Looking for a great slider plugin for your site? In my Soliloquy review, I’ll share how it stacks up to the competition and some of the high, and low, points of using Soliloquy to create sliders for your WordPress site.
WordPress users love sliders. If you check out the best-selling plugins at Envato, you’ll find two different slider plugins right at the top. To compete, many slider plugins try to stand out from the pack with a dizzying feature list, full page builder-esque drag-and-drop slide designers, and just generally lots of “stuff”.
Soliloquy is a slider plugin that doesn’t do that. And I think that’s actually pretty cool. While I’m sure those other slider plugins are popular for a reason, I prefer the more laid-back approach of Soliloquy. It gives you enough functionality to get stuff done, without any of the bloat you might find elsewhere.
While it might not be the best option for you if you want to painstakingly build each slide using layers and drag-and-drop, I think it is a great option if you’re looking for a more streamlined slider plugin that…
- Offers pre-built slider themes so that you can have great-looking sliders without much effort.
- Creates responsive sliders that work on all devices.
- Lets you create dynamic sliders from post content, WooCommerce products, Instagram images, and more.
- Can schedule sliders or even specific slides to only run at certain times
- Offers support for lightbox sliders, thumbnail navigation, and other helpful little features.
Keep reading my Soliloquy review to get a hands-on look at Soliloquy and its pros and cons.
Soliloquy Review: What I’m Actually Looking At
There is a limited version of Soliloquy that’s available for free at WordPress.org. But…that’s not what you’ll see in my Soliloquy review.
While that free version is popular and well-rated (a 4.6-star rating and active on over 80,000 sites), it doesn’t include most of the best features.
Basically, the free version lets you create simple sliders and that’s it. If that’s all you want – go for it! But you’re missing out on a lot of the functionality.
For this Soliloquy review, I’m going to be specifically looking at the Pro version and add-ons.
Depending on which plan you choose, you’ll get access to some or all of the 14 separate add-ons that give you access to all that cool functionality that we mentioned above. Here’s the current list:
- Carousel – lets you turn any slider into a responsive carousel.
- CSS – lets you use your own custom CSS.
- Defaults – helps you work more productively by letting you save default settings, rather than customizing each slider from scratch.
- Dynamic – lets you pull in slider content from a variety of dynamic sources.
- Featured Content – lets you create sliders based on posts, pages, or any custom post type.
- Instagram – lets you import images from your Instagram account as slider items.
- Lightbox – lets you create a lightbox slider from photos, videos, or galleries.
- PDF Slider – lets you create a slider from PDFs.
- Pinterest – adds the Pinterest “Pin It” button to your slider.
- Protection – disables right-click to avoid people downloading your images (this is kind of silly in my opinion)
- Schedule – lets you schedule entire sliders or just specific slides within a slider.
- Slider Themes – gives you access to pre-built slider themes that you can apply.
- Thumbnails – lets you use thumbnail images as navigation options on your slider.
- WooCommerce – lets you create interactive sliders from your WooCommerce products.
So yeah… a lot of add-ons! I can’t promise that I’ll show you every single one, but I will try to hit the high points as we go more hands-on with this Soliloquy review.
A Look At How The Soliloquy Interface Works
First, I’ll run through how the core plugin works without any of the extensions. Then, I’ll show you some of the specific extensions that I think are the most helpful.
Soliloquy is really easy to get started with – you pretty much just install it and create your first slider.
While there is a Settings area, it only has a few options and doesn’t really affect your soldiers:
Creating A Slider
To create a slider, you head to Soliloquy → Add New.
There, the first thing that you can do is choose where to pull your slider’s content from. You have two options:
- Native Slider – a slider from a static list of content items – like images that you upload or YouTube videos.
- External Slider – a slider from dynamic content, like an Instagram image feed or your latest WordPress posts.
The exact options that you have depend on which add-ons you have installed. For now, I’ll just stick to a simple image slider:
If you wanted to use other content – like a YouTube video or your own custom HTML, you could choose the Select Files from Other Sources option and do it that way:
Controlling Individual Slides
Once you upload your images, you’ll see a list of them at the bottom. Each image is one slide. To change the order of the slides, you can use simple drag-and-drop:
This is the “drag-and-drop editor” from Soliloquy’s marketing feature list.
If you want to edit an individual slide (or image, in this case), you just click the pencil icon.
That opens a popup where you can control important metadata information, as well as captions and URLs:
Editing Overall Slider Options
Beyond working with individual slides, you can also use the other tabs to control overall slider settings like:
- The slider style theme
- Layout (including caption position and slide gutter)
- Navigation options
- Whether or not to autostart the slider and/or loop it
- Mobile responsive options
- RTL support
- Custom CSS classes
Publishing Your Slider
To publish your slider, you just hit the Publish button like you would with a regular WordPress post.
Then, you can embed your slider using either the shortcode or the PHP function:
And here’s what my slider looks like on the front-end:
Takeaways From The Basic Version Of Soliloquy
As you can see, Soliloquy is really simple. And beyond just being simple, the end result looks great with pretty much just the default settings (all I did was adjust the slider height).
Again – I think that’s the main draw. Soliloquy…
- Is super easy to use, even for total beginners
- Looks great out of the box
Of course, you are sacrificing the drag-and-drop editor approach of other popular slider plugins. For example, LayerSlider gives you this heavy-duty page builder-esque interface, complete with different layers and a barrage of options:
Neither approach is inherently better – it’s more about choosing which is right for you. While LayerSlider and other similar plugins do give you more control to build your individual slides, they’re also a lot more complicated and heavy-duty.
7 Awesome Things You Can Do With The Add-Ons
Ok, now that you have a good understanding of Soliloquy’s basic approach to creating sliders, let’s dig into some of the add-ons.
The add-ons are where the meat of Soliloquy’s functionality lie, so you can do a lot more than you saw above. This is the part of the Soliloquy review where we can really dig in and see it in action…
1. Inherit Defaults From Existing Sliders
When you go to add a new slider, the Defaults add-on lets you choose to inherit basic configuration options from one of your existing sliders:
This can save you from having to configure all those nitty-gritty details each time you want to create a new slider.
2. Choose From Way More Slider Sources
With all the add-ons installed, you’ll now be able to use the External Sources tab to create sliders from:
- WordPress posts (Featured Content)
- WooCommerce products
- Instagram images
Then, you’ll be able to further configure each source. For example, if you choose to display posts, you’ll be able to choose which content to include by querying for:
- Post type
- Taxonomy terms
- Taxonomy terms relations
For all of those, you can use both include/exclude rules. And you can also just choose to include specific posts.
Further down, you also have more advanced options to:
- Only include content posted between certain dates
- Post offset
- Number of posts to include
And then you can also choose what information to include for each content item, like:
- Whether or not to display the post title
- How many words to include (if any)
- Whether to link to the post URL
- Read more text
- Fallback image
So while you might not have a drag-and-drop builder, Soliloquy still gives you a ton of control over your content.
3. Choose From More Slider Themes
Beyond the new content sources, the add-ons also give you access to more slider themes. You get 5 total, which lets you change up how your sliders look:
4. Use Carousels Instead Of Sliders
If you prefer carousels to sliders, the Carousels add-on makes it easy to turn a slider into a carousel. Here’s what it looks like on the basic example slider from earlier:
5. Use Thumbnail Navigation
The Thumbnails add-on lets you use a great-looking thumbnail navigation instead of the generic icons. Here’s what it looks like on the basic slider:
6. Add Pinterest Pin-It Buttons
Does your slider content do great on Pinterest? You can enable Pinterest Pin It buttons with a simple check of the mouse:
7. Schedule Sliders (Or Individual Slides)
The Schedules add-on opens some really neat functionality that lets you schedule when certain sliders should run. Or, you can even schedule individual slides within a slider:
This is great for any time-sensitive content, like a sale on certain WooCommerce products.
Soliloquy Pricing: Is It Worth It?
Beyond the free version at WordPress.org, there are also four paid plans for Soliloquy. Each tier affects:
- Which add-ons you get access to
- How many sites you can use Soliloquy on
You can see all the Soliloquy pricing options below:
Soliloquy Review Final Thoughts
If you want some super detailed slider plugin that’s going to let you painstakingly build each slide using drag-and-drop editing and different layers, Soliloquy is not for you. Use something like Smart Slider 3 instead (I prefer it to Slider Revolution).
However, if you just want to create beautiful sliders that:
- Look great out of the box
- Load fast
- Won’t make you go crazy with five million different settings options
Then I think you’ll be really happy with Soliloquy.
It does a great job of giving you access to the most important functionality that you need, without weighing itself down with bloat. It’s not a 1:1 replacement for the Slider Revolutions and LayerSliders of the world, but it’s also not trying to be.
For most users, it’s going to let them build great-looking sliders with far less work.
And it’s by no means limited. With the add-ons, you still get detailed options that let you:
- Create pinpoint queries to only display the exact posts, custom post types, or WooCommerce products that you want
- Import your Instagram feed as a slider
- Use PDFs
How To Get Started With Soliloquy
Because it’s available at WordPress.org, you’re not risking anything by installing the Lite version and giving it a go.
If you like how it works, you can then move on to one of the premium plans for all the cool add-ons that I showed you above. All the paid plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee, so you’re not risking anything there, either!