Smooth Slideshow 2.1 – A Free Javascript Slide Show

October 14th, 2007

Marc Lacoste brought up a excellent point in the comment discussion on the house boat slide show that I commented on last Friday. I was ranting about why it’s important not to use Java as a display technology for slide shows and Marc accurately pointed out that the slide show of Aaron’s house boat photos isn’t Java… it’s javascript. The way you tell is you Page source” while your browser is displaying the the slide show.

Since the whole point of which display technology to use is that you want to maximize the number of people that can see your slide show (or your client’s slide show). I’ve been promoting using Flash because Flash has 99% penetration. That is, 99% or more of the people looking at your slide show will have Flash installed on their machine. This little discussion about the house boat photos made me realize that javascript slide shows are at least as good, maybe better, than Flash because virtually all browsers support javascript and only a VERY few tech savy users will have javascript disabled in their browsers and they will know enough to turn on javascript if they want to see your slide show.

I did some research on the net and found a free little javascript slide show you can download for free if you are willing to do a little HTML/javascript editing and you have web space to host the slide show. Here is my example. For this example I’ve downloaded the free code available at and implemented it on a simple page. I kept it as simple as possible. I just followed the instructions that Jon has on the download page. Feel free to use my example as a starting point for a slide show of your own.

Bottom line is that either Flash or javascript is the preferred display technology to use if you want EVERYONE to see your slide shows.

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4 Responses to “Smooth Slideshow 2.1 – A Free Javascript Slide Show”

  • Help me understand why you would go to the trouble of building a simple slide show like this (i.e., needing to download some program, write html, etc). What advantages does it have above using a service like Flickr’s abilbiy to show a set of photos also in a simple slide show. See an example at this link:
    Does Flickr’s slideshow require Java? I don’t think so.

  • Michael,
    Good question!

    The reason I’m giving all these slide show creating alternatives is as a RE photographer you want to be able to create branded (that is, with your Realtor clients’ information) slide shows and property sites to sell as a product to your RE photography clients or to use as a Realtor. Just like the house boat property site (Rick Miner’s) that I featured a few days ago. That javascript slide show was done by Rick’s assistant and it has it’s own unique URL (… it’s a property site.

    Flickr looks like flickr.. it has Flickr branding. Realtors want their name, phone numbers, photos, property address, price, rubber duckie logos, etc. They want something distinctive and unique… just like Rick Miner’s house boat property site.

    Or all these slide show alternatives I’ve been taking about can be used as components on your site as a gallery of your work. For example, Aaron uses Simpleviewer to run the image galleries on his site (see: ).

    The flickr slide show you refer to is Flash based.

  • I really want to use this slideshow. Everything I’ve done is through Front Page. I’m somewhat familiar with html, but not nearly enough. What’s the best way to learn how to incorporate this slide show into my website?


  • Dan,
    For me, the fastest way to learn how to use a new piece of HTML is to take a page someone else has done and modify it for my purposes. For example, you can “save page” in your browser to get a copy of the page I did. You’ll also need to download the support files from the site I got the example at and have the files in the same directory on you web server. Then try adding the stuff you want and changing it. The site I where I got this has some installation directions under “how to use it”. If you know a little basic HTML you can probably figure it out… you don’t really need to know any javascript… just copy the way it’s used in the example.

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