Creating a slider using Featured Articles PRO is pretty straight forward. From plugin administration menu, go to Sliders and click Add new (just like you would do with a regular post in WordPress) or click the Add new link from the menu.
You will be taken to slider administration page where you can create/edit your sliders. The page is structured into two main areas: Slider content and Slider output.
Slider content allows you to choose what content you want to display into a slider. You can choose between:
- Sliders made of posts: this allows you to display, for example, a slider containing your latest posts. Slides are selected automatically based on your criteria.
- Sliders made of mixed content: using this option you can manually choose which posts/pages will be used as slides into your slider.
- Sliders made of images: you can choose from WordPress’s Media Gallery a number of images to be used as slides.
Creating sliders automatically from existing posts
To create sliders automatically from your existing posts based on the criteria you set, in Slider Content panel select: Create slider from posts.
You will be presented with some extra options that will allow you to choose the post types displayed into the slider:
- Post type: choose the post types you want to display into the slider (by default only regular posts are allowed; additional post types can be added from plugin Settings page);
- Number of posts: how many posts will be retrieved to create slides;
- Categories: the categories/taxonomies to retrieve posts from;
- Author: the author(s) whose posts will be displayed into the slider;
- Order: the order that the posts will be displayed into the slider.
Creating sliders from manually selected posts
To create sliders having manually selected posts, under Slider content select the second radio option: Mixed Content.
Once selected you will see 2 buttons: Select slides and Create custom slide. By clicking Select slides a modal window displaying your existing posts will be opened and will allow you to choose the posts that you want to use as slides into your slider simply by checking the checkboxes next to the posts titles.
Please note that by default you will be able to select only from regular posts and pages and custom slides, if you want to be able to choose from other post types registered on your website, you will need to allow them from plugin Settings page.
In case you want to create new custom slide for your slider, just click the Create custom slide button. Again, you will be presented with a modal window that displays the editor and other details. Just fill your title, content and all other fields, hit save and close the window. The slider will be automatically attached to your slider; custom slides created like this will be visible under plugin admin menu Custom slides.
Once you select all slides, from the slides list you will be able to reorder the slides into any order you see fit. Also, you will be able to edit the slides and enter any custom text or title you want without modifying the actual post title/content.
Creating sliders from manually selected images
To create a slider from manually selected WP Gallery images, under Slider content select the 3rd option, Images. Once selected, you will notice a button saying Select Images that when clicked will open a modal window showing your WP Media Gallery images. Next, select the images you want to display in your slider (multiple selection available by holding CTRL down while clicking) and close the modal window.
All selected images will appear into a list that can be reordered into any order you see fit. Further more, you can modify the image title and add some content about the image or remove any of the images that you find unfit for your slider.
Featured Articles offers the possibility to set up how the text retrieved from posts is displayed into slides.
These options are available when creating/editing a slider in Slider Content panel under tab Text Options and they allow you to choose what should be displayed into slides and how.
Text options are structured into 3 groups: slide title options, slide content options and other options.
Slide title options
Slide titles have several options that control how they are displayed and what functionality they have:
- show title: when checked, slides titles will be displayed into the slider otherwise titles won’t be displayed;
- title color: you can set a custom color on all titles displayed into the current slider;
- title is clickable: when checked, slides titles will have an anchor on them pointing to either the actual post that the slide was created from or to the custom URL set on the slide;
- display custom title: when checked the plugin will verify if a custom title was entered for the slide and display it instead of the actual post title; if custom title is empty or not found, the post title will be displayed instead.
Slide content options
Same as titles, slide content can also be modified by using the following settings:
- show slide content: when checked, the slide content will be displayed into the slide;
- text color: optionally, a custom color can be set on the slide content;
- get content from: allows slide content retrieval from either post content, post excerpt or custom text entered for the post;
- allowed HTML tags: by default, when displaying the slide content, all HTML tags are stripped. If you want to allow certain tags into the slide content, all you have to do is enter them under this option. Additionally, you can choose to allow all HTML tags.
- remove shortcodes: if your posts have shortcodes into them and you need them removed, make sure this option is checked otherwise the slide content will display all shortcodes.
- text length with image: allows setting of text length for slides that have an image set on them;
- text length without image: allows setting of text length for slides that don’t have an image set on them;
- end text with: you can choose how to end truncated texts, just enter some text under this option like … or more;
- show read more: when checked, a read more link will be displayed into the slide pointing to the post that the slide was created from or the custom link set on the slide;
- read more text: if read more link is set to be displayed, you can customize its text under this option.
Other slide text options
Under this section you can control several more options:
- show post date: when checked will display the post publishing date into the slide content;
- show post author name: when checked will display the post author display name into the slide;
- link to author page: if author name is set to be displayed into the slide content, by enabling this option the author nam will be linked to the author page in WordPress.
These options (under tab Media Options) control how media (images and video) is displayed into the slides.
Complete list of available options:
- show videos: if any of the slides have videos attached to them, by having this option enabled they are allowed into slides;
- show play video: when enabled, it will display the play video button for slides that have videos attached to them;
- play video text: a text to be displayed on the play video button;
- show image: when enabled, images attached to slides will be displayed according to the slider theme in use;
- default image: slides that don’t have an image attached can display the image set under this option;
- preload images: images displayed into slides will be preloaded;
- use width attribute: when enabled the image will have width attribute displayed as tag attribute;
- use height attribute: same as width but works for image height;
- link image: when enabled, the image will be clickable pointing to the post that the slide was created from or to the custom link set on the post;
- image size: allows setting of image size based either on default WP registered sizes or custom image size.
All available slider themes are listed in panel Slider Output under tab Theme.
To select a theme simply click the Select button under the theme preview image. Once selected you will notice a Preview button. To preview the slider on your live website before publishing it you will have to go to Publish tab and select an area to publish the slider in and make sure that Display on Homepage is checked.
Also please note that some themes may disable some fields when editing a slider (mostly because they don’t use the fields they disable) or add their new fields needed to display the slider theme.
Under Slider layout settings ( tab Layout in panel Slider Output ) you can select layout related options that will affect the way your slider is displayed into pages.
Complete list of option can be found below:
- layout variations: some slider themes may have the capability of displaying the slides into more than just one way. These variations are all available under this field. Please note that this option may not be available for all slider themes;
- show slider title: some slider themes may have the capability of displaying the slider title above the main slider output. If they do, whether or not the title should be displayed is controlled by this setting;
- show main navigation: when checked will display the slider main navigation (usually being the individual slides navigation);
- show secondary navigation: when checked the slider will display the secondary navigation (usually the next/previous slide navigation);
- slider width: the width (in pixels) of the slider;
- allow fullwidth: when checked the slider will stretch covering all the available space horizontally;
- slider height: the slider height in pixels;
- allow height resize: when checked and the slider resizes, the height will be proportionally modified by the amount that the width of the slider was modified;
- font size: the default font size in precents (100% being the normal size);
- distance top: the distance from all elements above it that the slider should be displayed at;
- distance bottom: the distance from all elements below it that the slider should be displayed at;
- center horizontally: when full width is off and the slider width is smaller than its container width, the slider will be placed in the middle (when not checked it will display on the left).
Animation settings (in panel Slider output under tab Animation) control how the slider will be animated when displayed into WordPress front-end.
Complete list of options can be found below:
- slide automatically: the slider will begin animation once loaded into the page;
- effect: transition effects between slides;
- effect duration: how long should the effect take (in seconds);
- continuous slider: when enabled, the slider will go to the first slide when reaching the last slide;
- position slides enter from: the position from where the slides should enter when changing between them;
- distance slides enter from: the distance in pixels from where the slides enter when animated;
- position slides exit to: the position to where the slides exit when changed;
- distance slides exit to: the distance in pixels to which slides exit;
- slide change event: allows choosing between click and mouse over to change slides using the navigation.
Apart from the possibility of displaying sliders in WordPress by using shortcodes and widgets, the plugin allows publishing of sliders in a more automated way by using the dynamic areas implemented by the plugin. Dynamic areas work pretty much the same way as WordPress sidebars and widgets (more about this under Dynamic areas).
From panel Slider Output, under tab Publish you can choose to publish sliders automatically into any of your registered dynamic areas on any category or post/page from your WordPress blog.
If you want to publish a slider that should expire at some point, in Publish panel (admin right sidebar) you can change the expiration date of a slider by modifying the option Expiration Date. Once a date is chosen, the slider will display until that date is reached and once reached, it will have a status Expired and will stop displaying.
For fast loading time all sliders can be cached. Global plugin caching option can be enabled from plugin Settings page and once enabled, caching can be turned on for each individual slider.