Slideshows, carousels and sites that are generally image-driven is a web design trend that has been with us for a while now and shows no signs of going out-of-date. Reading and writing seems to be a dying art in terms of imparting information, and that is mainly due to our very busy lifestyles nowadays. Road signs have been imparting information in image form for many years, and I suppose it was only a matter of time before other informational sources grasped the concept. So now when designers and developers have a new project, the question is not ‘Do you want to include images?’
Rather, ‘Where, how many and what size do you want your images, and how would you like them presented?’ And that makes slideshows and carousels very important and necessary elements in website design. Here is a collection of some of the best, free jQuery slideshows and carousels available at the time of writing.
Free jQuery Slideshows and Carousels
- Unique transition effects
- Flexible configuration
- Linking images
- Compatible with Android and iPhone
- Auto slide
- Lightweight (8Kb)
- Fully customizable using CSS
- Slides are HTML content (can be anything)
- Navigation tabs are built and added dynamically (any number of slides)
- Optional custom function for formatting navigation text
- Auto-play (optional feature, can start playing or stopped)
- Infinite/continuous sliding
- Pauses auto-play on hover (option)
- Awesome and unique transitions
- Fully responsive
- Graceful degradation to CSS-only slider
- All browsers, all devices
- Search engine friendly
- Lightweight – 4-12Kb
Camera slideshow requires jQuery 1.4+ and other jQuery plugins are necessary if you want to use some functionalities: jQuery Easing http://gsgd.co.uk/sandbox/jquery/easing/ and a customized version of jQuery Mobile http://jquerymobile.com/ to use Camera with mobile devices. These plugins are included in the zip download, but do check the links for newer versions.
- Responsive: create dynamic slideshows that adapt to any screen
- CSS3 transitions: animations that run smoothly on modern devices
- Touch: swipe support that tracks touch movements on supported devices
- Easy setup: get going fast with the easy-to-use examples
- Responsive down to mobile (applies for slider area and images)
- Touch gestures navigation for iOS, Android and other touch devices
- Highly flexible and customizable
- 35 transition effects available
- Animated HTML captions with custom effects (fade, move top, move right…)
- Extremely simple configuration
- Easily customizable via CSS file
- Simple, semantic markup
- Supported in all major browsers
- Horizontal/vertical slide and fade animations
- Multiple slider support, Callback API, and more
- Harware accelerated touch swipe support
- Custom navigation options
- Compatible with the latest version of jQuery
A combination of an image slider and an accorion, the Slidorion displays beautiful images along with a variable length description. With slides linked to each tab, and accompanied by a large array of effects, the Slidorion is a great alternative to the traditional jQuery slider.
Slidershock is the most complete and responsive jQuery/WordPress slider on the web. It is currently available for WordPress as a plugin and a jQuery code for non-WordPress environments. Slidershock can be used to slide images and text, and allows the addition of captions to slides. The free version has 10 of the 31 available effects in the premium version.
This is actually a tutorial, but the work files are available and the end result is a beautiful gallery that was too nice to leave out of this round up.
- Resizes images to fill the browser while maintaining image dimension ratio
- Navigation controls with keyboard support
- Integration with Flickr – pull photos by user, set or group
- Cycles background via slideshow with transitions and dynamic preloading
- Core version available for those that just want background resizing
Sideways image gallery is made by implementing some scripts and tutorials and some CSS3. It utilizes the jQuery UI, jQuery Easing and jQuery mousewheel plugin.
- Choose effect: slide in, fade in, etc
- Keyboard navigation arrows
- Images are preloaded, and if they aren’t finished loading, a loading image will appear
- Callbacks on different events that have access to the internal object, so you can access all internal methods
- Permalink to a specific image, either by index or id
Flux slider is a CSS3 animation based image transition framework.
- Works from large monitors to laptops, to tablets to mobiles
- Pure CSS styling
- CSS3 based transitions (hardware accelerated where possible)
- Animations work on all modern browsers including mobile
- Simple lightweight design, adds little to your download size
- Can be heavily customized by editing CSS
- Easy to use: Drag or click to showcase featured content
- Flexible Integration: The widget can be run as a Drupal moule or as a standalone widget for your website
- Easy Installation: Simply download, configure and push content to the jCoverflip widget
- Ready to Use: Out-of-the-box, the widget utilizes a clean default style
- Customizable: Control the number of items, colors, fonts and styles through CSS
- Open Source: Distributed using the GNU General Public License and built using jQuery and jQuery UI
- Works with most browsers – tested on IE6-IE9, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari
- Accurate 3D perspective
- Optional auto reflections – no need to modify your images or add server code
- Small 5Kb (minified) script
- Fully accessible with no CSS or text only browsers
- Works with other plugins such as Slimbox, and preserves your links and mouse events
- Optional mouse wheel support
- Fully customizable and skinnable, filled with loads of custom events and options
- Scrolls automatically or by using buttons, keys, the mousewheel or by dragging and swiping
- Optionally responsible/fluid/liquid out of the box
- Supports variable item-sizes (also with a variable number of visible items)
- Built in keyboard- and mouse-navigation and pagination
- 9 built in effects such as scroll, fade, crossfade, cover and uncover
- Capable of using CSS3 transitions
- Align (left/center/right) items inside the available width/height
- Dynamically add and remove items to/from the carousel
- GET and (re)SET the configuration options after creation
Liquid carousel is a jQuery plugin intended for liquid designs. Every time the container of the carousel gets resized, the number of items in the list change to fit the new width.
Agile Carousel is highly customizable so youu can build according to your requirements. JSON data format is used to provide easier integration with external data or data from your CMS.
- Just 11Kb compressed
- Displays images and videos
- Captions and links
- Thumbnail options
- Circular ring timer
- Keyboard navigation
- Callback functions
- Works in all major browsers
A simple circular content carousel. Click on the ‘more’ link to move the items to the left and a content area will slide out. Navigate through the carousel where each step will reveal the next or previous content box with its expanded content.
Elastislide is a responsive jQuery image carousel that will adapt its size and its behavior in order to work on any screen size. Inserting the carousel’s structure into a container with a fluid width will also make the carousel fluid.
- Can slide vertically or horizonally
- Supports navigation by button or paging
- Animation time can be set in milliseconds or to ‘instant’
- Easily customizable
- Supports all current browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer 6+, Safari, Opera, Chrome)
- Lightweight – only 100 lines of code, 2.29Kb
- Arrange divs of content in a 3D rotating carousel
- Currently supports one flanking ‘feature’ on either side of center feature
- Show clickable indicators (blips) of what feature is currently at the center
- Display text overlay on bottom of feature
- Speed, effects, locations and more are all changeable
- Works in Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE6+
- Automatically preloads images before firing up the carousel
The jQuery Cycle Plugin is a slideshow plugin that supports many different types of transition effects. It supports pause-on-hover, auto-stop, auto-fit, before/after callbacks, click triggers and much more. The plugin provides a method called ‘cycle’ which is invoked on a container element. Each child element of the container becomes a ‘slide’. Options control how and when the slides are transitioned.
Hopefully you will have found some useful scripts here to add to your jQuery library. As many of them are on GitHub, they are open source and are being regularly updated and having bugs fixed, so they should be fairly trouble-free to implement and run.
Please share your thoughts on slideshows and carousels, and your links to any of your projects where you have used a slideshow.