Should You Use Sliders on Your Website?

"I want to add sliders to my website"

"Why?"

"Because my competitors have them."

"That's great news your competitors have them."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because sliders *suck." 

I've had that conversation with three different clients over the last couple of weeks.

The sliders (or banners or carousels) in mention are the ones you see when you first open a web page. 

Sliders can add heaps of information in a limited space. Much like a  poorly written ad that mentions many products, store hours, fast friendly service, and all other kinds of blah blah blah. 

You almost have time to comprehend what the slide is trying to communicate when... BANG... another slide takes its place... and then another... and another. 

Carousel is another term for slider. Take a couple of minutes and check out this website I found titled, shouldiuseacarousel.com. It will make you laugh. Or cry if you have a slider on your site. 

Website built by @jared_w_smith

Website built by @jared_w_smith

Sliders suck because they distract website visitors and stop them achieving their goals. In other words, sliders reduce customer conversion. You make less money.

YOU MAKE LESS MONEY.

Your website visitors need to be in control of what they see, read and hear. So, anything on your website that starts automatically is bad. Don't do it. 

Because there is technology that can do cool stuff doesn’t mean you should use it. 

My business associates, Bryan & Jeffery Eisenberg have written five books on website and customer conversion. 

1. Call to Action (Wall St Journal & New York Times Best Seller)
2. Waiting for Your Cat to Bark (Wall St Journal & New York Times Best Seller)
3. Persuasive Online Copywriting
4. Buyer Legends - The Executive Storyteller's Guide
5. Be Like Amazon - Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It (The new book)
You can find all five books on Amazon here.

Attend the top website conversion conferences in the world and you will hear Bryan and Jeffery speak.   

I asked Bryan should I use sliders. His answer, “No. You will decrease sales. Sliders suck.” 

In his article, "Let’s Talk About Image Sliders and Conversions," Jeremy Smith says, 

Nearly everyone in the conversion community declares sliders to be unequivocally evil.

Yes, they actually use the term evil.

Rotating banners are absolutely evil and should be removed immediately.

Who said it? Tim Ash of Site Tuners on ClickZ. 

Other conversion people and developers have chimed in, hurling epithets at sliders. Notice some of the big guns who blasted sliders. 

Don’t use them. Ever. (Lee Duddell)
Sliders are distracting. (Hiten Shah)
Sliders … deliver little to no value to the customers. (Avinash Kaushik)
Sliders suck. (Thijs de Valk, Yoast)
Sliders suck. (Bryan Eisenberg)
Carousels are completely ineffective. (Craig Kistler)
Remove carousels immediately! (Harrison Jones)

Strategy is about making hard decisions. Strategy is about doing one thing well rather than doing many things poorly. 

So sliders are perfect for businesses without a strategy. Or for businesses with many internal departments all wanting a piece of the home page real estate.

Don't be one of these businesses.

Don't use automatic sliders on your home page.

Never. Ever.

Here are some more articles to read on sliders.

*I learnt the technical conversion term 'suck' after doing research for my clients.

Until next week
Work hard. Have fun.

Craig Arthur
Wizard of Ads Australia
We help owner-operated businesses attract profitable customers. Their businesses grow bigger, faster. They make more money. Do you need help?