WP Sliders: Nivo Slider

Image sliders are becoming de rigeur for many WordPress powered websites. And the basic jQuery-powered slider technology that has a solid reputation is the Nivo Slider  with its many features including some nifty transitions between slides. However if you search on the WordPress plugins page for Nivo Slider you will get more than 2-dozen plugins listed. Many are workable, some are complex but the best combination of capable and yet easy to use appears to be  the Nivo Slider WordPress Plugin which costs $19 for a one site license. But there a number of free plugins that use the Nivo-slider like MI-slider and are available for free. Here is an example:
[ml-slider id=4641] As you can see in the above screenshot, the Nivo slider can work with minimal controls but it also offers a list of  impressive features as well:
1 Next+Prev, and number/dot navigation;
2)Auto play mode;
3) A drop down list of many slide transition animations;
4)Automatic advancement of the slides which can be paused on mouse hover;
5)Control of the timing of the slide transition and the time of the animation as well;
6)Ability to add caption and  link addreses to each slide in a manuallly created slide deck.
7)Ability to utilize other slider technologies as well as Nivo.
This along with the very easy to administer interface is the good news.

The bad news  is twofold. First, the five Nivo supplied themes or templates are not available in the ML-Slider. Second, when thumbnails or dot/number navigation controls are used, the slider image shrinks and expands  in  rather than fitting all images to a standard size. In effect, the Nivo slider does not allow for using images of different sizes in the slide show in a graceful fashion. .

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