The most popular topic of discussion at the moment is undoubtedly responsive layouts in web design. Without going into it too much, a responsive layout allows you to offer a specific and optimised screen size based on whatever device (mobile, tablet…) the visitor uses.
You would typically use Media Queries to resize the overall layout, but what about all of those individual elements and features that make your page unique? Navigation, forms, images, sliders, carousels… they all need to be optimised as well.
That is were this post comes in, by highlighting 25 jQuery plugins that will help you optimise and resize those trickier web elements.
Response JS is a lightweight plugin that gives you the tools for producing performance-optimized, mobile-first responsive websites. It provides easy-to-use action hooks for dynamically swapping code blocks based on screen sizes and semantic methods for progressively serving media via HTML5 data attributes.
The Responsly plugin is a set of simple responsive widgets written using CSS3 transformations. It is best used with a responsive CSS framework like 1140px or 320plus and currently there are only a slideshow and accordion widget available, but with much more to come soon.
The Five Simple Steps website has a responsive design with a neat feature. When the browser window is narrow, the menu in the upper right converts from typical menu links into a dropdown menu. Using jQuery, this tutorial will show you how to recreate it.
Not unlike the technique used above, this simple plugin converts menus into a select element for mobile devices and low browser widths.
Intended to be a proof of concept, Doubletake is a plugin that dynamically updates the src of your images based on the browser width. You start with a small, mobile-friendly image in your HTML. Doubletake will then use a defined set of breakpoints to update image SRCs when necessary.
FitText is a plugin for inflating web type. It makes font-sizes flexible. Use FitText on your fluid or responsive layout to achieve scalable headlines that fill the width of a parent element.
Elastislide is a responsive jQuery carousel that will adapt its size and its behavior in order to work on any screen size. Inserting the carousel’s structure into a container with a fluid width will also make the carousel fluid.
Blueberry is an experimental open-source jQuery image slider plugin which has been written specifically to work with fluid/responsive web layouts.
Flexslider is a lightweight, fully responsive jQuery slider plugin. It has simple, semantic markup, slide and fade animations, and is supported by all major browsers so you won’t have any compatibility issues. Flexslider is built for beginners and pros alike.
Using the Elastislide plugin (above), this tecnique will show you how to implement a responsive gallery that adapts to the view-port width. The gallery will has a view switch that allows you to view it with the thumbnail carousel or without. It also supports keyboard navigation.
rlightbox is a jQuery UI mediabox that can display many types of content such as images, YouTube and Vimeo videos. It has many unique features like Panorama and Live Re-size and like other jQuery UI widgets, it is ThemeRoller ready.
Dynamic Carousel is a carousel plugin built for responsive layouts.
FitVids.JS is a lightweight, easy-to-use jQuery plugin for responsive width video embeds. It automates the Intrinsic Ratio Method by Thierry Koblentz to achieve fluid width videos in your responsive web design.
Masonry is a dynamic grid layout plugin for jQuery. Whereas floating arranges elements horizontally then vertically, Masonry arranges elements vertically, positioning each element in the next open spot in the grid. The result minimizes vertical gaps between elements of varying height, just like a mason fitting stones in a wall.
Isotope is a jQuery plugin for intelligent, dynamic layouts that can’t be achieved with CSS alone. You can hide and reveal item elements easily with jQuery selectors and re-order item elements with sorting.
OK, this is not a jQuery plugin, but still its worthy of a mention. Adaptive Images, intended to be used with responsive and fluid layout techniques, is a solution that will automatically create, cache, and deliver device-appropriate (it detects the resolution of the visitors screen) of your website’s content images. No need to change your mark-up, it manages its own image re-sizing, and will work on any CMS or even on flat HTML pages.