Responsive WordPress Slider Plugin

Updated on: 21st Oct 2021
MetaSlider is a WordPress slider plugin that offers both free and paid models. Its free version is the most popular slider plugin in the WordPress directory — it has over 800,000 active installations. It is also well-rated; over 600 reviews have given the plugin an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. 

Overall, MetaSlider is an easy plugin to use. The free version lets you build image-based slideshows, while the all-inclusive pro plans allow you to highlight different types of content with your sliders.

What sets MetaSlider apart

    Free plan limitations

    MetaSlider Free is quite limited in functionality, and we will discuss its features in greater detail in the following section. This downloadable plugin allows you to choose from four slider types to create image sliders. If you want to use other types of content, though, you will have to purchase a license. The free version does not provide layers either, but it does give you the option of adding captions to your slides.

    Despite its popularity, the limitations of MetaSlider Free may prevent it from helping you design a professional-looking slider for a production website. However, if you just need to build an image-based slider, this plugin will simplify the process.


    Smart Slider

    Smart Slider

    Smart Slider 3 is another WordPress slider plugin that also offers both free and paid plans. The free version has several more features than MetaSlider Free does. It provides you with six types of layers so you can add text, buttons, or YouTube/Vimeo videos directly to your slides. It also supports dynamic WordPress content, letting you highlight your most recent posts or specific subjects.

    The paid licenses for Smart Slider 3 are all-inclusive and only require one-time payments. These licenses give you access to over 180 templates, 20 additional layers, and eight animations and effects.

    Even though this plugin comes with more features than MetaSlider, it is still intuitive to use. Its premade templates and slides let you build sliders efficiently, even if you are new to designing them.

    Slider Revolution

    Slider Revolution

    Slider Revolution is a much more advanced slider plugin that does not have a free or trial version. At only $29 a year, the single-site Starter option is cheaper than MetaSlider’s 1-2 site license. The prices increase rapidly, however, and the 100-site Professional model costs $1999 a year.

    Slider Revolution focuses on customizability and has in-depth options so you can control your sliders’ most minute details. It offers over 200 templates, over 25 add-ons, and access to an object library.

    Because it is all-inclusive and contains so many features, Slider Revolution has a relatively steep learning curve, and beginners may not find it easy to use. Experienced developers, on the other hand, could use this plugin to design specialized sliders or even entire web pages.



    Soliloquy is a WordPress slider plugin similar to MetaSlider in several ways. It offers both free and paid versions. It also features a straightforward interface, dynamic WordPress content, thumbnail navigation, and image-based slides.

    However, Soliloquy can interact with some social media sites — there is an option to import images from Instagram and a Pin It button for quick Pinterest sharing.

    Additionally, this plugin gives you more control over the dynamic content displayed in your slides than MetaSlider does.

    One downside to Soliloquy is that it is not all-inclusive, and each plan gives you access to different features. Some options, such as carousels and thumbnail navigation, do not become available until you purchase the Developer model for $89 a year.



    RoyalSlider is another WordPress slider plugin. It is sold on CodeCanyon, where it has over 2,200 ratings and an average of 4.64 of 5 stars.

    Like MetaSlider, you can use this intuitive plugin to create SEO-optimized, mobile responsive sliders that can contain images, HTML slides, and YouTube/Vimeo videos. Both plugins also offer customizable automatic image sizing so you can best display your pictures.

    There is no free version of this plugin, and only one pricing option is available — a one-time payment of $24 per site. Altogether, RoyalSlider provides a user-friendly interface, and its sliders are designed for optimal performance and quick load times.

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    Free Plan

    With MetaSlider’s free plan, you can create SEO-optimized, image-based slideshows in four slider styles:

    1. Flex Slider
    2. Responsive Slides
    3. Nivo Slider
    4. Coin Slider

    You can add captions to your slides or customize them by adding transition effects. Specific effects can be a bit tricky to find, though. Different effects are available for the different slider types, so you have to look through each of them to choose the exact transition you need. 

    MetaSlider Free has smart image cropping and default settings. If you are new to creating sliders, these options let you develop them efficiently without adjusting any advanced settings.

    Paid Plan

    When you buy any version of MetaSlider pro, you will unlock all of the features it has to offer. You will be able to create video slides or build custom HTML slides. The pro version supports YouTube and Vimeo content and allows you to feature WordPress posts or WooCommerce products in your sliders. Purchasing a license also gives you access to 11 slider themesthumbnail navigation, and a year of premium support.

    In a speed comparison between five slider plugins, sliders created by MetaSlider had the second-fastest load time. They were also the most lightweight out of all five.


    MetaSlider offers five different pricing options:

    • Free
    • 1 to 2 Sites License- $39/year
    • 5 Sites License- $59/year
    • 20 Sites License- $89/year
    • Unlimited Sites License- $149/year

    As mentioned before, the paid licenses are all-inclusive, the only difference between them being the number of sites you can create sliders on.


    MetaSlider is a no-frills WordPress slider plugin with both free and paid models. The free version lets you create basic image slideshows for your website, while the pro version can help you build sliders that highlight various types of content. The interface is not bloated with features, making this plugin suitable for beginners. The sliders you create are also unlikely to slow down your site due to their small file size. 

    If you need to build image-based sliders, MetaSlider Free can make it easy to do so. However, it offers so few options that it may not be the best plugin to use for professional websites. If your sliders don’t require additional customization from more feature-heavy plugins, MetaSlider Pro might suit your needs.