Posted on 12/12/2017 in Web Development

By Matt Kayan


If you need to select, manipulate, or animate something on a web page, odds are that jQuery can help. But aside from its base API, jQuery provides a foundation for seemingly endless plugins which cover common functionality and can save you hours of custom development. Here are some of my favorites:

Slick is a flexible and easy to use carousel plugin. It is fully responsive, and supports swiping on touch-enabled devices. You can use slides of variable widths and heights, and display multiple slides at a time. You get breakpoint-specific settings (like if you wanted to show one slide at a time on mobile, but three at a time on desktop) and allows synchronization between separate carousels.

Fancybox is a lightbox plugin that displays content in an overlay on the page. This content can be text or images from the page, or content retrieved from external links. Groups of images can be combined into scrollable galleries, and there are many options for the lightbox and individual lightbox items.

Often used as a responsive CSS framework, Bootstrap also includes a respectable collection of plugins including modals, dropdowns and tabs. Functionality can be triggered via Javascript or, in many cases, by adding data attributes to elements. Bootstrap’s plugins are all contained in a single .js file, but can be used individually.

HTML tables are great for displaying tabular data, but sometimes it would be nice if you could manipulate that data on the fly. DataTables allows you to add features including search, pagination and multi-column sorting to your HTML tables. It also allows you to dynamically populate tables from Javascript arrays (which is more compact than sending HTML markup for each table row).

If you have a long page full of images, you might want to speed up the page load by not initially loading any images which are “below the fold”. jQuery.Lazy() allows you to hide images or show a placeholder image until the user scrolls far enough to see them - at which point the images are loaded.

There is a lot that you can do with Javascript. But with the right plugins, you may not need to reinvent the wheel.  Why not make your life simpler and save yourself some time in the process by utilizing plugins?  If you need help in deciding which plugins would work best for your site, our team of experts can help you choose!


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