How To Choose The Right Blog Content Slider

submit   November 11, 2011   Comments Off on How To Choose The Right Blog Content Slider

Nearly every professional looking website or blog that I see these days has a blog content slider bar on the front page showing featured content in an animated fashion.

I notice that some of the A Grade bloggers don't bother with this, but in general I feel that in order to have a professional looking website you should put a blog content slider bar on your site.  There are varying opinions on this, I know, but this is just my particular opinion. 

I had two big problems when I was first trying to put a blog content slider on my site.

1. It was nearly impossible to choose which was the best one that suited the Thesis theme (which I use for this site)

2. After choosing one of them it was nearly impossible to find a tutorial to get it working. I consider myself quite capable with the technical side of websites. I am not a programming guru or genius but I can usually make things look exactly the way I want them to.

So the point of this blog post is to show you some of the different blog content sliders that are available to you for free, and also to give you a tutorial of how I set it up on the Thesis theme. 

Feel free to make any comments about which slider you like best, or to give a link to your blog showing off your slider. Lets start a discussion on this topic. 

The list of free blog content slider plugins with links is as follows:

Easing Slider
Coin Slider 4 WordPress
Meteor Slides
WP Slideshow
Dynamic Content Gallery
NIVO slider light
WordPress Content Slide
Content Slider by SlideDeck

I personally chose the "Dynamic Content Gallery" plugin after doing a bit of research. It took me a combination of about 4 different tutorials plus a lot of hard work to get it done. But in the end, as you can see, I achieved my mission.

It can be a bit of trial and error unfortunately, but if you do a Google search for "Content Slider & [Your Theme]" you should get some reviews which will be helpful. I believe that some of these will work better than others, depending on which theme you are using. 

For those that are interested here is what I had to do to get it working on Thesis, after installing and activating the plugin. 

Dynamic Content Gallery Installed On Thesis Tutorial

To get started you need to go to the Thesis Custom File Editor (from the menu on the WordPress dashboard) and open custom_functions.php and paste in the following code highlighted in bold:

/* thesis slider*/

add_action('thesis_hook_feature_box', 'featcc');
function featcc() {
if (is_home()){
global $post;
if( function_exists( 'dynamic_content_gallery' ) ) :


Here are the settings that I use for the plugin. You will need to open the plugin settings from your dashboard to access. (You can click on the images to make them larger if you have trouble reading them). 

blog content slider


blog content slider


blog content slider


blog content slider


blog content slider


blog content slider


blog content slider


blog content slider

Once you have adjusted the settings of the plugin, you are ready to go. Create a new test post and make sure that you have the Dynamic Content Gallery Metabox visible on your screen as per image on the left.

If you don't have it visibile you will need to click on the "Screen Options" button at the very top of the screen and tick the box for this plugin. 

For the image to show you need to put the URL of the image (which you should have uploaded to your server before) inside the "Image URL" section just like the example on the left. 

You have the option to include a Slide Panel Description if you like, but I leave this blank as I don't want one.

There are various other options inside this box, but I don't personally see any need for them. 

One thing that you will have to do to make it work though is to choose the right category for the post. In the setting of the plugin above you will see that i use a category name of "Featured".

Whenever I create a new blog post I choose "Featured" as one of my categories, and then I choose another category to describe the post. By choosing the "Featured" category the plugin knows to use this post in the slider. 

I have also set mine up to display the last five posts from this category, but you can easily make it display more or less if prefer. 

So this is how I set up a blog content slider on this website. I would love to hear your story and opinion on what you think is best, or if you would like more help on the tutorial above. 

Image Copyright (c) from 123RF Stock Photos