The 50 Most Useful jQuery Plugins from 2011

What an exciting web development year we have had (OK, its not quite finished, but almost). HTML5 and CSS3 have forced there way into the mainstream, responsive layouts techniques are rapidly moving towards being the standard, sites like Dribble, Forrst and GitHub have offered a fantastic platform to both inspire and share new ideas and solutions, and of course, as it always reliably does year after year, the jQuery plugin community has released a colossal amount of really, really useful plugins.

With this post we have highlighted the 50 plugins that, we feel, are not only the most useful and popular from the this year, but also the most ground-breaking. To help you find a specific solution, we have split all of the plugins into the following categories: Form & Validation Plugins, Plugins for Responsive Layouts, Sliders, Galleries & Carousels, Modal Window Plugins, Mobile Specific Plugins, Web Typography Plugins, Animation Plugins and finally everything in-between.

You might also like to view the 50 most useful plugins from 2014, 2013, or 2012.

If you feel we have missed any plugins, please do share them in the comments below.

Form & Validation Plugins

Recurly.js

Recurly.js lets you create secure, PCI compliant transaction forms with fully customizable CSS.
Recurly.jsDemo →

Ideal Forms

Ideal Forms is a small framework to build powerful and beautiful online forms.
Ideal FormsDemo →

In-Field Labels

In-Field Labels is a simple plugin that turns properly formatted HTML forms into forms with in-field label support.
In-Field LabelsDemo →

Sisyphus

Sisyphus lets you create Gmail-like client-side drafts, so when a visitor filling out your form closes the tab/browser and reopens, all the changes are saved and restored.
SisyphusDemo →

jQuery Credit Card Format Validation

Smart Validate is a jQuery credit card validation plugin, that makes credit card format validation a simple task. It ensures that user has entered valid credit card number before making actual transaction. Supports all major credit cards (American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, Diners Club).

jQuery Credit Card Format ValidationDemo →

MotionCAPTCHA

MotionCAPTCHA is a jQuery CAPTCHA plugin that requires users to sketch the shape they see in the canvas in order to submit a form.
MotionCAPTCHADemo →

Power PWChecker

Power PWChecker is a free jQuery plugin to ensure secure passwords for users. This simple jQuery plugin can be integrated seamlessly with any online form to check password strength and give users clues for creating strong and secure passwords.
Power PWCheckerDemo →

DropKick

DropKick lets you painlessly create custom dropdowns. It also degrades gracefully for visitors on older browsers.
DropKickDemo →

TagBox Plugin

TagBox is a jQuery plugin to help add tags like input in your forms.
TagBox PluginDemo →

Plugins for Responsive Layouts

Response Javascript

Response Javascript is a lightweight jQuery plugin that gives web designers tools for building performance-optimized, mobile-first responsive websites. It provides semantic ways to dynamically swap code blocks based on breakpoints and serve media progressively via HTML5 data attributes. Its object methods give developers hooks for triggering responsive actions and booleans for testing responsive properties.
Response JavascriptDemo →

Responsly.js

Responsly.js is a set of simple responsive widgets, written using CSS3 transformations and available as a jQuery plugin.
Responsly.jsDemo →

FitVids.js

FitVds.js is a lightweight, easy-to-use jQuery plugin for fluid width video embeds.
FitVids.jsDemo →

Dynamic Carousel

Dynamic Carousel is a responsive carousel plugin that works with a responsive/flexible layout, as opposed to many other carousels that are use pixel values instead of percentages and thus have fixed sizes.
Dynamic CarouselDemo →

Isotope

Isotope is a jQuery plugin for intelligent, dynamic layouts.
IsotopeDemo →

Elastislide

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.
ElastislideDemo →

FlexSlider

FlexSlider is a fully responsive jQuery slider plugin.
FlexSliderDemo →

Blueberry

Blueberry is a jQuery image slider written specifically to work with fluid/responsive web layouts.
BlueberryDemo →

Sliders, Galleries & Carousels

TN3 Gallery

jquery image slider

TN3 Gallery is a fully responsive image gallery which also comes available as a WordPress plugin. There’s a lite version available for free.

TN3 GalleryDemosDocs

Slidorion

Slidorion is a combination of an image slider and an accordion. It displays beautiful images along with a variable length description. With images linked to each tab, and accompanied by a large array of effects, the Slidorion is a great alternative to the traditional jQuery slider.
SlidorionDemo →

bxSlider

bxSlider is a jQuery HTML content slider and image slideshow.
bxSliderDemo →

Diapo

Diapo is a free jQuery slideshow plugin. It is an open source project.
DiapoDemo →

Craftyslide

Craftyslide is a tiny (just 2kb) slideshow built on jQuery. Craftyslide aims to be different, by providing a simple, no-frills method of displaying images; packaged into a small, clean and efficient plugin.
CraftyslideDemo →

Minimit

Minimit Gallery is a highly customizable Jquery plugin that does galleries, slideshows, carousels, slides – practically everything that has multiple states.
MinimitDemo →

Galleria

Galleria is a JavaScript image gallery framework built on top of the jQuery library. The aim is to simplify the process of creating professional image galleries for the web and mobile devices.
GalleriaDemo →

jQuery Image Gallery

Like the name says, this is a simple jQuery image gallery plugin.
jQuery Image GalleryDemo →

rlightbox

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. Like other jQuery UI widgets, it is ThemeRoller ready.
rlightboxDemo →

Circular Content Carousel

This plugin is a circular content carousel. You’ll have some content boxes that can slide infinitely (circular). When clicking on the “more” link, the respective item moves to the left and a content area will slide out. Now you can navigate through the carousel where each step will reveal the next or previous content box with its expanded content. Clicking on the closing cross will slide the expanded content area back in and animate the item to its original position.
Circular Content CarouselDemo →

HTML5 Music Player

A simple and clean HTML5 music player that’s supported on all major browsers (even IE7 and IE8).
HTML5 Music PlayerDemo →

Modal Window Plugins

Reveal

Reveal is a jQuery modal plugin. You can set up modals in just three easy steps. Attach the needed files, drop in your modal markup then add an attribute to your button.
RevealDemo →

leanModal

leanModal is a simple jQuery modal plugin that works with your CSS. You can use it to create sign up forms, basic content modals, and more.
leanModalDemo →

Mobile Specific Plugins

Overscroll

Overscroll is a jQuery plugin that mimics the iPhone/iPad scrolling experience in a browser. The plugin adds a draggable drift to overflowed DOM elements as well as a set of fading ‘thumbs’. Runs on most modern browsers.
OverscrollDemo →

jQuery Mobile

jQuery Mobile is a touch-optimized web framework for smartphones and tablets. It has a unified, HTML5-based user interface system for all popular mobile device platforms. IT’s built on the rock-solid jQuery and jQuery UI foundation. It’s lightweight code is built with progressive enhancement, and it has a flexible, easily theme-able design.
jQuery MobileDemo →

PhotoSwipe

PhotoSwipe is a free HTML/CSS/JavaScript based image gallery specifically targeting mobile devices.
PhotoSwipeDemo →

jQuery.fracs

jQuery.fracs determines the fraction of an HTML element that is currently in the viewport, as well as the fraction it takes of the complete viewport and the fraction of the area that might possibly be visible. It also provides the coordinates of the visible rectangle in document, element and viewport space.
jQuery.fracsDemo →

Web Typography

Lettering.js

Lettering.js is a jQuery plugin for radical web typography. It gives you complete down-to-the-letter control of your web type.
Lettering.jsDemo →

FitText

FitText is a jQuery plugin for inflating web type. FitText makes font-sizes flexible. Use this plugin on your fluid or responsive layout to achieve scalable headlines that fill the width of a parent element.
FitTextDemo →

Shuffle Letters Effect

A short tutorial for making a jQuery plugin that will shuffle the text content of any DOM element – an interesting effect that can be used in headings, logos and slideshows.
Shuffle Letters EffectDemo →

jFontSize

The jFontSize plugin was developed to facilitate the process of creating the famous buttons A+ and A-, which alter the font size on sites with very large texts, such as blogs, journals, tutorials, etc. This tool is also used to increase the accessibility of sites, helping people who have visual problems to see better content.
jFontSizeDemo →

Animation Plugins

jQuery Transit

jQuery Transit creates super-smooth CSS3 transformations and transitions for jQuery.
jQuery TransitDemo →

jRumble

jRumble is a jQuery plugin that rumbles, vibrates, shakes, and rotates any element you choose. It’s great to use as a hover effect or a way to direct attention to an element.
jRumbleDemo →

And… all the rest

jQuery Lifestream

jQuery Lifestream is a plugin that lets you easily create a stream of your online activity.
jQuery LifestreamDemo →

jQuery ComboGrid Plugin

ComboGrid, like autocomplete, when added to an input field, enables users to quickly find and select from a pre-populated list of values as they type, but in a tabular and paginated manner. ComboGrid provides keyboard navigation support for selecting an item.
jQuery ComboGrid PluginDemo →

grumble.js

grumble.js provides special tooltips without the usual limitations of north/east/south/west positioning. A grumble can be rotated around a given element at any angle, all 360 degrees. Any distance can be specified. Any CSS style can be applied. There’s auto-magic size adjustment for use with localized text. FX queues for animating multiple grumbles. And it works in IE6+, and modern browsers.
grumble.jsDemo →

jQuery Timelinr

jQuery Timelinr is a simple plugin helps you to give more life to the boring timelines. It supports horizontal and vertical layouts, and you can specify parameters for most attributes: speed, transparency, etc.
jQuery TimelinrDemo →

deck.js

deck.js is a tool for making modern HTML presentations. Slides are basic HTML. The deck.core module keeps track of slide states and deck states, leaving CSS to define what each state looks like and how to transition between them. Extensions use core events and methods to add goodies, giving presenters the freedom to add what they want and leave out what they don’t.
deck.jsDemo →

spin.js

spin.js is an animated CSS3 loading spinner. You can adjust every single parameter: number of lines, length and width of lines, radius, trail, speed of spinning, and whether there’s a shadow or not.
spin.jsDemo →

Ninja UI

Ninja UI is a jQuery plugin enabling beautiful web interface objects efficiently and unobtrusively.
Ninja UIDemo →

jquip

jquip is a stripped down, faster, more modular – include only the parts you want – of jQuery. It is only 4.28KB (minified and gzipped) meaning it is only 13% of jQuerys actual size, yet has 90% of the really useful parts of jQuery (the rest can be added with plugins as needed).
You can also build customizable jquip packages with the new jQuip Library Builder service.
jquipDemo →

CodeExplorer

CodeExplorer is an online code explorer that displays code as an entire folder structure. This plugin allows for different themes, multiple instances, fullscreen mode, github connections, and much more.
CodeExplorerDemo →

arbor.js

arbor.js is a graph visualization library using web workers and jQuery.
arbor.jsDemo →

jQuery Boilerplates

jQuery Boilerplate

As the name says, jQuery Boilerplate is a boilerplate for jump-starting jQuery plugins development. This project won’t seek to provide a perfect solution to every possible pattern, but will attempt to cover a simple template for beginners and above.
jQuery BoilerplateDemo →

jQuery Plugin Boilerplate

jQuery Plugin Boilerplate is another boilerplate for jump-starting jQuery plugins development. It contains lots of comments to help you get going easily. It is truly object-oriented, and it implements public and private methods as well as public and private properties, making it the ideal candidate for when building both simple and complex jQuery plugins.
jQuery Plugin BoilerplateDemo →

Author: (586 Posts)

Paul Andrew is the editor and founder of Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Comments