by Ramona Nemeth-Csoka on August 14, 2019

Smart Slider 3 and Elementor

Elementor is one of today’s most popular page builder plugins for WordPress. Elementor has more than 3 million active installs – and for a good reason. In case that huge user-base wouldn’t say enough about the quality of the product, maybe its rating will. Elementor is one of the best-rated WordPress page builder plugins ever. At the moment it has 3,628 five star reviews out of 3,887, and that is amazing. Thus it’s safe to say that Elementor is an exceptional page builder which is easy for anyone to use. There’s so much you can do with Elementor, including creating a nice Elementor slider.

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What makes Elementor so great?

Elementor is easy to use, and even if it’s free, it has lots of premium features. The interface is clear and simple, every action is straightforward. After opening the page builder, it puts a resizable vertical sidebar on the left side of the browser. This sidebar contains the available widgets which you can use to create your content. Some of the notable widgets are: heading, text box, button and video. Actually, that’s the place where you can customize the widgets, at the left side of the page. And you’ll see all edits live on the big, right side area. There’s also a small, draggable navigation box, where you can see what your content structure looks like.

Creating content in Elementor

The free version of Elementor is an amazing and complete page builder plugin. You can add all kinds of widgets to create your content. I think the most useful widgets are the text, the heading, the button and the image widgets. Every widget Elementor offers is customizable, and it’s easy and quick to do so. The best part is that the whole editing is live, so you can see the result immediately on the page. You’ll never waste time going back and forth between the page editing view and the preview. You can see what you’ll get after saving when you edit the content.

Elementor plugin with live editor
Elementor plugin with live editor

Elementor offers so many widgets you can choose from to enhance your site. For instance, there’s the Image box widget. It allows you to add an image, a title and description inside a single widget, which lets you work fast. But there are other awesome widgets which Elementor offers. For instance the counter or testimonial widgets, which will do an amazing job to improve your site’s look. To sum it up, all the tools are available to create a complete, modern website. Unfortunately, there might be some features which are necessary for your website, but Elementor doesn’t have them

Sliders in Elementor

The Free version of Elementor is an magnificent plugin. There’s only one thing it does not have: a slider widget. The Carousel widget is indeed free, and however it’s not really a slider, it’s a nice way to display images. It’s not that Elementor is expensive for the value you get for the price. In fact, Elementor Pro version offers great value, with all the extra widgets and design tools.

A good slider for Elementor can be an essential part of your website. The problem is, that Elementor Pro’s slider widget is limited. It only allows you to create very simple Elementor sliders. You can enter short text as the title, a longer description, and a button. This button or the whole slide can have a link on it. On each slide, you can customize the position, align and color the texts, or use the global setting. So it was designed to create simple Elementor sliders, which aren’t content heavy. If you need more content such as another button or extra layers, Elementor slider widget won’t help you. You’ll need a separate slider plugin. Now that we’re there, are you interested in a good, free Elementor slider solution? Let me introduce you to Smart Slider 3.

What is Smart Slider 3?

Smart Slider 3 is a 5 star rated slider plugin for WordPress. At the time of writing this article out of 692 reviews 665 is a five star rating. Smart Slider 3 has several cool features to help you build a nice Elementor slider. And, of course, it lets you create the slider the way you want it. Smart Slider 3 is a layer based slider plugin, which means you can add your content via layers. Layers in Smart Slider 3 are like Elementor’s widgets. There are many different layers, each have their own unique list of options. One layer helps you create a button, the other adds a YouTube video, another one’s good for adding long texts, etc.

What makes Smart Slider 3 the perfect Elementor Slider alternative?

Smart Slider 3 and Elementor have excellent free versions. The free version of Smart Slider 3 contains all features you need to create beautiful sliders. The best part is that you can customize all parts of the slider you create. For instance, if you add texts, you can change the font color, family or size. You can load your own images from the WordPress Media Library or via URL. You can also add videos from YouTube and Vimeo to any slide you create.

How to add an Elementor slider?

Creating the perfect Elementor slider is super easy when you work with Smart Slider 3. First, install Smart Slider 3 on your site. When you’re done, go to the slider’s dashboard by clicking Smart Slider 3 at the left-hand menu. Here you can create new sliders or edit your existing ones by clicking their thumbnail. Simply click on the green New Slider button, set the slider dimensions and hit Create.

Elementor Slider creation via Smart Slider 3
Create a new Elementor Slider using Smart Slider 3

From here there are several different paths to go, depending on what kind of slider you are trying to create. Would you like to have a simple image gallery? Select “Image” after clicking on Add Slide. The WordPress media manager will open and you’ll be able to select the images you would like to use in your slider. To browse a premade slide, select the Slide Library option. This will allow you to select a slide from tons of premade slides. Do you prefer starting from scratch? Select the third option, which reads Empty. That’s what I’ll pick now.

Slide creation popup
You can add various slides to your Elementor slider

Working with the Slide Editor

The slider I’ll create is a quite simple one. It will have a simple background color which has two columns in front of it. The left-hand column has the content: a heading, some text and a button. In the right-hand column I want to have a video. To get started, let’s add a new row.

Now that the structure is ready, let’s add the content. Luckily, Smart Slider 3 has a shortcut which help accessing the most popular layers fast. From the shortcuts, I’ll need the Heading, Text and Button layer.

Smart Slider 3 layer shortcuts
The most popular layers are available as shortcuts

Simply clicking the icon adds the layers to our slide. To ensure that the layers wind up where I want them, I’ll select the left column before clicking the first layer. Now that all layers are ready I can finally customize them. Smart Slider 3 allows each layer to be customized visually. This includes changing the font size, color and family. So, let’s customize the layers to look like you want them to.

Now it’s time to add the video. The video layers are not part of the shortcuts. You can find them after you opened the layer list. To do so just click the green plus icon, then scroll down and find the YouTube layer. The video I’ll be adding is from YouTube, but if yours is different, select the proper layer. E.g. if you want to add a Vimeo video, pick the Vimeo layer. If you want to embed a self-hosted video, go for the Video layer. (This layer is available in the Pro version of Smart Slider 3.) I can simply drag the layer to the right-hand column, where I want to see it. Now I can add the link of the video to my YouTube layer and make a few changes to make the layer look better.

Customizing the Slide Background

The only remaining part of my slide is the background color. I can set the slide background color at the Slide settings → Background tab. There’s an option to add a background image, but I only want a background color, so I’ll use the color picker and choose a dark blue color.

Background color picker for your Elementor slider
You can select the background color of your slider using a color picker. This helps making sure the slider fits your Elementor site.

Wrapping up the slider

The slide background color was the last missing piece of my slider. It’s ready for publishing, which is really easy using Smart Slider 3’s Elementor widget. The widget allows you to select the slider from a popup, where you can find a thumbnail of the slider and its name. So you can select the slider in a totally visible way. If you’re worried about the responsive behavior, don’t be. Smart Slider 3 is a responsive WordPress slider, so your content will look perfect on all devices.

This is how my finished slide looks. It’s looks really great and it took just a few minutes to create it. Of course, more complex sliders can take more time to create. But the result always worth the effort.

Responsive Elementor Slider look
This is how the finished, responsive Elementor Slider looks like.

How to use Smart Slider 3 and Elementor together?

Using Smart Slider 3 with Elementor is simple. When your slider is ready for publishing, open the page where you want to put it using Elementor’s builder. Look for the Smart Slider widget, drag it to your page, and select your slider. The editor will load the selected slider, so you will be able to see how it looks on your site. Actually, that’s it, there are no more steps, the slider is on your page, you can save it. Of course, you can add many different sliders to your page.

Smart Slider 3 and Elementor: The perfect design tools!

If you need to have better control over the slider’s look or the content, Smart Slider 3 is the perfect choice for you. It’s really easy to use, and you can customize each layer in a live visual editor. The best part is that there is a completely free version available, which has all the features you need. All Smart Slider 3 version works fine with Elementor, both with its free and pro version.

Smart Slider 3 is the best WordPress slider

Why to choose Smart Slider 3 when you need a good slider plugin? Well, it’s a free slider plugin you can install on your WordPress site, so you don’t have anything to lose. Like Elementor, Smart Slider 3 is easy to use and also has many premium features. For example: full width slider, thumbnail slider or video slider. There are different layers to create a heading, a button, a longer text or even a video. Each layer is customizable to meet your needs and match your site’s layout. It’s easy to change the text color, font family, and size, and you can do it in a visual editor. This means you don’t need coding knowledge to create and customize your slides.

To switch slides, you can use arrows or bullets (the small dots usually at the bottom of the slide). You can even make your slides switch automatically with the autoplay feature. Moreover, you can use thumbnails to navigate between the slides. Thumbnails are great for the visitors as they can see a small image of the slide without having to switch there. This way you can encourage them to view more slides.

Smart Slider 3 Pro: a premium Elementor slider solution

Smart Slider 3, like Elementor, has a premium version. It offers so much more features to create beautiful pages. For instance, you can use the popular parallax effect to enhance your images and videos. With the Pro version of Smart Slider 3, you can create full page Elementor sliders. These sliders can cover the browser viewport both vertically and horizontally. You can use a full page slider as a landing page or as a hero header. A full page Elementor slider will be a great asset for your next project.

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.

Unless you work with your Elementor page builder, you need to give up on some of its great features. For instance, you can’t use Elementor’s shape dividers or special headings. But the good news is, that Smart Slider 3 has shape dividers as well. This will allow you to place the shapes on the slider, creating an amazing effect. There are also layers to create animated or highlighted headings.

Did I mention the 100+ sample sliders you can import with one click? After importing the slider, you can change anything you want! For instance, you can replace the texts, images and colors to make sure they fit into your site. The Sample Sliders are great starting points for any website owner. They allow you to create beautiful sliders in minutes and learn Smart Slider 3 fast.


Good plugins are a key part of a great WordPress site nowadays. The Elementor plugin is definitely one of the best free page builder in the WordPress plugin directory. And if you need a better slider option, you can’t go wrong with Smart Slider 3. Good luck with your pages and sliders!

Ramona Nemeth-Csoka

About Author

I’m Ramona Nemeth-Csoka and I’m a member of Nextend‘s awesome support team. You’ve probably chat with me if you’ve submit a support ticket. When I’m not answering support emails I read a book or go cycling. I enjoy writing as well, both for our blog and for my private projects.