5 Best WordPress Slider Plugins – Performance + Quality (Compared)

Looking to have a slider applied to your WordPress site? There are hundreds of slider plugins in WordPress that you can use on the market.

All slider plugins are not made equal however. Most load too many scripts that slow your website down.

In this post, we will compare the top slider plugins in WordPress based on their speed, ease of use, and overall features. The goal is to find the best output and quality WordPress slider plugin.

Best WordPress slider plugins compared

The question with Sliders in WordPress

Most sliders on WordPress are sluggish. If it’s not coded properly, a slider will increase your page load time considerably. If you do not have a good hosting service for WordPress then your server may respond even slower than usual.
The other problem with slider plugins on WordPress is ease of use. Many of them are bulky, and they come with a beginner learning curve.

Last but not least, you want to make sure your WordPress slider is responsive to mobile needs. Some of them don’t.

And how are you going to go through hundreds of slider plugins and test all of that? Okay, you shouldn’t. We did the analysis for you and our findings for the best WordPress slider are below.

The Contenders for Best Slider WordPress Plugin 

We opted for the top and highly recommended WordPress slider plugins for this post. While doing our research , we found that among the most common and recommended were those slider plugins.

  • Soliloquy
  • MetaSlider
  • Smart Slider 3
  • Slider by Nivo
  • Slide Anything

We wanted to run a few basic tests to see how each of them is doing. The parameters we are looking for are speed, ease of use, usability and functionality.
Let’s continue, Ready.

Speed-Which WordPress Slide Plugin is Fastest?
Sliders # 1 issue is they could slow down your website. Performance and pace have an impact not only on user experience but also on SEO.

This is why our comparison tops slider size. We want to see which plugin is the fastest slider and then we’ll compare their features to see if the efficiency effect is justifiable.

We’ve built every slider plugin on a WordPress demo site to find this out. We uploaded the same images for slider formation. No other settings were changed and we placed the slider on a blank WordPress tab. Before that, we used to run the test with the Pingdom speed monitoring tool. The findings of our test for any slider plugin are as follows.

Slider PluginPage Load TimeRequestsPage Size
Smart Slider 3865ms19382KB
Slider by Nivo928ms16306KB
Slide Anything866ms18324KB
Master Slider900ms22345KB

As you can see in the above ratings, in our tests Soliloquy was the fastest WordPress slider to load. MetaSlider followed closely. If you want a fast WordPress site with high performance, then Soliloquy is the best slider for you on WordPress.

Now you may think all the other sliders did well too. How do we find Soliloquy to be the fastest?

If you consider the results of the test you can see that Soliloquy has increased the load size of the page without affecting speed.

This is done with a cool little trick. Essentially it first loads the cover frame, and then asynchronously loads other slides. In other words, high-quality slider images can be uploaded with minimal effect on performance.

Ease of Use – Which WordPress Slider Offers Better User Experience?

It is not as easy as making sliders as we would like it to be. All top WordPress slider plugins have too much technical language used in the user interface.

We want our slider plugin to be helpful to beginners, and something that works right out of the box. Let’s see how our top contenders are doing in this way.


Soliloquy is the WordPress slider plugin most appropriate for beginners on our list. You can only construct a new slider, then simply drag and drop your pictures.

It deals with other things such as resizing images, choosing a slider theme, navigation style, etc. To save the slider, you can simply hit the Publish button.

Soliloquy user interface

The reason it’s easy to use is that it follows the standards for coding WordPress and blends in with your native WordPress admin app. Soliloquy has a basic yet intuitive user interface, using the default WordPress media uploader to construct slides.

It’s a breeze to add your slider to WordPress posts and pages too. Soliloquy provides you with a variety of options including shortcodes, a Gutenberg editor block, an old classic editor button, and a widget.

Soliloquy block in Gutenberg editor

Meta Slider
MetaSlider is another slider that is easy to use for WordPress. It’s pretty easy to build a new slider and it automatically takes care of all the technical settings.

MetaSlider user interface

This offers you choices for choosing various slider texts, slider theme and types, adding captions and titles for SEO and more. Beginners can ignore all of those options and simply use shortcode, Gutenberg block, widget or template tag to insert slider anywhere on their web.

Smart Slider 3
Smart Slider 3 uses a distinct user interface that looks different from the other admin screens on WordPress. It’s user friendly and beginners can find their way around.

Smart Slider 3 user interface

However, it packs many options that might not be as easy for beginners to discover. The overall user interface is adequate, and the default block, shortcode, and template tag allows you to quickly add a slider to posts and sites.

Slider by Nivo
Slider by Nivo is a fast and straight forward free slider plugin. Using the media uploader, you can simply upload slider images, and rearrange slide order with drag and drop.

Add new Nivo slider

You can add captions, links, and alternate text to your slide images using the same media-uploader GUI. It comes with shortcodes and template tags so you can add your posts, pages, and template files with a slider.

Slide Anything

Slide Something lets you add something to a slider. You can add text, HTML, pictures, videos, or anything else you want. It is not as user-friendly or intuitive as some other WordPress sliders, and many of them also allow you to add other content types.

Slide Anything slide editor

You’ll need to insert all of your slide content into an HTML editor. It makes keeping the slides the way you want them to be a little challenging.

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