15 best Javascript plugins of 2012

RoyalSlider - Touch Enabled jQuery Image Gallery
RoyalSlider Touch-Enabled jQuery Image Gallery

The RoyalSlider is a powerhouse Javascript plugin full of image gallery scripts featuring a staggering eleven different templates coded in jQuery, encompassing virtually every gallery design found on the web. Every template offers a responsive interface and a clear way to navigate the contained content, and each comes with a variety of skins and styles. Programmers will be happy to hear that the full source code is provided without obfuscation, so they can edit the code themselves if they choose to. This package is guaranteed to have an image gallery perfectly suited to your needs.

jQuery Banner Rotator Slideshow
jQuery Banner Rotator/Slideshow

This is a beautifully designed banner rotator using jQuery. This plugin offers a remarkable level of customization on an image to image basis. This means for every new image displayed, the owner can specify everything from the type of animated transition to use to optional text description overlays and the target hyperlink. The slideshow can be navigated in various modes; along with the standard next and previous buttons, users can skip to specific images using either the numbered buttons or thumbnails. Owners can also choose from a variety of mouseover behaviors; either pausing the rotation, displaying the attached text description, or triggering the display of the intuitive navigation controls.

Estro - jQuery Ken Burns Slider
Estro – jQuery Ken Burns & swipe effect slider

This is an eye catching slider that can serve as a centerpiece in any application. It grabs the user’s attention with elegant animation which slowly glides the content in a given direction. This Javascript plugin preserves the content layout if Javascript is disabled, and it still exposes all the content to search engines. It also features animated captions and a fully skinnable interface to suit your own style. Estro offers a truly unique display feature with an almost cinematic quality and it is not going to go unnoticed.

jQuery - Lightbox Evolution
jQuery Lightbox Evolution

Lightbox Evolution is an ubiquitous script used to elegantly overlay a wide variety of HTML contents. It is popularly used to showcase enlarged images or videos, without navigating the user away from the main content source. This plugin can be used in so many ways that they simply cannot all be listed here; this is the script of choice for anyone who wants to make creative use of space to display rich content.

LayerSlider - Parallax Effect Slider
LayerSlider – The Parallax Effect Slider

This is an incredibly feature rich slider that performs sliding animations on any number of HTML elements. Amazingly, this includes not only images and text blocks, but also embedded videos and flash content that can be set to play automatically, which helps make it one of the best Javascript plugins of 2012. The key feature of this software is the treatment of every component as a separate layer, each of which can be customized and animated individually. Using this plugin you can create stunning presentations and dazzle your user with active and immersive content.

jQuery Banner Rotator, Silder, and Carousel
jQuery Banner Rotator / Content Slider / Carousel

This is a package of five equally attractive content display scripts that effectively cover all combinations of display needs. Each individual script is feature rich and presents the relevant contents in a unique and elegant layout. Also provided with each script is a set of three predefined skins, with the ability to use your own if you desire. This is the plugin of choice for those who have varying forms of content that they want to be presented beautifully and in an easily navigable manner.

Advanced Slider - jQuery XML Slider
Advanced Slider – jQuery XML slider

This is a jQuery utilizing slider tool which offers the option to use either HTML or XML, with an impressive assortment of unique features. For example, rather than demand the thumbnails be static images or numbered buttons for navigation, this plugin allows thumbnails to contain any HTML content in each. Rather than predefining a limited number of slide transitions, it allows the owner to customize an enormous number of properties to control the transitions themselves. The Advanced Slider is the right choice for those who want complete mastery over how their content is displayed.

Mega Menu Complete
Mega Menu Complete Set

This is a comprehensive set of menu creation plugins. The owner can specify what behavior opens menu items, and how the content is opened; hovering or clicking, combined with fading, sliding or simply popping in. The content of every menu item can be defined with a flexible column based system, and can include any and all HTML content. The appearance of the menus can be fully customized and colored with ease. This is an excellent product for those seeking to offer their users an attractive, simple and flawless way to navigate their content.

Avia Slider - jQuery Slideshow
AviaSlider – jQuery Slideshow

The Avia image slider boasts a set of uniquely designed transition effects unavailable to its competitors which makes use of built in jQuery functions; given the number of generic sliders on the market, this is a very important feature to take into consideration. It provides the necessary options to create your own effects as well. It integrates neatly with Lightbox in a variety of customizable ways, enabling varied modes of navigation and display. It is very reactive to user input and pauses animations upon interaction. If being noticed as original is important, this is the right plugin to go with.

Drop Menu - Interactive jQuery Menu Plugin
Drop Menu

Drop Menu is a plugin to display unusual and interesting interactive menus to website users. It features a broad spectrum of menu animations and everything can be fully styled and customized using CSS. It provides support for both horizontal and vertical menus, making it a versatile script to use in many positions. It works perfectly in all browsers, and three fully worked examples are included to get the owner started. Drop Menu is a wise plugin choice for those who want a beautiful menu without the hassle of coding their own user interface.

Smooth Zoom Pan - jQuery Image Viewer
Smooth Zoom Pan – jQuery Image Viewer

This is a unique product to let your users zoom into and explore your images in many ways. It features an intuitive interface that responds appropriately to mouse scrolling, double clicks and button presses. Zooming can be precisely controlled using various parameters to customize the animations. The most remarkable feature is the ability to add links to landmarks within the image which smoothly transition the user to the specified position. These landmarks can also be set to appear on the image itself, either permanently or at certain zoom levels.

TouchCarousel - jQuery Content Scroller and Slider
TouchCarousel – jQuery Content Scroller and Slider

TouchCarousel is a simple but powerful content scroller with a straightforward set of navigation options. It is one of few plugins to handle grab and drag mouse movements in an elegant and fluid fashion. Slides can support any and all HTML content of any size. One unique feature is the optional use of keyboard controls, which could prove a powerful addition if utilized properly. This is a no-frills script that is easy to use, but with a powerful and well documented API available for advanced users to experiment with.

Sexy Slider - jQuery Plugin
Sexy Slider

This is a simplified jQuery plugin to add visually stunning sliders to your website. What it lacks in opportunities for customization, it more than makes up for in ease of implementation, and includes particularly verbose documentation. Owners can select from a set of predefined transition effects and define text boxes to appear with their images. This is an excellent plugin choice for someone who doesn’t have the time or experience to delve too deeply into customizing their display.

jQuery Slider Evolution
jQuery Slider Evolution

This is another simple but effective slider with impressive visuals. It has a wide assortment of transition effects to choose from, and supports the embedding of videos as well. The content it exposes is still search engine friendly. Multiple sliders can easily be embedded in a page without interference. Slider Evolution is an effortless plugin to use, even for inexperienced coders, and produces professional quality results.

jQuery Horizontal Image Scroller with Lightbox
jQuery Horizontal Image Scroller w/ Lightbox

This is a beautiful image scroller used to display a variable number of images simultaneously. They can be browsed smoothly using many options; either the next and previous buttons, the bottom scrollbar, or scrolling with the mouse. This particular plugin sets itself apart from other sliders by integrating seamlessly with Lightbox, such that each item can trigger Lightbox popups, and the gallery can still be browsed from this video.