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The Benefits of Using jQuery


What is jQuery?

jQuery is a new kind of JavaScript library that makes it easier for designers to control HTML events, animations, and other interactions on a web page by adding and removing style sheet handlers.  These handlers are either HTML classes or IDs; the handlers are specified in a style sheet, which then tells the browser how to position and style HTML elements.  With jQuery, web designers can quickly and easily write these handlers to the document on specified events, such as a mouse click or a hover, and when we do so, it will change the style and/or position of that element.  jQuery also simplifies AJAX–the client-side web development techniques for creating interactive web applications.  AJAX applications can retrieve data from the server quietly in the background without interfering with how a web page displays or behaves.  AJAX uses HTML and CSS (cascading style sheets) to change style and layout via user interaction and input.

Why is jQuery so great?

One of the major and most important benefits of using jQuery versus other JavaScript libraries or interactive applications is that it does not take away from the visibility of web page content from the search engines.  The problem with other applications (such as Flash), is that your content is lost if JavaScript is turned off in the user’s browser.  Even though some of these other applications are getting better at being picked up by the search engines, they’re still not able to compete with the functionality of jQuery.  jQuery is also very small, clean code that won’t bog down the loading time of web pages like Flash and other applications do.

Benefits of using jQuery:

  • Five lines of jQuery are equivalent to 25 lines of conventional JavaScript code, which relates to the least amount of “bloat” or extra, unnecessary code.  This means smaller files and faster loading web pages.
  • Advantage of an abundance of plug-ins that make creating special “Flash-like” effects simple and fast for website developers; backed by a large, helpful support community to quickly remedy any bug issues.
  • Easy implementation for web developers in comparison to other applications.
  • Detailed documentation and useful examples for using jQuery on its website.
  • Works in all browsers and is the most popular JavaScript library currently being used.
  • jQuery is free, open source software.
  • Straightforward to produce powerful and dynamic websites.
  • Web page elements display even if JavaScript is disabled in the browser.
  • Simplifies AJAX.
  • Commands can be “chained” so that the result of one command can then control others.
  • Has a “built-in” set of animation applications that can also be used as commands.
  • Makes basic web pages become really interesting interactive pages with minimal keystrokes.
  • Large software companies, like Microsoft, supports using jQuery in their applications, such as Visual Studio, as evidence of their support of jQuery’s superior product.
  • jQuery can perform all of the fancy animations and transitions as Flash, but in a cleaner, simpler, and more SEO friendly way.

 

How does jQuery work?

JavaScript uses jQuery to find all of a specified HTML element, for example, a

tag within a page that has the CSS class of “tick,” and then animate it to slowly scroll, like you would see in a news ticker.  jQuery can also find a HTML element with a specified CSS identification class, and then retrieve every other sub-element within it and reset the elements to have another specified CSS class.  This could result in alternating styles for HTML elements, like table rows, to alternate the background color of each row.

Examples of jQuery effects and animations:

jQuery effects and animations are called upon when a user interacts with a HTML element, either by mouse clicking on the element, hovering over it, pausing on it, etc.  These are some of the effects and animations jQuery can utilize:

  • Scroll, fade in, fade out, fade to, zoom, drawer
  • Show, hide toggle
  • Slide up, slide down, slide toggle
  • Stop, queue
  • Load, resize, scroll, drag

Examples of jQuery usage:

Web developers use jQuery to make web pages more exciting, interactive, cleaner, and more user friendly.  These are some of the examples of basic jQuery featured plug-ins:

  • Photo slideshows
  • Photo galleries
  • Manipulating images by cropping and resizing
  • Tabbed content
  • Form validation
  • Scrolling or sliding text, for example, news tickers
  • Accordion effects
  • Tool tips
  • Roll-over effects and animations
  • Interactive maps
  • Fancy menus and navigations
  • Advanced animations
  • Charts
  • Small WYSIWYG editors
  • Music and video players
  • Background image animations

There really is so much to say about the benefits of using jQuery and making web pages more interactive and exciting for user experience.  The basic advantages alone show us that jQuery is beneficial to search engine optimization, faster loading web pages, cross-browser compatibility, user experience, and that it’s typically easy for web developers to implement.  jQuery is a wonderful tool that web developers can now utilize to add a bit of excitement to your website without compromise!

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