The hot topic in web design nowadays is undoubtedly responsive layouts. Responsive design lets you provide an optimized screen size that caters to the device (mobile, tablet…) used by visitors. Although Media Queries are typically used to resize the overall layout, individual elements such as navigation, forms, images, sliders, and carousels need to be optimized too.
That’s where this post can help. It showcases 25 jQuery plugins that will aid you in optimizing and resizing these tricky web elements. With these plugins, you can ensure that your page not only looks great on all devices but also offers a seamless user experience.
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 is only a slideshow and accordion widget available, but with much more to come soon.
Menu to a Dropdown for Small Screens
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.
jFontSize Download Page →
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 that has been written specifically to work with fluid/responsive web layouts.
Blueberry Download Page →
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.
Responsive jQuery Slideshow
Seamless Responsive Photo Grid Seamless Responsive Photo Grid
Responsive Image Gallery with Thumbnail Carousel
Using the Elastislide plugin (above), this technique will show you how to implement a responsive gallery that adapts to the view-port width. The gallery will have a view switch that allows you to view it with the thumbnail carousel or without. It also supports keyboard navigation.
rlightbox – A jQuery UI mediabox
rlightbox is a jQuery UI media box that can display many types of content, such as images, YouTube, and Vimeo videos. It has many unique features like Panorama and Live Resize, and like other jQuery UI widgets, it is ThemeRoller ready.
AdaptiveMediaDemo Download Page →
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.
FitVids.JSResponsyGs Download Page →
Masonry is a dynamic grid layout plugin for jQuery. Whereas floating arranges elements horizontally and 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.
The Heads-Up Grid
Adaptive Images in HTML
OK, this is not a jQuery plugin, but still, it’s worthy of 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 visitor’s screen) your website’s content images. No need to change your markup. It manages its own image resizing and will work on any CMS or even on flat HTML pages.