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How to Create a Text and Image Carousel in WordPress

A MetaSlider user approached us this week and asked if it was possible to show a rotating series of images in a carousel. They wanted several images to be visible at the same time, with a caption over each image. Ideally, the images will automatically refresh every few seconds and there will be arrows if the user wants to move more quickly.

All of this certainly is possible with MetaSlider, and in this guide we’ll show you how it’s done. This image below gives you an idea of the end result.

WordPress image carousel sample

If want a video guide, here’s a YouTube tutorial to get you started. If you want the text and image version, keep reading further down the page:

To get started with this tutorial, make sure you have the MetaSlider plugin installed.

  • Install the MetaSlider plugin.
  • Go to “MetaSlider”, then “Quick Start” in your WordPress admin menu.
  • Choose “Carousel Slideshow” from the dropdown menu.
  • Click “Create a Slideshow”.
Create a WordPress carousel with MetaSlider
  • Remove the default images from the slideshow.
  • Click the “Add Slide” button and add your own images to the slideshow.
Carousel slide example

Look in the right sidebar and choose the width of your slideshow. In this example, I’ve set both the width and the height to be 400px so my image displays will be square. If you do want multiple images to show at the same time, make sure the “Width” is narrower than your container – the space on the website where you want to place this carousel.

Carousel width and height
  • In the options areas, check the boxes for “100% width” and also “Carousel mode”.
  • Click “Save”.
Advanced Carousel settings
  • Click the “Preview” button in the toolbar at the top of the screen.
  • You will now see your carousel in action. This is the first draft of your carousel and gives you an idea of what it will look like. When you’re ready, you can click the X in the top-right corner and make some changes.
A preview of a carousel in MetaSlider

Making adjustments to the slideshow carousel

Now that the basic features of the carousel are in place, you can make adjustments to match the original design.

One thing you can do is click “Enter manually” and enter a caption for your images.

Image carousel with caption

Simply adding captions is enough to get them added to your carousel. Click “Preview” and this image shows what you will see.

Text and image carousel in WordPress

Next, you may want to experiment with different themes.

  • In the right sidebar, look for the “Slideshow Theme” box and click “Select a custom theme”.
  • You can browse the various themes and find the best fit for your site. One suggestion that may be close to our initial design is the “Outline” theme. Here’s a list of all the available themes.
Choosing a MetaSlider slideshow theme
  • Choose a new theme and then click the “Preview” button.
  • This image below shows the “Outline” theme on our carousel.
The Outline slideshow theme in MetSlider

This design is now close to our initial goal. We may need to add a little CSS to make the font larger, or modify the color of the Previous / Next arrows. You can add that CSS via your theme, or you can do that using the Theme Editor in MetaSlider Pro.

Making the Carousel Live on Your Site

When you’re ready, you can add MetaSlider to a post, page, or your site layout. MetaSlider works great with the Gutenberg editor and all leading page builders. Click here for ways to add MetaSlider to your site. In this next image, I’m adding MetaSlider to the new Full-Site Editing system in the WordPress core.

Adding a slideshow to WordPress Gutenberg

When I save the new MetaSlider block and the WordPress design, I can visit the front of the site and see the carousel in action.

A completed WordPress carousel

WordPress Carousel Summary

A carousel is a stylish way to showcase images on your site. You can spice up your carousel with additional features such as using partial images on either side of the main image. You can also use YouTube videos in your carousel, or locally hosted videos.

2 Replies to “How to Create a Text and Image Carousel in WordPress”

  1. July 5, 2022

    How do I add a link to the background image??

    1. Steve Burge
      July 5, 2022

      Hi Andy. Thanks for using MetaSlider. That’s possible in MetaSlider Pro with the “Layer Slide” feature: https://www.metaslider.com/layer-slides-metaslider/

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