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Sliding Pictures in Web Banners: Best Practice or Fading Fad?

Man workingSliding pictures in website banners are very popular today. For a long time, I tried to like them. But I gave up because they drive me crazy.

That’s because I get interested in the initial picture shown and then it changes. Hey, where’d my picture go?

Or, after looking at the picture, I start to scan the rest of the page to see if this website can help me. Suddenly the picture changes and distracts me from what I was looking for and I have to start all over.

When your prospect arrives on your website, he or she is actively engaged in looking for something. She is not looking for a moving target.

There’s another important reason why sliding pictures are probably not the best choice for your home page: Your unique selling proposition is lost. Your web copywriter should have been helping you develop your unique selling proposition. Are you the largest seller of tile within 50 miles? Do you sell mattresses for the lowest price in your area? Are you the exclusive reseller of a certain brand? If so, then you need that headline with an image that supports that.

Sometimes I see sliding pictures with different headlines in each slide! What a headache. It’s just too much to process for our slow, overworked brains.

But, you might say, we must show different products and other selling points on our home page. Of course, you must. But a good graphic designer can do that the old fashioned way—using still pictures. Apple does that.

The only reason I can think of to use sliding pictures for most websites is simply to look “with it.” If that’s your reason, then please have them move nice and slow. Better yet, turn them off.

Sliding pictures in banners are very popular right now. Just my opinion, but I think they’ll be an example of what not to do in a few years.

By the way, sliders do make sense for a news website like Catholic Lane. But notice, that Catholic Lane’s sliders require you to click to make the pictures slide. They don’t automatically change on you. This is just fine.


Katherine Andes, our SEO consultant, is a web specialist who focuses on copywriting for SEO (search engine optimization) for websites. She is the co-author with Matt Pinto of the best selling Catholic apologetic flash cards, Friendly Defenders. Ramp up your company's online impact with her weekly Easy Web Tips.


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  • CDville

    Catholic Lane’s pictures do change automatically, and very quickly! I much prefer the mobile view (no pictures) on my Nook Color over the view with the hyperactive pictures I see on an iPad.