There are a good number of slider plugins out there, but finding a decent one is harder than you might think. They’re usually poorly coded, have way too many, or few, options.
That’s where Soliloquy comes in. I was approached by the plugin author, Thomas Griffin, who wanted to know if I would take a look at it and review it. I’d already heard a lot of good things about it, and given how many bad sliders I’d worked with in the past, I was eager to find a good one!
First things first; behind the scenes, you’ll be glad to know that everything is in good order. The plugin code was audited by Mark Jaquith, who you may recognise as one of the lead developers for WordPress, so you can rest assured that everything is done the right way and is compliant with WordPress standards, so you shouldn’t get any weird errors.
Also, the plugin is both fully responsive and jQuery based, so not only will it look fantastic, but it will work and fit on all devices, so you don’t need to worry about your mobile visitors; it will look just as good to them as it does to your desktop users.
So now on to the plugin itself. Once installed, creating a slider is a cinch. You can create as many sliders as you want, so whether you’re just looking to create one slider for featured posts on your home page, or looking to create multiple slideshows for different posts, Soliloquy is a great option.
Once you create your new Slider, you’ve got a few options that you need to fill out. Firstly, you need to add the images that the slider will cycle through. It uses the standard WordPress uploader and with each image, you can specify:
- Alt text
- Image link
- Image link title
- and whether to open the link in a new tab
That’s just about every option you could need for each image.
Then beyond that, you can start tweaking the settings for the slider itself. By default, the plugin just shows you the basic options, which you can then expand, if you need a little more tailoring.
The basic options include animation style and speed and the size of the slider. The advanced options include more control over the navigation between slides, and more playback control, such as whether to allow looping, setting the start slide and randomising the slide order.
Once you’ve published your slider, you have one of two options for putting it into your site; you can either code it directly into your theme, or a shortcode is provided for you to insert it into any post, page or widget, so you can put it wherever you need it.
There’s enough options here to satisfy most needs, without trying to go crazy and cater to every imaginable situation, which just causes bloat and confusion.
Frankly, Soliloquy’s elegance is in its simplicity. It’s robust, well-coded, and does its job well. I’m very happy with it and will, without a doubt, be turning to Soliloquy first for any future slider need I have.