Nivo vs Meta vs Huge-IT vs Master Slider

These days it seems as though every single site uses a slider in one (or more) of their pages, and who can blame them? They provide a sleek way to display lots of information, and as long as you’re using a WordPress slider plugin, they’re also easy to set up – regardless of whether you’re choosing a free theme or a premium option.

There are plenty of slider plugins available, but we’ve scoured the internet and selected what we consider to be the four best options at the moment.

Each of these WordPress sliders packs in a plethora of features, and in this piece we’ll be testing each of them to find out how they stack up. Throughout, we’ll look at functionality, price, and ease of use. Slide into your seat and get ready for an in-depth comparison!

The best WordPress slider plugins compared (in a nutshell)

Here’s an abridged version of our findings if you’re in a hurry:

Nivo Slider vs Meta Slider vs Huge-IT Slider vs Master Slider
Nivo SliderMeta SliderHuge-IT SliderMaster Slider
Price (per license)$38.58, $78.49, and $131.71Free, $19, $99, and $39Free, $15, $30, and $60Free and $20
Number of slidersUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
ResponsivenessYesYesYesYes
Pre-built stylesYesYesYesYes
Ease of useSimpleSomewhat complicatedSomewhat complicatedSomewhat simple
Customization optionsGoodLimitedLimitedExcellent

The best WordPress slider plugins compared (in full)

Here are the four options we believe to be the best WordPress slider plugins available. They’re presented in no particular order, so take a look at each of them in turn to see if they’re the right solution for you.

1. Nivo Slider

The Nivo Slider plugin

Nivo Slider is a premium plugin from Dev7studios, the same people behind Nivo Lightbox. This tool takes the slider creation process and distills it into a couple of very simple steps.

Every setting you need in order to configure a new slider can be found within a single page, and each one comes with a description to make the process simpler. Overall, this WordPress slider plugin is incredibly simple to use.

Main features

  • jQuery-based sliders.
  • A collection of striking transition effects.
  • Includes four unique themes for your sliders, as well as the ability to customize yours from scratch.
  • Automatically crops and resizes all images for your slides.
  • Fully responsive.
  • Enables you to pull images from third-party sites such as Instagram or Flickr when used alongside the Media Manager Plus plugin.

Ease of use

It doesn’t get much simpler than this WordPress slider plugin.

The slider creation process involves a single screen with descriptions for each setting, and they can be inserted anywhere using shortcodes.

Price

$38.58, $78.49, and $131.71 licenses. These are USD conversions of the original EUR prices, hence the oddly specific amounts.

When to consider using Nivo Slider

Nivo Slider will be ideal if you’re looking for a no-fuss slider tool. This plugin may lack some advanced features, but it will enable you to create elegant sliders in no time at all.

2. Meta Slider

Meta Slider claims to be the most popular WordPress slider plugin available, and its +700,000 active installs would seem to back that up.

This plugin is relatively straightforward to use, comes with very thorough documentation, and its free version is more than sufficient to create great sliders.

Main features

  • Responsive and lightweight slides.
  • Four types of sliders with unique transition effects for each.
  • Enables you to drag-and-drop slides to reorder them.
  • Includes a preview feature.
  • Ability to display sliders using widgets.
  • Crops and resizes your images automatically.

Ease of use

This plugin includes fewer options than expected for such a popular tool. Despite this, creating a new slide is not an uphill battle. All of the settings are located in a tidy menu at the right of your screen, and the plugin provides easy access to all your images for editing purposes.

Price

Free, $19, $99, and $39 licenses.

When to consider using Meta Slider

The free version of this WordPress slider plugin provides a decent option for users who don’t need to set up intricate slides. It provides a fair number of styles, and plenty of transition effects to aid your customization efforts.

3. Huge-IT Slider

The Huge-IT slider plugin

Huge-IT Slider offers a utilitarian approach to sliders. It comes with excellent documentation including how-to videos, tutorials with screenshots, and overall great reviews.

Despite only testing the free version of this plugin, our only gripe is that its interface is very reminiscent of Meta Slider. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since both plugins do their job well.

Main features

  • Works with images, videos, and posts.
  • Enables you to add sliders to widgets.
  • Automatically sets internal links within your sliders to open in the same tab.
  • Supports HTML tags in your titles and descriptions.
  • Various pre-built styles for your sliders.
  • Rearrange your slides by dragging them.
  • Completely responsive.

Ease of use

The slider creation process is very similar to that of Meta Slider. Slides appear in a vertical list at the left for editing purposes, and all of the necessary settings are shown on a window at the right side of your screen. It’s a fairly straightforward system that works well enough.

Price

Free, $15, $30, and $60 licenses.

When to consider using Huge-IT Slider

Huge-IT Slider is near perfect if you want a similar experience to Meta Slider, albeit with more control over your transition effects and display options.

4. Master Slider

The Master Slider plugin

Finally, we come to Master Slider. This is a sleek plugin, and it’s ahead of the others we’ve featured here when it comes to design – it doesn’t lag behind in usability either.

Master Slider comes in three flavors – free, premium, and a standalone jQuery version for use outside of WordPress. Notably, the free version of this plugin doesn’t scrimp at all when it comes to features.

Main features

  • Modern slider creation menus.
  • Responsive design.
  • TouchSwipe‘ navigation.
  • Drag-and-drop creation and live preview systems.
  • Comes with eight pre-built sample sliders and many additional skins.
  • Includes a slide preloading option.
  • Enables you to import and export sliders.

Ease of use

Despite its sleek menu, newcomers might be confused due to the multiple tabs they need to address while creating new slides. Fortunately, the plugin includes some fantastic documentation.

Price

Free and $20 licenses.

When to consider using Master Slider

If you want a modern, feature-filled WordPress slider plugin (and don’t mind some reading to figure out what every setting accomplishes), Master Slider will be ideal.

Conclusion

Naturally, you want to know which of these plugins offers the best WordPress slider solution. If we had to pick a winner, it would be a close tie between Nivo Slider and Master Slider. Whereas the former is incredibly simple to set up, the latter offers a better interface and just as many options (plus, there’s a free version!).

Nonetheless, both Meta Slider and Huge-IT Slider are still solid picks with plenty of positives. Either plugin will enable users to create great sliders with various customization options, or add them to widgets if you so wish.

In case you want to check the details again, here’s the full comparison chart:

Nivo SliderMeta SliderHuge-IT SliderMaster Slider
Price (per license)$38.58, $78.49, and $131.71Free, $19, $99, and $39Free, $15, $30, and $60Free and $20
Number of slidersUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
ResponsivenessYesYesYesYes
Pre-built stylesYesYesYesYes
Ease of useSimpleSomewhat complicatedSomewhat complicatedSomewhat simple
Customization optionsGoodLimitedLimitedExcellent

What’s your favorite WordPress slider plugin? Share your slider expertise with us in the comments section below!