10 Best Free Responsive Slider & Carousel WordPress Plugins


The use of sliders may be ubiquitous, but how people use them is changing. While many still use the all-encompassing slider front-and-center on their home page, others find niche uses like dynamically showcasing products or blog content. When it comes to WordPress, there are plenty of plugins available to cater to these different uses.

However, there are some shared features that any good slider should include. The biggest ones are ensuring that sliders are responsive and work well on mobile devices. You’ll also want to use a plugin that lets you customize the order and size of each slide. Beyond that, there are a ton of extra bells and whistles to be had.

Here are ten WordPress slideshow plugins that you can download for free. Each has different capabilities, and most have a “pro” version that unlocks even further potential. Most importantly, they all cover the very basics you need to create something both attractive and user-friendly.

The Top WordPress Plugins for Sliders & Carousels

Video Slider & Slider Carousel WordPress Plugin

If you’re looking for a way to showcase video content, check out Video Slider. It offers several responsive layouts, along with plenty of customizable special effects.

The plugin also accepts videos from a variety of sources, including locally-hosted MP4 files, YouTube, Vevo, and Vimeo. Leveling up to the pro version provides text and image layers, and 30 transition effects.

Video Slider – Slider Carousel

WP Responsive Recent Post Slider & Carousel Plugin

Feature your news or blog posts with WP Responsive Recent Post Slider/Carousel. The plugin supports both the block and classic editors and lets you create custom post queries for displaying specific content.

The pro version offers a wide variety of design options and works with leading page builder plugins.

WP Responsive Recent Post Slider/Carousel

Soliloquy Slider WordPress Plugin

Soliloquy is one of the more well-known slider plugins. The free (aka “Lite”) version is geared for more basic use. But you still have the ability to create an attractive, fully responsive slider.

The commercial “Pro” version comes with a slew of add-ons that enable extra functionality, like the ability to re-crop slides for mobile devices.


MetaSlider for WordPress

MetaSlider is unique in that it lets you choose from four different slider scripts: Flex Slider 2, Nivo Slider, Responsive Slides, and Coin Slider.

Each has its own advantages, so you’ll want to study what works best for you. Upgrading to the pro version enables the use of YouTube/Vimeo videos, display thumbnails, create custom themes and more.


Master Slider WordPress Plugin

Billed as the most “SEO friendly” slider plugin, Master Slider handles both images and videos. Mobile users will enjoy the built-in touch navigation, while desktop users will appreciate that it’s cross-browser compatible (all the way back to IE8).

The pro version adds goodies such as parallax scrolling and the ability to use Facebook public images for your slider.

Master Slider

Smart Slider 3 for WordPress

Smart Slider 3 offers several ways to create a stunning slideshow. For example, you can bring in videos from services like YouTube and Vimeo. Or you can create slides from posts on your site.

You can also get the ability to build content slides with their “Content Slide Builder,” which adds a layered approach to slide creation. And, they also feature a more robust pro version.

Smart Slider 3

Instagram Slider Widget for WordPress

Instagram Slider Widget provides a great way to build an ever-changing slider. It will pull in up to the 12 latest images from a public Instagram user or 18 images from a hashtag. You can choose where images link to and you don’t need an API key to use the plugin.

Instagram Slider Widget

Slider by WD for WordPress

Slider by WD will help you build a responsive slider with plenty of useful configuration options. The free version comes with five transition effects, the ability to shuffle slides, right-click protection, and support for watermarks.

Their pro offering includes more effects and embeds from outside services.

Slider by WD

Slide Anything WordPress Plugin

Slide Anything’s name is indicative of its mission: To let you place any content into a slide. Text, HTML, images, and shortcodes can all be utilized. Beyond that, the plugin sports multiple transition effects and infinite looping.

With the pro version, slides can open up a modal window or video player.

Slide Anything

WooCommerce Products Slider Plugin

WooCommerce Products Slider is a plugin designed specifically to help you showcase your products. Create a carousel of product slides based on your own criteria. The slider is touch-friendly and provides several options for customization.

The pro version adds 29 themes and the ability to automatically display top-selling products.

Woocommerce Products Slider

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What Are Slider and Carousel Plugins?
    They are plugins you can add to your WordPress site to display images, videos, or content in a dynamic, sliding or rotating format, adding a bit of flair to how content is presented.
  • Are These Plugins Really Free?
    Yes, many slider and carousel plugins are available at no cost. They offer a variety of features without you having to spend a penny.
  • Will These Plugins Slow Down My Website?
    While adding features can impact website speed, many of these plugins are optimized for performance. It’s always a good idea to check the plugin’s performance ratings and reviews.
  • Can I Use These Plugins on Any WordPress Theme?
    Most slider and carousel plugins are compatible with most WordPress themes. However, testing them with your specific theme is always recommended for best results.
  • How Hard Is It to Set Up a Slider or Carousel?
    It’s generally quite easy! These plugins usually come with user-friendly interfaces and clear instructions to guide you through the setup process.
  • Can I Customize the Design of Sliders and Carousels?
    Yes, most free plugins offer various customization options so you can match the style of your sliders and carousels to your website’s design.

Slide On In

This collection of free responsive WordPress slider plugins covers just about every use case. Whether you’re looking to showcase your site’s content, social media uploads, or enhance eCommerce, you’ll find a tool that can help you achieve your goals.

If you prefer, you might also like these pure CSS sliders or these jQuery slider & carousel plugins.

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