Should I use a slider on my website?

Introduction

It is a common trend these days to have a slider (a.k.a carousel or rotator) on a website and specially on the home or index page. This slider generally takes three-fourth of the visible area of the web page on your screen. As a matter of fact, most website design companies use this to advertise their service or spread their credibility.

Do you as a business owner really need a slider on your website?

An important term that matters for every website is known as “above the fold”. It means the visible area of your screen without scrolling the screen when the website is loaded. This, above the fold area is what catches your website visitor’s attention first. Whether you hold the visitor or drop the visitor, depends mostly on how you make use of this “above the fold” screen real estate.

Website design above the fold

An example for bad website design where almost all the crucial above the fold space has been royally wasted.

All sliders are driven by JavaScript and in some cases like the Revolution slider the JavaScript takes considerable time to load. What happens is a sync failure between the page top content  and the rest of the page content. The visitor has to wait for the slider to load,  gets annoyed and leaves your website. Remember, your web visitor’s reaction time is 5 to 7 secs at best.

It has also been observed sliders do not have any positive impact on your website’s visitors.

We as a responsible Website Design Company in Kolkata do not suggest a slider on your website unless you as our customer exclusively demand or ask for it.

Using a slider on your website does not signify a better designed website. Rather, you are wasting potential screen real estate that you could have used to put forward a strong message or impression to your visitor.

So to conclude,

  • People ignore sliders, often confusing them to be ads
  • People rarely click slides
  • Sliders can distract website visitors from important content
  • Sliders annoy people who can’t read the slides fast enough
  • Sliders sometimes don’t work well on mobile devices
  • Sliders do slow down your web site and gives poor Google Pagespeed score
  • Sliders can negatively affect SEO

So what is the alternative?

Well that depends entirely on who is designing your website or the website design company you have hired. Making a strategy for the “above the fold” content depends on a number of factors like, your target visitors or market, your nature of business and whether or not you are ready to accept that there will be no sliders.

Here are some alternatives:

  • Show an engaging video about your business.
  • Show a single, static message text, possibly with an image backdrop relating to your business.
  • Show a simple static image that compliments your business.
  • Show featured products (for e-commerce websites).
An example of good website design

An example of good website design and proper utilization of above the fold space.

And if you must use a slider we do the following:

  • Restrict the number of slider images to 2 – 5.
  • Do not animate texts over the slider. Rather make the texts as a part of the slider image.
  • Make sure the slider loads quickly. Optimize images with an image optimizer.
  • Make sure it’s mobile-friendly (responsive).
  • Use simple transitions like fade and slide.

So to conclude, avoid using sliders on your website, make a strategy to show visitor-grabbing content in the “above the fold” area of your webpage. If you must use slider, then make sure it loads fast, has simple animation and conveys the message appropriately to your website visitors.

Hexadesigns is a web design company in Kolkata. We design and develop websites, custom software, ecommerce, mobile apps and do search engine optimization. This is our own blog where we provide potential tips for the common people just from our experience.

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