The pros and cons of using a slider on your website

Written by Bogdan Sandu on 25 Nov 2021
634 Views • Web Design

Sliders, often known as carousels or image sliders, are widely used on the internet. If you've spent any time designing or developing websites, you've almost certainly used a website slider or two. 

Sliders are one of the most contentious user interface elements in web design. Some individuals adore them, while others despise them. The same is true for web developers: some cannot envision a website without them, while others never use them. 

The fundamental reason for this dispute is that, while website sliders are fantastic tools for displaying a lot of information in a tiny space, they can also be SEO killers, user experience mistakes, and marketing strategy destroyers. As a result, with such compelling arguments for and against, employing sliders in web design is always a matter of personal opinion.

Consider the message you want to convey before adding a carousel or picture slider to your website. A slideshow could be ideal for displaying a collection of photographs for a portfolio on a dedicated website.

This blog post will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this web design method.

Pros

More content

For starters, if you don't have much space yet need to transmit a lot of information, carousels are unbeatable. Nobody likes reading long pages. Carousels and sliders, with their compact and tidy construction, contribute to a pleasant user experience. 

When information is presented in bite-sized chunks and occupies a relatively tiny space, it is much easier to focus on it, digest it, and extract genuine value.

 

Visually Appealing

People are drawn to visuals, according to psychology. Because of the ubiquity of social media, our brains have been trained to prefer visuals over big volumes of text. 

Beautiful photographs are appealing to website visitors, and one of the best WordPress sliders can help you reach this aim without forcing them to scroll the page or navigate to another page on the site.

 

A Slider Can Organize And Fine-Tune Your Marketing Message 

"A picture is worth a thousand words," as the adage goes. Images can express messages more clearly than text. 

According to studies, just 10% of those who read or hear material can recall it three days later. In comparison, more than 65 percent of those who see graphics related to the material will remember it even three days later.

 

Shows Visitors What’s Important

The primary reason web designers choose to include a homepage carousel on a website is to assist their clients in showing visitors the most significant components of their organization. 

Many businesses use a carousel to promote discounts and specials, which can lead to greater sales. Others choose to use a carousel to promote an event, celebrate an accomplishment, or transmit critical information.

 

Call-To-Action

We are all aware of the significance of a powerful call to action (CTA). A homepage carousel allows a website designer to create several CTAs in one location. Even better, all of these CTAs are visible above the fold!

 

A Slider Can Improve Site Functionality

What do you hope the slider will do for your website? Do you want the slider to display information about your company? Is the slider meant to function as a moving showcase of your products and services? 

Will the slider be utilized to boost your reputation by rotating various client testimonials? Whatever you want the slider to do, it will do it because everything will be in one location. The guest will not go elsewhere.

 

Tells A Story

A homepage carousel is an excellent design method for a business that wants to show a gallery of photographs or tell a story. A carousel can represent a linear process, allowing a visitor to follow a specified path. People enjoy tales, and the carousel style allows a brand to deliver on this.

 

Sliders are a great way to share your work

Whether you're a designer, illustrator, photographer, or artist, sliders are a terrific way to display your work without taking up the entire page. You can create a slideshow of your best work and embed it as a slide on your homepage or portfolio page.

Most Wordpress themes for designers have various premium sliders included for free in the package. 

Sliders are especially useful if you sell things because they may be used to highlight the most popular products, new arrivals, or certain categories.

 

Holds Visitor Attention

A homepage carousel can capture and hold a visitor's attention. When a visitor sees a carousel, he or she may stay to see all of the slides or be enticed to swipe through to see all of them. This is especially true if the first slide they see contains a stunning image, a fantastic offer, and a strong CTA.

 

Cons

Web designers and marketers who oppose sliders believe it will have a detrimental influence on SEO performance. The usage of a slider will have an impact on UX, slow down page loading time, and mobile-friendliness, but might push you farther down in Google's search results.

 

Carousel performance issues

Carousels, by definition, necessitate the loading of additional pictures and scripts to achieve their aim. Because website performance (loading speed) is an important statistic for both user experience and SEO, every second matters. 

Using a single static image with accompanying HTML text rather than several images and the scripts necessary to run a carousel will almost always work better.

 

Hidden Content

Most individuals include useful information in their sliders or carousels. Nonetheless, this is frequently concealed. 

People seldom stay to examine every single slide and read all of the material included inside them. The material concealed deep within a slider or carousel is frequently skimmed over and overlooked.

 

Distracting Arrows

An examination of consumer heatmaps from various businesses revealed that online users enjoy interacting with the arrows that make a carousel scroll.

However, the results suggest that because users are so focused on clicking the arrows and seeing the panels move, it is difficult for them to focus on the actual content of the individual panels.

Where arrows are used, click-through rates and engagement times have been proven below.

 

Text on image layering without image manipulation or writing code

Layering images and text before popular slider plugins needed either image manipulation or coding. For the majority of users, sliders have eliminated this requirement. 

A powerful slider plugin will handle image changes and coding functionality for you, allowing you to concentrate on design.

 

Speed

The majority of sliders rely on jQuery and slider script, and they must load all of their material on the first-page load. If you have a 900x400px slider, your website will have to load all three of those images, as well as any accompanying text, before the slider is entirely loaded. 

This can have a detrimental impact on your website's page load time. The longer it takes for a page to load, the more probable it is that visitors will leave the site and look elsewhere.

 

Slider controls can be easily missed

Slider controls are often inconspicuous icons that are built and formatted in such a way that they do not detract from the actual slide content. As a result, the arrows used to navigate the slider are easily overlooked.

This issue is exacerbated on smaller screens, which means your mobile visitors will have difficulty navigating between slides or selecting the button that sends them to another section of your website.

 

The human eye reacts to movement

Lastly, please remember that our attention is initially drawn to motion. Sliders can confuse viewers and lead them to stop paying attention to the rest of your website's content if you utilize them throughout it.

Whenever a slide shifts, you run the danger of diverting your visitor's attention away from the booking button. This might result in fewer conversions, fewer sales, and lower total profit.

 

Low Click-Through Rates

According to a 2013 survey, barely 1% of viewers engaged with a homepage carousel. Only the first slide is interacted with by 84 to 89 percent of that 1%. This indicates that the vast majority of individuals who do click will never view any slides beyond the first. As a result, it is critical to ensure that the most crucial slide is kept first in line.

 

Few slider plugins and extensions follow responsive design best practice

Mobile devices currently account for the bulk of web traffic. As a result, your websites should be designed to react to a wide range of screen sizes (from a 4′′ smartphone to a 27′′ desktop display). 

Sadly, only a small number of sliders are responsive. Most slider plugins merely resize your whole slide to fit the width of the screen (which will probably make your content way too tiny on mobile).

Conclusion

When you're introducing a new product/service, you might want to utilize a slider to demonstrate its characteristics, applications, or perks. If you design each slide to guide the customer to the next, you may reduce your bounce rate and enhance the likelihood that your customers will see your content.

Carousels are beneficial in some situations, but they must be constructed with efficiency, usability, and website accessibility in mind. Before employing a carousel as a crutch, thoroughly consider the page's aim. Use data to back up your choice.

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