This article was updated on January 16, 2013 with new information, new plugins, revised pricing, and removal of discontinued downloads.
Photo slideshows are becoming increasingly common in WordPress themes. They are used frequently on the home page to highlight featured content though a lot of premium themes now have gallery and portfolio page templates that help you show your best photographs too.
Today I will be looking at some of the best photo slideshow plugins available for WordPress. The majority of plugins are free though there are some good premium plugins available for those who are looking for additional functionality.
Premium Photo Slideshow Plugins
1. Slideshow Plugin
Single Site License: $27.95, Multi Site License: $49.95, Developer License: $79.95
A fantastic premium photo slideshow plugin that lets you create professional looking slideshows in minutes.The slideshow can be added to posts, pages and widgets.
Slideshow Plugin: Info & Download
Lite Version: Free, Single Site License: $99, Multi Site License: $299
SlideDeck: Info & Download
3. Portfolio Slideshow Pro
Single Site License: $15, Developer License: $45
Recently updated with some great new features, Portfolio Slideshow Pro is a highly customisable photo slideshow plugin that lets you embed slideshows using shortcodes. There are a number of different layouts available and slideshows are optimised for mobile devices too.
Portfolio Slideshow Pro: Info & Download | Demo
4. Thumbnail Gallery
Regular License: $15
A great plugin that lets you add a photo gallery slideshow into your website. The plugin is optimised for use on mobile devices.
Thumbnail Gallery: Info & Download
Regular License: $17
This is a responsive Lightbox plugin for WordPress.
6. Premium Gallery Manager
Regular License: $20
Create beautiful galleries and slideshows with just a few clicks. The plugin has a very professional feel to it and galleries can be modified by simply dragging and dropping images where you want them.
Premium Gallery Manager: Info & Download
Regular License: $20
Add content sliders to your website quickly and easily with this premium plugin.
RoyalSlider: Info & Download
Regular License: $20
Billed as the most powerful slider plugin ever created, DDSliderWP is a beautiful SEO friendly slider plugin that comes with 11 professional transitions.
DDSliderWP: Info & Download
Regular License: $20
Another plugin that bills itself as the greatest slider plugin, uBillBoard boasts 18 transition effects, pagination and automatic image scaling.
uBillboard: Info & Download
10. Slider gallery shortcode
Regular License: $16
Lets you add slideshows to posts and pages in seconds by using the shortcode [slider].
Slider gallery shortcode: Info & Download
11. WordPress Media Gallery
Regular License: $18
An inline gallery that can be used to showcase images or video. The plugin has 7 transitions, a unique admin panel to control slideshows and lots of effects.
WordPress Media Gallery: Info & Download
Unlimited Site License: $150
One of the biggest and most feature rich photo plugins available for WordPress. iThemes promotes the product as 9 plugins in one as it includes a wide range of different features including featured posts and slideshows.
DisplayBuddy: Info & Download
Free Photo Slideshow Plugins
13. NextGEN Gallery
One of the most popular image plugins available, NextGEN Gallery is a fully functional gallery plugin that comes with a useful slider option. You can set the default size of your slideshow and choose from a number of transition effects too. The colour scheme can be modified too.
Due to the popularity of NextGen, a huge number of plugins are available that extend the gallery. Examples include NextGEN Public Uploader, NextGEN Scroll Gallery, NextGEN Custom Fields, JJ NextGen Unload, Effects for NextGEN Gallery, NextGen GalleryView, NextGEN Gallery Voting, NextGEN-ImageFlow, NextGen Gallery SEO titles, NextGEN TinyMce Description, NextGEN Gallery Slidepress XML, NextGen Cooliris Gallery, NextGEN – Resize, User Access Manager, NextGEN Smooth Gallery, NextGEN Gallery Sidebar Widget, NextGen Gallery Add-ons, NextGEN Gallery Search, NGG Video Extend and NextGEN Monoslideshow (this isn’t even a full list!!).
14. (a) Slideshow
A plugin that allows you to create dynamic slideshows on your website.
15. Meteor Slides
A great plugin that lets you create slideshows and publish them with a shortcode or a widget.
A highly configurable slideshow plugin that comes with over 20 transition options. Slideshows are animated and thumbnails are created automatically.
SuperSlider-Show: Info & Download
This is a free version of the popular Social Gallery plugin.
Social Gallery Lite: Info & Download
A featured post plugin that can be inserted anywhere on your website.
Featurific For WordPress: Info & Download
19. Fancy Gallery Lite
This free version of the Fancy Gallery premium plugin allows you to easily create and manage image galleries and sliders.
Fancy Gallery Lite: Info & Download
20. Lightbox Gallery
Extends the default WordPress gallery and changes the view to the lightbox to highlight content.
Lightbox Gallery: Info & Download
21. WOW Slider
WOW Slider lets you add photo sliders to your blog using point-and-click effects and also boasts responsive capabilities.
WOW Slider: Info & Download
22. Cleaner Gallery
Cleans the code that the default WordPress gallery produces. It works with 18 different lightbox plugins. Useful for those who want to use the ion-built gallery feature WordPress has.
23. Lazyest Gallery
A good gallery plugin that lets you easily create image slideshows. Slideshows can also be added your sidebar (and other areas) using a widget.
Slideshow Gallery: Info & Download
Not related in any way to Slideshow Gallery, Slideshow Gallery Pro is a good slideshow plugin that uses AJAX and JQuery to displays images in posts and pages. Slideshows can be embedded using shortcodes.
A featured post slideshow that automatically pulls images from each post category. It also includes a widget that can be configured independently from the main slider.
iSlidex: Info & Download
27. ReFlex Gallery
ReFlex Gallery is a simple, easy-to-use WordPress Gallery Plugin.
ReFlex Gallery: Info & Download
A simple slideshow plugin that comes with 27 transition, 8 easing effects and 8 cufon fonts.
All-In-One Slideshow: Info | Download
29. Lightbox Plus
Uses lightbox to highlight images, videos and slideshows.
A lite version of the JQuery powered slideshow plugin SlideDeck. One of the best looking slideshow plugins available to users. Although limited in comparison to the premium version, this is still one of the best free slideshow plugins available to WordPress users.
SlideDeck: Info | Download
Slideshow (no relation to the premium “Slideshow Plugin” extension) lets you create an elegant slideshow in a few simple steps.
Slideshow: Info & Download
32. Shutter Reloaded
Uses lightbox to darken the current page to highlight images. Visitors can scroll to the next image by clicking on the arrows at the bottom of the page.
Bring your Flickr album photos to a WordPress enabled website with this extension.
Awesome Flickr Gallery: Info & Download
Lets you embed SmoothGallery into your posts and pages.
Portfolio Slideshow: Info & Download
This free plugin is an image gallery system for Flickr and Picasa.
MudSlideShow: Info & Download
Import your Facebook photo albums to your WordPress website.
FBGallery: Info & Download
A JQuery based image slideshow that can be used to highlight featured articles.
vSlider: Info & Download
Display images on your home page from your latest blog posts or set categories.
xili floom slideshow: Info & Download
41. GRAND FlAGallery
A powerful flash and JQuery based plugin that lets you highlight images, audio and video.
This Photospace extension automatically applies the plugin to your default gallery shortcode.
Photospace Gallery: Info & Download
An image slideshow that uses a page flipping effect to show to the next image.
Displays a photo slideshow in your sidebar via a widget or in a post or page using shortcode.
Google AJAX Feed Slide Show Widget: Info & Download
A featured post slideshow plugin that can showcase up to 5 posts or pages.
A featured post slider that helps you highlight your best content.
WordPress Thumbnail Slider: Info & Download
47. Superb Slideshow
A beautiful fade in image slideshow that lets you hyperlink images.
RPS Image Gallery enhances the WordPress gallery by adding advanced linking capabilities along with a slideshow.
RPS Image Gallery: Info & Download
49. Smooth Slider
Create a dynamic featured post slideshow to showcase your best content.
Smooth Slider: Info & Download
Display your Flickr photos as a slideshow on your blog.
flickr-slideshow-wrapper: Info & Download
I hope you have enjoyed this list of free and premium photo slideshow plugins. I’ve tried to include something for everyone: featured post plugins, regular photo galleries and plugins that integrate well with other products.
Another two premium plugins you may want to consider are Picture Slider and SliderVilla. Some free plugins that didn’t make the list include Content Slide, Sponsors Slideshow Widget and Combo Slideshow. There are a lot of other plugins that didn’t make the list so don’t be too disheartened if you are looking for something unique and you can’t find it in this list :)