By John Eberhard

It has become very common these days to have a slide show on the home page of a site, usually using large photos that go all the way across the width of the web site. But there are other ways a slide show can be used to add interest, impact and motion to a web site.

For several years I have used a slide show program called Nivo Slider for making slide shows. But recently I started using several other slide show programs, and there are a wealth of new options that can be used with slide shows.

Full Width: One nice option that the Revolution Slider has is to go all the way across the screen.

Animation: The Revolution Slider and some others can also add animations, with text or images moving onto the screen with each slide. Like here.

Responsive: Having sites be mobile friendly has become more important lately with Google’s change to penalize sites if they are not mobile friendly. So some slide show programs are now set up to be responsive, i.e. to adjust the size of the slide show to the width of the screen or browser. See this one.

Carousel: This is a type of slide show that creates a carousel effect.

Playlist: This is where you have your big slide on the left, and a series of smaller thumbnail pictures for the slide on the right. I haven’t done one of these yet but you can see a sample here.

Sidebar Slide Show: I just started doing these. You can put a smaller slide show into the sidebar, with each slide linking to different pages in your site.

Slide shows are a great way to add motion, impact, interest and engagement to a web site.

2024: A couple years ago Google made it one of their top ranking criteria that the site load quickly, with all content above the fold loading in less than 2.5 seconds. So you have to be very careful in using big slide shows today. You have to check your site after you put them up and see how fast the page loads. That needs to be the priority today.