Slider Manager

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Update: The sale is now LIVE and is currently $27.00 until the plugin goes officially live.

Buy now

***

Demo slideshow.  Some of these images have text with links in them, some of the images are clickable, and some have both.

***

Since September/October time, I’ve tried out or looked at over 20 different image slider managers.  These have either been WordPress plugins or standalone scripts.

If you look around you’ll see so many of these that I thought there must at least be ONE that does what I need, but can you believe NONE of them do?

All I wanted to do was to put in sliders at the top of some of my sales pages to rotate between screenshots and other banners, and also place a selection of clickable different slider ads in my sidebar that only occupied one position and showed a different ad every few seconds.

I also wanted the slider images to display text and HTML with clickable links.

I wanted to be able to make the whole slider image itself clickable so I could put “Click Here” graphics on the image.

And finally I wanted it to work with any theme.

That’s not a big requirement is it?  But the small list of things I need the plugin to do are VERY useful to us marketers.

Here’s the thing. I’ve found that there’s no plugin that does all of what we need.

There are plugins that allow me to add ONE slider to a page or post, but not multiple sliders.

There are comprehensive plugins that do image gallery management and display, but not sliders.

There are plugins that allow clickable links OR clickable images, but not both.

There are plugins that only work by editing the theme code and pasting in some PHP.

And so on.  I don’t think ANY of the sliders worked with widgets.

It’s almost unbelievable isn’t it?  But I’ve seen this same issue time and time again.

Developers write code for other developers.  Most developers don’t get or understand (or even want to) marketing.

Developers miss the little subtleties that we marketers require.  And it’s the little things that make the difference between what works and generates additional revenue for us, and what ends up as frustration.

So…

I think you can guess what’s coming?

I’ve had version 1 of a plugin called Slider Manager developed, and it does ALL the things we need most of all from a slider.

My #1 priority in developing this was to get it working and keep it simple.  Sometimes you can’t avoid complicated, but I try to avoid it wherever possible.

So what you can do is create multiple sliders (groups) and of course multiple images within each slider.

Within each slider group, you specify the width and height, pause and animation time, and a selection of animation effects.

Each image can have text and a HTML link added to it, or you can make the image clickable.  Or BOTH.  ;-)

When you save the slider group it generates a short code tag that you can then add anywhere in your posts and pages and also in your text widgets.

It’s dead simple to use, and we’re working on making it better with full image management and an AJAX/jQuery re-ordering method to make it all drag and drop for the next version.

But tomorrow, Tuesday 8th February 2011 at 6.00pm GMT (1.00pm EST)…

You can get this first version with a free upgrade to the drag and drop version when we release it…

At a starting price of just $10.00 for the first 50 sales.

-Frank Haywood


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34 Comments

  1. James Dunn says:

    Darn Frank.

    Another great Plug-in that I’ll have to acquire. Yeah, count me in. Just pulled most of my hair out dealing with a slider (without success I might add). This one would have answered my problems it sounds like.

    Also, I echo your comment about developers. Developers and coders do what they do – and do it quite well – because they are good at it and usually because they are NOT good at other things (namely marketing). I tell my local clients that their teenage son or daughter can build them a web site, but their teenage son or daughter has never sold anything (except a bill of goods to their parents and teachers) so they can’t necessarily build them a web site that sells. It will definitely be pretty and maybe even “Flashy” (although I hate Flash), but it probably will not sell anything. Selling is a learned and developed skill that marketers acquire. That’s why we are necessary to help the developers develop what works in the real world.

    Thanks again for another great Plug-in that I’m just gonna have to pick up.

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @James Dunn:

      Yep, spot on and better than I could have worded it.

      There’s only so much we can be good at, and nearly 10 years ago my key skill was as a developer on IBM mainframes wth a high level tool called AS. I was pretty good at it.

      Over the last decade I’ve forsworn development as the way forward for me, but I’m still a bit of a propellerhead. As an example I sit here typing this on a laptop, but I’ve built all the PCs here myself, extended and powered up my wireless network using universal repeaters (I was picking up iPods and NDSes from all over the neighbourhood for a while), and I use VMWare Player to run virtual machines for various reasons.

      (There’s a lot of other stuff I’d like to get involved in, but I’d never get anything done…)

      So my techy interests are pretty much covered now from both a hobbyist point of view and the stuff I do online with plugins and themes.

      If I tried to learn enough to write the plugins myself, then I just wouldn’t have time to work on the most important part of any business and that’s the marketing of it. And 99% of my plugin ideas would just be dreams and probably not see the light of day.

      It’s still tempting though, and maybe one day I’ll get back into development again…

      ;-)

      -Frank

  2. Valda says:

    Hi there Frank, I was going to try and contact you tonight to ask if you had some kind of plugin wish list that we could add requested plugins to as I was going to add a image/slider plugin to my wish list.
    Talk about great minds thinking alike!!! I am looking forward to this plugin as it will be very useful in helping to show case my graphic design portfolio on some of my websites etc.
    Take care
    Valda

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Valda:

      That’s great to hear thank you. I do sometimes wonder if I have my hand on the pulse of what marketers need, and it’s always gratifying to hear other people coming to the same conclusion as me.

      -Frank

  3. polinate says:

    I love this concept. It will be a great addition to the tools you have already given us!

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @polinate:

      Thanks Pol,

      I have an almost fully working version with a couple of things not quite right on the slider effects. When I get the new fixed version back later tonight or tomorrow morning, I’ll put an example or two here on the blog for you to see.

      :-)

      -Frank

  4. Hey there Frank,

    I know you aren’t looking for kudos but; in the 16 years I have been making a living (Of sorts), by virtue of the Internet, I have found truly ethical online marketers that continuously prove their motivation is actually in the best interest of their clients too few and far between. You continue to prop up my faith that there are indeed marketers with more than profits as their primary motivation.

    With that said; for one, I am very VERY glad there is someone like you, who can rationally think through the needs and requirements of a marketer’s uses for a CMS Sales Platform (WP) and then put themselves in a position to require the minds of developers to see your vision through the eyes of a marketer and not just as a programmer.

    With that said, if when penning this post you left out of your thought process what I’m about to suggest; apologies . . . . being able to take advantage of AJAX/jQuery” sliders and making them Search Engine friendly at the same time seems to be an elusive combination and the only downside to using the visual effectiveness of those sliders to engage viewers eyes and minds.

    To that end, if you could make the “AJAX/jQuery” Java components of this independently deploy-able animated billboard ‘group’, as search engine friendly as possible it would be a bonus. As Java does not lend itself to search engine love, if you can get your developers to add the ability to include individual anchor text “Outside” of the java deployed ads, (Say as part of a container), that would be an excellent addition to your plan.

    Just thinking out loud here ;)

    Your ardent fan,

    Mike Claggett
    I’m back at it and DeadIntoit

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Mike Claggett:

      Thank you! I really appreciate it. Like everybody I’m good at some things and bad at others. ;-)

      It’s a little easier for me to get in the right mindset because I need all these tools myself. The first thing I do is look around to see if anyone has done anything similar, and if there is then I buy it and try it.

      A lot of the time I’m disappointed because too much focus has been put on stuff that doesn’t greatly improve the plugin functionality – usually the “prettification” for the admin rather than thinking through what someone actually selling something might want it to do.

      Pretty’s nice, but usually that’s all it is.

      In the case of sliders it’s been designer / developers that have been creating them and I don’t think any marketer has thought that there’s any real need to create another as there are so many.

      BUT they don’t do what we need, and fall flat in so many little but important ways.

      Thank you for that great idea on the SEO front. It’s too late (I think) to do anything about it for this version, but as you say I’ll see what we can do for the drag and drop version.

      I don’t know for sure yet, but I think it should be do-able to apply SEO tags to the group and *maybe* even the individual images. We’ll see.

      -Frank

  5. Great looks like a good plugin to me

    would be interested in any plugin ideas you do not have the time to develop
    I am just starting out here and am looking for ideas to generate some income

    cheers

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @johns online!!:

      Here’s a hot tip then. ;-)

      Any plugin that provides a secure sales process using PayPal and ClickBank will always do well. And if you can also add in affiliate management and promo tools (separately or otherwise) that would be the icing on the cake.

      I’ll be creating my own this year, but that shouldn’t put you off in any way, and you should never be frightened of competition – it just means it’s a busy marketplace.

      :-)

      -Frank

  6. Vern Brown says:

    WOW!! Just look at all the great thoughts going back and forth, makes one get real excited about Internet Marketing, again . . .
    Thanks to all of you for the “interaction”, great for the imagination!!

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Vern Brown:

      Hehe. Yeah I love it when I see people musing and then getting excited about stuff, it’s great. Seeing it in words is almost as good. ;-)

      -Frank

  7. G’day Frank,

    Amazing I just mastered a slider on one of my blogs then you come along with this.

    Alright seeing you do quality stuff I will set my clock for this one to see how it compares with other slider effect plugins.

    I’ll see if I can master yours quicker.

    Have a nice one.

    Regards as always

    Rob Paris

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Rob P. Cruisin:

      You should find this first version the simplest. When we add the drag and drop stuff in the backend to replace the text command you’ll find it even easier to use while getting *slightly* more complicated.

      You should know me by now. I prefer simple “does the job” tools over having unnecessary and underused clutter. ;-)

      -Frank

  8. Frank,

    I’m very annoyed at you!

    Usually your offers are for a Friday GMT 6pm and if it’s a plugin I like the look of, I’m always there, finger at the ready.

    BUT, I’m in Poland right now, on business for my firm, and will be flying back to the UK tonight at 20:00hrs CET, which is 19:00hrs GMT, and no, I have not brought a laptop with me (I’m travelling light – or lite as our US marketers might say).

    I’d love a copy of this plugin, at $10, but looks like I’m gonna have to dip on this :(

    Can’t you change the date? Please! Pretty please….!

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Gareth C Thomas:

      Ahh… I can’t win. ;-)

      If I run them at the weekend, I get people telling me they’re usually too busy doing family stuff on a Friday/Saturday/Sunday/whenever to get to them. And if I run them during the week, I get told off for similar reasons. *sigh*

      Who knows? By the time you get back there’s a good chance it will only have risen to $12.50 as I’m using the same pricing structure I’ve been testing for the last couple of months.

      It’s a good plugin and something I’ve been needing myself for a while now, and my intention is to make it better. You’ll get all the nice drag and drop stuff plus some additional effects as free upgrades if you get it now.

      This will probably be a $47 plugin by the time we’ve finished with it…

      -Frank

  9. Phil Cullum says:

    I empathize with Gareth. I have bought most of your software, but have occasionally been unavailable when it is first released so I paid extra.

    I suggest you offer a “membership” that someone can sign up for to automatically buy whatever you offer at the “opening” price. You would have their credit card on file and automatically charge them $10 and send them the link to the new software whenever it is released.

    I expect I would sign up for such a service, if offered.

    Best Wishes,
    Phil

    PS: I spent nearly 40 years as an IBM programmer, so I feel a kinship.

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Phil Cullum:

      I will seriously consider that. I know that setting things up to keep card details on file and *secure* isn’t trivial, but isn’t impossible. The big worry for me is always going to be the security aspect of holding card details safe.

      Although… I believe that PayPal Pro and maybe one other easily configured system can do that kind of thing for me and I wouldn’t then have to be concerned about the security side of things.

      Maybe an easier approach is if we set something up like you file $20 or $30 with me in an account and then that gets used to pay for any new stuff. You then get an email when it runs out and you can top it up again. That would feel a whole lot safer to me and also solve the problem.

      I love these little idea swapping sessions don’t you? ;-)

      -Frank

      (There are times when I really miss my IBM dev days, and I’ve never found anything quite like AS for ease of use when interrogating data – it’s still years ahead of its time and the Oracle data warehouse tools that were introduced before I left weren’t anywhere near as powerful as what we could do with AS. Life was different then and I enjoyed the cameraderie. But… Things are far more fun nowadays…)

  10. Lars says:

    Thanks Frank,

    Will get that also ;-)
    You are keeping up a high speed now releasing new plugins every week, great.

    It’s fun to work with WP, BUT Please look over the one that you released also. I am still waiting on answer to get support for problem with one since a while back.

    I have more patience since you have real good prices ;-) BUT I still want support.

    ake care / Lars

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Lars:

      Thank you. You’ve probably noticed I’m trying to build up a library of tools that have marketers in mind. It’s all stuff I use myself either on this site or on my other anonymous ones.

      As for support for a plugin you’re having problems with, go to http://support.plugingreat.com/ and either raise a ticket there, or “bump” it again. I’ll keep an eye on it myself.

      The developers are answering support tickets there, and are more than happy to take a look at your site and release a new version to solve your problem – if possible – it isn’t always for one reason or another.

      -Frank

  11. I’ve set an Outlook Alarm for 5:55pm GMT. Yours are the only releases I set alarms for :)

  12. Laurie says:

    Do you offer video tutorials showing how to use the plug-ins? I’m a visual person and I really liked some of the previous videos you have done.

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Laurie:

      I PROMISE I will do this for all plugins that warrant it, probably all of them. I work from home and I have my eldest lad here being home tutored at the moment so it’s not easy to get some quiet time (it takes some preparation and practice) to do videos at the moment.

      With any luck that will change in the next 2-3 months and I’ll have a few hours peace a day when I can concentrate on creating tutorial videos. (It gets easier the more you do.)

      Umm, just thought. I could *maybe* do some Demo Builder videos as they’re created in a different way to Camtasia – voice overs not required.

      Demo Builder takes a series of screen shots and then tracks mouse movement and clicks point to point and simulates it at playback. It’s very clever and because of the way it works, it outputs very “tight” very small videos that save a lot of storage and bandwidth.

      A typical Camtasia video that uses 10MB with voice over can be created with Demo Builder into about 0.5MB and using text boxes instead of voice over. And Demo Builder videos can be edited by removing and adding screen shots and mouse movement if things change at a later date. It’s pretty cool, but might take a little longer to do than Camtasia – I should time it shouldn’t I?

      I’ll have a serous think about that as an alternative.

      http://www.demo-builder.com/

      -Frank

  13. Frank,
    Just got the latest plugin, and it was ACTUALLY ON THE DOWNLOAD PAGE!! ;)

    Just kidding…I know you work hard to get things out on schedule and sometimes get delayed. Still, it was great to actually get the product in hand on launch day.

    Cheers,

    Jonathan

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Tacoma Mobile Marketing:

      Ha-haaaa. ;-) :roll:

      Pre-order sales are a good thing to do I’ve found as it keeps thing interesting.

      From my perspective, the only downside to them is that I sometimes keep adding in features and so it extends things out a little longer than I wanted to.

      But I guess that means we release a bigger better product when we finally do. ;-)

      -Frank

  14. Frank says:

    Can I see a demo of this slider somewhere?

  15. Hi, Frank

    Just Excellent again, a lovely piece of kit.

    Something you have done with this one has made me so happy. There is a PDF included and that is something that i was going to ask for on several ocassions. I find it so hard to read an ordinary text file, but when it is in pdf format, i find it a dream to read. Please do this for future items and i will be a happy bunny and always in your dept. This may be cheecky of me but how about putting a pdf with the other things that you have been releasing over the past few months. He, He.

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Vince Andrews:

      Thank you, although…

      I realised I released the wrong version yesterday. :-(

      It doesn’t really matter to you that much because the only difference between the version I was supposed to release and the version I accidentally used was we’d removed the slide right and slide left as they don’t currently work.

      I’ve now updated the zip with the correct version and we’ll fix the slide left and right by the time we release the drag and drop version.

      As for PDFs, I only tend to use them when there are screen shots involved, and my intention is to put all the documentation including videos online.

      I’ll have a think. ;-)

      -Frank

  16. Having videos online would certainly be a good idea Frank, as i think they give a really good idea of the products workings.

    Thanks for all you do to help us.

  17. Henry says:

    Hi Frank!

    Here’s an idea you might consider:

    When you edit the download pages for the various plugins perhaps it would be a
    good idea to add a sentence saying something like:

    Page updated (date)
    You are downloading version x.x.

    Regards,

    Henry

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