It’s no secret that I don’t like big image sliders as the main thing at the top of a web page. But website customers love them and want them.

On a recent project we we built out a new WordPress theme on the Genesis framework. The customer’s old site had an image slider and it was one of the features they wanted to keep in the new design. Since we were using Genesis, we installed the Genesis Responsive Slider. Path of least resistance.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t what the customer wanted. It had a lot of options they didn’t need or understand, and it was missing the one thing they did need – the ability to designate a custom link rather than always linking to a post.

There are a lot of other slider plugins. Some of them are super products. But the ones I know and trust are more than this customer wanted. We needed something that was really light-weight and dead-simple to use.

So, last week I decided to roll my own image slider plugin. The project had exactly 3 requirements from the customer:

  1. It had to be responsive (duh!);
  2. It had to support the user designating a custom url for each slide; and
  3. It had to allow the user to customize the slides sequence.

In addition, the technical requirements of using this in several places on a site built with a Genesis child theme that used widgets as it’s primary means of front page layout meant that:

  • It had to be able to insert the slider via widget (to be used on the widgetized front page; and
  • It had to be able to insert the slider via a shortcode within any other normal post or page content.

Finally, it had to be as dead-simple as possible to use for someone who doesn’t know anything about code and doesn’t have time to mess with a ton of options.

The result is version 1 of iC Light Slider. Basically, it’s a WordPress plugin wrapper for Ken Wheeler’s slick slider/carousel. Currently it supports only the slider functionality with zero configuration options. (Zero options == “dead simple”) Slides are set to a fade transition and change every 7.5 seconds. The slick javascript and basic slick styling is pulled in from the jsDelivr CDN. It’ll work best if all the images are the same size. If you are inclined, you can further style things in your theme’s CSS.

If you’re a coder, you can check out the code (forks welcome!) on Github, or if you just want to install and try it out, get it here.