Simple WordPress Carousel – WordPress Plugins

My Task

Recently, I was tasked with finding a carousel plugin for WordPress. Starting off, I did a few simple Google searches (WordPress Slider, WordPress carousel, Carousel WordPress Plugins). There are quite a few plugins tagged with WordPress slider and WordPress carousel and most of them I’d consider banner rotate plugins or image slideshows plugins neither of which I wanted. You might be asking yourself, what exactly was I looking for and what requirements were given to me?

Requirements:

  • Easy adjustable styles
  • Multiple evenly spaced images displayed at one time
  • Rotates images via button clicks (auto rotate optional)
  • Creates separate gallery for uploaded images (rather then pull images from pages/posts/categories)

Solution Sponsors Carousel plugin was exactly what I was looking for.

Adjustable Styles

The example below shows the simple easy to use interface. The look and feel is controlled by a simple style sheet that can be edited in the Sponsors Carousel plugin folder. The images for the buttons can easily be customized to meet the needs for any site.

Multiple Images

This requirement was my most troublesome, before I stumbled upon Sponsors Carousel plugin. Most WordPress plugins I found along the way would only display one image at a time and use some sort of counter to let the user know there were more images to scroll. Certainly not what I was looking for. I did find another plugin very similar to the Sponsors Carousel plugin called JJ NextGen JQuery Carousel plugin. It seemed promising. At first glance the only down side was needing NextGen Gallery to control what images would display. Soon after setup there was a rather large issue, the spacing between the images was not working correctly at all. Then on top of that if you started rotating through the picture they would slowly grow the spacing between and push pictures off into the background.  I was so excited when I found Sponsors Carousel plugin after that experience . This WordPress carousel plugin doesn’t provide a setting to limit how many images display or what spacing to apply. However, you can set the container/clip size in the style sheet to get the right spacing and the correct width for the interface. This allowed me to display four images at a time with the spacing I wanted.

Image Rotation  

The image above shows the buttons that the project required.  Also of note is the Auto Scroll setting in the image below, which is a bonus feature in this case. You can set how fast it transitions between images as well as how long that transition takes. The project I was working on didn’t require more than one image be scrolled at a time, but there is a setting that allows you to set multiple images to rotate at once.

Independent Gallery 

The last requirement I needed to meet was a plugin with an independent gallery. This allows the administration experience to remain relatively self contained and makes setup simple for any one to understand. This was very important as few clients are going to want to spend hours trying to understand such a complicated process. Complicated slow processes will cost them extra money they could invest else where.

Bonus Features 

  • Each image can be setup with a link to a sponsor site/page if so desired.
  • Shows titles defined in the Sponsors Carousel plugin image gallery.

WordPress Carousel Implementation

This part was very easy in my case, I just included the simple WordPress Carousel shortcode in to a footer widget area which the plugin page describes. Adjusted the plugins style sheet to match the clients site and handed it off for further testing and tweaks. The setup was a painless experience compared to searching and testing the other plugins I came across.

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