JQuery plugins overview

jQuery has the ability to allow you to take the scripts that you've created and encapsulate them into the jQuery function object. This allows your jQuery code to do a couple of key things. First, it becomes more easily ported over to different situations and uses. Second, your plugin works as a function that can be integrated into larger scripts as part of the jQuery statement chain.

The best place to browse for jQuery plugins is the jQuery plugins page (http://plugins.jquery.com/), as seen in the next screenshot:

In addition to having jQuery already bundled, WordPress has quite a few jQuery plugins already bundled with it as well. WordPress comes bundled with Color, Thickbox as well as Form and most of the jQuery UI plugins. Each of these plugins can be enabled with the wp_enqueue_script either in the theme's header.php file or function.php file, as we learned in Chapter 2, Working with jQuery in WordPress. In this chapter, we'll shortly learn how to enable a jQuery plugin directly in a WordPress plugin.

Of course, you can also download jQuery plugins and include them manually into your WordPress theme or plugins. You'd do this for plugins that aren't bundled with WordPress, or if you need to amend the plugins in anyway.

Yes, you've noticed there's no easy jQuery plugin activation panel in WordPress. This is where understanding your chosen theme and WordPress plugins will come in handy! You'll soon find you have quite a few options to choose from when leveraging jQuery. Now that we have an overview of what WordPress themes, plugins, and jQuery plugins are, let's learn how to take better advantage of them.

The best place to browse for jQuery plugins is the jQuery plugins page (http://plugins.jquery.com/), as seen in the next screenshot:

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