Why Carousels and Image Sliders may be bad for your Website
There are a number of reasons why people like to use carousels or image sliders, also known as rotating offers. They can be eye catching and attention grabbing; they also allow you to add more content (images, text etc.) in one space.
Whilst fairground carousels are fun and entertaining, website carousels are not always so the best option...
However, these features also can have a number of disadvantages:
Conversion Optimisation –
Before adding a carousel or image slider to your website, think about the message you are trying to get across. A slideshow could be perfect for showcasing a gallery of images for a portfolio, on a purpose built page. However, if you’re trying to sell items or convey an important message, then consider using static images and text. Content is much more likely to be viewed when spread out across a page, rather than bundled up into one carousel where key sales messages can be missed if the user doesn’t see the carousel image that is relevant to them.
Speed – Most sliders rely upon jQuery and slider script, and have to load all of their content on the initial page load. Say, for example, you have a slider which is 900x400px, your website will have to load all three of those images and any corresponding text before the slider is fully loaded. This can have a negative effect on the page load time of your website. The longer a page takes to load, the more likely people are to leave the website and search elsewhere.
Hidden Content – Most people place valuable information within their sliders or carousels. However, this stays hidden a lot of the time. It’s very rare that people stick around to view every single slide and read all of the text written within them. The content hidden deep within a slider or carousel is often skipped past and missed.
Other Devices – Whilst a slider can increase the load time of a website on a PC, these effects are multiplied when viewing sliders on other devices. Imagine using a mobile phone on 3G whilst trying to load multiple large images and text. There are also still a number of devices – mobile phones, tablets etc. – which do not support Flash, something else used within a large number of carousels.
Flash – As mentioned, it is difficult for some devices to properly view aspects of a website built in Flash. Google and other search engines also have great difficulty viewing content within Flash. For optimisational purposes, search engines should be able to see relevant image titles, alt tags, header tags and so on. If these are placed within a Flash element, Google is unlikely to crawl this area of your website. This in turn can have a negative effect on your Search Engine Ranking.
If you do add a carousel or slideshow to your website, then you can always try carrying out A/B split testing to see what works best for you and your potential clients.
For more information on the advantages and disadvantages of using carousels or sliders, as well as A/B Split testing, please get in touch with the professionals at Varn. We look forward to hearing from you.