Slideshow – Short Conceptual Explanation

A slideshow, also known as a slider, is a graphic display that can be found on some websites. It contains photos, graphics and videos that scroll automatically or they can be controlled by the user. Slideshows are often found at the top of the homepage, but they can also be used on interior pages, as well as at the bottom of web pages. They are a great way to increase user engagement and they can provide website developers with useful user data.

Slideshow types

There are different kinds of slideshow displays that can appear on homepages, interior pages and at the top or bottom of the page. They include:

  • Automatic Displays: Pictures in this kind of display run one right after the other. The user is passive in the process and must watch the images as they scroll by according to the timer set by the web developer.
  • Semiautomatic Displays: These displays scroll automatically like automatic displays but they can be influenced by the user. By clicking or swiping the next image can be displayed or previous images accessed.
  • Manual Displays: This type of display does not scroll automatically. Instead, the user gets to decide when to move on to the next image in the sequence.

Images are the most common item displayed in a slideshow. However, graphics and videos can also appear in a slider. Sound can also be used to enhance the slider as a whole or different sound bites can be used with each image.


Ways slideshows can be integrated into a website

Although the displays may appear the same, there are different ways for slideshows to be integrated into a website.

A video slideshow can be created from graphics and photos, then being uploaded to the site. The easiest way to execute this method is to export a PowerPoint presentation. However images cannot be swapped out without editing the entire PowerPoint file.

Javascript enables the use of transitions, control buttons, display times, filters and more. Pictures can be changed out easily but incorporating sound can be more difficult. In addition, a cursory knowledge of plugins is a must.

Pros and cons of using a slideshow on a website

There are some benefits to using a slideshow on a website. They include:

  • Increased User Engagement: A sliding gallery is a great way to capture user attention. Their eye is automatically drawn to the images on the slider as they rotate, and a clickable gallery invites the user to engage with the content.
  • Enhanced SEO: When done properly, a slideshow can enhance SEO. By capturing user attention, they stay on the website longer which contributes to a higher SEO score.
  • Enhanced Analytics: Using different images in a slider and reviewing the time users spend on each image,can inform which images to include in the slider and where.
  • Easily Digestible: Images on a slider are easily digestible, making it an especially good way for visual artists, like photographers and retail businesses, to display images.

There are some cons to using sliders. Not all plugins and extensions follow best practices for responsive design, so there can be a steep learning curve. If not implemented properly, or if a slow server is being used, a slideshow may load slowly. The longer it takes to load, the more likely users are to leave the website early.