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How to Create a Video and Image WordPress Slider with SlideDeck

Let’s face it, content sliders are awesome – when done right they conserve precious screen real-estate, their interactivity helps keep your visitors engaged and especially for bloggers, they can help keep your most valuable posts in front of new visitors to your site. There are tons of slider plugins out there for WordPress, but the catch is that many of them are difficult to use, and even more difficult to get looking good in your site design.

That all changed when we tried SlideDeck 2, a new WordPress content slider plugin. This powerful plugin created by digital-telepathy makes it super-simple to create awesome sliders in minutes, without a single line of code required. SlideDeck 2 sets itself apart from the crowd by enabling you to mix together content from different places around the web (like Flickr, YouTube, etc.), and present it on the page as a gorgeous content slider. In addition to the WordPress plugin, there’s also a JavaScript developers’ kit – we use it in our Free WordPress Blog Setup page. We’ve been having a ball with the plugin, so we decided to put together this quick guide to show you how to make a dynamic WordPress content slider using SlideDeck 2. Here’s a quick outline of the topics we’ll cover:

  1. Purchasing & installing the plugin
  2. Terminology
  3. Creating a Dynamic Source SlideDeck
  4. Configuring the Lens
  5. Saving & publishing your SlideDeck
  6. Wrapping up

Purchasing & Installing the Plugin

First things first: SlideDeck is a premium plugin, so for the time being, you’ll have to purchase it to use it on your site. If you’re not sure about it, you can try out their free live demo. Go to the SlideDeck’s website & purchase the plugin. In our opinion for the power it contains, it’s a pretty good deal. Use the SlideDeck couponWPB-SD2 to get 20% OFF.

There are three packages available, with the better ones including more features and capabilities (add-ons). If you purchase one of the higher-tier packages, you’ll need to install the plugin, as well as an “Add-on” that unlocks the additional features for that package. Your purchase comes with support for a year, so don’t be afraid to contact them if you have problems at any point. We personally know the folks at SlideDeck, and they are great folks who value customer service to the highest extent.

To install the plugin, you can follow our handy Step by Step Guide to Installing a WordPress Plugin.


Before we start, there are a few terms we should explain:

  • Content Source – A Content Source is anywhere you post your content – like YouTube, Instagram or Twitter. SlideDeck can automatically connect to over a dozen different sources, and they say they’re working on adding more.
  • Dynamic Source SlideDecks – There are two types of SlideDecks you can create – Dynamic Source and Custom Content. Dynamic Source SlideDecks allow you to connect with your content at different content sources all over the Web, and automatically generate a slider from it. For example, you can create a cool image gallery using images from your Instagram feed. Dynamic Source SlideDecks are quick to create, and as a bonus automatically update themselves in sync with your Content Sources!
  • Custom Content SlideDecks – Custom Content SlideDecks let you build up your sliders one slide at a time. They’re more suited to visual storytelling, or if you have a specific action you want users to take – like a product tour, for instance. This article talks about dynamic source SlideDecks. We are working on creating a separate How-To guide specifically for Custom Content SlideDecks (coming soon).
  • Lens – Lenses are like themes for your content slider. They control how your slider looks and behaves, as well as how the content is presented on the page. Just like with WordPress themes, applying a different Lens to your content only takes a few seconds, and can yield a significantly different look and feel for your slider.

Ok, now that the jargon is out of the way, go ahead and activate SlideDeck 2, so we can get started!

Creating a Dynamic Source SlideDeck

We’re going to show you how to create a Dynamic Source SlideDeck that mixes together video and images from a YouTube and Flickr account. Begin by clicking on “Manage” to go to the main dashboard. This screen lets you create new SlideDecks as well as allowing you to sort/preview your existing SlideDecks.

SlideDeck Manage Screen Small

In the Dynamic Source section, click on the blue “Create SlideDeck” button. A menu window will pop up, asking you to choose your first Content Source – you’ll be able to select additional sources on the next screen, so pick one and you’ll get taken to the Dynamic Source Editor. We’re going to choose YouTube, to get a sweet video gallery going

SlideDeck Dynamic Source - Youtube

Once you land on the Dynamic Source Editor, you’ll see that YouTube has been selected as our first Content Source. Start by naming your SlideDeck, then give the YouTube icon a click, and you’ll get a nice menu tab showing all the configuration options available for this source. Enter a username (it can be yours or someone else’s) and hit ‘Apply’ to pull in the most recent videos from that user’s channel – if the user you referenced has other playlists, you can specify that you want to pull in videos from that list in the dropdown menu.

SlideDeck Youtube Flyout

SlideDeck Youtube Flyout with Dropdown

Now you get to see one of SlideDeck 2’s coolest features – the live preview window. This area of the screen lets you see your slider in real-time as you make changes to it, instead of having to refresh your post in a separate browser window. You’ll see the slider here update before your very eyes to show the latest few videos in the playlist. You can even interact with the slider in the preview area – go on, give it a try!

SlideDeck Preview Loading

SlideDeck Preview Loading Complete

So that was our first Content Source – easy right? Now, we’ll add a second to give the slider some variety. Click the Add Source button in the header area of the Editor screen, and you will see the same Content Sources modal window. This time, select Flickr as the source.

SlideDeck Dynamic Content Source - Flickr

Similarly to YouTube, you can click on the Flickr icon in the header to configure the Content Source. Since Flickr requires a users’ ID number (again, yours or someone else’s) to pull in images, you’ll need to get that number – SlideDeck 2 makes it easy to figure this out, though, by linking to this handy little tool.

Get your Flickr ID

Grab the user’s ID number and paste it into the “User/Group ID” field, and choose whether you want to filter the images you display using any tags that are associated with your photos. Click “Apply” to add Images and captions from the Flickr account into your slider, and take a quick look through it.

SlideDeck Flickr Flyout Settings

Do you see both videos and images in there yet? If not, you may be merging content from a source that hasn’t been updated in a while, which causes it to get ‘crowded out’ by your more recently-updated sources. In this instance, you may want to try randomizing the order of the slides, as this will sometimes help – or you can begin posting more frequently to your other sources ;)

SlideDeck - Randomize Slides

Configuring the Lens

Congratulations, you’ve created your first SlideDeck! Now, you could simply go ahead and save this SlideDeck, then publish it to your page – but considering all the customization options available to you, it’s probably best to utilize them. SlideDeck offers a ton of options for customizing the Lens, to make your slider look nice on the page. Scroll down to just below the Live Preview area to view the Options panel, and see what’s there.

If you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of options available, so we won’t go through them all. However we’ve grouped them together into six simple categories:

Lenses – This panel lets you choose the overall Lens that your SlideDeck uses. Applying a different Lens can completely change how your content looks on the page, so pick one that looks the closest to your overall site

SlideDeck Option Lenses

Setup – This group contains general settings, like the dimensions of your SlideDeck, number of slides, etc.

SlideDeck Options Setup

Appearance – Lets you adjust things like fonts and colors

SlideDeck Options Appearance

Content – Use this panel to control how the content appears in your SlideDeck – options like title length, show/hide excerpts and others live here

SlideDeck Options Content

Navigation – Adjust and configure the navigational elements of the SlideDecks, like arrow style, navigation type, and more

SlideDeck Options Navigation

Playback – Controls how your SlideDeck behaves

SlideDeck Options Playback

Saving & Publishing Your SlideDeck

Now that you’ve created your SlideDeck, added your Content Sources, and configured your Lens, there is only one step left: showing it to the world! Hit the “Save SlideDeck” button at the bottom of the editor screen to save your new SlideDeck. The page will refresh, and you’ll be presented with a few options.

Publish SlideDeck

From here, there are three methods for sharing your SlideDecks with your website visitors:

  1. Embedding it into an existing page or post
  2. Embedding it into a new page or post
  3. Using a shortcode to embed it in your page templates

All three of these methods make use of the SlideDeck shortcode – a simple little tag that represents the SlideDeck you created. It looks like this:

[slidedeck=Your SlideDeck’s ID number]

That’s all there is to it! While writing your post or page content, simply click on the little purple SlideDeck icon up next to the “Insert Media” icon above the WordPress content editing window.

Insert SlideDeck

Clicking this icon will bring up the SlideDeck selector menu – from here you can easily specify which SlideDeck(s) you want to embed in your content. Click “Insert”, and your SlideDeck’s shortcode will appear in your post!

Wrapping up

We love SlideDeck, because it puts great content sliders within reach of pretty much anyone. This is why we have it in our list of Must Have WordPress Plugins, and we are using it on our sites. It’s easy enough to get creative with it and go beyond just the homepage header. You can put a SlideDeck in lots of places on your site, including in your sidebar, footer, in your posts – anywhere! Heck, you can even get creative and use it on custom pages like we did on Free WordPress Blog Setup page.

We can easily say that SlideDeck is by far the BEST and most user friendly WordPress Slider plugin that exists. If we had to rate it, we would give it a perfect 5 out of 5 star.

Thinking of adding a slider in your WordPress sites? Well, then get SlideDeck Now. Use the coupon code: WPB-SD2 to get 20% off.

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22 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Hey WPBeginner readers,
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  2. I just want to say this site is the best….
    The content on WP the info I have found here connects a lot of dots/blank spaces
    Things I was mostly guessing on now I get.

    The main point is if your starting out new to WP less is more, not to many moving parts and learn the next new skill.

    Thank you for all the great content

  3. Hi Syed,

    Actually, I was taking issue with SlideDeck eliminating a feature for existing customers for which they’d already paid, not with business decisions they make for future customers. I agree Digital Telepathy has every right to make those, whether I like them or not. I also wasn’t complaining about your piece.

    To your point about pricing, yes, with their June update they cut the price for their personal license from $79 to $49, but, as their terms of service declare, those of us who bought it between their launch in March and June shouldn’t expect a refund. Fair enough certainly, if they kept the feature set intact. They implemented an automatic license upgrade for those customers, but unfortunately, it doesn’t do much to tell us to be grateful we’re not paying full-freight for licenses that still carry a lesser feature set than the ones we’d purchased to begin with. Even at the new $49, SlideDeck makes the alternative sliders I mentioned, and yes, obviously the free Nivo slider, seem like attractive options. I like SliderPro because it’s nice to support individual developers and it’s got an easier UI for my users than Nivo.

    You didn’t answer whether you’re an affiliate. Are you? I don’t think it should matter, but I like knowing those things upfront.

    SlideDeck is absolutely worth giving a try and I agree that they seem to have an engaged forum response team.


    • Hi Maggie,

      I did answer your question about the affiliate program. If you read my response to your earlier comment, it clearly has the answer in the first 3 lines.



  4. Hello, I just installed SlideDeck 2 Developers License to my site. Installation and activation all said successful. However, I can not find an options screen for Slide Deck 2 anywhere. Am i missing it somewhere or do you think there’s interference from another plugin, etc? Thx!

      • Thanks for the quick response. Where would the options screen normally be? In the left side menu under Settings, or a button of its own?

        • Got Slidedeck 2 to work properly, it was a stupid mistake. When I was downloading the purchase, I didn’t realize you had to install all the zip files, I just chose the one that looked like the version I purchased. Very, very pleased with Slidedeck 2 and I absolutely hated Slidedeck 1. They definitely revolutionized their old user interface. I especially like the option to turn on and off iframes. I also really like the admin area – the font, lens, color scheme, etc. selectors are very intuitive and user friendly.

          I think a really helpful tutorial that you might want to do would be to go over the basics of building a custom lens for Slidedeck 2…

  5. Oh and “Editorial Staff,” especially given that you’re respond to commenters using the personal pronoun, who wrote this piece please? I’d like to ask if WPBeginner is a part of SlideDeck’s new affiliate program and if you could acknowledge ties like that in future posts regardless. Thanks for the site, I’ve always enjoyed it.

    • Hey Maggie,

      All comments were responded by myself (Syed Balkhi). The article itself was written by David. Is WPB a part of their “NEW” aff. program. NO. We were part of their OLD affiliate program way before it was even publicized to this extent. Like I said, I have known the DTelepathy team for a while now.

      There is a FTC Disclosure link on every single page on our site (look in the footer). –

      That will explain to users how they can tell if a specific link on WPBeginner is an affiliate link or not (It’s also not Legal Jargon either, fairly easy to read).

      Lastly, we don’t promote just about anything that exist. We are actually using this plugin and have been for a while. It was in use in our last design as well. I personally believe that this is by far the BEST slider plugin for WordPress that exists. Because it’s an opinion, you are more than welcome to disagree with it. I’m using it in all of my projects, and I will continue to use it until I truly find a better solution.



  6. i normally dont use plugins for creating slider…couple months back i created my own image slider from scratch and i liked it very much…but i didnt find time to optimise the code and it was causing a drag when loading pages so removed it. if i use a cdn service in future i will deifinitely put it up back or use slidedeck instead..thanks for the tut :)

  7. Slidedeck’s UI is terrible.

    As is plainly obvious in your screenshots. It doesn’t even attempt to follow a standard WordPress structure. It is a usibility nightmare for an admin.

    Not to mention the top level menu item label it adds. Why can’t it just say “Sliders” or something subtle (Gravity Forms does this without sacrificing marketing – a simple “Forms” title and subtle icon).

    And when I tried Slidedeck 1, it hijacked the top spot on the side metabox on EVERY post type in the edit screen to insert a stupid slider. And it was super branded even on that page.

    There are better solutions that are less obtrusive. I would never want my clients to be bombarded with all of their garbage marketing in the WordPress dashboard.

    • Comment regarding the UI is simply your “purist” opinion, which you are entitled to. You are assuming that the available WP UI “the standard WP structure” is great for everything which it’s not. I can’t imagine how ugly and complicated the UI would be if they used the built-in styles. Everything would have to be a custom meta box. Currently, it is laid out in a much more “user-friendly” way. Metabox UI is great for simpler things. But when it starts to get this complex, it just starts looking UGLY and old.

      I agree with the marketing comment. The logos and such can definitely be toned down.

      As for the comment regarding SD taking over the side meta box. Yes, it did use to that in the old version. They have come out with this NEWER version. It no longer does that. You can check it out in their Live Demo. They are now using the little icon next to Upload/Insert just like Gravity Forms.

      There are better WordPress slider plugins that let you add dynamic external content, blog posts, custom HTML content, custom skins etc from the WP admin panel? I am NOT aware of any that provides all of this. If there are any, then please let me know. I would be happy to take a look at them. From a developer’s standpoint sure there are jQuery plugins that will let you do all of this, but that requires code knowledge. For your clients, sure give them what you like. If you don’t want any marketing, then probably best NOT to use any popular free plugin that ask for donation (Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache etc).

      From a user’s standpoint, this is by far the BEST solution that exist. It lets you have all the options you want without the coding know-how.


      • There’s no doubt that it’s got loads of options. Depending on who you ask, that could be good or bad. And you’re right, I speak from a developer mindset.

        However, even for your average user that needs an average slider, a product like Meteor Slides is far cleaner and leaner and totally sufficient for a large percentage of use cases

        For more advanced functionality, yes, I roll my own. And I use a couple of different tools for it, but largely Flex Slider can get that job done. Soliloquy appears to be a pretty good solution for people that don’t want to code that themselves, and it’s a much nicer UI than Slidedeck. Might not have every option, but it’s got a lot. And Slidedeck could learn from its interface.

      • I’d be inclined to agree with Brian completely here.

        In response to “I can’t imagine how ugly and complicated the UI would be if they used the built-in styles. Everything would have to be a custom meta box.”, I’d just tell you to look at Soliloquy. It uses 98%-ish pure WP styles in meta box layouts and it is very effective and easy to use.

        I haven’t used Slidedeck in a really, really long time, so I can’t say anything else about it, just my two cents on the UI.

        • Pippin, I have seen screenshots of Soliloquy, that is why I made that comment. It cannot compare with the UI of SlideDeck. First because it doesn’t have nearly as much features as SD. Second, even without all the features, the UI looks crowded. Like I said, the Meta Box UI looks good when there are NOT as many options. But as you start adding more and more options, it can get pretty clunky. A tab based UI like SD and other commercial themes should be adapted and standardized (to match the admin look and feel) for more complex options panel.

        • If they insist on vertical tabs, why not something more subtle like the Upthemes Framework? It’s the same kind of panel without the cheesy and obtrusive faux-mac-app stuff that has no place in the WP admin.

          And I disagree that the WP UI can’t handle it. If you’ve seen the WooCommerce settings pages, you know that it can do pretty well. It’s not perfect, and a vertical tab structure could be introduced for these type heavy-settings plugins. But if you’re to that point, I’d argue you have too many settings ; )

        • Brian, I agreed with you about the marketing comment. I definitely like what UpThemes have done in terms of UI for users.

          As for WooCommerce, sure it handles it. But it is pretty darn complicated. I am in favor of introducing a vertical tab-based structure for better UI for such things. As for your argument about too many settings, we can have that another day because theoretically we can argue on just about everything :)

      • There are indeed: SliderPro ( will cost you about $25 and gives you far more functionality, customization and documentation. I just deleted SlideDeck from a client’s site in favor of SliderPro because of the way they handcuff their customers. See the discussion on their blog here: I stand by my points there.

        SlideDeck’s backend is pretty if resource-heavy but it’s hard to justify $80 for the casual WordPress user who wouldn’t feel limited by their entry-level license and lack of customizability and even harder to justify the $200 price tag for the developer license when far cheaper alternatives exist for those who know even just a little about HTML.

        CodeCanyon sells a lot of great premium sliders—my favorite is SliderPro ( but I also like the $20 uBillBoard ( and the $25 RoyalSlider ( They have different strengths and limitations, but luckily you can buy all three for less than the price of entry to Slidedeck.

        • I read your comment there. It seems that you are complaining about not having a feature reserved for the higher plan. It’s like me complaining to Gravity Forms that they should have or PayPal add-on as a Basic add-on rather than developer. Integration of that is fairly simple (so it should be qualified as a Basic Level add-on). Why did they decide to make it a developer level add-on. Heck why don’t they just give us all for $19 instead? The same can be argued with a lot of other products (clothing brands, cars etc). This is a business decision by the company who owns the product. Some users are ok paying for it while others aren’t. If it doesn’t suit your pocket, then you don’t have to pay for it.

          It doesn’t cost $80. The basic plan is $49 and with >> WPB-SD2 << coupon u get 20% off making it $40. As for cheaper alternatives for those who know a little about HTML, I wouldn't even bother paying anything to SliderPro, uBillbloard, or Royal Slider. Might as well just use Nivo Slider and get it over with. It's FREE and pretty well written. They also have good documentation. This article was written specifically for beginners focusing on Video and Images (as stated in the title). I personally haven't tried the 3 cheaper plugins you mentioned in the past. Because like I said above, if I had to code it all without paying a dime, then I would just go with Nivo. Lose the backend functionality (because I know HTML). I have known the folks from SD for a while now. I have seen the development of the product, and it has come a long way. SD2 has tons of new features. I know when I talked to them in the very early stages, documentation initiative was something that we talked about. I agree with you that the documentation is limited as of now, and I'm sure they will get to that soon. However, in my experience, the support has been more than helpful whenever anyone in our team has asked questions. -Syed

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