jQuery is a powerful weapon in a front end developer’s arsenal, but sifting through the epic quantity of plugins is a frustrating process. When you visit the official jQuery plugin directory, you might find yourself instantly overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of options. Even worse is that there is little indication as to which ones are actually easy to use, or that have beautiful defaults. For example, many jQuery plugins function well, but the default styles they use are painful. And in contrast, some plugins are beautiful-looking but a nightmare to get working. What we want is the best of both. Fortunately, there are a few such resources out there.
jquer.in – A jQuery plugin a day
Although this site has an unusual name, and an equally strange logo, it is a fantastic resource. Each day, it features a new jQuery plugin. The site uses a clear tagging system that makes it super easy to locate plugins on the topic you’re interested in, and they all show the results so you get a sense of the style used in the actual plugin. Some are prettier than others, but overall the quality of the plugins here is very high. Visit jquer.in.
CodeVisually.com – Web Developer Tools & Resources
Code Visually is one of my favorite go-to resources. Over the years the site has grown to include tools and resources from numerous categories that I frequently reference. But more specific to the topic here they do indeed have a large and useful directory of select jQuery plugins. Again, these are handpicked and always show a preview of what you will get. When on the hunt for a plugin, this is usually my first stop.
jque.re – The Handpicked jQuery Plugins Repository
Perhaps the most amazing resource I can direct you to in order to find awesome jQuery plugins is jque.re. The huge upside here is that they not only handpick the plugins, but they provide a live demo of each and every one of them. This radically reduces the time needed to sift through and find just the right plugin. I can’t possibly encourage you enough to check out this resource.
In Patrick McNeil’s online course, Designer Friendly jQuery Plugins, students will implement a wide range of plugins that are are “designer friendly” because they have been carefully selected to ensure you don’t need to be a genius jQuery programmer to implement them. The selected list of plugins has been fine tuned to ensure your success and over the four weeks you’ll go step-by-step through each of them.
If you find yourself needing to implement plugins in your work and you wish there were better instructions, this course is for you. With such a large quantity and huge range of plugins you will discover how to implement plugins on your own. In this online course, you’ll walk away with a huge toolset and you will know how to expand on it. No two plugins are the same, and learning how to figure out a plugin is a real challenge. This very designer friendly course gets you there! Learn more and register.