Websites are awash with fancy sliders these days and those developing these things doing very well. It seems most new websites or pre-built themes include one on the home page, be it a business, community or shopping cart site. However although many designers love and recommend these tools (especially the sliders with layers), the truth is for most sites, from a business perspective, they do more harm than good.
1. Performance Issues – Revolution Slider
Everyone knows we like fast sites. But these sliders, loaded up with huge files are a real killer to site load times. And no two are the same. Some sliders are much worse than others in dragging down a website, the wildly popular Revolution slider the worst, taking up to 10x longer than others we tested, proving again that most web designers and coders are driven only by looks and features, never performance.
With one site ‘upgrade’ to include this popular slider had a 1-2 second page load time extend out to 15 seconds – Which is 12 seconds longer than most people will tolerate. 6-10 seconds load time appears the average for modern sliders which appear to get worse with every upgrade, more loaded with extra features… This speed, or lack thereof, will harm your search ranking. Google hates big sliders too… A max 2 seconds load time is the goal.
2. They take up prime real estate, for little gain
Sliders inevitably take up the most important part of the site, being the top of the home page. They usually push key content down the page. This may be tolerable if there is a strong message in there, but in most cases the slider has some generic company ‘feel good’ images, which tell us very little. They’re little more than a large banner ad which most people ignore.
3. There’s Poor User Engagement
These sliders are meant to impress site visitors, which supposedly gets them more engaged. Truth is, most studies shows the opposite occurs. Analytics from major websites using these things tells us only 1% of visitors will actually click on a slider. Elements that are clicked on tell us what visitors like.
A Siemens / Nielsen website usability study gave users the following task: “Does Siemens have any special deals on washing machines?”. The information was on the most prominent slide. The users could not see it – totally hit by banner blindness. Nielsen rightly concluded sliders and their content are ignored.
Is there any place for sliders?
Rarely. Perhaps as a modest carousel setup that shows off product thumbnails or post snippets – Where the user controls the speed and display, in the same way one may flick through a book.
It appears realty sites with content sliders people seem to click on, but for most other sectors sliders are a turn-off, especially the big varieties where images are sliced and diced, done for branding or advertising purposes – These have no place on a business website. They can look pretty, but fulfill no real purpose, just annoying most visitors.
Sliders may please the owner of the site, but they deliver little to no value to customers
p.s. If you really must have a slider, then fill in the form below and we’ll tell you the better ones to use.