15 JQuery Plugins to be effectively Used in Website Navigation
As far as web designing is concerned, navigation is considered to be a major part of the web pages, making the pages customized in a user-friendly manner. In the modern interactive websites, navigation plays a vital role and on failing to do it properly will adversely affect the popularity of your website. Proper navigation tools help the users to interact with the page contents in different pages of the site and initiate actions. This is very much important in case of e-commerce website as well as registration sites etc.
Keep in mind that while designing websites a simple, elegant, and clean design with minimalist approach always wins the minds of the users. Surveys also point to the fact that the new-age web users are very intolerant and on finding a website too confusing or tough to be navigated, they will simply switch over rather than be patient to explore it. This is the reason why the developers need be very much mindful about adopting the proper navigation methods.
Using jQuery navigation plug-ins is a very easy and quick option to achieve the objective of integrating effective navigation tools to the web pages. There is a large variety of plug-ins available and further in this article we will discuss about 15 of the most popular jQuery plug-ins, which are proved out to be highly effective in website navigation.
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1. Smint – It is a very useful jQuery plug-in, which can convert the elements into a sticky tab instantly. Smint also enables the smooth scrolling features, which is very effective in single page websites. This plug-in is merely a plug ‘n’ play, which makes it easier for the developers to integrate it without much effort. The only customization needed is to adjust the scrolling speed.
2. SlimMenu – It is a very light jQuery plug-in used to easily create highly responsive navigation menus. With the use of SlimMenu, developers no longer need to struggle with the media queries and also there is no need to use any heavyweight plug-ins to create nested menus. This amazing tool can convert any unordered list into a proper menu with sub-menus and can automatically make it to drill-down navigation while opened in small screen devices.
3. FlexNav – FlexNav is another unique plug-in, which can easily handle any type of complex menus in responsive web pages. The plug-in is also featured to support unlimited sub-menus too, which can work well in large screens and small screen layouts alike. FlexNav plug-ins can also work well with keyboard tabs too and offer more accessibility. It is touch-friendly for the mobile devices.
4. PageScroller – PageScroller is a very powerful JS-based smooth-scroller navigation tool, which utilizes strong JQuery library. Custom designed to offer maximum ease, this plug-in can work well for any type of websites. You can adjust the scrolling speed as well as custom choose the position to place the navigation menu.
5. Kwicks – Kwicks has the option for the developers to do customizing of the size, panel width, margins etc. The duration and easing of the effects can also be custom designed as per the choice of the designers. Also, Kwicks can get rotated to horizontal or vertical pages while used in hand-held devices.
6. jBreadCrumb – jBreadCrumb is a feature-rich jQuery plug-in, which helps to create breadcrumb navigation in a flexible manner. Usually, the length of the menu in the breadcrumb form is bigger, and the old method used for this issue is to limit the amount of menus. However, jBreadCrumb use another mechanism, which collapses the interface, and smartly decides the custom display method according to the length and volume of the elements.
7. MMenu – jQuery.mmenu is a plug-in, which can replicate the same behavior in any mobile or web layouts. This plug-in converts the unordered lists into order menu and sub-menu with a lot of customization options. Mmenu is also very easy to be controlled using simple functions to open, close, and toggle the menu.
8. DDSlick – ddSlick is a very lightweight JQuery plug-in, which works as a customized drop-down menu, in which designers can use images and descriptions also beside the text. This provides a better look and feel to the pages.
9. JQuery Magic line Navigation – jQuery Magic Line Navigation lets the developers to highlight any specific area by offering a background or underlining. The users can get the customized effect when doing the mouse-over and get different links in the navigation. The animation effects of JQuery are being used here.
11. Sidr – It is a jQuery plug-in to create hidden side menus. This can be custom set to be displayed on the left or right side of the page, and multiple side menus can be displayed in a single page. For the responsive web layouts, the Sidr menu can get attached to a button and this is proving out to be a very effective navigation method for small screen devices.
12. Naver – It is a feature-rich jQuery plug-in for creating responsive navigation. The navigation effects can also be animated using this tool and it is very mobile-friendly also. This plug-in works well with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and IE7+.
13. Easy Drop Down – This unique jQuery plug-in can turn the elements into a customizable drop-down menu for easy navigation. It has all the essential features to be clean, validation compatible, semantic markup, keyboard control, text search, inner scrolling for listed items, compatibility to the native UI of touch-screen devices etc.
14. JMenu – jMenu equips the developers to create horizontal navigation style with ease and can create unlimited sub-menus. It also requires the JQuery UI and supports all the customized effect of this library, i.e., fade-in or slide-up etc. The look and feel of the page can be set in a CSS file, which makes it easier to update.
15. Menu Aim – It is a JQuery plug-in in order to create dropdown menus, which can wisely differentiate between the users trying to hover up on a dropdown item or trying to get into the submenus. Menu Aim tries to achieve it by detecting the mouse moments on the screen. This makes it more user-friendly and easily navigable.
There are also many other JQuery plug-ins you can try out in terms of enjoying easy navigation effects like Horizontal Nav, jQuery ListNav, TinyNav.js, Flaunt.js, Smart Menus etc.
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