Developers
June 17, 2020

Why Should You Know and Use jQuery

jQuery is one of the oldest JavaScript libraries, but how does it stack up to the newer competition?
Source: Unsplash

jQuery is one of the oldest JavaScript libraries that is used the world over by websites of all sizes. As technology has progressed, however, newer libraries and frameworks have gained in popularity. As a result, some have argued that jQuery is outdated and no longer relevant.

Is that really the case? Is jQuery obsolete and irrelevant? Or is it still a library you should know and use?

jQuery History

jQuery was created in 2006 by John Resig. The library is licensed under the MIT license, known for its high compatibility and permissive terms. The licensing is one of the things that has contributed to jQuery’s widespread use, in addition to the quality of the library.

Within a few years, the jQuery Board was announced, followed by the jQuery Foundation. The Foundation manages the direction and development of jQuery, ensuring its long-term success.

jQuery Features

It wasn’t just a favorable license and good management that made jQuery the development success story it is. The fact is, jQuery is very good at what it does, providing a number of features that make developers and end-users’ lives easier.

Simplicity

At its heart, jQuery is designed to simplify the communication and interaction between JavaScript and HTML. One way it does this is by standardizing that communication, allowing a developer to do more with less code.

Website Speed

Another important benefit of jQuery is the website loading speed. When it comes to web browsing, speed is king. In fact, it’s estimated some 53% of users will leave a mobile website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

jQuery can help significantly improve web page loading speed by providing a way to separate your site’s images from the rest of the page, and only load them once everything else has loaded. On top of that, the jQuery files themselves are stored separately, further decreasing load time.

This is especially important since search engines take page-loading speed into account when ranking sites.

SEO Compatibility

Closely related is the benefits jQuery provides in the realm of SEO. Unlike other technologies, such as Flash, jQuery is SEO-friendly. Even if JavaScript is disabled, any jQuery elements will still load.

jQuery Animations

Speaking of Flash, jQuery includes its own ability to generate web animations. Flash has been on the decline for years, with the Flash Player scheduled to be discontinued on December 31, 2020.

jQuery offers a much better alternative to Flash for web developers looking for a way to include animations with their design. Unlike Flash, jQuery uses a combination of HTML, JavaScript, CSS and AJAX to create standards-compliant animations.

jQuery Integrates With Visual Studio

Another important feature is jQuery’s integration with Microsoft Visual Studio. Microsoft includes support for the library, specifically in conjunction with ASP.NET AJAX.

Extensibility

In order to keep jQuery fast and lightweight, many features have been removed from the core, leaving a library that comes in at less than 100 KB compressed, and less than 300 KB uncompressed. That doesn’t mean jQuery is limited, however.

Instead, there are official plugins, as well as third-party plugins, that extend jQuery’s features, adding virtually any ability that might be needed.

jQuery’s Popularity

While much has been said about jQuery’s newer rivals, such as Angular, Bootstrap and React, the fact remains that jQuery is orders of magnitude more popular.

In fact, according to W3Techs, “jQuery is used by 97.5% of all the websites whose JavaScript library we know. This is 75.8% of all websites.”

While other libraries have gained in popularity, none of them come anywhere close to that level. For example, Bootstrap is used by 27% of all websites containing known JavaScript libraries. Angular is only used by 0.5% of websites and React is used by a mere 0.3%.

Needless to say, any talk of jQuery’s imminent demise is greatly exaggerated. As a result, it’s a fair assumption that if you are in the business of designing and developing websites and web applications, you will work with jQuery sooner or later—given its widespread use, probably sooner.

jQuery: Going Strong in 2020 and Beyond

Without a doubt, jQuery continues to be the dominant JavaScript library for web development. It has a wealth of features, good performance and an uncontested market share among sites using JavaScript libraries.

While other libraries and frameworks have certainly garnered their fair share of attention, and with good reason, jQuery continues to be the workhorse of the JavaScript world.

As a result, no web developer should go without learning jQuery and making it a regular part of their toolbox. Learning how to use it effectively will result in faster, more SEO-friendly sites that are easier to code and maintain.

Check out jQuery’s home page to learn more.

TagsjQueryAngularReactJavaScript
Matt Milano
Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

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DevelopersJune 17, 2020
Why Should You Know and Use jQuery
jQuery is one of the oldest JavaScript libraries, but how does it stack up to the newer competition?

jQuery is one of the oldest JavaScript libraries that is used the world over by websites of all sizes. As technology has progressed, however, newer libraries and frameworks have gained in popularity. As a result, some have argued that jQuery is outdated and no longer relevant.

Is that really the case? Is jQuery obsolete and irrelevant? Or is it still a library you should know and use?

jQuery History

jQuery was created in 2006 by John Resig. The library is licensed under the MIT license, known for its high compatibility and permissive terms. The licensing is one of the things that has contributed to jQuery’s widespread use, in addition to the quality of the library.

Within a few years, the jQuery Board was announced, followed by the jQuery Foundation. The Foundation manages the direction and development of jQuery, ensuring its long-term success.

jQuery Features

It wasn’t just a favorable license and good management that made jQuery the development success story it is. The fact is, jQuery is very good at what it does, providing a number of features that make developers and end-users’ lives easier.

Simplicity

At its heart, jQuery is designed to simplify the communication and interaction between JavaScript and HTML. One way it does this is by standardizing that communication, allowing a developer to do more with less code.

Website Speed

Another important benefit of jQuery is the website loading speed. When it comes to web browsing, speed is king. In fact, it’s estimated some 53% of users will leave a mobile website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

jQuery can help significantly improve web page loading speed by providing a way to separate your site’s images from the rest of the page, and only load them once everything else has loaded. On top of that, the jQuery files themselves are stored separately, further decreasing load time.

This is especially important since search engines take page-loading speed into account when ranking sites.

SEO Compatibility

Closely related is the benefits jQuery provides in the realm of SEO. Unlike other technologies, such as Flash, jQuery is SEO-friendly. Even if JavaScript is disabled, any jQuery elements will still load.

jQuery Animations

Speaking of Flash, jQuery includes its own ability to generate web animations. Flash has been on the decline for years, with the Flash Player scheduled to be discontinued on December 31, 2020.

jQuery offers a much better alternative to Flash for web developers looking for a way to include animations with their design. Unlike Flash, jQuery uses a combination of HTML, JavaScript, CSS and AJAX to create standards-compliant animations.

jQuery Integrates With Visual Studio

Another important feature is jQuery’s integration with Microsoft Visual Studio. Microsoft includes support for the library, specifically in conjunction with ASP.NET AJAX.

Extensibility

In order to keep jQuery fast and lightweight, many features have been removed from the core, leaving a library that comes in at less than 100 KB compressed, and less than 300 KB uncompressed. That doesn’t mean jQuery is limited, however.

Instead, there are official plugins, as well as third-party plugins, that extend jQuery’s features, adding virtually any ability that might be needed.

jQuery’s Popularity

While much has been said about jQuery’s newer rivals, such as Angular, Bootstrap and React, the fact remains that jQuery is orders of magnitude more popular.

In fact, according to W3Techs, “jQuery is used by 97.5% of all the websites whose JavaScript library we know. This is 75.8% of all websites.”

While other libraries have gained in popularity, none of them come anywhere close to that level. For example, Bootstrap is used by 27% of all websites containing known JavaScript libraries. Angular is only used by 0.5% of websites and React is used by a mere 0.3%.

Needless to say, any talk of jQuery’s imminent demise is greatly exaggerated. As a result, it’s a fair assumption that if you are in the business of designing and developing websites and web applications, you will work with jQuery sooner or later—given its widespread use, probably sooner.

jQuery: Going Strong in 2020 and Beyond

Without a doubt, jQuery continues to be the dominant JavaScript library for web development. It has a wealth of features, good performance and an uncontested market share among sites using JavaScript libraries.

While other libraries and frameworks have certainly garnered their fair share of attention, and with good reason, jQuery continues to be the workhorse of the JavaScript world.

As a result, no web developer should go without learning jQuery and making it a regular part of their toolbox. Learning how to use it effectively will result in faster, more SEO-friendly sites that are easier to code and maintain.

Check out jQuery’s home page to learn more.

jQuery
Angular
React
JavaScript
About the author
Matt Milano -Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

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