One of the great features of WordPress is the availability of add ins in the form of plugins. There are so many available, that it can literally be said that if you can think of something you want your blog to do, there is probably a plugin out there that can make it possible. One of the cool features of many newer websites is a content slider that displays pictures and text that can pull from your blog dynamically to create an interesting content experience for visitors to your site so you can get them interested in your content and have a nifty way to display cool features or posts that your site contains. Anything that you can use to keep users and visitors on your site longer, is better for you in the long run especially if you are monetizing visits through the use of advertising on your site.
There are a myriad of plugins out there that can create dynamic content sliders on your site for free. One of the plugins that we have used a lot and really like that is easy and straightforward to setup for the most part is Dynamic Content Gallery by Studiograsshopper.
We really like this plugin because it gives you a wide range of features and the support with the site and forums is really good. With other plugins it seems we found that they did a lot of what you want really well, but there was just one nagging little feature or thing you wanted the plugin to do that it just didn’t do or it was so complex to setup, it wasn’t worth it. DCG is straightforward and if you have any experience with setting up other plugins and features within your blog, you shouldn’t have any problems with setting up DCG.
Again this is a very straightforward install that utilizes the normal procedures for plugin installation. Simply download the plugin with a computer and unzip, or utilize the builtin WordPress plugin tool to add the plugin to your plugins that way and activate it.
After activating the plugin, you will find that it resides under Settings in your WordPress dashboard.
There are three options to select in determining how your content is pulled and from where. As you can see below, we have selected the ID Method, which means we are pulling content from specific posts/pages, however you can also pull from a single category or multiple categories if you like.
After you setup your pull method for content, you may ask, where do I actually set the image for the post or page? The following screenshot shows the added input boxes in your posts/pages that are added after you activate the plugin:
If you note above, the plugin is telling us that we have the “Auto” feature turned on. This is probably what most will want as this will pull the first image attachment associated with the post which will ensure that you will always have an image on a post/page if you have one included. However, note that this may cause you issues if you don’t understand what is going on with this setting and the plugin is not displaying the image that you think it should. Even if you have a URL specified for an image set in the box, the “auto” feature will still use the first image attached, overriding that URL. Take a look at the setup of this setting below:
You may want to select the “full URL” setting if you do not wish the plugin to simply choose the first image attached. However, there is a workaround using another plugin if you want to leave this setting the way it is and for a few pages simply use a specific image. You can use the unattach plugin to detach the image from the post. The image will still be there, but the WordPress backend will no longer use it as the first image if you do not want it to. The unattach plugin is a great plugin in its own right. Definitely another one to have in the bag of WordPress tricks.
If you are looking for a great plugin to add content slider functionality to your site, this is a great plugin that will leave most very satisfied. It is easy to install, setup, and configure. The support found on the developer site also is very good and you can find most of what you are looking for there if you run into issues.