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Step-by-Step Guide: Create an Image Carousel in WordPress

Sara Humenyanszky
Sara Humenyanszky
May 19, 2023

One of the easiest ways to engage your audience is providing them with dynamic and visually appealing content. Image carousels have become popular as a result of their captivating nature. It allows WordPress websites to showcase their content and message effectively. Are you curious about how to add image carousels to your website? Then keep reading.

It doesn’t matter if you are just starting your journey in the WordPress design world or if you have years of experience behind you. This post will aid you with useful tools and the knowledge you’ll need to create your own unique image carousels that without any doubt will boost your website’s popularity. Here’s a step-by-step guide for building an image carousel in WordPress.

However, before we go any further with the technical stuff, we need to understand the importance of image carousels in WordPress. Now, the reason why we have to get a better understanding of its advantages and objectives is because this way there will be no doubt about why they are today a crucial part of many websites.

To answer all the questions you may have regarding this topic, we’ll dive into the most common FAQs like:

  • How to make image carousels in WordPress?
  • How to customize the appearance, control, speed, and transitions?
  • How to add descriptions and captions?
  • Which plugin is best suited for creating image carousels?

and so much more.

That’s not even all of it, we’ll also explore how Smart Slider 3 can assist you in building sliders that are guaranteed to leave your audience filled with surprise and wonder.
So let’s dive in and learn how to make the most out of image carousels in WordPress.

📚 Table of contents

🎓 Understanding Image Carousels in WordPress
Getting Started with Smart Slider
✏️ Creating Image Carousels with Smart Slider
💻 Advanced Features and Customization
💡 Conclusion

Understanding Image Carousels in WordPress

Slider carousels or image carousels, which are also occasionally referred to as slideshows due to their behavior, represent content in a fascinating way. They introduce their details or images in a rotating style.

Their way of offering visually engaging content in an interactive method gained them increasing popularity among web designers and developers.
In addition, their ability to represent captivating content in a limited space also didn’t lessen the appeal.

Why Use Image Carousels?


  • Presenting customer testimonials or reviews:

Testimonial carousel in Smart Slider
Live Preview


  • Highlighting products and services:

Full width product carousel in Smart Slider
Live Preview

Smart Slider product carousel
Live Preview


  • Showcasing image galleries:

Showcase image galleries in Smart Slider
Live Preview


  • Displaying logos:

Display logos with the Minimal logo slider in Smart Slider
Live Preview


  • Introducing your team:

Introduce your team with Smart Slider's Crossfit slider
Live Preview


  • Presenting your latest posts:

Post carousel in Smart Slider
Live Preview


  • Flaunting your social media posts:

Instagram Carousel in Smart Slider
Live Preview



  • Increase Engagement: They motivate interaction with your slider, which results in longer visit times.
  • Effective Space Utilization: Carousels solve your space issues by letting you display numerous bits of material in a small space even when your screen space is limited.

Smart Slider's product category carousel
Live Preview


  • Visual Appeal: Dynamic and eye-catching carousels improve your website’s looks and make a lasting impact.
  • Better Storytelling: Carousels have a narrative flow that makes it possible to convey stories or lead visitors on particular journeys.
  • Very Adaptable: You can implement them into a variety of websites, including blogs, e-commerce, portfolios, and business websites.

What is the Best Plugin for Creating Image Carousels in WordPress?

If you search for plugins that allow you to create image carousels for WordPress, you will find various options at your fingertips. However, Smart Slider is an outstanding alternative.

There are various plugins available for WordPress that allow you to create image carousels. Nevertheless, Smart Slider 3 is a highly suggested alternative. To speed up the production of carousels, this robust and feature-rich plugin provides a user-friendly interface, several customization possibilities, and a selection of pre-designed templates. Smart Slider makes it easy to make professional and highly engaging image carousels for your site. It helps you with improving your website’s visual appeal.

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Smart Slider 3 - The new way to build a Slider

Now, we fully understand image carousels and the benefits that come with them. Let’s move on to the actual actions we have to take to create them in WordPress with Smart Slider.

Getting Started with Smart Slider

The first step in the building process of image carousels is to install and set up the Smart Slider plugin on your WordPress site.

With Smart Slider creating carousels is simply the best. It provides a number of customization options to achieve your desired look without sacrificing the user experience or technical necessities for SEO. Let’s take off on this journey together.

Installing and Setting Up Smart Slider 3

This can be achieved in a few simple steps:

  • Navigate to the left column of your WordPress dashboard to the “Plugins” section and click on the “Add new” option.
  • Write “Smart Slider 3” into your search bar, then click on the “Install Now” button.

Installing Smart Slider


  • As soon as it’s ready, you can activate the plugin for your website.

Once you are done with the activation process, Smart Slider will offer you all the visual and textual guides you will need through documents and tutorial videos.

Smart Slider 3’s Dashboard

When you are ready, you can move on to the next step of navigating to the Smart Slider Dashboard where the actual magic happens. Here you can start creating your image carousels, but first:

  • You need to get comfortable with the various possibilities the Dashboard offers.

Smart Slider's Dashboard


  • Then you can move on to check out the wide range of pre-designed and stunning templates the template library provides. Make sure to check out all of the unique slider types as well.
Page slider templates
Available templates in Smart Slider 3

Create your First Image Carousel

You can either choose to start from scratch or you could try out a template that matches your idea:

  • Press the “New Project” button, so you can start creating your slider with the carousel slider type.
  • It’s up to you if you would like to start with a completely blank slider or add a template from the library.

Create a new project in Smart Slider

Managing your Slides

Now as your slider is created, let’s dive into how you can make it your own unique image carousel slider:

  • Firstly, to add new slides to your design, simply click on the “Add Slide” option, this way you can make it into an actual carousel.
  • Boost your slider’s content by uploading your images. You can add it to your slide’s background or just as a design element.
  • Not to mention, you can tailor your content to your own preferences, by including headings, buttons, transition effects, or any type of design. Smart Slider offers a wide range of features that you can play around with until you find the most suitable ones.

Now that we’ve answered the “How do I add an image carousel in WordPress?” question, we can gather that if you follow these easy steps, adding an image carousel to your WordPress website doesn’t have to take a genius. Smart Slider’s clean interface and extensive settings help you out and take the burden off your chest.

Let’s move on to the next section, which will help us discover the possibilities of customization in Smart Slider 3.

Creating Image Carousels with Smart Slider

Smart Slider stands out from other sliders with its broad options for design. Therefore, if you are looking for a plugin that allows you to conveniently edit the effects and look of your image carousel and tone it to your page’s individual design, then you should try out Smart Slider.

Let’s find out how to make the most of Smart Slider’s various features for image carousel customization.

Styling and Design

You can find a wide range of tools to edit your carousel:

Carousel Size settings in Smart Slider


  • Slide Editor: Here you can configure all of your design elements in your slide to match your brand. This includes backgrounds, colors, fonts, and many more unique settings.


There are some unique ways to elevate your project with fascinating effects in Smart Slider. Let’s look at some of them that can improve the visual impact of your image carousel:

  • Animation Types: To create dynamic and seamless slide changes, choose from a variety of transitions and animations, you can set your slide to a single switch and more.
  • Duration: Tailor transition time to manage the rate at which slides change delivering the best possible user experience.

Removing or Adding Captions

Smart Slider 3 lets you add captions or descriptions to give your photographs more context or information:

  • Text and Heading Layer: Easily add text layers to your slides to add informative text or draw attention to particular elements. Don’t forget that the clearer the images and shorter the text, the more likely users are to engage with your content.
  • Formatting Options: Change your captions’ font family, size, color, alignment, and animation effects. Moreover, pay special attention to the buttons and links, they should be large enough so that they can be easily clicked, even on mobile devices.

Responsive Design

It is essential to make sure your image carousel appears fantastic on all devices in today’s mobile-driven environment. Making responsive carousels is easier with Smart Slider 3:

  • Basic responsive behavior: The responsive behavior of the carousel slider is one that it displays as many slides as it can fit within the current size, without resizing the slides until the last one can no longer fit.
  • Responsive controls: The slider is touch-friendly for mobile users, and it includes both arrows and bullets for navigation and quick access to the slides, which you can hide if you want to save space.
  • Full-width product carousel: This image carousel has equal spacing between each slide as a result of the side spacing option.
  • Single Switch: To eliminate empty space you can enable this setting while also setting the Main Animation to Horizontal.

Main Animation settings in Smart Sldier


  • Utilize the mobile-friendly features: Optimize the font sizes with the Font-Resizer, adjust the layout, and everything that may come up in order to offer an effortlessly convenient sliding for your audience.


Can I Customize the Appearance of the Image Carousel in WordPress?

Wholly and undoubtedly! With Smart Slider 3 you are provided with all the tools you can think of to customize your image carousels in order to match your own unique taste.

Can I Control the Speed and Transition Effects of the Image Carousel in WordPress?

To answer shortly, yes you can. You can completely manage the speed, duration, and transition effects of your image carousel with Smart Slider 3 to produce eye-catching visual effects.


You have the ability to make your WordPress site’s image carousel into a visually appealing and compelling slider by using Smart Slider 3. We’ll look at even more advanced options that can elevate your carousel in the following section.

Advanced Features and Customization

It can be gathered that Smart Slider offers a wide range of options to take your image carousel to the next level in WordPress.

Now, let’s look at some of the more advanced features that we hardly mentioned above, so they need more explanation to do. These are the ultimate solutions for effective performance and interactivity with your carousel.

How do I Add Navigation Arrows or Dots to the Image Carousel in WordPress?

With Smart Slider you can, without any difficulty, insert arrows and bullets into your slider. This makes it easy to enhance the user experience, giving them control over your image carousel.

In the Controls tab add arrows or bullets or even both to your image carousel to improve the user experience:

  • Arrows: Give users the option of manually navigating the slides using the designable arrow icons.

Arrow settings in Smart Slider


  • Include Bullets: At the bottom of the carousel, you can show a series of dots that represent the current slide and allow for easy navigation. Design them to match your preferences.

Bullet settings in Smart Slider

Dynamic Content

You have control over what particular post or page your image carousel displays thanks to Smart Slider 3:

  • To ensure that just the chosen pages or posts are displayed and that they appear exactly how you want them to, use the variable option in Smart Slider. They allow you to pull data from a dynamic source to your slide.
  • With them, you can pull the post titles, descriptions, or URLs to your slides.
  • To use them, add a layer to your slide and find the Data button above the input field.

Data button in Smart Slider


  • Then, clicking on the button will open the Insert variable popup, where you can find the list of available variables and the result they’ll display.

Insert variable in Smart Slider

Are There Any SEO Considerations for Image Carousels in WordPress?

Without any doubt! Smart Slider takes into consideration every aspect of your image carousel to optimize for SEO.

Additionally, here are some awesome tips to improve it and make it even more noticeable:

  • Add alt text to your images: They make it easier for search engines to index your images, especially when the slider mostly represents images with a small amount or no text at all.

Add alt text to your images in Smart Slider


  • Set proper H tags: Well-structured content is crucial for SEO, adding the correct headings can make or break your visibility.

Structured text for SEO in Smart Slider


  • Write text without H tags: Not everything needs to be a heading.

With these cutting-edge options, Smart Slider 3 gives you the freedom to design image carousels that are customized to your unique preferences. Hop on to the final section for a summary of the main ideas we discussed.


All things considered, image carousels can be used as the perfect tool for mesmerizing and enlightening your audience. As we all know, visual engagement can be essential in today’s digital environment.

We learned that you can design gorgeous image carousels in WordPress that not only draw attention but also improve user experience. All this is thanks to the flexibility and powerful features of Smart Slider 3.

In addition, we looked at how to use Smart Slider 3 for this purpose following a step-by-step process. From setup and installation to customization we covered everything.
By reading through these recommendations, you now have all the information and resources you will need.

Therefore, now you can design interactive carousels that are both visually appealing and match the goals of your website.

Smart Slider is here to take the burden off your chest and help you implement and take advantage of these benefits. So in case you still haven’t checked out these features, you should make sure to don’t miss out. These characteristics include an easy-to-use interface with various settings for customization so you can create your own ideal image carousel in WordPress.

Regret is often born from missed opportunities. So why wait and regret? Get started and elevate your website with stunning image carousels that catch the eye and leave your visitors in a daze. Keep in mind, that every step you take has an impact on your online presence.

Are you ready? Install Smart Slider 3, if you haven’t yet, and unlock a world of possibilities for your image carousel in the WordPress world. It’s time to engage and captivate all of the users.

Sara Humenyanszky

About Author

Hey there! I’m Sara, and I’m part of Nextendweb’s team. When I’m not working, you can usually find me baking up a storm in the kitchen. I also love going outside for a run. Above all, spending quality time with my friends and family is what makes me the happiest.