SlideDeck Review – Powerful Sliders With Social Media and Animation
If you’re looking for a versatile, feature-rich way to add sliders anywhere on your WordPress site, you’ve found your way to the right post.
SlideDeck is a premium plugin that offers a huge number of slider styles and integrations. It’s simple enough for beginners to use, but powerful enough to set up advanced animated sliders when needed.
Oli already reviewed SlideDeck about a year ago, so I won’t be duplicating all of the content he covered. Instead, I’ll focus mainly on the plugin’s social integrations as well as the new LayerPro animated lens. So if you want a general review of creating sliders with SlideDeck, you should check out Oli’s post first.
Just to refresh if you haven’t read Oli’s review, here’s a summary of everything you get with SlideDeck:
- Create sliders from images, text, video, or custom HTML.
- Automatically bring in content from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, NextGEN, RSS feeds, and more.
- LayerPro lens allows including and animating different layers in your sliders.
- Total of 15 different lenses to style your content.
- Includes lazy loading to keep pages loading quickly.
- Add sliders to your theme’s code or easily use them in individual posts or pages.
Now that you’re refreshed, let’s dig into SlideDeck’s social integrations and the new LayerPro lens!
Create a Social Media Slider With SlideDeck
SlideDeck’s social media integrations open up a ton of potential use cases. I’m sure you can think of plenty, but here’s where I see the plugin being especially valuable:
- If you’re a YouTuber, you could use SlideDeck to include a slider of all your latest videos directly on your WordPress site.
- If you’re a travel or food blogger, you could use SlideDeck to include all the latest pictures from your Instagram account.
- If you’re a designer, you could use SlideDeck to pull in your latest work from Dribble.
By no means an exhaustive list, those were the ideas that immediately piqued my interest when I started playing around with SlideDeck.
How to Create a Dynamic Slider from Social Media
Creating a slider from social media is stupid simple. First, you just need to create a new slide:
Then, choose from Dynamic Sources:
Now, you’ll see the full list of integrations:
Because I think YouTube videos are one of the coolest uses of SlideDeck, I’ll choose YouTube as my source for this example. Note that, to use YouTube, you’ll need to follow Oli’s instructions to add your YouTube API key to SlideDeck’s general settings page:
Once you select YouTube, you’ll need to configure where you pull your content from. You can pull from:
- Search terms
- A username
- A channel ID
Once you’ve entered your source, you can choose from one of the included lenses to quickly style your slider:
Then you can customize important info like dimensions for your slider and how many slides to include:
You can also further customize the appearance and functionality by tweaking lots of other small details:
Once you’re finished creating your slider, SlideDeck will give you three easy options for displaying it on your WordPress site. You can insert it directly from a menu bar inside the WordPress Editor, launch a new post directly from the plugin, or grab a shortcode to use at your leisure.
Here’s what my final slider looks like after adding the shortcode to a test post:
Overall, it’s quite easy to bring in dynamic content from social networks. If you’re a beginner, it might be a bit tricky setting up API keys the first time. But, you only have to do it once and SlideDeck provides detailed instructions for finding and adding your API keys.
The ability to add YouTube Slider playlists to individual posts is very cool. For example, if you were writing a post on parkour, you could add a slider with the top parkour search results somewhere in the post. Lots of nifty uses.
What Social Networks Are Available With SlideDeck?
By my count, SlideDeck currently includes dedicated support for 14 external social networks. They are:
- NextGen Gallery
- Google+ Posts
- Google+ Images
In addition, you can also bring in your own posts or products from WooCommerce. And you can always fall back on any RSS feed, which might open up some novel applications. E.g. I believe you could use RSS feeds to pull in products from Amazon to a slider.
If you’re looking to add any type of social media sliders to your WordPress site, I think SlideDeck is a great option. It’s easy to bring the content in and the lenses make it easy to style your content in a functional way.
SlideDeck LayerPro Lens
The other new feature I want to review is SlideDeck’s new LayerPro lens. While the other lenses are more about general style options, LayerPro allows you to add different layers to your sliders. In addition to adding general flexibility to how your sliders look, LayerPro also opens up the possibility for all kinds of cool animation effects.
The LayerPro lense isn’t available for social media integrations (at least not the integrations that I tested). Instead, you can use LayerPro to add animated layers to sliders created from your own images.
Let’s take a look…
Using the LayerPro Lens from SlideDeck
When you create a new slider using the LayerPro lense, you’ll have the option to add new layers to each slide:
If you’re familiar with image editing – it’s the same concept. Layers sit on top of your main image and can be independently manipulated.
You can create layers using either text or other images. Here’s an example of what a text layer looks like:
If you want to reposition the layer, all you need to do is drag it to the location you want. For example, you could just grab my example layer and drag it over to the right side:
You can also add animation effects so that your sliders animate in or out on a delay. This is a nice way to grab attention. You can see these animation effects in action at SlideDeck’s LayerPro demo:
And you can, of course, add as many layers as you want:
LayerPro took me a little while to get the hang of. But once you get a feel for how things work, it’s pretty easy to use. Used judiciously, animation like this is a great way to draw attention to key elements on your WordPress site.
SlideDeck Pricing and Documentation
SlideDeck comes in three different pricing tiers. Note that, for this review, I had access to the Developer version. Also, note that the LayerPro lens I featured is only available in the Developer version.
The Personal license costs $27 for one website, Professional costs $67 for three websites, and Developer costs $97 for unlimited websites. Each plan also adds additional features. SlideDeck’s pricing page includes a full list of the features included in each plan.
SlideDeck also includes a very detailed knowledge base. There were a few times I needed help when using the plugin and I was able to quickly find my answer in the knowledge base each time. You can tell they spent a significant amount of time setting up the knowledge base.
Overall, I was quite impressed with SlideDeck. The interface is generally intuitive and the social media sliders are easy to create and integrate. If I were using any type of visual social media, I would definitely be taking advantage of SlideDeck to bring all that content into my WordPress site in an aesthetic way.
LayerPro, while having a bit of a learning curve, opens up a ton of cool possibilities for animating sliders to grab readers’ attention.
If you’re just looking for social media integrations for a single site, you can go with the affordable $27 Personal plan, but if you want to use those cool LayerPro sliders, you need to sign up for the unlimited $97 Developer plan.