The Homepage slider is one of the most loved and hated design elements in web design history. Clients and designers worship them, while marketing gurus beg for their fast demise. So what’s the verdict? Are banner sliders conversion killers, or is there still good reason for using them?

Recently, marketing experts like Joost de Valk, creator of the famous WordPress Yoast SEO plugin, have loudly proclaimed that sliders suck. While Joost and other anti-banner activists make some convincing arguments, we at Fuze see some major holes in their theories.

Joost argues “Science” has proven that banners are of no value and will hurt your SEO rankings and conversions. Below are some of his anti-banner arguments from his “sliders suck” article, along with our responses.

Joost: Only 1% of the people actually click on a slide, which almost always was the first slide
Fuze: We view banners as “window displays” that provide visual interest to otherwise boring and static content-driven websites. People like looking at pretty pictures. It makes them feel warm and fuzzy. A Homepage is the front door to any website, and sometimes banners make a nice welcome.

Joost: People simply ignore your slider, because it triggers banner blindness
While we agree that clickthrough rates are low on sliders, that doesn’t mean people flat out ignore them. With the right treatment, the Homepage banner area can strengthen branding by reinforcing a visual and mental connection to it. Banners are also a great way to promote things like specials and discounts that do not have dedicated landing pages or homes elsewhere on the site.

Joost: They slow down your site, negatively impacting your SEO and conversion rate
Fuze: This statement assumes all banners use large images and/or so many slides that they create burdens on page speed. We always encourage a maximum of three slides that use images highly optimized for web. This ensures fast load times that preserve SEO value.

Joost: They don’t always work well on mobile devices
Fuze: Exactly, which is why we practice Responsive Website Design and always hide banners on mobile devices.

Joost: They push your content down, which Google recently mentioned yet again is not smart
Fuze: Five years ago this was a major issue, but in today’s world of long scroll landing pages and scroll-happy mobile users, it’s not absolutely mandatory to squeeze everything above the fold. If sliders are tied into the overall content strategy, they will add to the overarching narrative and present meaningful and useful content that complements user experience.

Joost: It dilutes your message, because suddenly there are multiple messages on your homepage.
Fuze: This is not always true, as there are clever ways to segment an overall message into two or three mini-messages that all work together. We often see clients trying to cram their entire company story onto one slide, when it could be more effectively divided into separate concise statements, each with supporting calls to action.


We are in complete agreement that sliders have become overused, cliche and often lack substance. However, that doesn’t mean there is no further use for them. Like most web design trends, industry professionals must be careful to not let form override function.

A well designed banner can still:

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  • Make a powerful visual impression and serve as an important design element.
  • Deliver your company’s message in a bold and engaging way.
  • Deliver announcements on specials, discounts, promotions, etc.
  • Serve as a “window display” or preview of what lies beyond the Homepage.


Design tips for best practices:

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  • Keep images as lightweight as possible and always optimize for web.
  • In general, stay away from the fancy banner plugins offered by the likes of WordPress (e.g. Revolution Slider), as they tend to overcomplicate and beg for overuse of transition and text effects.
  • Be cautious of the ever popular full-width banner, and be mindful of the pixel height. It is possible to create a banner so large that it completely dominates your Homepage and makes it difficult for users to find your supporting content.
  • Consider designing a banner that takes up one-half or two-thirds of the page width. This allows you to place smaller images/graphics to the right of it, which pulls valuable content above the fold.
  • Allow users to control the slider and disable auto-rotate.


by Fuze March 23, 2014