20 jQuery-Powered Design and Usability Plugins for WordPress

20 jQuery-Powered Design and Usability Plugins for WordPress

jQuery is the most popular JavaScript library for creating and adding simple, dynamic effects to your content. WordPress users who love jQuery will find that there are hundreds of free tools available in the repository, but you can spend all day sorting through them. We’ve selected 20 high quality, recently-updated plugins that will help you to add a little something extra to your site. Install a couple of these to give your site a quick facelift and keep users engaged.

jQuery Colorbox

jQuery Colorbox adds a “lightbox” style popup for images. This plugin features 11 themes to choose from for styling your colorbox. It works out-of-the-box with both WordPress and NextGEN galleries. Check out the plugin’s homepage for demos.

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GL Facebook Likebox

This plugin adds a Facebook Likebox to your WordPress site, powered by jQuery. You can select your icons and position of ‘sidebar’ (left/right) in the plugin’s options panel. You’ll want to check to make sure that this plugin plays nicely with any other plugins you have that use jQuery. View a live demo at: selenagomez.com.pl.

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W4 Content Tabset

This plugin creates jQuery tabs within posts and pages so that you can arrange your content with flexible navigation. It’s easy to use. Simply drop the shortcode in the content area. The plugin comes with three effects: normal show/hide, slide (up/down), and a fade effect. Use as many instances of the tabset as you want. Check out a demo on the plugin’s homepage.

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jQuery Collapse-O-Matic

Collapse-O-Matic, inspired by DrLebowski’s Collapsing Objects, is a handy plugin for putting content into a collapsible div. Simply surround the content with the plugin’s shortcode. It even works with other shorcodes inside the collapsible div.

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Slidenote for WordPress

This plugin adds a widget for displaying flexible, customizable sliding notifications on your WordPress site. Activate it by using the included shortcodes or the widget. You can also customize the notifications using CSS. See it in action at slidenote.info.

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DynamicWP Fisheye Menu

This WordPress jQuery menu plugin builds a Fisheye menu from a list of links. The effect is similar to the Mac OS user interface at the bottom of the screen, where there is a dockbar with icons on it. Qhen you mouse over the icons they grow in size, giving the “fisheye” effect. Check out a live example on the plugin’s homepage.

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Easy Table Creator

Let’s face it – creating tables in order to display tabular data is a huge pain in the ass. This plugin makes creating an html table inside of your posts very easy. It’s bundled with the jQuery plugin Tablesorter to nicely format the table and make things sortable. Tables are created in a popup screen where you can set the table headers, table rows, and table footers without writing any html.

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jQuery T Minus CountDown Widget

This plugin dispalys a highly customizable, flash-free countdown timer in your sidebar via a widget sidebar or in a post using a shortcode. Use it to build anticipation for an upcoming event or launch by displaying your own customized countdown timer.

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jQuery Page Peel

This plugin adds a page peel affect to the top right corner of the page using jQuery. Follow the instructions on the plugin’s options page for sizing and uploading the image that the plugin will use in the corner. You’ll be able to set the link locations in the options as well. Check out the live demo.

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Meteor Slides

Meteor Slides uses custom post types to make it simple to create slideshows with WordPress. They can be published using a shortcode or a widget. The slideshows are powered by jQuery Cycle with more than 20 transition styles to choose from. This plugin is very polished and easy to use.

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Fancybox for WordPress

This plugin uses jQuery to apply FancyBox to any thumbnails that link directly to an image on your WordPress site. Simply upload it and activate it. There’s no configuration necessary. However, you there are several aspects that you can customize on the plugin’s option page: the border, margin width and color, zoom speed, animation type, close button position, overlay color and opacity, options to group images into galleries, and more.

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WP Coda Slider

This plugin adds a jQuery Coda Slider in no conflict mode to any WordPress page, post or custom post type using shortcodes or template tags. It can be customized via CSS and a number of arguments included with the shortcode or template tag. Check out a live demo at http://wp-performance.com/wp-coda-slider/.

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Snazzy Archives

Snazzy Archives offers a unique, visual way of displaying your WordPress archives. The plugin has options for you to select different editable layouts and special jQuery effects. Caching is also optionally available for faster display of your archives.

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Twitter Follow Me Box

This plugin creates a floating “follow me on Twitter” box on the side of your WordPress site, without the need to modify any WordPress templates. It also includes options to change the color, height, and side. Simply add your Twitter ID to hook it up to your account.

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Excerpt Tools

This plugin allows you to change the default title and description of the excerpt box, add an excerpt box to pages and show a customizable jQuery character counter with the ability to limit the amount of characters. It’s especially useful if your site design requires the excerpt to be a precise length.

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Constant Footer

The Constant Footer plugin creates a jQuery powered sticky footer bar that is always visible regardless of how the user scrolls. You can adjust the color, opacity and size of the footer. This plugin is great for encouraging user conversion/action, important announcements, prompting social media following, or use as advertising space.

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DynamicWP Conatact Form

This plugin adds a contact form “contact” button that floats on the side of the page. When the button is clicked, the form will slide out. It uses AJAX, so the page wont be reloaded for the success (or failure) message after the user clicks send. Check out a live demo on the plugin’s homepage.

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WP Nivo Slider

This plugin creates a slideshow/slider using jQuery and post thumbnails. It is configured based on a category that you set and can be added anywhere on your website. This plugin comes with a video that will show you exactly how to add the slider to your site: http://www.vimeo.com/11698666

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Polaroid Gallery

Polaroid Gallery is a CSS3 & jQuery image gallery plugin that makes use of the WordPress media library. It is used to overlay images as polaroid pictures on the current page. It’s really cute for a photoblog or trip journal where you want to display your images in a creative way.

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ScrollTo Top

This is a very handy plugin for sites with lengthy articles. It displays an icon in a corner of the page that, when clicked, will smoothly scroll the user’s browser to the top of the page. You can even upload your own icon for use as the scroll button and set it so that the icon fades in and out when the user scrolls far enough down the page and up again.

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