Let it never be said that if I see a bandwagon I don’t jump on…
Our beef shouldn’t however be with Javscript but the designers, in traditional Web Design you design your site to work with the newest browsers and then hack it to work with others this is called graceful degradation but more accurately should be called disaster waiting to happen. Instead a more sensible approach would be progressive enhancement where you start with the lowest common denominator (1 down from a search engine) and build the site so that it is fully functional and then add your enhancements. This means for one thing all the data you wish to be exposed will be available.
JQuery the SEO friend
JQuery is built on the concept of progressive enhancement it builds on top of the DOM layer and uses selectors to trigger code. It also simplifies a lot of tedious jobs indeed the makers claim you can halve the amount of code used in traditional Javscript coding. So what are you waiting for? One of the best resources all be it on the small size is JQuery for Designers recommended by Chris from CSS Tricks.
Now this is the point where I highlight some really cool and amazing effects and say look at how pretty they are and you all um and arrrhhh at them. Well instead I’m going to concentrate on just a couple of useful plugins for SEOs if you want to see the pretty stuff I suggest here, here and here.
Useful Jquery Plugins
JQuery Flash Plugin
Ok so this one is a fancy script but remarkably useful for creating error messages to lightbox effect. Jquery Modal provides a modal box (where a box appears detached from the site often with a greyed background) which can be styled through css and includes 7 main variants enough for even the most fashion concious designer. Alternatively you could look at Facebox based around Facebook modal look.
Graphing made easy for those who don’t want to go down the Flash route or Google nice Chart API Flot is a good alternative, I would like to see more in the way of a mechanism to use the page to hold the data rather then relying purely on external sources. Still a minor thing Flot is still very much a work in development.
Which JQuery Plugins do you use and why?