Envira Gallery Blog

Digital Photography Tips, Tutorials and Resources

How to Design a WordPress Image Carousel

by Brenda Barron on Oct 22, 2018

Looking to present your site images in a compelling way? Whether you want to show off the latest pictures you took for a client, or you want a fantastic way of demonstrating your photography skills, a WordPress Image carousel can be a great way to draw attention to your pictures.

Importantly, while an image slider can be just as useful for displaying your photography, a slider and a carousel aren’t the same thing. While a slider slides the images from one side to another, a carousel is designed to rotate the pictures on an imaginary central axis.

So, how do you design a WordPress Image Carousel?

In today’s blog we’ll cover:

  • The top plugins for WP image carousels
  • What each plugin can do for your WP site
  • How to choose the perfect tool for your needs

Let’s get started.

Choosing a Plugin to Design a WordPress Image Carousel

While WordPress recently introduced the “Gallery” widget in their 4.9 update, it still isn’t possible to simply create an image carousel on WordPress without the use of an external plugin. Fortunately, we’re going to help you find the plugin that’s right for you. Here are some of the most popular options.

1.     WP Slick Slider

The WordPress Slick Slider and Image Carousel plugin comes with over 100 pre-defined layouts to choose from, ideal for when you want to give WordPress a design that suits your brand. Some of the features that you can expect to get with this tool include:

  • Swipe-enabled for mobile use
  • Variable width and center mode design
  • Desktop dragging and infinite looping
  • Shortcode generator tool

One of the most impressive features of the WordPress Slick Slider plugin is that it’s compatible with Visual Composer.

A slider designed with the WP Slick Slider plugin, with three images above small text blocks from the articles in the slider

2.     Master Slider

Another highly responsive option for those in search of a simple way to add carousel images to WordPress is the “Master Slider” tool. This touch layer slider plugin offers over 70 different templates to choose from, and they’re all incredibly easy to use. One of the most exciting things about this plugin is that you can insert and embed HTML, links, formatted text and video into slides too! Other great capabilities include:

  • Drag and drop visual builder
  • Touch swipe navigation
  • Gallery uploads from WooCommerce and Flickr
  • Easy use

The Master Slider banner, showing some examples of carousels created with the plugin on a phone, tablet, and desktop

3.     Slider Pro

Slider Pro is one of the most popular plugins available for people who want to design a WordPress image carousel. There’s no unnecessary complexity to the app, and it offers a clean and simple user interface so that you can develop your galleries in no time. As a tool that puts performance and simplicity first, this option is great for anyone who wants a no-fuss way to upgrade their WordPress website.

One particularly impressive capability is the deep-linking feature, which allows you to change the URL that appears in the navigation bar with each slide change – great for when people want to link back to images in your carousel. Other features include:

  • Optimized image loading
  • Multiple layouts
  • Smooth animations
  • Easy customization

A carousel created with Slider Pro Lite, displaying an image of a large city-scape

4.     Ultra Portfolio

Ultra Portfolio is a plugin that’s particularly useful for photographers who want to build a full online portfolio for their work. For instance, if you want to show off your skills as a wedding photographer, then this could be the tool for you. Like many options on this list, the Ultra Portfolio plugin comes with a wide range of layout options to choose from, as well as the option to control animation speed and animation effects. Other great features include:

  • Woo Commerce integration
  • Unlimited layouts
  • Google font integration
  • Column control

A portfolio-styled carousel made with the Ultra Portfolio plugin, displaying six tiled images all at once

5.     Slide Anything

Finally, if you want to design a WordPress image gallery that can also slide in video, text, HTML, and short-codes, then you need the “Slide Anything” plugin. Although this app is still relatively new, it’s quickly gaining popularity thanks to features like countless transition effects, modern browser support, and infinite looping. The Slide Anything content slider and carousel allows you to create responsive galleries in seconds. Other features include:

  • Slide link features where you can create a hover-button over any of your slides
  • Touch-enabled responsive carousels
  • Numerous transition effects

The Slider Anything plugin banner, with a list of feature set up in a slider style

There you have it!

Just a small collection of the tools that you can use to create incredible WordPress image gallery carousels in no time. Of course, if all you want is a stunning slider, then you can always use the Envira Gallery app to get the beautiful visual effects that you need!

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