Creating Slideshows

Slideshows and image galleries build page traffic. And page views are critical when it comes to improving search engine rank.

There are many ways to embed a slideshow on your website. If the slideshow has been created on another site, and the embed code is available, you can simply pick up the code and embed it on your website.

But what about if you want to add an image gallery and create a slideshow? There are many options available to accomplish this task. The first place to check is the dashboard (left side of the page) of your installed WordPress theme. If this feature is indeed available, it will be found either under settings or under the theme’s option tab.

Some WordPress themes actually have what are called shortcodes built into the template. In other cases, you can download and install plugins that will take a gallery of images and turn it into a slideshow.

What exactly is a shortcode?

Introduced in WordPress 2.5 is the Shortcode API, a simple set of functions for creating macro codes for use in post content.

Shortcodes enable plugin developers to create special kinds of content (e.g. forms, content generators) that users can attach to certain pages by adding the corresponding shortcode directly into the page text.

Let’s first let’s examine the short code approach built in the WP Zoom family of themes. 

WP Zoom Image Gallery

The theme used in Digital Storytelling course I teach at DePauw is created by WP Zoom. The WP Zoom family of themes actually has a built-in shortcode feature. This makes it exceptionally easy to add a gallery of images along with a custom slider.

At the top of each post, you will see a feature called Slideshow Shortcode. This extra menu button is available to you when writing new posts. The button for the short code can be found at the top of each post. You will have to toggle between text and visual mode to see the gallery shortcode button.

Capture - Shortcode
The menu button at the top of the post can be used to insert an image gallery.

The steps are fully explained in the companion video, but here are the basic steps you need to complete:

  1. Upload your images to your media library. Next, write a title if you’re going to be using captions. You don’t have to insert the images into the post; the slideshow will display all images uploaded to the post.
  2. Click the button at the top of the post writing segment; it’s likely to be the one on the top row, two from the right — see the image above.
  3. Select your options, including the height of the slideshow, whether to show captions and whether to enlarge the images when clicked by using a lightbox.
  4. Insert the gallery, save the post and enjoy!