Recently I asked my readers if image sliders are worth having, and today I’m going to share my findings from both the poll and the discussion that followed.
In most cases, you should not have an image slider
The poll results show that only 16% (19 out of 123 people) really like image sliders. The rest of the 84% either “sometimes like them” or flat out don’t like them. The comments from the discussion include:
- People don’t like image sliders because they slow down the page.
- People already subscribe to the blog so they don’t “need” image sliders. They just always view the latest post.
- Many bloggers don’t spend time making really high quality slider images. They just use the book cover and it’s often not even in banner dimensions, so it’s pixellated or doesn’t fill the whole space. This makes the slider look very unattractive, and thus not worth having.
Image sliders cater to first-time visitors
Usually the only people who will appreciate an image slider are those visiting the blog for the first time. They’re more likely to poke around and want to have a quick “overview” of some of your hot posts. On the other hand, regular visitors (subscribers) just want to see the latest posts. They don’t need to constantly see your highlighted posts, because they’ve probably already read them. They just want the latest content.
I decided to remove my image slider
After looking at the poll results, seeing what others had to say, and factoring in my lack of desire to actually make the images any longer, I decided to remove my image slider. I cater more to regular visitors than I do to first time ones. I also think that my tabbed overview on my homepage (showing latest, popular, and upcoming posts) is more useful, lightweight, and less intrusive than an image slider.
Hmm, I think I will remove it. And by the way, how do you do those tabs? I’ve always wondered about that. xD
I actually was considering a slider! But I was one of the ones that voted for “sometimes they’re okay”. Because, to be honest, the ones where the banners are all pixelated and awful really frustrate me. They look tacky. And especially when the blog is really spiffy? It looks off. Really interesting results!
I think that was a good choice. I never added an image slider because of the time it takes to maintain it. But when I do move to wordpress, I want to make the recent posts as previews instead of the whole post showing, I think that is sufficient.
I haven’t had an image slider before. Didn’t really find it appealing as it slows down the page. It is interesting to know that image sliders cater to first time visitors. Glad you removed yours though. Agree that the tabbed overview on your homepage is a better choice!
I thought about using a image slider before and I actually done some research on how to add them to blogger, but it looked like so much work to keep updated so I ultimately decided against it. After looking at these results, I’m glad that I didn’t put all that work into one 🙂
If they are done right I always thought they were cool, but I have found that it takes more graphic design know how than I have to make them look right. Therefore, I don’t have one.
It is some work to maintain because I do create images for it, but its easier with wordpress. I keep it though because most of my traffic comes from Stacking the Shelves crowds on weekends and I think it gives them a quick view of what happened during the week. It might be worth polling my viewers though!
And I second the question about the tabbed widget, how do you do it? 🙂
The tabs require quite a bit of coding to make happen, so it’s hard to explain in a comment (or even a tutorial post!). You have to use jQuery to get the actual tab function, then style it with CSS. Then pulling out the posts requires some custom PHP WordPress queries.
In short, too complicated for me haha thanks!
I never like a site that forces me to content, and slidebars do that, they are not quite pop up bad – and don’t force me off sites, but I never click stuff from them, just scroll down far enough to get them off my screen.
I’ve had one for almost a year now but mine got smaller when I changed my blog layout. More than anything, I keep mine because I love looking at them especially when I’ve just updated the images lol.
Kazhy- I LOVE your slider! I’ve been thinking about taking mine off for awhile. I did today and now my Front page looks so sad. I’m thinking of making mine smaller. What slider do you use?
Eeek, I don’t know! >_< It just came with the pre-made template that I found lol.
I don’t use an actual image slider…but I do use some coding which slides the book covers across the top of the blog. They are small images, so it doesn’t seem to slow down the blog’s performance. If someone wants to see a review we’ve done on a book, they can hover over the scrolling images and click on the one they want to read the review of. BUT — it doesn’t work properly with IE (older versions). As far as I know, it works on all other browsers.
Very interesting! There was a time slideshows were all the rage. Now I just find them a pain to maintain. And they also take a lot of space on mobile screens…
Now, I wonder if people prefer seeing one full post on the homepage, or right away a list of latest posts?
I think one full post is okay as long as the others are excerpts. But if they’re all full posts it can be annoying to scroll through!
I don’t have an image slider, and your poll makes me feel better about it! 🙂
Yeah when I see an image slider that’s bad quality, it’s really unattractive and other times the banner doesn’t look very good either because the font they use doesn’t correspond if they add other text. I also find that’s it’s kind of uncomfortable if the slider doesn’t disappear when you click onto an individual post (like it usually does with WP blogs) because the only reason people usually have sliders is to promote its other posts. Thanks for sharing, Ashley! I actually had thought a lot of people liked it before now 🙂 <33
I agree — I was just trying to leave a comment on a blog with a slider and it took forever to load. And re: Lily’s comment, as long as I can find a list of recent posts, I don’t care.
Jen @ YA Romantics
Definitely saying no to sliders. The page load time and the way it takes a large portion of the screen usually makes me want to close the tab.
Thanks for sharing the results of the poll, Ashley! 🙂
I’m not a fan of image slider but I totally love your tabbed overview feature. 😀
I’m glad you posted this! I removed my slider a week or two ago? – whenever it was I changed my design – because a) I was tired of making quality images for it (if we’re being honest, this is the main reason…I’m lazy!), b) I didn’t want it to slow down my page, c) I wanted my design to be as clean and simple as possible, and d) I didn’t really find it useful anymore.
This post is super helpful, because some days I kind of miss it, and second guess my decision to remove it because it can highlight the posts I want people to read. This just solidified that decision and removed those doubts!!
I enjoy making banners for my image slider, but sometimes they end up looking not-quite-right because I have to rush in order to get the review posted so I can sleep, do homework, or go to tennis practice.
I think I’ll leave mine up, but if my banners start getting too sloppy, I’ll definitely remove it.
Awesome – I removed my slider not too terribly long ago and it’s nice to see that it was the right move to make!
I had an image slider and I enjoyed updating it every now and then. However, when I switched my blog design, I decided to forego using it. This was partly because I was updating it felt like a chore and partly because it didn’t really fit with my minimal blog look. Now my blog loads much faster and I like it this way.
I’m still debating on mine. I like the banners but I’m not always in the mood to make the graphic! My blog in general needs a refresh just not sure what I want to do. Thank you for these posts, they are extremely helpful and I enjoy reading them.
If you want to make the graphics occasionally but not feel the pressure to always make them, then you could remove the image slider but post the slider image on your post/book review when you get inspired. 🙂 That’s what I do now and then. Example: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. If you scroll down you can see the banner I made (at the time, that was also on my image slider).
Yep, I think that is exactly what I’ll end up doing, making a banner for the post. Some posts merit a nice graphic like that and just don’t.
Now my front page looks sad.
It looks fine! There are still plenty of images on there—do you really need more than that? 🙂
I know, I know! I’m still tweaking it.
Haha, so I actually removed mine as soon as your original post went up because my site is rather slow with all the images and I didn’t feel like making the image slider images anymore 😉