by Justin Difazzio
Alright, we’ll be honest with you. Sliders? You know, those multi-panel monstrosities where bad design is born and information goes to die? Yeah. We strongly dislike them. Really, really, strongly. But it’s likely that some people love them. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see them all over on every website ever created. Okay, okay, maybe that’s a little hyperbolic, but they are super popular. Having designed plenty of websites, we understand the reasons why they’re alluring. But we’re here to tell you that there are better ways to show what you need to show without setting a foot in Sliderville.
The first and most popular reason people cite for using sliders on their websites is that it’s a quick and easy way to display a ton of information. The problem with this is that jamming everything into a slider shows a lack of planning when it comes to displaying information. Cramming a slider full is a great way to catch all the garbage you can’t fit anywhere else. But it’s just as effective as not posting it at all, since almost no one takes the time to click through a slider and read all of what is there. That first slide that loads when they come to your website? That’s all they see. We promise. You’d be better off (and have more options for great designs) if you put things where they should be or cut back on what you display. Your website doesn’t have to be a repository of all the information anyone could ever want to know about you. Display what’s important, use your site to showcase what makes you special, and leave the rest for after the honeymoon.
You’ve got a lot of beautiful imagery on your website. It’s likely the result of hours of painstaking artistry. And then you cram it into what is basically a drawer, and nobody gets to see this treasure trove of gorgeous examples of your work. Or office. Or products. We recommend you stop cramming all your photos into a slider and try something else. Again, nobody sees what’s not on the first slide. Why let all that work go unnoticed? Better to put that imagery to work for you. Spread it out around the website. Use it as backgrounds. Put it somewhere it will get noticed, and arrange it like you want people to see it. Nobody goes to an art gallery and peers into drawers to look at a masterpiece. Make a beautiful collage, integrate it into your design, do something creative! Just ditch the slider and let that artwork shine!
You want to put that special offer in a prominent place. You have to have your title slider panel load first. Your events are second. And that upcoming conference reminder is up third. Fourth in your lineup is the offer. That poor thing. You did it to generate leads. Remember how good that felt? The promise of finding more clients! But nobody called. The phone hasn’t been ringing. And you think nobody likes you. But you’re wrong! They just never saw it! You actually generate more leads with a well-placed offer outside of a slider. People smarter than us have done the market research and found this to be true. Sliders don’t help your clients. They only help your designer not have to come up with a decent way to show off what you have to offer. Ditch that slider and see an immediate difference!
You want your site to look modern, hip, cool, interactive, and dynamic. Your audience does, too. But sliders are not the way to achieve that. No, no. Sliders are a really good way to say that your website was designed in the early 2000s and hasn’t been updated since. In fact, what’s more modern than a slider rotating through four slides no one looks at is designing a site that is mobile-friendly. And do you know what sliders most definitely are NOT? They’re not mobile friendly. Your slider content gets completely lost when someone visits your site from their mobile device. That special offer? Missed. The cool images? Lost. All your fun events? Might as well not be happening. So knock it off! Find a better way to display what matters in a way that everyone can enjoy, no matter how they’re accessing your corner of the internet.
But Wait…There’s More
If that’s not enough to convince you that sliders should go the way of 8-tracks (you can’t even claim they have retro charm) and Hypercolor shirts (okay, but who wants their hot spots all highlighted in neons?), then here are four more really quick reasons why you should break up with them.
They’re bad for SEO. That’s right. The information in a slider? It can’t be seen in searches, so people who are looking for your cool content can’t even find it by searching.
They’re not accessible. Screen readers miss sliders. That’s not a great way to reach your whole audience, but it is a good way to tell some people they don’t matter.
They slow down your page. It takes a while for all that content to load. Meanwhile, your visitors are looking at what has loaded and wondering why everything is so sluggish. Not a good look.
And finally, bloat. That’s right. We sort of touched on this before, but sliders often end up becoming a dumping ground for everything you don’t want to take the time to fit elsewhere. When all of your content is jammed into a slider, the important things get lost in all the stuff you forgot you put up there last year that is no longer relevant. Be better.
Slide on Outta Here
Ditch the sliders. A good designer can point you toward the best solutions for framing your content in a way that isn’t confusing, irrelevant, inaccessible, or ill advised. Need some advice for what to do with all that stuff you’ve spent years cramming into your home page slider? We’re happy to take a look at it. Maybe you’ll discover that your whole website could use a trim and dye job. So please, let us take care of it. Because, if we haven’t been clear, we really, really, really don’t like sliders, and we’d love to make them disappear forever.