s an example of a slider you can create with Slider by WD:
For features like layers, you’ll need to upgrade to the pro version. With the premium version, you can add text, image, video, media, social and hotpot layers. You can also access carousel mode and create a filmstrip.
6. Meta Slider
With 900,000+ active installs, Meta Slider is the most popular slider plugin for WordPress. But is it the best free slider plugin for WordPress?
I reviewed it recently and found it lacking in features. I really don’t understand why this plugin is so popular when there are other slider plugins that offer more and better features.
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. Here’s an example of a slider using the free version of Meta Slider:
Unfortunately, layers and video slides are pro features, so you’ll need to upgrade if you want to create more than just slideshows with this free Slider Revolution alternative.
The top free Slider Revolution alternative plugin
My top three free Slider Revolution alternative plugins (in order) are: Smart Slider 3, Crelly Slider and Master Slider.
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 with just images, Master Slider is easy to use, offers some nice templates, and doesn’t nag you to upgrade.
So which option is the best alternative to Slider Revolution? Easy. Smart Slider 3.
Despite the fact it’s a free plugin, it offers solid features that are on par with Slider Revolution. The content and canvas modes, 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 with Smart Slider 3, though I recommend you test a few of the plugins mentioned above to decide what works best for you.