Join Joe Chellman for an in-depth discussion in this video Finding jQuery plugins, part of jQuery: Creating Plugins.
- Where do you find jQuery Plugins? If you haven't written any code yet, it's always a good idea to look and see if someone else has written something that will do what you want and if you're in the situation where you've written a plugin, it's good to know where other people might look to find yours. There are a few places that we can look for jQuery Plugins. You might consider looking for jQuery Plugins using these various sites in this order. Here at Bower.io/search, you have a list of all the packages that Bower, the web development dependency manager, is aware of.
If you wanna search for a jQuery plugin here, you can type in jquery plugin and get an instant list of the most popular jquery plugins available. And if you're looking for something in particular, you can search for, say, a light box, or what have you. But, the search engine filters instantly and each of these links takes you over to that projects GitHub repository and you can just download the plugin using the download zip. Another good place to look is on npmjs.com.
Another place to look is the jsDelivr content delivery network or CDN. Not only can you find jquery plugins here, you can actually grab a URL to install them directly, without having to download it. So, let's say I wanted to look for colorbox. Here is colorbox and I have access to a minified version and a development version where I can actually read all the code right here. And I just need to grab this URL and install it right in my project. jsDelivr is not really meant to be a place to look for jquery plugins in general.
But, if you have a specific one that you'd like to install, this is a good place to go and grab it. And then, of course, there's GitHub. You can just search on GitHub directly. So, I can go to the search field here and search for jquery plugin and I have a list of tons and tons of repositories that are jquery plugins. And, of course, being GitHub, there are potentially multiple versions, multiple forks of various plugins with different kinds of functionality. Different branches on the same family tree. If you're a longtime jquery user, you might be asking, "Well, where is the jquery plugin registry here?" I have that in this last tab and it is still a fine place to search for jquery plugins.
But, as you can see, it's in read-only mode now. No new plugins are being released here. So, it's still a fine place to look for, say, lightbox plugins and this will give you the names of various plugins that you might be interested in and you could look for more current versions in one of these other search engines. So, those are some of the places that you can look for jquery plugins and then, later on, when it comes time for you to publish your own, should you decide to go that route, these are some places where you might publish them.
- Writing basic jQuery filters
- Converting filters to plugins
- Converting code to plugins
- Making plugins configurable
- Adding appearance options and functions
- Distributing jQuery plugins