Create Responsive Content Sliders for your WordPress Site with SlideDeck 2
Sliders are a great way to enhance any type of WordPress site. They hold visitors longer and help to increase conversions. No matter if the goal is to sell more products on an eCommerce site or to get more people to opt-into a newsletter, sliders will help your site convert.
There are quite a few options out there in terms of choosing a slider for your WP site. A while back we did a quick tutorial on a free image slider called “TheThe Image Slider” (formally known as TheThe Fly Image Slider). However, today I want to introduce you to a premium content slider plugin created by Digital Telepathy called “SlideDeck 2”.
SlideDeck 2 makes it easy to create and embed (on any page or post) responsive content sliders. I use the term “content slider” instead of “image slider” because of the fact that it is much more than an image slider plugin. With SD it’s possible to create sliders that consist of video, HTML, all text and images. It’s also possible to create sliders that update automatically and dynamically pull content in from sources such as Pinterest, Instagram and Google Plus to name just a few. In addition, SlideDeck 2 offers a growing number of lenses and customization options to help enhance the beauty of your WordPress site.
I have 2 main goals for this SlideDeck 2 tutorial. Goal one is to introduce you to the features and functionality that SD has to offer so you can see what’s possible. The second goal is to give you enough information to help decide on the type of slider to use on your WordPress site. Let’s start by outlining the two main types of content sliders you can create with SlideDeck 2, Custom Content and Dynamic Source.
Create Custom Content and Dynamic Source SlideDecks
Create your slider one slide at a time. With SlideDeck 2 you have the ability to create two main types of content sliders, Custom Content and Dynamic Source. Custom Content SlideDecks allow you to create sliders with images, video, text only, HTML or a mix of all four. Dynamic Source sliders update automatically and pull in content from a multitude of sources. Let’s take a closer look at both slider types now…
Custom Content SlideDecks
Use a combination of your own images, videos, all text and HTML to showcase your content. Building a custom content slider is as simple as choosing a slide type and inserting your content. The SD interface does a good job of walking you through the process for all four slide types.
The potential ways to use images and videos in a slider are easy to conceive. Use the image slide type to showcase your products, art work or latest vacation. Promote your favorite YouTube, DailyMotion or Vimeo content with the video slide type. The applicability of HTML and all text slide types might be less apparent so here are some ideas for how they could be used…
Potential uses for the HTML Slide Type
Combine Google maps with the HTML slide type and make it easy for people to find the location of your business or church. You could also use the HTML slide to feature forms ( e.g. newsletter opt-in form) and/or surveys. Those are just a few ideas on practical uses for the HTML slide type but the possibilities are truly endless.
Potential uses for the All Text Slide Type
A major benefit of the “All Text” slide type is to avoid duplicate content. If you need to showcase content that’s already on your site but don’t want to get penalized by the search engines then use the All Text slide type. You could also use an all text slide to display third party content without having it indexed.
Dynamic Source SlideDecks
The ability to create Dynamic Source sliders separates SlideDeck 2 from all the other slider plugins for WordPress. Dynamic source sliders automatically pull in content from sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, Dribbble and Twitter to name just a handful. For example, if you use Instagram as a source then your slider will automatically update each time you take new pictures with your iPhone (or any device with Instagram). The same is true for any source that you create a slide with. You can build a dynamic SlideDeck that features one source or a mix of multiple sources. SlideDeck 2 currently pulls in content from the following sources…
- WordPress Posts
- RSS Feeds
- Google+ Public Posts
- Google Plus Images
- Vimeo Videos
- Dailymotion Videos
SlideDeck 2 Lenses
SlideDeck Lenses are similar to WordPress themes. They are easy to configure and allow you to dramatically alter the appearance and behavior of your custom content and dynamic source sliders. Depending on the SD license, there are a varying number of lenses to choose from. If you have the developers version of SlideDeck 2 then you’ll have the following lenses to work with; Tool Kit, Block Title, Classic, Fashion, Half Moon Lens, O-Town, Proto and Reporter. New lenses are added on a regular basis.
Below is an example of the same SlideDeck using 8 different lenses…
Use SlideDeck 2 on your WooCommerce Powered Sites
SlideDeck 2 and WooCommerce are a great combination in terms of selling products and services on your website. In our recent tutorial on “Customizing the Mystile theme Homepage” we used a Custom Content SD to showcase some of the featured products. Use SlideDeck to convert more site visitors into customers by giving them a wide variety of product images. You could even create a content slider that included video tutorials on how to use your products. Supplement each product detail page of your WooCommerce site with SlideDeck content sliders.
Always Improving – SlideDeck 2.2 is Coming Soon
Overall, SlideDeck 2 is an excellent content slider. Ease of use is one thing that really stood out when I first started testing the plugin. I found it to be straightforward in terms of creating, customizing and embedding content sliders. It offers way more features and functionality than any other slider plugin for WordPress that I’ve worked with.
Is the plugin perfect? There is always room for improvement but I’m impressed with Digital Telepathy’s commitment to the continued betterment of SlideDeck. From my experience, their support is excellent and they continuously ask for and act on customer feedback when making updates / enhancements. According to their latest blog post, Digital Telepathy is set to release SlideDeck 2.2 in the very near future.
Important Notes on Installing and Embedding the SlideDeck 2 Plugin
Installing SlideDeck 2
SlideDeck 2 is installed like any other WordPress plugin.
Simply log into the WordPress admin and go to Plugins > Add New > click “Upload” > Select the “slidedeck2-personal-VERSION_NUMBER” zip file > click “Install Now”
Please note that if you purchased the Professional or Developer add-ons you Must install the “slidedeck2-personal-VERSION_NUMBER.zip” file first. It has to be installed before installing the Professional and Developer add-ons or it will not work properly. After installing SlideDeck 2 (and any add-ons) the final step of the installation process is to go to the “Advanced Options” page and paste in your activation key to verify your purchase and receive updates to the plugin.
Embed SlideDeck in any Page or Post
It’s easy to embed your content sliders in any Page or Post on your WordPress site.
Simply go to the Page or Post you want to insert the slider in and click on the “Insert SlideDeck” icon > choose a SlideDeck to insert > click Insert > your SlideDeck 2 shortcode will be inserted
How to Manually Make SlideDeck 2 Sliders Responsive:
The importance of having responsive content sliders cannot be overstated. Your sliders need to automatically adjust to any screen size. SlideDeck 2 is fully responsive but with a twist…
For now, you have to manually make your sliders responsive by adding, ress=1 proportional=false, to the end of the shortcode. It looks like SlideDeck 2.2 will automatically make every slider responsive but for now it must be done manually.
Make your SlideDecks responsive by adding the following to the shortcode:
The full responsive shortcode will look like the following:
[SlideDeck2 id=XXXX ress=1 proportional=false]
For your reference:
- The demo site used in this tutorial is… SliderDemo.info
- We used the Canvas theme on the demo site
- SlideDeck 2 will work with any WordPress theme – free or premium
- Download the Free version SD (Slidedeck 2 Lite) and start using it on your WP Sites today
- You can create an unlimited number of SlideDecks and embed them in any Page or Post
Want to try the Full version of SlideDeck 2 for FREE? You can test it here…
Do you have other ways that you can think of to use SlideDeck 2? If so, please share them with everyone by posting a comment below.