Once again, I have revamped WillTan.com, giving it a new facelift. Finally, I got the frontpage visual appeal I have always wanted – with smooth sliders, nice background gradient and animated texts. All thanks to Smart Slider 3 plugin. In fact, I have upgraded to its PRO version within the first hour after trying out the free version.
It all started with a search in the WordPress Plugins repository :
Same selection process – based on the number of active installations and star-ratings/reviews, 3 plugins quickly stands out :
- Meta Slider
- Smart Slider 3
- Slider by Soliloquy
Combined with a Google search on “best slider plugins” and reading through some of the reviews on page 1 of Google results, Smart Slider 3 and Slider by Soliloquy emerged as the top 2 that put me into selection dilemma. But upon considering the pricing, applicability (what I really wanted) and scalability, my final pick is … Smart Slider 3.
It is after using the free version of Smart Slider 3 for less than an hour, that I like it so much that I grabbed the PRO version – I have started with the Single Domain license at $35; and now that I’m happy with result of my frontpage in WillTan.com, I’m standing by to upgrade to its Unlimited version if any of the discount offer ie. Black Friday, Cyber Monday etc. is back again.
What I really like about Smart Slider 3 (PRO) is the huge amount (180+) of visually appealing example/template sliders that come with it. The frontpage of WillTan.com is using 3 of them – Hero Slider, Portfolio Categories and a custom created slider with WordPress Post dynamic integration to display my recent posts.
I’m super impressed with the customisation options available to control the look and feel of the sliders. My only complain is my own creative flair in graphic design in unleashing the full power of Smart Slider 3.
All these while, I’ve been using Elementor Pro to control the look and feel of my site. To be fair, Elementor Pro is a very versatile drag-n-drop visual editor which is on another level in terms of page design in WordPress. But none of the templates/blocks in its Library hits my chord. And now, with Smart Sliders 3, I realised I can do away with both the free and Pro version of Elementor.
Mindful about PageSpeed, I headed over to GTMetrix to give my new revamped site a run and I’m very glad that the PageSpeed Score improved from previous B 88% to currently A 91%.
Of course, the credits go to the lightweight and versatile GeneratePress theme I’m using for the site. My summarised conclusion is : GeneratePress + Smart Slider 3 = Perfect match in building visually stunning sites!