Nivo Slider vs Cycle 2

I just replaced a Nivo Slider with a Cycle 2 slider.

Why?

A client wanted the slider on her website to show different slides for different times. Nivo Slider can’t do that. Not without a lot of hacking.

There are some suggestions here, and here. I tried them both. They didn’t work. The workarounds at those links are probably for a previous version. I don’t know, and I didn’t have a couple days to look into it on my client’s time.

It turned out to be easier to just replace the slider with Cycle 2.

Cycle 2 is incredibly easy to install. Within 15 minutes I had the new slider in place and ready to go, custom slide timing and all.

Cycle 2 is also tremendously flexible. There’s hardly anything about it you can’t customize.

Cycle 2’s downside is that there are only four transition effects available out of the box: fade, flip, shuffle and tile. (You can program your own if you’re feeling ambitious.) There’s also a carousel option. And you have to be minimally able to manipulate html to get your slide show going. If you’re starting from zero, it’ll take longer than 15 minutes. (But it’s not so complex that if you’re serious about it you can’t learn.)

Nivo Slider’s strength is that you can get it as a plug-in for WordPress, and the plug-in does all the work for you. You don’t have to know anything about html at all. Just buy the plug in and use the button in your WordPress Dashboard to upload and install it. In that sense, it’s more user-friendly. (If you’re not using WordPress, you can still use Nivo as a jQuery plug-in, but it’ll take a little extra coding.

With Nivo, what you lose in flexibility you make up for in ease of use. And you get a lot more transition effects built in. For a lot of people, it’s a trade-off worth taking. Even without the range of customizations, the Nivo Slider is still a fine product.

In a nutshell:

  • If you want a Plug-and-Play slider for WordPress, get Nivo.
  • If you need a slider with a lot of flexibility, get Cycle 2.