How to build a WordPress image slider

How to build a WordPress image slider

My article today is about building a WordPress image slider from the ground up without using a plugin. Actually this is not totally true, because the tutorial is “only” about the WordPress part and we will be using a readymade slideshow plugin written in jQuery. I’m using the tutorial code for my own website as well, check the demo right below.

WordPress image slider tutorial

WordPress image sliderMost image slider plugins are based on a third party slideshow plugin, written in jQuery or JavaScript. This is not surprising, because building a responsive and flexible slideshow is a different task than writing a few blocks of PHP code in WordPress. I’m going to show you how to use the same code most slider plugins use to integrate and control a slider function right in your WordPress blog post. I’m using Flexslider 2, a jQuery plugin maintained by WooThemes. WooThemes has built Flexslider 2 as the basis for their own premium WordPress themes and plugin. Reason enough to use their jQuery plugin for this WordPress tutorial.

Prepare your WordPress theme

All the tutorial code needs to be placed in your theme’s functions.php file, but before we can do that, we need to copy some files from the Flexslider jQuery plugin into the theme’s directory as well. Create a directory called flexslider in your themes directory. Download the Flexslider 2 plugin and upload the files flexslider.css and jquery.flexslider-min.js including the directories named fonts and images into the flexslider directory you just created.

The following two functions are used to include the necessary JavaScript and CSS code into your theme footer. I’m using a “special method” I’ve found on Scribu.net to include these files inside the footer to keep my theme files fast. Many plugin developers include JS/CSS files on every page, post or even archive pages. The function print_my_script() below will include the JS/CSS files only on those pages where the slider shortcode is actually used.

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