God isn't bland. The Church shouldn't be, either.
Spicing Things Up with jQuery

Few things have been as valuable to me as a web developer as the awesome jQuery JavaScript Framework. I know I’ve gushed on here before about my love for jQuery, but I continue to be impressed with its utility and relatively easy learning curve. Simply put, jQuery allows me to accomplish things in minutes that would take days without it. It’s awesome.

Making things even better, there’s a huge wealth of community-developed plugins that take the technologies built-in to jQuery and simplify them around a single task. Right now, the three below are my favorite, and I can almost guarantee that they’ll be useful to you for one of your web projects. Check them out…

Validate Plugin

Just this plugin alone has enough of the “wow factor” to make you fall head-over-heels in love with jQuery. Need to validate the presence and format of form fields in real-time with AJAX warning messages? Done. At this point, you’re probably done reading this post and ready to download this plugin. I wouldn’t blame you.

The incredible thing about the Validate plugin (besides how easy it is to use) is how powerful this little script can be. No matter the complexity of client-side form validation you’re looking for, you can probably pull it off in less than 10 minutes with this plugin. Start using it today and make your next project look like it was developed in the big leagues.

Cycle Plugin

I’ve used this plugin dozens of times already; it’s just so well thought out that I really have no desire to try and reinvent the wheel with my own code. Simply put, the Cycle Plugin is built to help you implement any type of slideshow functionality you have in mind. It includes dozens of sleek effects that are easy to implement, and you can do some really advanced stuff with just a few lines of code. You can see one of my implementations of it on the rotating feature section of longhollow.comClick here to download the Cycle Plugin.

HoverIntent Plugin

Have you ever visited a page and been overwhelmed by all of the mouseover events that are triggered as you simply move your mouse across the page? HoverIntent solves a simple problem by adding a custom delay before any page element fires a mouseover event. This can clean up your UI a lot and give your visitors a less-confusing browsing experience. You can see HoverIntent in action on the main navigation at longhollow.comClick here to get the HoverIntent Plugin.

What’s your favorite use for jQuery? Do you know of a jQuery plugin that has been absolutely indispensable to you? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. wormeyman (Reply) on November 16th, 2009

    I have used the jQuery Cycle plugin on our churches new website as someone who despises flash it was great to use a technology that degrades well and looks slick, 10ish lines of code (including the html) vs spending 30 minutes in flash and writing actionscript was great i love jQuery.

  2. Twhims (Reply) on November 25th, 2009

    Just started using jquery about three weeks ago. It’s quick, simple and provides for a lot of creativity. Currently using jqtouch.com as my base to make a custom mobile site for my regular site, whimsweb.com. As of this moment, the mobile site is http://www.whimsweb.com/m. You’re welcome to check it out but I have to warn ya, it’s certainly in alpha.

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