Business technology

Why website sliders have to go

- October 18, 2017 3 MIN READ

Websites, just like hairstyles and clothing, go through fads. One such fad in the past five years has been adding in scrolling image carousels or sliders at the top of home pages.

Website sliders treat your content like it’s on a Sushi Train: here’s an image. Don’t like that one? Wait a few seconds and there’s another.

Unfortunately, this particular fad is hurting your business, simply because website sliders do not work!

Less than 1% of visitors click on slider images

Sliders are supposed to showcase all the amazing things you offer, and to get people to click on ones that take their fancy to be whisked away to more information.

But what if you knew that less than 1% of people on your site clicked on any image, and that most of that 1% only clicked on the first one?  It makes the other images on your slider feel like the kids who didn’t get picked for a sporting team.

Why don’t people click website sliders?

We have become ad blind and ad averse, as we assume anything flashing or moving at the top of a website is an ad (usually of the “lose 20 pounds by using this little-known hack” variety).

We have trained our brain not to look at or see them, which means that the valuable real estate at the top of your website is totally invisible to people.

But wait: it gets worse.

Not only does no-one click on your slider, they come with a tonne of features that actively damage your website’s results.

They slow down your website

Sliders take a lot of code to run and heaps of lovely pictures. Excess Code + Images = a slow website. Every extra second on your page loading time loses you clients.

They often don’t work on mobiles

Mobiles are slowly overtaking desktops as a means of viewing websites. Sliders often don’t slide or change size when shown on mobiles. This means the first impression people have of your site is something broken or weird looking.

They are targeted by hackers

Hands up if you pop into the back end of your website a few times a week to update your themes and plugins (and no, your web designer or host doesn’t do that for you unless you specifically pay them to do it)?

Because sliders are a popular fad and installed on loads of websites, hackers actively target them. One of the worst corporate hacks in history, the Panama Papers, came about from hackers targeting an unpatched Revolution Slider.

They are not user-friendly

Not all your clients are young, smart and able bodied. If you need to click on an image in a slider, you have to have the reflexes and speed of Usain Bolt. If you are older, have a disability or slower cognitive skills, then clicking on a moving object becomes insurmountable.

Website sliders wreck your SEO

If you have text on the images your slider, most designs use H1 size font to make them beautiful. Unfortunately, each web page should only have one H1 tag so Google knows what is the most important thing on the page. Add in a slider, and you suddenly have 3 to 5 H1 tags racing around.

So, sliders not only don’t work, they are actively bad for your website. In years to come, I think we will look back at sliders with the same disdain as those cheeky pop-unders from a few years back!

If you are getting a new website built, or a website re-design, and your web designer suggests adding in a slider, simply suggest that you are “non-sliding person” and move onto something that actually works, like a simple static image.