Rakesh Patel

Popular JQuery Drop Down / Select Box Plugins

The default styling isn’t loved by everyone. It is always advisable to customize a selective range of elements in order to control the site especially in terms of looks. JQuery drop down menu nowadays has been pretty common in any of kind of websites. With the help of jQuery drop down plugin, a developer can not only display important pages and subcategories but even provide an attractive navigation system on a web without compromising in terms of functionality.

Depending on your needs, from simple to multi-level drop downs to one that displays a large drop down box, jQuery development task involves a wide range of plugins and extensions. The cross platform is mainly built to perform lightweight and fancy animations that aren’t just beautiful in terms of appearance but even smooth, graceful and amazing in terms of performance. Thankfully, there are heaps of plugins powered by jQuery to simplify the website development process.

The following post comprises of a few important jQuery plugins that can add life to your existing website. Some of these plugins are highly configurable with options, methods, and events, while others are simple replacements for select elements for styling and ease of use.


Chosen is an extensive plugin that is not only used to restyle the selected elements but even provides some kind of additional functionality like in-select searching, multiple element selections, and highlighting. Most of the jQuery developers make use of the plugin especially when their clients ask to update the default styling of the website. Chosen comes with an additional range of functionalities such as:-

• The ability to handle multi-select options. Each choice is saved and easily removed if required.

• The ability to filter elements by searching making perfect for those websites comprising of long list of options, for e.g. country names

Everything just works so well with the plugin. Besides, it is maintained by the developers who worked on the Harvest project management tool.


A fully-featured, rich select replacement/ enhancement plugin named Select2 not only restyles your selected elements but also extends them with a wide range of functionality like:-

• Single select element / element with optgroups

• Multi-select element

• Sortable / filterable search field for select elements

• Ability to load data from a remote data source (e.g from an API to dynamically change options)

• Tagging support (selecting from a predefined list / adding dynamic tags on the fly)

Developed in 2012, Most of the JQuery plugin development companies have migrated from version 3 to version 4 and in the process of the re-written plugin. As a result, the website can be faster, responsive and mobile friendly. Select2 being significantly more developer focused provides a high level of customization and acts as great to go solution.

JQuery nice Select

The JQuery plugin is lightweight select replacement library. It replaces the default range of selective elements with restyled drop down menus. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to this plugin as it is used to quickly restyle elements by effortlessly providing something that’s more visually appealing.

If it’s all about a plugin that only restyles your select elements and doesn’t require a lot of effort, then JQuery nice Select is for you.


Unlike JQuery nice select, Selectize is extremely web developer focused. A plugin that’s inclusive of all elements that are not only used to offer better looking select list but also adds new features such as tagging, remote data binding, and dynamic dropdowns. You will be interested in knowing the fact that over the recent years the plugin has been continually updated and maintained to achieve best possible solutions.

Further speaking of the functionality, Selectize works really well as it not only re-style the default controls but also extends them with great functionality such as search filtering, multi- select capability, and remote data binding. Moreover, it works well across both desktop and mobile browsers.

Image combo box

A simple looking plugin that allows a jQuery developer to define an image and description for each option inside a selective range of controls. Image combo box was primarily used to showcase a related image for each option featuring all basic features such as navigation, a series of events to hook into and a relatively easy markup for custom styling.

The image combo box plugin works well across a multiple range of browsers. So, in case if you want to display images and descriptions with your dropdown elements, the plugin is worth trying.

Multi-select combo box

The plugin is a bit different than others covered till now. One of the most interesting thing about this plugin is that it works on two or more elements at a time. This creates a UI where you can move elements back and forth between the lists. The entire things look quite similar to drag and drop solutions but made with standard select elements.

JQuery Selectbox

The plugin is one of the older select replacement plugins which mainly aims to restyle controls and leave the functionality fairly untouched. JQuery Selectbox comprises of several useful options to control with a standard opening, closing options.

Most of the jQuery plugin development companies believe that the strength of the plugin lies within its simplistic styling, making it easy for a developer to override with your own styling to match your design. So in case if you are looking for something basic such as styling your dropdowns and potentially customizing a few settings then this plugin might be just what you’re after.

Check out : Let’s Get Started With jQuery Dom Traversal

Rounding up

Over a past few years, several of the most popular libraries have been polished introducing new features. And as a result, there is a wide range of choices available around especially when it comes to jQuery development.

Search across different libraries and see which one most closely cater your needs. For instance, in case you want to restyle a selective range of elements then choose a library that offers filtering and remote data binding or developer focused such as- Chosen, Select2, Selectize.

So this is it for now! Keep watching the space to get better perspective regarding skilled JQuery developers at eTatvaSoft and their recommended plugins/extensions.

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