Our themes don’t have sliders… Because sliders suck.
Last Tuesday we released our first three themes, and this will be the first post in a series that will explain what themes should and should not have. These posts will also explain why we made certain choices regarding our themes.
With the release came a storm of reactions, some downright negative, but most of them (luckily) very positive! Some of the negative replies that struck us most were the replies that said they would’ve expected sliders, or even worse, thought the themes were “outdated” because they didn’t have sliders.
Let me make one thing very clear: sliders suck. Of course, I entitle myself to my own opinion, and you’re entitled to yours. But let me explain why they suck.
It’s not often that science is conclusive in their findings. However, sliders (sometimes named carrousels) seem to be one topic on which it is. There’s literally not one study that I’ve found that says sliders are a good idea. I often point people to http://shouldiuseacarousel.com/ when wanting to explain why not to use a slider. This simple website does an awesome job at showing the statistics as well as trigger the annoyance sliders usually evoke.
Lets look at some of the statistics:
- Only 1% of the people actually click on a slide, which almost always was the first slide;
- People simply ignore your slider, because it triggers banner blindness;
- They slow down your site, negatively impacting your SEO and conversion rate(!!);
- They don’t always work well on mobile devices,
- They push your content down, which Google recently mentioned yet again is not smart;
- It dilutes your message, because suddenly there are multiple messages on your homepage.
But… I’m a photographer!
Ok, so you’re a photographer. You should be allowed to use a slider, right? Wrong. People tend to act as if there’s no other way to show their images anymore but by sliders. This just isn’t true. If you couldn’t have a slider and you’re a photographer, would you just give up having a website altogether? Of course not, you would look for other options, such as the revolutionary idea of showing static pictures. If you want moving pictures, you should change careers and become a filmmaker.
Seriously, whatever makes people think that having stuff move on your website is ever a good idea is still beyond me. You can create awesome collages through which people can browse at will. The pictures won’t be forced onto them (if they even notice them in the first place), they’ll just notice the ones they like. And trust me, that will sell better.
If you’re really a photographer, you’re probably a creative person. You probably make photograph albums for people from time to time, which probably don’t have sliding images. So how about you showcase that skill and creativity by designing these pages with static images?