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20 Cool jQuery Plugins & Effects for Website Developers

jQuery’s long-awaited version 3.6 has finally hit the shelves, and developers all across the globe are working towards using the new features, and transporting their existing libraries to the new code system. Devs who have been implementing jQuery for older versions of IE will be disappointed with lack of support for older browser versions, but there’s so much more to look forward to. jQuery has established a monumental foundation that now drives much of the interactive, and dynamic experiences we are experiencing on the web. Combining your existing jQuery knowledge with frameworks like React and Angular can drive immensely versatile results.

jQuery salaries aren’t so bad, at least not in the states where the average income for an experienced jQuery developer has risen to more than $90,000. Picking up jQuery is free, with platforms like Khan Academy and Codecademy providing free web tutorial courses to help you start. GitHub hosts thousands of jQuery libraries, all of which you can browse for code examples, further strengthening the understanding of this phenomenal JavaScript library.

However, the average webmaster and web developer see jQuery as an opportunity to expand default website functionality with added effects and scripts that refine the user experience and more thoroughly adjusted for its basic core requirements. That’s why we decided to gather around some of the coolest and certainly the most interactive jQuery plugins. These plugins and effects range from performance optimization to creating tailored onboarding experiences to help your users understand your product better when they sign up. These are fundamental jQuery libraries that you can apply to a range of situations, with little to no effort with getting them up and running.

Best jQuery Plugins For Web Developers


cropper jquery plugin

Cropper could very well be the most extensive web-based image cropping tool that you’ll be able to get your hands on. It has more than 70+ ways of cropping, manipulating, understanding, and modifying your image data. It’s friendly to mobile devices with touch functionality, you can zoom/rotate/scale your photos, and supports many of today’s web browsers. The predefined options allow you to scale your photos to different aspect ratios with a single click, you can change view modes to play with the photo’s dimensions and scale, and there are several ways to get an array of data about your photo, such as container, image, canvas, and crop box data all with a single click of a button.

The interface is so friendly that you’ll have zero difficulties in putting it inside one of your image uploading platforms. You can effectively combine Cropper with any known jQuery file upload scripts and create an authentic experience for your image sharing site.



clusterize js jquery plugin

Denis Lukov has done many great contributions to the front-end community (CSS & JavaScript), and many of his open-source libraries are admired by tens of thousands worldwide, and Clusterize is one of his most renowned makings. Built with vanilla JavaScript, Clusterize is a flexible jQuery plugin for displaying a big set of data, known as big data, through a smooth scrolling table interface, but Clusterize stands out — because it can take data as big as 500,000 rows and display it within a single table, without any performance issues whatsoever, in fact the demo website is built with a few step preview that lets you preload existing data and see how the plugin manages to sort it effortlessly.

Works for all modern web browser, and supports mobile responsive design. Documentation explains the guidelines for getting Clusterize to work, and also mentions some insight about not going overboard with your data, since some browser to put in place limitations for how much data can be displayed within a single element.



twentytwenty jquery plugin

Startups and IT companies are launching left and right these days, and many of them are focused around some form of web manipulation through their software, in some cases it means managing and editing photos online, sometimes it’s a product that can revamp your website into a unique experience, and in the last 2 years a new trend emerged where startups started to showcase a 20/20 photo preview experience of their product. For example, with the 20/20 approach — the customer can demo how your product affects a particular function or element, such as a photo. It’s similar to what you’d see in a tool like Affinity Pro, or Photoshop; where images can be previewed for changes with a simple back and forth scroller.

TwentyTwenty library once integrated in your main stack can be used to show the different between two unique photos, with an attached slider so the experience remains seamless. Sites like TinyPNG are an example that could benefit from this plugin, as it enables the webmaster to show what the image looked like before compressing, and what it looked like after being compressed, and the concept can be applied to any situation where you’re changing something from one thing to the other, and wish to show the customer the kind of changes they can expect. It’s an interactive approach, and much appreciated by users who’re already getting adapted to such modern techniques of web technologies.


Slide and Push Menus

slide and push menus

The menu will inevitably be amongst the most browsed/accessed elements of your website, even more so for mobile devices where the navigation is usually fully dependent on the menu, but even in the times that we live in now, menu’s are still lacking many functions, dynamic options, and interactivity approaches that make for a great user experience. Slide and Push Menus bring a fresh taste for what a modern web navigation menu could look like. And since there’s a tutorial attached to this menu, applying it to your own design is already said and done.

Called Blueprint, this menu has two approaches; slide and push. Upon user interaction (callback), the menu can be configured to slide out from the left, right, top or bottom parts of the webpage, and you can put literally anything within your menu’s as long as it supports HTML5. So in a sense, Blueprint gives you the framework of making an interactive menu, and the rest you can configure as you prefer, even if that means using interactive JavaScript features to make your menu’s dynamic, which in fact is a very popular approach right now for displaying latest news, and other similar elements.



fancybox jquery plugin

Fancybox is a tool that helps you present all sorts of different media in the best possible way. Videos and images work fantastically well with Fancybox, offering you to showcase them beautifully. While you can go with the default settings precisely, you can also modify and adjust Fancybox to fit your needs precisely. Needless to say, the layout is responsive, working on smartphones, tablets and desktops flawlessly. In other words, the performance will be first-rate across all devices and platforms. Fancybox is also GPU accelerated, recognizes content from famous sites and guarantees quick and effortless setup. Create a pleasant experience viewing your content for every user.



fullpage jquery plugin

As the name implies, FullPage is a tool that helps you create impactful full-screen scrolling websites. In other words, it is a solution for landing pages, one-page websites. If that is something that triggers your interest, this jQuery plugin is one fine solution to put into practice. Of course, FullPage is fully in tune with all well-liked devices, so your website appears on all screens with crystal clarity. Landscape sliders, smooth transitions, excellent flexibility, you name it, creating a full-screen one-page website happens much quicker with FullPage. Starting building a project from the ground up seems so old school these days.


Tiny Slider

tiny slider jquery plugin

Using a slider to present content works for any website or blog. Tiny Slider is an Owl Carousel-inspired alternative that will get you moving in the right direction right away. Some features include lazy load, autoplay, touch/drag sensitivity, loop and edge padding, to name a few. Keep in mind, if you would like to tweak and improve it, so it matches your project precisely, you can do that, too. All the options, installation and other information are accessible on the documentation page for you to get the gist and start on the right foot.


Bootstrap Star Rating

bootstrap star rating

Bootstrap has so many applications in web development; it’s no wonder it’s the leading front-end framework. You have admin dashboard templates, spectacular WordPress themes built with Bootstrap, and so many jQuery plugins exist in this space. As much as we’d like to cover them all here (we will in the future), we’re focusing this post to cool jQuery effects and plugins that would spice things up for your user experience, in a unique way. Star rating plugins are usually simple, though Bootstrap Star Ratings pack such a big kick of features, you might confuse it for an individual platform! The plugin supports fractional star ratings. So one can have any fractional stars highlighted and managed.

This is configurable and one of a significant differentiator as compared to most other rating plugins. Use any of your favorite font icon frameworks to render your star symbols (for example you can easily use the icons from the FontAwesome library). It’s even pluggable with your own custom styles (themes) to better integrate in the design that you’re already using. Within the documentation you’ll find more detailed explanations of how these functions work, and how you can incorporate Bootstrap Star Rating into your mobile apps.



shepherd jquery plugin

As it is in today’s understanding of smooth user experience, onboarding has become somewhat of a hot trend for ensuring that your users are getting acquainted with your product through registration. Since it’s easier to explain to the user what your application does as they’re signing up, making onboarding experiences becomes a vital part of your app and software success. While some still manage to argue about the benefits of creating an onboarding experience, some have already ensured themselves great success ahead, one such example is the Shopify eCommerce platform that goes beyond traditional onboarding, and continues to interact and educate its customers long after they’ve signed up, most commonly through email marketing.

Mobile apps like Inbox and Peach have perfected their user onboarding screens, and have seen great success with explaining their products to the user even before they finalize setting up their account password. Now with Shepherd (comes from HubSpot, one of the world’s leading marketing platforms) anyone can setup a step-by-step onboarding process for their website or application. Use the library, specifiy the elements you wish to explain, and in detail explain what each one does, and how it correlates with your vision. Simple to follow guidelines can be found in the documentation, happy onboarding!



tingle js

Modals (popups, screen notifications) continue to flourish as web users are looking for new and interactive ways to interact with websites, but that isn’t the only market modals are serving up well. Technically, modals have been around for a long time. For example when you’re clicking to delete something on Facebook, a popup box (modal) shows itself and asks you to confirm your action.

Quite a few developers kept avoiding using modals and popups on their designs because they felt it hinders user experience. But a carefully applied modal function can actually enhance your UX! Tingle.js could potentially be one of the nicest modal jQuery plugins in the market. It follows professional design standards, and it does an effortless transition from activating the modal and displaying it to the user. What’s even more intriguing is that Tingle.js can be customized so that you can show dynamic content inside of the actual modal, or provide form submissions, content experience, even to show galleries in an external popup window. Anyone with prior experience in JavaScript could easily turn this jQuery plugin into a popup solution for WordPress bloggers.



barba js

Users used AJAX in creating tranquil user experiences for a decade now, and developers continue to find new ways to bridge this technology with the user experience that we have when consuming content. Barba.js is a jQuery effect that gives your website a smooth page transition effect. You’ve probably browsed a website before where the website offered navigation arrows on either side of the page, like Previous and Next post.

Typically those arrows would be hard navigation elements that would refresh the page and load the new one once you click on them, so Barba.js does the same thing, but removes the part where the browser needs to reload the page again, and instead using PJAX it smoothly transitions to the next page that user wants to view. This kind of UI adds a new dimension of user experience, and will potentially see much more use in the years to come. Barba does use a caching system to cache the pages, and you can set it up the way you prefer.


Radial SVG Slider

radial svg slider

Sliders — in particular jQuery one’s — are going to continue getting downsized, resized, and once again downsized, until the majority of jQuery sliders will support modern technology that favors both performance and user experience in the same library. Radial SVG Slider is sort of making the necessary steps in the right direction, through using SVG clipPath and masking effects, the radial sliding effect presents a slider that is not only friendly to the browser and mobile devices, but is also faster than anyone could ever imagine. Needless to say that SVG format plays a big role in this whole scenario. Packed with interactive animation effects, Radial will happily become part of your design workflow as you build new designs for your clients, with modern tools at your disposal.



turntable js jquery plugin

Turntable isn’t your average jQuery slider, otherwise we wouldn’t have included it! Turntable’s a responsive jQuery plugin for creating rotating slider effects for your images as your users browse the website up and down, Turntable developer calls it the “flipbook effect”, and perhaps it could be applied to a range of images that would display similarities between flipbook design. Images will need to be specified under the myTurntable ID and turntable Class as unique HTML li elements. Turntable.js will figure out the rest. A little bit of CSS is also required to make the UI smooth and appealing.



trix jquery plugin

WYSIWYG are typically unreliable and rely on wrapper’s that haven’t been properly implement in all versions of modern browsers, which creates problems as developers want to use a rich text editor within their apps. Trix does the job, by taking the approach of WYSIWYG and emphasizing features like writing content (blogs, articles, research, anything!), making lists, writing short messages, and general documents. You get the usual Bold, Italic, Strike, Link, Quote, Lists, and Undo functionality, but composed so that most of the time you’re focusing on writing, rather than clicking buttons left and right.

Trix automatically accepts files dragged or pasted into an editor and inserts them as attachments in the document. Each attachment is considered pending until you store it remotely and provide Trix with a permanent URL. Since it is developer oriented, the best place to begin with Trix would be the documentation, which explains the different ways features can be implemented to be supported by your own app. The future of rich text editors is looking quite good, thanks to people who work on projects like Trix!



push js jquery plugin

Who needs email marketing when you can work with push notifications, and alert users about new content and updates directly to their desktop of their computers! That’s the future we’re looking at, and surely push notifications will get more refined to allow dynamic content within them, which will for sure take over the email marketing sphere, and cause some new ideas because of it. Quite many websites are already using push notifications to get their visitors to subscribe to the latest content, it’s a simple popup box that asks the user if they wish to subscribe to desktop notifications, and gives them an option of Accept or Deny. Chances are, this way you will be able to gather much more readers as people have an easier to subscribe to your latest content.

Push.js pushes that functionality directly into your websites and apps with a simple jQuery cross-browser plugin. You still have to make all the settings configurations to setup your messages, but that’s half the battle after you’ve decided to experiment with push notifications. Inevitably we will see media websites switching to this kind of interaction format.



plyr jquery plugin

Since we are on the topic of video content, Plyr is a lightweight video embedding solution for YouTube and Vimeo video content. Coming only at 10kb library size, Plyr won’t disturb your web performance so much, and will on the other hand increase the pleasure of browsing your pages which are video-content heavy. Having responsive design implementation, Plyr not only support modern web browsers, but also any mobile device out there. The options range from everything that you’d expect a solid video player to have, with the added extra of being a user-friendly component.


Animated Transition Effects

animated transition effects jquery plugin

Page transition effects are evolving as designers learn new ways of using CSS and JavaScript to create unique user experiences. Animated transition effects is one of those techniques that are sweeping both mobile and web application designers of their feet. The clients demand unique design features for their projects, and it makes sense. In today’s world, you need have a clear vision of what makes your design more unique than others. It’s also vital to understand that animated effects tend to stick with users brains for much longer. A unique experience is easier to remember than something you’ve already seen a thousand times.

These transitional effects work on a form submission that shows the specific animation and unloads the content container. But with slight modification, anyone can make these effects into a seamless function. This triggers whenever a user is switching a page, or starting a new callback. What’s interesting is that achieving this fun effect took only a few lines of code, compared to the extensive libraries you’d have needed back in the day.



mark js

It’s unlikely that Google will start highlighting keywords in its search results pages. But in the past year, many platforms have actually chosen to do so. This involves media and content websites that provide extensive lists of data that can be searched through. The problem with standard search functions is that they do return good results. On contrary, they never highlight the actual terms that you’re searching for. You end up being in situations that you don’t want. For example, having 5 pages, but no idea how to navigate to the keyword that you were looking for.

That’s where Mark.js is immensely helpful. You can apply it to any content page where a search function would be essential. Also, it will automatically highlight the searched keywords either in real-time, or after a search has been concluded. It works with blog post content as well as it does with data tables and dynamic data sets.


Balance Text

balance text jquery plugin

Displaying content without justification can be infuriating to the eyes. You need to keep in mind that using ‘justify’ for content isn’t always THE best choice. It may hinder the user experience by creating gaps that are too difficult to read, particularly on mobile devices. Though Balance Text tries to solve that issues by using an intelligent algorithm. This would ensure all text is equally balanced between each of the paragraphs. Play with the demo you’re seeing above and double-check the kind of jQuery effect. This should enhance the user experience for everyone, not just you. (Which sometimes tends to be the case!)



filterizr jquery plugin

Want your own little Instagram empire? Filterizr might make that dream a reality! It’s a jQuery plugin that can navigate your gallery folders and apply to them beautiful filters. You would typically see graphic designers apply this using Photoshop and Illustrator. Optimized for user experience and performance.



bricks js jquery plugin

Generating masonry (grid) layouts need not be a difficult task! We’re living in the age of web development, and JavaScript, which makes things easier. Sure, using Bootstrap to get a grid layout going is easy. But, how often do your clients want you to work with Bootstrap anyway? Bricks.js is an instant layout generator for masonry type designs. That includes galleries, portfolios, and cards-type designs where content needs to be displayed in multi-column grids with cards on them. The automated grid generator lets you specify the exact number of blocks needed. Also, you get a layout ready in less than a second.


Choosing the best jQuery plugins for custom website effects

jQuery is the most frequently used JavaScript library for many good reasons. Amongst those is its effective functionality. It’s capable of adding to a website, an application, or a project that’s being accessed from a website oriented perspective. We understand that these libraries only touch the surface of what is out there. We are thoroughly focusing on the idea of incorporating cool and useful effects. These effects would enhance, strengthen, and improve the user experience you provide to your website visitors. Since there’s always room for improvement, you’re welcome to drop a comment with your own favorite jQuery libraries. We will take a closer look on your suggestions.

Building a website and looking for a shortcut? Here are the best Bootstrap 5 templates that will serve as a foundation for any web project from a simple blog to an eCommerce website.

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Alex is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience in design, development, and small business. His work has been featured in publications like Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, TheNextWeb, and others. You can find his personal writing at The Divine Indigo.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Andy Globe says:

    I love Mark.js, I would like to suggest for use.

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