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Featured Content Gallery
Based on the SmoothGallery, Featured Content Gallery for WordPress is a fantastic carousel solution, offering highly attractive look, easy implementation and set up. This plugin creates a rotating image gallery that can be implemented anywhere on the website. It is automated (it does not require an action from the viewer), it uses an overlay text and on the top of the plugin, a thumbnail carousel with all included posts within is showed. The user can define several custom options, such as the gallery size, style, an overlay time, etc., the plugin can display complete categories, pages or posts, while it can be set to show specific posts according their ID. Finally, it is probably the most popular solution among all WordPress featured post plugins since, as of this writing, it has over 270.000 downloads.
Featured Content Gallery can be downloaded here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/featured-content-gallery/.
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WP Featured Content Slider
WP Featured Content Slider can be downloaded here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-featured-content-slider/
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S3Slider jQuery Plugin
As the name suggests, this plugin is created on a popular jQuery framework. Although an installation is a bit tricky for people not involved with web development, S3Slider jQuery turns out to be a very attractive solution. It includes an image slider which also includes a text area that shows up along with an image. This solution comes in three versions, depending on how the text layer will show up for next post. On the first version, the text layer of the first post shows up on the top (or on the bottom) first, while it shows up on the opposite side afterwards. On the second version, text layer appears on the left or on the right side first, while on the third version, text layer appears on all sides (left, right, bottom or top).
S3Slider jQuery Plugincan be downloaded here (along with instructions): http://www.serie3.info/s3slider/