All plugins should have settings which you can customize the product with. It is also important at a WordPress slider plugin because with the slider settings you can customize how the slider should behave, and look in the front end. Each slider has their own slides, but the slider settings will determine how big your slider should be or how you can control it.
How to choose the right plugin?
First of all, you need is to choose a reliable plugin which you want to work with. But how do you know if a plugin is reliable? What I can suggest is that you should check the change log of the plugin. If you can see that the plugin has updates continuously, then you can see that the developers are working with their product.
It can also be useful if you check the plugin in the WordPress repository, and read the ratings from the users. In this case, you can get a complete view of the plugin.
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Don’t be afraid to update
After you have installed the chosen plugin, and there is an update available that you can see in your WordPress Dashboard as well, don’t be afraid to update it, because it is important for security reasons. It is also possible that you get more features with the update, so why don’t you update?
The plugin developers care that you won’t lose any settings during the update that you have set before but it is possible to make a backup from your page for example with a backup plugin, and if something goes wrong, you can set the previous state.
Slider settings in Smart Slider 3
Smart Slider 3 is currently the most popular slider plugin in the official WordPress repository with 500.000 active installs and has a 5-star rating, so you can trust it.
If you decide to choose Smart Slider 3 or you have installed it before, meet the slider settings of Smart Slider 3 which can be useful at the slider creating.
Bring Your Ideas to Life
Powerful. Visual. Intuitive. Smart Slider 3 is the most advanced slider and block creation tool for WordPress and Joomla.
It is important to set an optimal slider size which you will work with. These sizes will define the ratio of your slider, it is also important in slide editing as well. Don’t work with too big sizes. If you want to create a bigger slider, then set the responsive modes correctly. The responsive modes define how your slider should behave on different screens.
In Smart Slider 3 there are more responsive modes available:
Auto responsive mode: if you use the auto responsive mode, then your slider will be as big as the container it’s in.
Full width mode: A full width slider fills the total width of the browser even if the container is smaller. It looks good on your home page as a header, but you can insert a slider into your blog post as well.
Full page mode: A full page slider will have 100% width and the height of your screen on every device. This mode is available only in the Pro version of Smart Slider 3.
It’s important to mention that when content mode is used, your slide’s height is based on the layers and all the slides’ height are based on your highest slide even if you set a maximum height.
🎓 Follow the 9-point slider checklist and create a good-working and successful slider.
2. Use the correct slider type
The slider type determines the look of your slider. In Smart Slider 3 there are more slider types available: simple, block, showcase, carousel and accordion.
The simple type shows one slide at a time and people use them in a boxed style, for example in a post, or use them as a full width slider in the header. The block type is special because it can show only one slide. The showcase and the carousel slider can show more slides at the same time. The last slider type is the accordion which lets you create an accordion from your slides.
3. Always give control to your visitors
If you have a slider, you should care that the visitors like it if they have control over the slider. It can be disturbing if there is an autoplaying slider, but the user can’t stop it to read the content or can’t switch to the next slide.
The slider controls can be useful in navigating between slides, and it can also share information. For example, bullets can show how many slides you have in the slider, and thumbnails show a little preview of the slides.
4. Optimize your slider
The system of Smart Slider 3 works the way that the slider loads last on the website because of the positioning. The plugin waits until your website is completely built up to know how big your slider can be and where the layers should be.
However, it can happen that if you work with too big images, your slider can load slowly. In Smart Slider 3 you have settings to optimize your slider. You can resize the layers or make the quality of your images lower, and can also use the lazy loading setting.
🎓 If you want to learn more about how you can optimize your slider, check our article about slider performance!
5. Set the background fill mode
Choosing the right fill mode is also important at the slider creating. By default the “fill” option is used which will make the image as big as it needs to be to cover the whole slider. This means that if the slider and image ratios differ, the image will be cropped, and the focus points will decide which part of the image should stay on screen, so by default the center. If you want your whole image will be on your slide without being cropped, the “fit” filling mode is what you need.
Of course, you can set the background image filling modes separately at the slide settings, so you can fully customize your slider.
6. Give a nice visual effect to your slider
Using animations and effects can be a good choice if you want to make a powerful slider which attracts the eye. In Smart Slider 3 you can choose from more types of effects which you can set at the slider settings.
Parallax effect: The parallax makes the illusion of depth when your page moves. It works the way that it moves the images at a different speed and show them from a different angle.
Shape divider: The shape divider is a modern design element which you can use as a separator between sections. You can animate it, change its color, and place it on the top or bottom of the slider.
Particle effect: The particle effect is a variety of small objects. They move around the slider and interact with each other or with the visitor.
Ken burns effect: This effect is one of the most popular effects for background images which can smoothly zoom.
Background animation: You can also choose a background animation to animate your background images.
Main animation: The main animation is the basic animation to switch your slides with. You can set horizontal or vertical or fade controls.
7. Create lightbox from slide backgrounds
The lightbox is a popular feature in Smart Slider 3 Pro. Did you know that you can create lightbox images from your slide background images? To do so you’ll need to have background images on all slides, and then you can turn this option on at the Slider settings → Slides tab.
With a lightbox slider you can enlarge an image with one click, it can be useful if you want to create a mini gallery from your slider.
The slider settings are useful part in slider creation. It is important to set them properly, but you can always change them, so if you decide to change something, just go to the slider settings, modify what you want, preview it, and if you like the result, save it.
If you are new at Smart Slider 3, I can suggest to check our Youtube channel where you can learn more from Smart Slider 3 and its settings.