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Designing a Bootstrap Carousel with Animate.css | Paperplane Blog

A carousel, as the name suggests, is a component added on a web page, which helps cycle through a collection of elements (for instance, images, text testimonials, videos, etc.) similar to a slideshow. The Bootstrap Carousel is available under the Bootstrap framework. Some of its features, which support its usage and popularity, can be enumerated as:

  1. Speed of Development – Since the Bootstrap framework provides the essential elements to role out your web application quickly; this component comes in handy with fully integrated features (and code) to add a slider of contents to your website.
  2. Responsiveness – Given the popularity of responsive web design, the bootstrap carousel needs no extra effort to achieve responsiveness as it is built on the Bootstrap framework.
  3. Varied content support – You can add all HTML elements into the slider component ranging from (but not limited to) images to textual content, videos using Iframes, buttons and links.
  4. Consistency – As they are browser independent, they render the same on Firefox and Chrome, for instance.

In line with the design norms encircling carousels, the content often requires novel animation effects to add value to the web page. Carousels, especially those integrated into e-commerce website, are core to the product and applying animation effects to them calls for brainstorming and complex CSS code thereafter. To alleviate the coder’s distress of having to write additional lines of CSS styling, I have found an interesting library called Animate.css, which automates the process of adding cool CSS3 animation effects whilst doing away with the “writing code” part. You can now focus your energies on choosing the best carousel plug-ins to enhance your web page rather than stressing over how to beautify the content within the carousel (pertaining to animation effects). Read on to know more about the bootstrap carousel, Animate.css and of course, we will wrap up the post with a video tutorial illustrating how to design a bootstrap carousel with effects chosen from the Animate.css library. Please don’t forget to leave your reviews in the comments section later!

Why Bootstrap carousel?

  1. Browser support – With the amount of carousel and slider options floating around online, web browsers, that support Bootstrap, have endorsed their integration with relative ease. The bootstrap carousel is supported in the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer 10 and 11.
  2. Orientations – Design them horizontally or vertically, as long as they serve the purpose.


  3. Customisation – You can customise the carousel-control and carousel-indicator icons as per the design requirements and website context.
    carousel examplecarousel exampleDifferent types of slider controls – Mobirise (L) & Park Hurst Design (R)


Animate.css is a free library, available on GitHub, with an array of CSS3 animation effects (such as slide entrances and exits, zoom entries and exits, etc.). It works seamlessly across all browsers, which extend support to CSS3. There are over 50 effects packed into the library for you to use on textual and pictorial content, forms, links and other elements.

When used with the bootstrap carousel, Animate.css helps ease the process of integrating trendy animations into your website by eliminating the need to write lengthy CSS code for them. This can be done in 3 quick steps enumerated in the following sections.

Basic Usage

  • Step 1: Download/Upload the library from the website or GitHub
  • You can download the library either from the website or GitHub. For the former, navigate to the homepage and click on the “Download Animate.css” link to download the .css file directly. For the latter, click on the “View on GitHub” link from the homepage to view the source code and subsequently download the .zip file. You can also download the minified version alone from GitHub.
  • Step 2: Add the stylesheet to your web page’s section:
  • Once you have downloaded the library, reference the stylesheet in your web page’s source file using the tag just as you would reference an external stylesheet.

       <link rel="stylesheet" href="animate.min.css"> 

  • You can now add the effects provided by the library to your carousel.
  • Step 3: Animating a carousel element:
  • Don’t get bogged down looking at the code within the Animate.css file. You don’t need to understand all of it, as you needn’t use it for animating an element. The only pointer that you need to remember is to add the class animated followed by any of the animation effects. For example, in order to animate an image in your carousel, you need to define its HTML first:

    <img src = ”images/swiss-alps.png” />

    Then, add the animation within the class attribute for the element:

    <img src = ”images/swiss-alps.pngclass = ”animated bounceInLeft” />

  • You have now pointed the element to use the bounceInLeft effect from the referenced library. On page load, the image will load in the carousel bouncing in from the left.
  • Tip: If the animation doesn’t load for the specified element, then you debug it creating a blank web page devoid all elements other than the carousel and the image that you’re working with and add the effect in the manner demonstrated above. If the problem still persists then you may need to verify the site path, etc.
  • I leave you with a short video tutorial on how to create a simple bootstrap carousel with animation effects added using Animate.css. Please leave your thoughts on the plug-in & recommendations in the comments section below.

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