Are homepage sliders still in style?

Having a homepage slider, sometimes called a slideshow or a carousel, was considered a “must have” for all “modern” websites in 2010’s. Catchy images, call to action buttons on each slide, fancy animation. Styles, fashion, and needs change. The big sliders are officially considered outdated. Here are the reasons why:

  1. Speed – The large images and the javascript code that most website owners use for the sliders slow down the site. Load times are an important commodity nowadays and not worth sacrificing for a rotating slide. Though a well designed slider plugin code might be optimized for fast execution, the reality is that most website owners cannot resist the temptation to upload 4 or 5 large images into the slider that cause significant slowdown to the page load.
  2. SEO – It is very common for each slider page to have an h1 heading with a “call to action” button right below. A properly structured page should only have one h1 heading. According to Webaim 20% of websites have multiple h1 headings (largely due to the slider phenomena). All these sites are penalized by search engines for not following the proper page structure convention.
  3. Attention span – Smart people researching user interactions with websites came to the conclusion that an average website visitor will not wait 3 to 5 seconds for the slide to rotate to the next “page”. The engagement with the consecutive slides is so low that it does not justify the effort or creating the slider in the first place. The modern user is much more likely to scroll then click and the contemporary designs capitalize on longer pages.
  4. Accessibility – 5% of adults in the US use a screen reader while browsing the internet. It is needless to say that the screen reader will not “see” the images on the slider. Most content of the slider is also inaccessible to a screen reader since it is generated by a script, includes animations and does not follow the accessibility guidelines. There is also a section of the population that uses Tab navigation instead of a mouse. Again, the slider is not designed for tab navigation therefore totally inaccessible.

Does your homepage include a big slider? Let us help you redesign your page for better user engagement and SEO.

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