WordPress homepage sliders

Michael Paragon – WordPress web design part 3 homepage sliders

Part 3 of our above-the-fold WordPress web design series covers some of the basics in designing great homepage sliders, most commonly referred to as Carousels. We will look at industry facts from marketing experts, and interesting ways to create the biggest impression from your slide message.

First lets be really clear, sliders are not for every website! Harrison Jones of Search Engine Land, describes some of the marketing negatives of using a slide show.  In particular the Search Engine Land post says slide shows are a bad idea all together for B2B websites. Sliders can be detrimental to SEO, and can take up a lot of additional bandwidth if not set up correctly.

To make matters worse, most people simply don’t size slide shows correctly. Many WordPress homepage slide carousels take one third, or more of your viewing area. The ever important “Above the fold” homepage content that we have been discussing and other truly relevant information gets pushed below the slide presentation. Out of view.

This is a photo of the same WordPress web design example we used in the last post. It has all of the above-the-fold elements and additionally uses a WordPress plugin slide carousel.


WordPress web design – homepage sliders

In this instance the WordPress web design for the homepage slide presentation, work in harmony with all of the websites elements. The slide photos and brief text in them are relevant, and visitors are instantly updated with important information about the company.

Step one in creating a truly engaging homepage slide presentation is choosing which slideshow plugin to use in your WordPress web design. Which WordPress slideshow plugin is the most flexible, easy to use, and fits with the majority of WordPress themes? We will cover a few essential must have plugins in the next post, but spoiler alert, Revolution Slider is on the list!

While looking through several other posts on WordPress web design, I found this article from Nielsen Norman Group. Here they go into a more detailed examinations of click throughs on call-to-action buttons on slides, and state rather strongly:

Auto-forwarding carousels and accordions annoy users and reduce visibility – Nielsen Norman Group

I personally like a good slide presentation, but we did not do one purposefully for Barcelona WordPress, instead we opted to try out experimental HTML5 video. If your browser supports it, you will see a printing press continuously rolling behind our website description: Your Barcelona WordPress Connection – Websites, Support, Training, Meetups. If you don’t see this video after refreshing your browser, your bandwidth is not adequate to view it, or your browser is among the few still left that do not support it. So, here is the part where I am supposed to say “Don’t try this at home!” But in this case, please do try this at home! The more users that create HTML5 videos, the more demand there will be for browsers to support it. We will go into HTML5 video in more detail in an upcoming post.

In conclusion, carousel sliders should be used sparingly and appropriately, they can do more harm than good if not done correctly. When done right, they are interesting, helpful to users, and can wake up an otherwise boring website.

In our next post we will take a look at a few plugins that can give style to your WordPress web design, and provide functionality for your users. For more information about designing your next WordPress website contact Barcelona WordPress.