Free jQuery Image Galleries and Slideshow Plugins

• 8 minutes READ

jQuery slideshow and jQuery gallery has really revolutionized the way the websites look nowadays. The extremely attractive galleries and slideshows which are being developed are attracting more and more people to have the first hand experience of these stunning slideshows and the images embedded in the galleries.

Slideshows can create extremely smooth and flexible effects on the images. Thanks to the usage of various types of web templates, the effects jQuery are getting more and more popular. If you look into the various themes those are found in the websites, you will find innumerable numbers of stunning images mainly created with the help of web templates.

Let’s take a closer look at this widely-used module that is based on a powerful combination of HTML, CSS and jQuery, making it an ideal pair for your cutting-edge fast-loading website.

The focal point of every such component is its list of features that as befits comprises various customization options. And the more possibilities it offers the more attractive it seems. Usually majority of sliders meets standards of responsive behavior with extra support of swipe technique. If a plugin leverages brand-new effects such as 3D animations then as a rule it has a fallback that saves your data from crushing in old browsers. Depending on developer’s preferences, you can use keyboard, mousewheel, arrows and pagination, and array of thumbnails for navigation. However, when it comes to the appearance, unfortunately, it cannot boast of diversity; the interfaces are almost identical whether you download a free plugin or buy a paid version. The only difference can make some styles that can be applied via CSS or predefined themes that are rarity.

So in order to match your pair you need to carefully examine a list of configuration options of every such plugin and choose the most suitable one; and here we propose a collection of high-end modules that offer perfectly-looking slideshow with a bunch of options.

Image Galleries and Slideshow Plugins

Rotating Image Slider with jQuery

Free jQuery Image Gallery

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This code-light responsive rotating image slider will immediately seize users’ attention by means of its unusual asymmetrical appearance and an interesting transition effect that adds to image presentation its own zest. The component is based on two essential plugins: jquery 2D transformation and jQuery Mousewheel plugin, where the latter lets your users make use of a mousewheel for navigating through images.

As far as functionality is concerned, it is quite scanty; you are able to set several options such as autoplay and time interval. There are no lavish animations, yet the developer took care of old browsers so the module will reflect images correctly regardless of a version of web viewing program.

Parallax Slider with jQuery

This is another professional image slider from Tympanus that gets the most out of the parallax technique. It has a sleek and modern look that will blend into any design and will supply it with a sophisticated accent and a lovely perspective touch.

Being fully responsive with several options and smooth transition effects that enliven backgrounds differently, it presents several settings that help to diversify it by means of

  • turning off/on autoplay function;
  • setting the speed;
  • activating an easing effect either for a slide or for a background;
  • rotating thumbs randomly.

3D Gallery with CSS3 and jQuery

Let’s try an experiment with 3d transforms that have become available with new version of CSS. Let’s spice up our standard image slider that adorns the upper part of our website with eye-catching animations.

The Tympanus’ team has carried out one of such experiments and offers you to take part in their investigation that brought to life a subtle and topnotch 3D gallery.

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Coming with such features as:

  • realistic 3D effects;
  • captions and links;
  • auto slideshow;
  • several animations for transitions;
  • specified interval for transitions;

You will be able to personalize your slider according to your exact requirements. However, by implementing this component you should remember about browser compatibility. Unfortunately it properly works only on browsers that support CSS 3D transforms and this is really sad since the plugin doesn’t have an alternative version for outdated browsers.

Fullscreen Image 3D Effect with CSS3 and jQuery

CSS3 and jQuery is a matching and really powerful pair that has already left their imprints on various integral modules. Numerous widgets and functional blocks in modern website designs are made with a help of this duo. Much like in previous example, the team shares with its loyal online readers a fantastic fullscreen image slider based on CSS3 and jQuery that has a nice depth and an amazing 3D effect.

Sadly the plugin suffers from one yet huge disadvantage – it displays correctly only in Chrome and Safari since they are the only ones that fully support CSS 3D properties. Though, you can either leave everything as it is and utilize a pre-defined primitive fallback or modify it by yourself, having made it compliant with other browsers by creating a visually-appealing back-up variant with a touch of your personality by utilizing detailed tutorial provided by the team.

Automatic Image Montage with jQuery

Wondering how to showcase a bunch of your photos, do not miss anything and soften visual impact on online visitors, then you should consider this tiny yet highly valuable plugin that lets you effectively organize all your images as well as beautifully present it via mosaic-style layout. The team offers not only well-balanced grid-style layout filled with images, it also provides users with such features as:

  • creation of a montage for liquid or fixed sized container;
  • full screen option;
  • alternation of height value of images for each row;
  • setting space between images;
  • an extra button “load more”.

Though the list is not so long, yet that is quite enough for fulfilling your goal of creating a well-structured gallery presentation.

Image Zoom Tour with jQuery

When images are your first priority you are always hankering for various plugins designed specifically for graphics that are aimed to give it a special place in interface as well as showcase it in a visually-pleasing manner like this plugin does.

Its main purpose is to invigorate pictures with a help of a “zoom tour” that enables viewers to closely explore images by clicking on pre-defined areas. You will define tags linked to certain parts of an image that can be enlarged as well as set effects for zooming.

Portfolio Image Navigation with jQuery

With a bunch of images placed in the portfolio section, it is really easy for a simple user to get confused and to leave a website with a negative impression. In order to avoid this negative outcome you can resort to this lightweight jQuery-based plugin that skillfully solves this issue.

It has a list of configuration options for maintaining a control of:

  • grouped presentation;
  • horizontal or vertical navigation;
  • alternative navigation through images via arrows or the little boxes;
  • width, height, and the margin between images;
  • animation speed;

This component boosts the project’s aesthetics with its charming look, adding delicacy and elegance.

Content Rotator with jQuery

Follow along as Tympanus team explains the way of building a professionally looking content rotator via descriptive tutorial. Here, the multimedia content is a spotlight. The article allows you not only mastering you CSS and jQuery skills but also includes a simple ready-to-use component with several fundamental options for creating stunning presentations.

With this plugin you will be able to:

  • beautifully rotate your content;
  • populate each slide with an image, headline, subheadline and of course some links;
  • navigate through the slides via thumbnails with headlines or leverage an optional navigation by means of regular arrows and scrollable text container.

Awkward Showcase – A jQuery Plugin

Do you want to get more than just a simple image slider that displays your multimedia? Then you should give a chance to this powerful jquery plugin that allows you to:

  • add tooltips;
  • enable thumbnails;
  • activate dynamic height;
  • add tags;
  • set direction for sliding thumbnails;
  • set speed and delay for transitions;
  • add captions, links and content.

It is a really great option for those who seek a module with a refined appearance combined with a strong functionality.

Slides, A Slideshow Plugin for jQuery

A great way to direct users’ attention to your artworks is to demonstrate it in the most viewed place, aka the header area of your landing page, and of course with a help of a special component that will treat your images properly.

So, let’s turn to aid of this slideshow, the more so this is a commonly-used plugin among web developers that ships with such integral features as:

  • css3 transitions;
  • swipe support;
  • responsive behavior;
  • 2 options for navigation;
  • autoplay option;
  • easy setup;
  • classic appearance.

Nivo Slider

For every owner of online portfolio or online gallery the ultimate aim is to vividly showcase its works as well as highlight the most important ones. Nivo Slider offers an excellent way for sorting out this task by providing users with a high-end nice-looking feature-rich slider.

The list of options is simply striking:

  • a wide range of transition effects (slicing, sliding, fading, folding etc.);
  • setup takes up only several minutes;
  • mobile and tablet friendliness;
  • the packed version weighs only 15 kb;
  • styling using CSS;
  • automatic image cropping;

Add to this an ability to add multiple sliders, slider themes and other versatile features that are available in WordPress version and you will get a really sweet deal.

Orbit: A Slick jQuery Image Slider Plugin

The developers’ team promises to knock your socks off with its splendid image slider. So let’s find out what so special about it.

Being created by real experts of Zurb, it proposes more than just a simple tool for image presentation. It has been included in the responsive high-end front-end framework “Foundation”, so those who are engaged in websites’ prototyping will fully appreciate its possibilities that by the way consists in:

  • perfect cooperation with Chrome, Firefox and Safari;
  • image thumbnails for navigation;
  • HTML captions;
  • clean semantic code;
  • base styles;
  • quick setup.


Every slider operates on the same principle that involves displaying images one by one and using sliding effect for replacing one image with another. The only thing that distinguishes module from others is list of features, in which the vital role are played by transition effects (3D animations, fading, blur) and some extra options (video support, swipe support etc.). So before you choose one to install in your website get acquainted with its capabilities, maybe you can find the better solution.

Andrian Valeanu

Designmodo Founder.

Posts by Andrian Valeanu
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