Basic menu design has come a long way since they were nothing more than a list of plain text links posted to the left of every single web page. JQuery navigation menus however can truly transform the look and feel of any navigation system. You can also use CSS to make any menu more dynamic, but jQuery plugins are far more effective in creating truly dynamic menus. Just don't lose sight of the key aspect of designing a great site - function will beat form almost every single time.
Wouldn't you love your menus to have stylish 3D effects? With the 'Perspective View' plugin you can do exactly that - this plug-in allows you to create a 3D "sliding" interface for your website which is similar to the "sliding" screens you'd find on any Android smartphone.
If you're fed up tweaking code to "force" menus to stretch to the entire width of their container element then you're going to love just how easy 'HorizontalNav' makes this process for you. It even supports MSIE up to version 7. 0.
Amazon have mastered the art of e-commerce, which is pretty impressive considering they were one of the only dotcoms to survive the "death" of e-commerce in the late 90s. This plug-in allows you to create those wonderful multi-layered menus which Amazon features on their site. Very neat!
This is one of the more creative jQuery menu plugins we've come across. Not only does it allow you to create an off-canvas sidebar, but you can even set it to blur certain content elements to keep your visitor's attention focused exactly where you want it.
If you want to create multi-level dropdown menus then this plug-in is a good choice - there's also the advantage that this plug-in is ideal for responsive designs, so mobile users won't have to struggle with navigating through a static menu system.
If you want clutter free web design then an off-canvas menu is one of the easiest ways to solve this particular design issue. 'Slidebars' makes doing this a whole lot easier too because it's very quick to learn and easy to use too.
This plug-in allows you to create a truly intuitive navigation menu because when you click on the menu item a set of icons associated with that menu function will pop-up onto the screen. One of the more interesting JQuery plugins we've come across lately.
If you want to create visually impressive scrolling navigation menus then 'Slinky' allows you to do just that. In a sea of JQuery menu plugins it's always great to find something that little bit different and this plug-in definitely stands out from the crowd.
If you want simple and neat menus, with tons of functionality then you'll enjoy experimenting with this plug-in. It takes the standard list-based menu system to the next level, plus it's also fully compatible with responsive designs.
This is an excellent plug-in if you want menus which can feature multiple CSS3 animations. Animated menus can be tricky to implement properly, but they do improve visitor engagement, depending on the type of site you integrate them into.
So there you have it - 10 great jQuery plugins to suit almost any taste or purpose. We're sure you'll find a plug-in or two here which you'll enjoy experimenting with. Why not let us know which ones you used, and how well they worked for you? Stick a comment at the bottom of this post to share your experience with others!
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