Humans are visual by nature. And nothing jazzes up a website, with very little effort, like a slideshow. For most sites, this is the first thing on the home page. It also makes it nice and easy to keep your visual content updated. Cool and trendy transition effects or attractive images can make viewers stick around on a site a little longer.
Drupal offers a leading open source Content Management System (CMS). It has a variety of splendid slideshow options. Every time we build a Drupal site, we are faced with the choice of which slideshow module to use with it.
Now that Flash is fading away, and a slider doesn’t really need any 3D Animation, the obvious technology choice for all modern sliders is jQuery. Conceptually any of the jQuery sliders out there can be integrated with Drupal. While this makes the number of slider choices limitless, in practical terms, most developers would like to use a simple module/plugin to add a slider to a Drupal site. So we will not attempt to list all the jQuery sliders here, and instead we will only discuss the modular sliders that are easy to integrate with Drupal out of the box.
1. Drupal Views-Based Slideshow
Available as a module, Drupal’s Views-Based Slideshow is a powerful native tool for developing a slider for any content type in Drupal. Related modules like Views Slideshow Menu, Views Slideshow Slider, Views Slideshow Imageflow, Views Slideshow Dynamic Display Block, Views Slideshow Galleria, Views Slideshow JCarousel, Views Slideshow JCarousel Thumbs, Views Slideshow Xtra, all add features to enhance the functionality of the Views-based slideshow. https://www.drupal.org/project/views_slideshow
We have used views-based slideshows in a lot of our projects, and we felt that, despite being a powerful tool, it can be over-complicated for a simple slideshow. It lacks all the modern gesture-based sliding, etc., which can certainly be added but would then require further customization. With the emergence of slideshow-specific solutions, we have started using other slideshow modules.
2. Flex Slider
Flex Slider is a great solution when it comes to creating slideshows in minutes. Packed with features like responsiveness and resizability, to adapt any screen size or device, navigation through touch or keyboard, and multiple sliders per page, it’s a stellar option, to be sure. https://www.drupal.org/project/flexslider
Integrating Flex Slider with Drupal is remarkably easy and it offers 3 ways it can be used in Drupal:
- Installed as a library and called through module
- Integrated with Drupal Fields
- Integrated with Drupal Views with a style plugin
Also, Flex Slider Views Slideshow is now available as an independent module.
3. Nivo Slider
Simple and elegant is the best way to describe the Nivo Slideshows. This slider is less flexible, but far simpler to use. It is also relatively easy to administer because of limited options on the backend. It was originally designed for WordPress, and it’s available for integration with Drupal. Unfortunately, Nivo does not support touch navigation, which has become a de facto requirement on most modern websites.
4. Mega Slider
Mega Slider is a premium responsive slider module with touch navigation for mobile and desktop. It is included in some premium themes, or can be purchased separately to be integrated with any theme. Text, image, or YouTube and Vimeo videos can be easily added to slides. There is a lot of drag-and-drop interface in the backend to set up the slide show. It supports Google web fonts out of the box. It’s a great slider as long as you don’t mind paying for the premium, and it could save you a lot of development time for most projects. We use and recommend this slider quite often.
5. Layer Slider
Layer Slider is another premium Drupal slider, packaged with features like responsiveness, multiple-layouts, and touch gestures for mobile devices. It supports various content formats like images, text, videos from YouTube and Vimeo, and Self-hosted multimedia content on HTML5. Layer Slider has the capability to be customized down to the smallest detail that completely transforms the look and performance of the slider. One drawback is, rather than being available as a standalone module, it is included as part of many premium themes. Layer slider is based on another great, originally WordPress jQuery slider, Revolution Slider.
6. Juicebox HTML5 Responsive Image Galleries
Juicebox allows easy integration between the library of Juicebox HTML5 Responsive Gallery and Drupal, to offer a solution for image galleries and sliders that is responsive and adaptive to multiple devices and screens. Technically, it is not a slider solution for your homepage, but it can be altered to be used as one.
It is capable of running on any device and adapting itself to different browser sizes. You can achieve a lot using a Lite version of the module or opt for a Pro version which is bundled with some special features like over 100 pre-configured options for incredible customization, built-in shopping cart, search engine friendliness, to name a few.
Table of Comparison of Slideshow Features:
Do you have favorite Drupal jQuery Slideshow Slider which we did not include? Let us know and we will include it here. Any other comments on the sliders discussed are welcome as well.