15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

logo 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developersjavascript-libraries 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

JavaScript has long established its dominance on the web. Even though it is not yet the most popular language for web development, it is gaining favor with each passing day. JavaScript’s rise can also be credited to the fact that it is backed by the presence of several useful free JavaScript libraries and plugins for you to work with.

Don’t believe it yet? Well, the JetPack plugin for WordPress now features an admin panel interface almost entirely coded using React.js Similarly, WordPress.com desktop apps now rely heavily on JavaScript. All said and done, JavaScript is a rather useful and amazing development language that you should surely treat seriously.

Free JavaScript libraries and plugins can aid in development by helping you provide a framework for your coding. But where do you find them? And which free JavaScript libraries are the best ones? In this article, we take a look at some of the best and most useful as well as totally free JavaScript libraries and plugins.

01. AngularJS

AngularJS, or simply Angular, has long been the dominant name in the world of free JavaScript libraries. It is an open source framework that has the backing of Google, and this very fact should be enough to impress anyone.

angular-js 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

AngularJS is a modular framework, so if you are building a complex web application that requires easy backend to frontend communication, AngularJS might be a suitable option for you.

Apart from Google itself, Angular is also used by the likes of PayPal Checkout and iTunes Connect.

02. React

React is another extremely popular name and can never be missed out in a roundup of free JavaScript libraries. React has earned a reputation for being the ultimate JavaScript library for designing user interfaces.

react 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

Since React is rather popular for UI development and design, it is often used in assonance with other JavaScript libraries in complex projects. For example, you can use React to power the frontend and UI of your app and simultaneously use Node.js to manage the server-side administration of the same app.

React is open source and backed by Facebook. As discussed above, Jetpack’s new admin interface makes good use of React code.

03. Underscore.js

Underscore.js is a JavaScript library that does not fiddle with default JS functionality. It does not extend any built-in functions; in other words, it lets the native JavaScript methods and objects be, and just adds some extra specializations and “helpers” for you to work with.

underscore 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

Underscore.js is a perfect choice if you need a library that does not dictate terms and you are comfortable working with built-in JS objects. It can boost your productivity by adding extra modules and helpers to JavaScript functionality.

04. Babylon.js

If you are into video game development, Babylon.js might be meant for you. It is a free JavaScript library based on WebGL. Thus, Babylon.js is not just a library, it is a full fledged 3D video game engine.

babylon-js 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

Babylon.js can be used to create high quality games that comply with all major web standards and coding rules. Plus, since Babylon.js is cross browser compatible, your games too will run across different web browsers as well as platforms.

05. Ember

Ember, or Ember.js, is a JavaScript library that works as a web app framework. Wondering what that means? Well, Ember performs the hard task of decision making and allows you to focus solely on your code.

ember 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

Ember comes with its own templating engine and it updates automatically when data structures change. Plus, Ember plays well with REST API applications too. However, do not expect grand flexibility from Ember. It has its own set of rules and frameworks and you must work within that.

Ember is popular because it can save time by allowing you to code quick and swift; but it is not as flexible as other free JavaScript libraries.

06. Backbone.js

Backbone.js is a very simple and straightforward JavaScript library and framework. Its USP is the fact that it can fit within a single JavaScript file. Naturally, its small size and simple nature has led to the rise in popularity of Backbone.js

backbone-js 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

But don’t let its smaller size fool you! Backbone.js comes loaded with almost all the features that you can ask for: routing support, key binding, declarative event handling as well as ability to connect with RESTful APIs.

If you are looking for a simple JS framework for your web apps, Backbone.js is a good option.

07. Clipboard.js

As the name suggests, Clipboard.js lets you copy content to clipboard without any dependencies. This means your app can copy data to clipboard without relying on Flash or anything else.

clipboard-js 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

Clipboard.js relies on Selection and execCommand APIs. It works seamlessly across all popular web browsers and is barely 3 KB when zipped.

08. Textillate.js

Textillate.js is a nifty JavaScript plugin for CSS3 text animations. You can use it to add animations to every single letter of text on your page. It relies on animate.css for text effects and animations.

textilliate-js 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

Note that Textillate.js is not truly dependency-free. You will require jQuery to run it in addition to animate.css and Lettering.js libraries. That said, it offers a wide array of CSS3 text animations so you can take your pick and apply the required effects easily.

09. Lettering.js

Lettering.js is another JavaScript plugin for web typography. It lets you control the style and appearance of every single letter on the page. You can control individual lines as well as words and various other aspects, such as kerning.

lettering-js 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

Lettering.js is very popular when it comes to free JavaScript libraries for text management and animations. It requires jQuery to work with, so be sure that you have it set up before trying your hand at Lettering.js

10. WOW.js

WOW.js is a JavaScript library for revealing animations as you scroll down the page. It requires no jQuery to work with and is just 3 KB when zipped.

wow-js 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

Basically, as you scroll down the page, WOW.js offers reveal animations on the content. It is a very simple library that works seamlessly with animate.css and requires no rocket science to work with.

Note that WOW.js is free for use in personal projects as well as GPL based open source projects. If, however, you have a closed source proprietary project, you will need to purchase a license for $29.

11. Chartist

Chartist lets you create simple responsive charts for your web projects. You can customize every single aspect of the charts and since Chartist uses SVG to render them, your charts can also obey CSS rules and custom code.

chartist 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

Chartist has its own animations API that can be used to animate the charts. You can customize it by means of media queries. Also, every chart created using Chartist is mobile-friendly and totally responsive.

Bear in mind, however, that Chartist animations offer limited support for older versions of Internet Explorer.

12. DropzoneJS

DropzoneJS is an open source and free JavaScript library that lets you add support for drag and drop file uploads and media previews in your web pages. It is free of any dependencies and compatible with almost all the major web browsers.

dropzonejs 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

You can customize DropzoneJS to suit your needs and even tweak it by means of CSS animations. Furthermore, you can use it in combination with server-side scripts such as Node.js or PHP.

13. Babel

The biggest issue that many developers tend to have when working with JavaScript is that of browser compatibility. Older web browsers tend to be dropped in favor of newer ones, but not all users update. There are still machines and devices out there that are running old versions of IE, after all!

babel 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

Babel is not just a JavaScript library. Instead, it is a proper compiler that compiles your JS code to ES5 compliant nature. This means your code can run on new browsers such as Edge as well as older ones, such as IE 9.

Using Babel, you can make use of all the new and fancy features of any JS library such as React, and simultaneously make it run on old web browsers without breaking a sweat.

14. PhantomJS

PhantomJS is a JavaScript plugin that lets you run and test your code without consuming excessive memory resources. Other that code testing, PhantomJS also lets you capture screenshots, automate page browsing as well as monitor network transactions all from inside the native JavaScript API.

phantom-js 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

PhantomJS offers native support for all the popular web standards including JSON and Canvas.

15. three.js

three.js is a 3D library for JavaScript. It lets you create 3D visualizations as well as render 3D to HTML5, SVG and WebGL.

three-js 15 Top Free JavaScript Libraries and Plugins for Web Developers

three.js is a simple and minimal library that is a blessing for folks looking to work with 3D concepts. Essentially, most 3D visualizations tend to rely on game engines to get the job done. However, what if you just need a simple visualization without having to rely on a heavy game engine? What if, in other words, your visualization has nothing to do with gaming?

three.js solves this problem by outputting simple 3D visualizations in a direct manner.

Over To You

So that brings us to the end of this roundup of some of the best and most useful free JavaScript libraries for your projects.

Which one do you use the most? Any free JavaScript libraries that you think deserve a mention on this list? Have your say in the comments below!

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https://www.designbombs.com/javascript-libraries/

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