I spent quite a bit of time today playing with my new toy for self-hosted WordPress: Slide Deck 2.3.
I tried to use a free slider first, I really did! I just couldn’t get it to work and do what I wanted. Finally, I splurged on the personal license for Slide Deck 2.3. I was able to get a modest slide deck up within minutes, featuring exactly what I wanted to feature! Literally, minutes.
A few days later, I started playing with customization. This is what I came up with:
You almost can’t even tell it’s a slide can you? Once you hover over it, little arrows pop up to allow you to navigate between slides. I positively love the way it looks now. But just in case you don’t, and you are looking for something else, let me assure you Slide Deck 2.3 comes with major control of the appearance.
The personal version comes with several different possible lenses (styles), and each lens can be customized. You can change the font color, change the overlay position (top, left, right, bottom), change the overlay from light to dark, change the size of your slideshow (small, medium, large, OR custom size), change how the pictures are brought in from your own post, OR make pictures specifically to fit your slide show the way you want and import them into the deck.
You can create a Slideshow that pulls from one or more sources, including all different forms of social media and/or RSS feeds, OR you can create a custom deck with text, custom images, and video.
In that case, you customize the links and the text, instead of pulling it from the source. You can choose to make your entire slide clickable, or just the title clickable. You can change it from dots at the bottom or side for navigation, arrows on the side, or thumbnails on the side or bottom. You can have a thick border, a thin border, or no border at all.
Seriously, you can customize or change anything you want to change. AND, if you upgrade to the Developer level, you can even customize it with your own CSS! You can even create the full CSS code for your own lens! (You have to know how, but it is possible.) I
might have upgraded today, mostly because I wanted a few of the different lens options and the right to install it on unlimited sites.
Since I mentioned upgrade options and lens options, I should mention that you can create as many different slideshows on your website as you could possibly need.
If you have the Personal license, you can install Slide Deck 2.3 on one site wherever you need a slideshow, and you have six lens choices. With a Professional license, you can install Slide Deck 2.3 on up to three sites and you gain some functionality, including nine lens choices.
For ultimate functionality and CSS coding ability, the Developer license allows you to install Slide Deck 2.3 on an unlimited number of sites! The only negative thing I could possibly say about Slide Deck 2.3 is that they have three additional lenses, for which you have to pay — even with a developer license. I think they should take a page out of StudioPress’ book and include all the lenses for that price.
But with so many cool lenses to choose from, I’m not complaining!
Here’s another thing: Slide Deck 2.3 is really, really easy to figure out. You install it under Plug-Ins and activate it. You find it on the left-hand column in WordPress. You click on it, and you start creating a new slideshow. Each step of the way is very intuitive, and when you are done playing with all of the options (it updates a preview with each change!) you get a little piece of short-code to insert into your post or page. That’s it. Slideshow done.
And that’s My Bottom Line.