Sliders, otherwise called carousels, are a controversial web design element. They exploded in popularity a few years ago. Since, they’ve been the object of praise and derision. Ultimately, you need to make up your own mind about them. Having information about their pluses and minuses should help you arrive at a conclusion.
You can present quite a bit of information in a compact space with a slider. Users then cycle through it manually, or just sit back and watch as the options are displayed automatically. This eliminates the need to scroll down, keeping more above the fold on your homepage. The fold is the portion of the page that shows up without users scrolling, so it’s their very first impression of your site.
With an auto-slider, you can establish your brand’s personality quickly. Sometimes, visitors land on our page and get distracted for a moment. Different messages, which can be a mixture of images and text, provide an impression of what your brand is all about. These aren’t meant to convert, but rather to pique interest so users scroll down and read more, instead of just bouncing.
People like sliders. There’s a reason why you see them everywhere. If web users like them, using them effectively on your site can have a huge positive impact.
Some researchers have found sliders can be bad for conversion rates. They result in few clicks, especially for each subsequent feature. This is true no matter if you have a manual or auto-forwarding carousel. Such information should be troubling.
There are other reasons to avoid sliders. They can slow page load times, increase h1 tags on a page (which hurts SEO), and often are coded so search engine crawlers can’t index the information in them.
Certain websites replace content with sliders. Without content, not only will your search engine rankings be hurt, users will be turned off. After all, other sites have useful information front and center. If yours doesn’t, people will abandon it quickly.
Maybe your homepage has good content, but it’s pushed below the fold by a prominent slider. Burying that great content below the fold for a slider people won’t use is at best silly, and at worst costing you traffic.
Multiple web design experts say users skip over sliders because they look like advertisements, not actual content on the page. People tune out overt ads, so making essential page elements look like them is a bad idea.
Love them or hate them, sliders aren’t disappearing completely. While some web designers have abandoned their use, others swear by them, at least in certain situations. Given all the above information, you need to decide if a slider is right for your site.