Expert Review: SuperSized JQuery Plugin

The SuperSized JQuery Plugin is fantastic for creating fullscreen background slideshows of whatever images you want. It’s a rather challenging application, as it requires a rather in-depth knowledge of HTML coding. With that said, if you know how to tackle this coding beast, SuperSized proves to be a great way to display photos accompanying your article. And since you can add any photos you have access to online, it’s (relatively) easy to customize this for whatever subject your article pertains to. There are very few stories in the world of journalism that would not benefit from visual accompaniments, so download SuperSized and get coding!

Getting Started 

You can download SuperSized for free online at their website, but that’s about all the website will teach you. There isn’t a lot of explanation regarding how to use the application on the website, and there aren’t a lot of tutorials out there that aren’t weighed down by HTML coding jargon . With that said, I found this forum discussion did an adequate job of giving a cursory explanation of the coding behind SuperSized.

Once you have the application downloaded, open up the zip file and locate the demo.html file in the slideshow folder. Import this file into your text editor of choice (I used TextWrangler) and you’ll have a skeleton code to go off of while editing. (You can start from the ground up, but I don’t have the coding knowledge to do so, hence why I utilized the demo.)

If you don’t know anything about coding, then you’ll want to learn how to read HTML first. If you do, however, have a general clue as to what you’re looking at in your text editor, then it’s time to start. At line 64, you’ll have the option to add in your own images. Using a URL for your photo of choice, paste that in for the image and the thumbnail. Replace the title with whatever you wish to have your image titled as, and then add a URL link for the photo (if you want to ). Keep repeating this step (on a new line each time) for however many photos you have.

At line 97, you have the choice to edit the title of your slideshow, followed by the choice to cite photographers in line 98. Lines 36 through 62 all relate to the way the slideshow works, like how long each slide is displayed for, if image links open up in a new window or tab, whether or not the slideshow starts playing automatically, etc. These are smaller details, but they are nevertheless helpful in creating a truly unique slideshow.

Overall Impressions

I developed an intense love/hate relationship with SuperSized during my trial run with it. While it did ultimately result in an aesthetically pleasing, fullscreen slideshow of my pictures, it was by no means the easiest slideshow application I’ve used. I would recommend this for anyone with a moderate to in-depth understanding of of HTML coding. While I probably won’t use this application for my final project since I’m not dealing with a lot of photos, I can definitely see myself using this in the future for other, more photo-heavy articles.

While I can’t embed my final slideshow to WordPress due to a plugin issue, you can check out what I made here!

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