If you pay much attention to trends and developments in the WordPress universe, you’ve no doubt heard something about the web programming technique known as Ajax, and how it can be used to make your WordPress site more dynamic, engaging and downright sexy.
If you haven’t, then it’s high time you got schooled.
The mighty Ajax
Ajax is often the technology behind contact forms, pop-up windows, maps, and other dynamic elements of a website.
Properly explaining how Ajax works is beyond the scope of this article, but if you’re interested in some heavier reading then I would suggest you take a look at these:
Ajax and WordPress
Ajax has been widely deployed in WordPress plugins and themes over the last few years, and there’s a fairly good chance that you’re already using the technology, in one capacity or another, on your own site.
Nonetheless, you might be interested in exploring other ways you can harness the power of Ajax to massively increase the wow-factor of your WordPress project. If you don’t fancy yourself a programmer, then it’s probably best to start with a few good plugins.
Some free Ajax-powered plugins for WordPress
These are five great plugins that will add sleek and sexy Ajax-powered goodness to your WordPress site. They’re all available for free in the WordPress Plugin Directory.
- Contact Form 7 – The classic free contact form for WordPress, simple and highly customizable.
- Ajax Comment Preview – I covered this one in more detail last week – article is here.
- Search Autocomplete – Adds automatic drop-down suggestions to the search field on your site.
- WP-Polls – Popular plugin for embedding Ajax-powered polls in WordPress posts and pages.
- AJAX Read More – Adds a simple, expandable ‘read more’ link to your post excerpts, without needing to reload the page.
Over to you – what are your favorite Ajax-powered WordPress plugins? Share your recommendations with us.