by Ramona Nemeth-Csoka on September 8, 2021

10+1 Smart Slider Features You Probably Didn’t Know About

When you choose a slider for your projects, you need to consider its features. After all, you need the plugin to create gorgeous sliders which match your criteria. Plugin developers add many features to their product to ensure it meets the needs of most users. As a result, the plugins end up having many options which makes it challenging to become expert users. In this article I’ve collected 10+1 cool Smart Slider features which are super useful for you.

Beware: some of these options are available in Smart Slider Pro.

Popular features in Smart Slider

Smart Slider is one of the best WordPress slider plugins. As a result, it offers the most popular features people are looking for. The effects like Parallax, Particle and Ken Burns are all available. Additionally, you can add cool looking Shape Divider to your sliders. Furthermore, you can select beautiful background animations to make image galleries look stunning. You can display your images or videos in a lightbox. Also, you can introduce your layers to the slide using nice layer animations.

Additionally, any slider you create using Smart Slider is responsive. In other words, they look fantastic on any device and screen size. Of course, there are many options you can use to fine-tune the result for tablet and mobile devices.

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10+1 Smart Slider features you probably didn’t know about

Smart Slider offers many awesome options apart from the most popular features. Some of these are not as obvious, but if you know them, they help you work faster and more efficiently. So, it’s worth knowing these options and using them in your projects. With the help of these options, you can easily become a Smart Slider expert.

1. Custom Post generator

Smart Slider has a huge list of dynamic slide generators. What can you do with a dynamic slide generator? You can use it to create slides automatically based on your WordPress post or WooCommerce products. There are also generators which work based on the content of other WordPress plugins. For example, if you use The Events Calendar plugin, you can create slides based on its events.

Smart Slider feature: Custom post generators
Custom post generators in Smart Slider

The Custom post generator lets you create slides from posts in your custom post types (CPT for short). What are custom post types? They’re content types like the posts or pages. There are many cases where you can use a CPT, for example, to store and display customer stories or testimonials. If you sell homes you can create a CPT where you upload each house as an individual post.

The custom post generator is also useful if you create a site for your clients. For example, you can let your client add, edit or delete slides without having to access Smart Slider.

2. Layer defaults

Set default styles for your layers at the Layer Defaults
Set default styles for your layers at the Layer Defaults

Do you work based on a style guide when you create sites for your clients? Having to set the same font family, color and size when you add a new layer must be tiring. Using the Layer defaults you can change the default look of the layers when you add a new one. For example, when you add a heading layer it has “Roboto,Arial” font family, white color and 36px size. If your site uses a different font family, you can change the default value, so you won’t have to change it at every layer.

3. Presets

Presets at the Heading Layer
Presets at the Heading Layer

Another cool feature to speed up your workflow is the preset. Most websites generally have different font sizes for the different heading levels. E.g. a h2 heading might have 36px size, but a h3 heading might have only 30px size. You can save each style as a new preset and apply it to your layers with one click.

4. Custom font list

Preset font families
Preset font families

When you create a layer with text, you’ll likely want to use a font family that’s different from our default font. You can either select the new font family from the predefined font list or manually type it in. Having the predefined font list is cool, but it contains lots of fonts you’ll probably never use. So why not change it to contain your most used or favorite fonts?

5. Slide Library

Smart Slider feature: Slide library
Slide Library at the Slide Editor

Smart Slider offers more than 100 ready to use slider templates for Pro users. If you don’t need a whole slider, just a single slide, you can browse the Slide Library for ideas. The Slide Library contains two themes, and each offers 90+ slides in 8 categories. The most popular categories are Header, Product and Content. So, if you create a header slider, you can check the slides in the Header category to get a headstart.

6. Static Overlay

You can add a Static Overlay from the Add Slide
You can add a Static Overlay from the Add Slide

A Static Overlay is a special kind of slide, which displays above all other slides in the slider and won’t move away. For this reason it’s recommended that you only have one Static Overlay per slider.

Static Overlays are a great way to create “global” layers, which will appear on top of other slide’s content. For example, you can create a cool slider where you put the actual content to the Static Overlay. Then you can add image slides that move under it.

7. Slider Background

Smart Slider feature: Slider Background
Slider Background options

Slider backgrounds are quite the opposite of the Static Overlay. While a Static Overlay is above all slides in the slider, the Slider Background is under them. So, to take advantage of the Slider Background, you need to create slides without a background. Although using semi-transparent background color on the slides help creating interesting layouts.

8. Control variables

You can use Control variables in Advanced Positioning
You can use Control variables in Advanced Positioning

Controls in Smart Slider are generally used for navigation. For example, we consider the arrows, thumbnails and bullets as controls. By default when you select a control you can choose from 12 positions, such as top left, bottom middle and so on. These are fix positions, and actually are fine for most people.

However, using Control variables you get more positioning freedom. Additionally, you can position controls more precisely. Let’s say you create a Showcase slider and you want arrows. Using the default positions the arrows will display on the sides of the slider. Using Control variables the arrows can display next to the active slide.

9. Variable functions

Variables are like placeholders. They tell Smart Slider what kind of content you want the layer to display. For example, you can select the title variable to display the title of the post. There’s also a variable that contains the content of your post.

Variable functions, such as Split text or Find image
Variable functions, such as Split text or Find image

That’s the basic usage of variables. When you create a dynamic slide, you might want a more advanced usage. For example, you want to display a short introduction of the post in your post slider. You can split the content and display, for example, the first 300 characters only. If you don’t use the featured image of the post (or don’t want to use that in the slider), you can look for an image in any variable.

10. Hiding layers in dynamic slides based on another variable

You can hide a layer when the selected variable is empty
You can hide a layer when the selected variable is empty

Smart Slider makes it easy for you to enrich your site with a WooCommerce product slider. Have you ever wished your product slider would include an “on sale” badge for the products that are on sale? The “Hide when variable empty” option helps you achieve that. You can select any variable there and if it’s empty at the product that the slide displays, the layer will not show up. How cool is that?

Here’s a video that shows how the Hide when variable is empty feature works in a WooCommerce generator. There’s a Sale badge, that displays only at those products, which are on sale.

10+1. Slider export

Smart Slider feature: Slider export
You can export your slider to have a backup

Having a backup of your site is always crucial. There are many reasons why you might need to restore your site’s state. Also, there are many reasons when you want to restore a specific slider as well. You can create a backup of your sliders by exporting them and saving the .ss3 export file on your computer. Then you can restore this backup by importing the slider anytime later.


Nowadays it’s not easy to master any WordPress plugin, because they’re so feature rich. Plugin authors want more and more people to be able to use their product for their site. As a result, it can take time to get to know all features the plugins offer. In this article I’ve collected 10+1 Smart Slider features you probably didn’t know about. They can help you create better sliders and work faster. So, if you want to be a Smart Slider expert, it’s worth knowing them.

Ramona Nemeth-Csoka

About Author

Hi, I’m Ramona 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.