10 Awesome JavaScript Plugins to Make Your Site Look Great

Feel like the sites you’ve been putting together are a bit bland and need some more color and motion? Despite the incredible advances in CSS3 and HTML5 we’ve been seeing in recent times, sometimes a grab bag of JavaScript plugins that can do the trick is useful to have on hand. Here are ten items you might like to put in your library.


Going for that traditional book look with your website? Without hyphenation, which isn’t supported by CSS, that can be tricky! Fortunately, Hyphenator makes the process as simple as using justified text alignment and installing this script.



Want to easily create aesthetically pleasing forms that can be processed without a page reload and that validate client-side and server-side, that can be saved and resumed later and much more, all without you having to dive into do-it-yourself AJAX? jFormer takes care of everything for you, and makes the process of filling out forms much easier for your user.



Regular jQuery sliders are pretty useful, but liteAccordion looks great and provides an effect somewhat different to the typical slider that’s plastered all over the Internet. Well worth a look if you need to place some featured content in prime position without submitting to the cliches.



Need to display graph visualizations or things like mind maps on your site and don’t want to resort to static old images? arbor.js is a graph visualization library built with jQuery that allows you to draw graphs and other abstractions with canvas, SVG or HTML elements.


If your web app or site needs notifications, jNotify has a tasteful way to present them by appearing at the top of the page until they fade out after a set time period or are dismissed by the user. The user will be sure to see these notifications but they won’t get in the way of what they came to your site to do.

Website Tour


If your web app or service could use a tour to guide the user the first time around, Website Tour is the jQuery plugin for you. By either clicking through the tour using next and back buttons or going through a timed tour, you can introduce new users to your sites features more effectively than ever before.



Modal windows come in handy in all sorts of scenarios in web design and development, and if you’re going to use a plugin from anyone, ZURB are the best interaction designers on the planet. Fortunately for you, they offer their Reveal modal window plugin free to anyone with a great default look and customizability.



Galleries can be a UI pain point for users when done poorly, and they often are. When you’ve got more than three or four images for a user to browse through, you need a gallery that’s fast and easy to navigate and doesn’t require you to open 50 images in new tabs just so you can cycle through them quickly. Galleriffic allows you to do just that in a range of different configurations.

jQuery UI


You use jQuery to save a heap of time when it comes to JavaScript development for your site. Why not use jQuery’s own jQuery UI library to save even more time getting basic UI elements in place? This library contains patterns for interaction (dragging and dropping, for example), widgets such as progress bars and autocompletion, animated transitions and effects, theming, and much more.



Well-styled captions do a lot to give a site an air of credibility, given that most people are used to seeing image captions in traditional newspapers and publications and not as much online. You can achieve great captions using CSS, but jCapslide makes it easy to create captions that slide up into view on rollover with customizable transitions.


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