Course info
Jan 17, 2014
3h 6m

Learn about many jQuery plugins that will allow you to greatly enhance user experience with very little effort. This course does not focus on creating plugins, but rather on many popular ones to use for your web site. See where you can find good plugins, how to decide which ones to use, and how to add them to your website without ruining your page performance.

About the author
About the author

Robert is a Microsoft MVP, a Progress Developer Expert (Fiddler), and a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He regularly speaks at national and international events.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Hi, this is Robert Boedigheimer. Welcome to this Pluralsight course on useful jQuery plugins. In this course we're going to focus on finding good jQuery plugins to use on your website to add rich client-side capabilities, without a lot of work. We're not going to spend time specifically looking at how to create plugins. So in this first module, we're going to look at what is jQuery itself? So were going to focus on the core library and just do a brief description about what it is, and why you would want to use it. We're going to look at What is a Plugin? We're going to spend a little time on the jQuery Migrate Plugin, so with newer versions of jQuery they've made some changes that may impact some plugins that you'll find. So we'll talk about how the Migrate Plugin will add back some functionality so those can work. We'll talk about where you can find good plugins. Then we'll look at some considerations about choosing a specific plugin. And lastly we'll look at what are some good strategies around using jQuery plugins on your website.

Forms Plugins
In this module we're going to look at plugins that can help with forms. So the first one is a masked input. So one of the things that I really liked in the past when I was doing Windows programming was the ability to set a mask on a field, so rather than rely solely on validation, you can actually up front control what characters they can type in a given field. Another one that's common is a max length. So you've got a specific amount, say like Twitter where you've got 140 characters, and you want to limit and give feedback how many characters they have left. Auto completion is a very helpful feature. So as I'm typing it's doing a type-ahead, going, comparing against a list, and giving me a drop-down of here are some choices I might want to make. A client-side wizard control is helpful when I've got forms that have a lot of information on them. I can walk through a series of steps with a wizard. Validation is obviously critical for security, and to give a nice user experience on the client, and feedback about what kind of information is required in the form fields. And lastly we'll spend some time on jQuery UI, just to give some exposure to how it's different than some other plugins where you actually construct just the JavaScript file that you need, based on the features you want, and then show some of the basic widgets that they have to do some simple things like, date pickers and calendars.

Social Plugins
In this module we're going to look at jQuery plugins that can help with social websites. So we're going to look at one for social links, so just the ability to list out links to your various social networks to share with people so they can get access to it easily. Social sharing, so there's been a lot of conversation lately on the web about the performance impact of including all the social icons and share buttons. So we'll look at some jQuery plugins that have done some nice work around making that be a better performance experience. We'll look at displaying images from Flickr and from Instagram. We'll also look at how to use jQuery plugins to interface with YouTube, and lastly we'll talk about Twitter and the changes they've made and what that has done to what was really a pretty rich ecosystem of jQuery plugins.

In this final module we're going to talk about miscellaneous things around using jQuery plugins. The first is fallbacks. So we're going to give examples of now that HTML5 and CSS3 have given us some more advance capabilities in the client, we might be able to use those and replace some existing jQuery plugins that we have. Or we might see a new plugin, but realize that it has CSS3 and HTML5 support now in browsers, and I only need the plugin for older browsers. So we'll talk through some strategies and techniques in order to decide when to use the built-in features of the browser and when to use a jQuery plugin. We'll talk about some performance-related things, starting with content expirations, which is the ability to cash things in the user's browser cache, and why that's important for returning visitors. We'll look at the benefits of minification and bundling. So if we start to use a lot of jQuery plugins that can have an impact on the user's performance because of the conversations going on between the browser and the server. So we'll talk about how to minify and bundle plugins together so they need less downloads. We'll talk about content delivery networks, CDNs, and the ability to use them to push your content closer to your end users. We'll look at how do you troubleshoot problems you may run into with jQuery plugins. And finally we'll see some resources for learning jQuery and learning more about jQuery plugins, or about some of the other things we've talked about throughout this course.