Popular jQuery WordPress Plugins – Reviewed

  • Does loading Jquery from a CDN make your site load faster?
  • Is there any benefit to using the latest jQuery 2+ version on WordPress instead of the default (1.11.3)?
  • What type of interaction can I add to my site by integrating jQuery UI elements?
  • My jQuery scripts not working – whats wrong?

These questions and more are answered in our review of popular jQuery WordPress plugins.

jQuery UI Widgets – https://wordpress.org/plugins/jquery-ui-widgets/
A simple solution to add jQuery UI widgets (or your own custom juery code) into your WordPress site pages. Need a reminder of the power and ease of use provided by the the jQuery UI? Check out thier demo pages here – http://jqueryui.com/demos/ there is also source code examples that can be copied and pasted and used as a starting point for your project. This plugin makes it easy to add elements (interactions, widgets, effects or utilities) like Draggable, Accordions, Autocomplete, Progressbar, Tooltip and more to any of your pages and allows you to style everything with preformatted themes that can be easily customized.

This plugin is easy to install, works as intended, and adds some nice visual effects to your site.

WP jQuery Plus – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-jquery-plus/
This plugin modifies your installation of WordPress to load jQuery (and jQuery Migrate) from the Google hosted libraries – not locally. The plugin works as intended and is easy to install but – did it make our jqueryplugins.net site load faster? No. Our site has a VPS server and a uses a CDN – for us this plugin did not improve our page load (tested using multiple load tests from GTmetrix.com). If your on a shared host (or cheap hosting plan) this plugin can help improve page speed by reducing server load or if your experiencing a traffic spike and need to reduce load on your server then this plugin would come in handy but if your web host has better performance than the typical shared host this plugin will not benefit you.

If you prefer to add a function to your site’s functions.php file instead of adding a plugin to your website the following code snippet can be used:

//This function deregisters the loading of the default version of jQuery and replaces it with a Google hosted version. (Does not include jquery migrate.)
function jquery_switch() {
		// deregister local copy of wordpress
		// register jquery from Google hosted library script to be enqueued later - see explanation of function parameters below
		//    1. Name (jQuery in this case) (Required)
		//    2. URL of script (if it is being loaded externally or outside of the wordpress code)(Optional)
		//    3. (array) An array of registered script handles this script depends on.(Optional)
		//    4. Script version number (Optional)
		//    5. THis parameter controls where the script is being loaded - it is not in our function below because by default all scripts load in the header, but if this parameter is set to 'true', scripts will be loaded in the footer instead.(Optional)
		wp_register_script('jquery', 'http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.3/jquery.min.js', false, '1.11.3');
		//Enqueue the script newly registered jQuery.
//add function to wordpress init hook
add_action('init', 'jquery_switch');

jQuery Updater – https://wordpress.org/plugins/jquery-updater/
jQuery 2.0 is smaller, and faster than jQuery 1.11.3 (and can be used in JavaScript environments where the code needed for old-IE compatibility often causes problems of its own).  This plugin allows you to use the latest version in your installation.  However, jQuery 2.0 does not support older Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8 browsers.  This plugin can break your installation of wordpress if your not familiar with beta testing and bug fixing it is not reccomended to run this plugin.  If your looking for a nice debugging tool for WordPress developers, check out our next plugin review below.

This plugin is easy to install, works as intended but not made for the novice user.

Query Monitor – https://wordpress.org/plugins/query-monitor/
Query Monitor is a debugging plugin that has some advanced features like: debugging of AJAX calls, REST API requests, redirects, and the ability to narrow down its output by plugin or theme.

If you uploaded a piece of custom code to your installation of wordpress and all of a sudden things are’nt working this plugin can help you to narrow down the issue.  This can also help you to do technical SEO and to optimize your websites code.

Some of the datapoints provided by this plugin:

  • Page generation time
  • Slow Database Queries (above 0.05s)
  • Queries by Component (Theme, Plugin, Core)
  • Scripts loaded in the header and the footer along with thier dependencies and dependants
  • What actions are happening in each hook and in what order they are happening
  • PHP Errors and a plugin compatability checker

This plugin is easy to install, works as intended and is one that we reccomend every wordpress developer uses.

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