WordPress Workbench: Layer Slider

Wordpress Workbench

Last week we took a look at Theme Punch’s Revolution Slider as one of the many ways to add content sliders to your WordPress website. While Revslider is one of the more popular tools for Word Press, there are plenty of options out there.

One of these is LayerSlider by Kreatura Media, available is a paid only plugin from Envato’s Code Canyon shop. Like Revslider, the lack of a free version means you get all the functionality right out of the box, and the price isn’t too steep at $17 for a single site license. Also like Revolution Slider, LayerSlider is included in many for purchase themes and there’s an option for developers to include the plugin as long royalties are paid out to developers.

Functionality wise LayerSlider doesn’t seem as polished as some of its competitors; it does however have an almost excessive amount of transition options. Transitions between slides can give a presentation a bit of spice and liven up longer slideshows, but should be used carefully, adding to many can make a site look a bit gimmicky. The 2D and 3D transitions are done using HTML5 and CSS3 animation in LayerSlider, so once again slides comes across as content from a search engine perspective and the plugin’s editor lets you add heading tags, images with descriptions from WordPress media library and links out to site pages.

Although it does lack the timeline and visual editor of RevSlider, LayerSlider does allow for some decent editing of visual styles and transitions, and has a nice live preview mode. My big gripe with the plugin though is that the editor isn’t very well laid out, and feels clunky to move around in, scrolling down several screens to edit content makes slide editing a bit tedious and the global setting tab get s lost in the clutter of the UI.
The code bloat I saw in RevSlider isn’t as bad with this plugin, it adds a lot of the same markup, but takes an extra step to minify the code before dropping it onto a page, so it’s slightly less of a drag on page load speeds. All in all from the viewer’s perspective LayerSlider looks great, it’s mobile friendly and is quite versatile. As I said before LayerSlider is included in some paid themes, some of which look stellar, and if you’re in the market for a new slider it’s one to check out.

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