Learn the World's Most Popular JavaScript Library - jQuery!

Published on:
January 22, 2024

It's difficult to overestimate jQuery's effect on web development since the open-source JavaScript framework was launched over 15 years ago. jQuery, a toolkit that invented a new shorthand for otherwise sophisticated JavaScript programming, continues to live up to its creators' motto: "Write less, do more."

jQuery is still popular among experienced developers, but anybody with little or no programming knowledge can leverage the framework to add complex functionality to their websites.

Knowing what jQuery is and how to use it can help you save time if you code in JavaScript. It can help you code quicker and more efficiently, saving you energy and time. 

And in this MarsDevs guide, we will tell you all about it!

What is jQuery?

What is jQuery?

As Ryan Benedetti writes in his book, ‘Head First jQuery,’ “jQuery is a JavaScript library specialized for changing web page documents on the fly.” Released in January 2006 by John Resig, jQuery is an open-source minified JavaScript library designed to make JavaScript operations easier. 

You can use jQuery to swiftly create a variety of instructions that would take significantly longer to code using HTML code. Although jQuery is not a language, it contains well-written JavaScript code. The company's official website says, "It’s a quick & concise JS Library that eases HTML document, animating, traversing, event handling & Ajax communications for rapid web creation."

To work with jQuery, you must be familiar with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS fundamentals.

How Popular Is jQuery?

How Popular Is jQuery?

According to StackOverflow's 2022 poll of web technologies used by professional developers, jQuery was utilized by slightly more than 29% of the more than 45,000 respondents. Among JavaScript libraries, jQuery was only second behind React.js, created at Facebook (now Meta) in 2011, and is now used by over 44% of those developers.

However, existing web development efforts reveal only some of the picture. According to BuiltWith's Internet technology trends, jQuery will be found on over 80 million websites by 2022. That's a big edge over the almost 11 million React websites.

JavaScript libraries, jQuery

For more than a decade, the jQuery library has been included in the core of WordPress, making it available out of the box to hundreds of themes that rely on its capabilities to construct dynamic websites. 

Another prominent content management system that includes jQuery as a major component is Drupal. Whatever technologies are now popular among developers, jQuery remains the most-used JavaScript library on the web.

jQuery Vs. JavaScript

jQuery Vs. JavaScript

But how does jQuery differ from JavaScript? Alexandre Ouellette writes, “JQuery is a library, written in JavaScript, used to simplify frontend code that manipulates HTML.”

They appear to be competitors at first glance, but they aren't. The key difference is that JavaScript is a programming language, whereas jQuery is a library. jQuery exists because JavaScript was the first. Their duties are quite distinct. JavaScript is self-contained. However, jQuery is not.

The goal of jQuery is to make it much easier to utilize JavaScript on your website. jQuery has been upgraded to function with several browsers. Therefore, if you plan to construct a project that will be utilized on multiple browsers, you should use jQuery rather than JavaScript.

When performance is considered, you can find that JavaScript is slower than jQuery, although JavaScript is faster when accessing DOM. Complex or lengthier code may be simpler to understand and execute if written in jQuery, as longer code might include numerous errors in JavaScript. jQuery is easier to use to code with. 

Why jQuery?

jQuery is an extremely compact and well-written JavaScript code that boosts developer productivity by allowing them to perform crucial UI features with very little code.

Event handling is a key element of the jQuery library. Adding events like mouse clicks and form submissions takes a few lines of code. It aids in keeping the HTML code clean and clear of event handlers. Its Document Object Model (DOM) manipulation functionality makes it easy to modify HTML components. 

Using different event ways, you may add, update, and delete web items using the user-friendly web browser interface. Also, there is no need to learn new syntaxes to implement jQuery; simply understanding standard JavaScript syntax is enough. Plus, you get standard and cleaner code; there is no need to write numerous lines of code to accomplish sophisticated functionality.

Remember that using a content delivery network (CDN) makes deploying jQuery scripts to a website easier. You won't have to download and save the library file in the site's folder this way.

Must-know jQuery Features

Must-know jQuery Features

How can jQuery help? Let's examine some crucial function samples to see how jQuery can help you.

  1.  Easy DOM manipulation:

JQuery can easily alter the Document Object Model. The Document Object Model (DOM) is a programming architecture for HTML and XML documents. It represents a document's structure and enables programs to change its form, style, and content. You can dynamically alter your webpage's content using JQuery's DOM manipulation techniques.

Here’s an example.

Easy DOM manipulation:

Clicking the button in this example changes the content in the paragraph from "Hello, World!" to "Hello, jQuery!"

  1. Event handling made simple:

JQuery's simple and efficient event-handling framework is another significant feature. Events in JavaScript are activities in the application you are developing. These events can range from a user hitting a button to a web page not loading or an animation finishing.

When the mouse hovers over the paragraph in this example, the text color changes to red, then it returns to black when the mouse leaves:


  1. AJAX support:

Given its AJAX approach, jQuery is great for designing a responsive website using AJAX functions. This feature enhances the user experience by simplifying HTTP request procedures without refreshing the web page.

  1. Cross-browser compatibility:

Furthermore, jQuery has cross-browser compatibility, making it compatible with most web browsers. It also supports CSS3 selectors and XML Path Language (XPath) syntax.

  1. Effects and animations:

JQuery has several built-in animation effects that you may utilize on your web pages. With little to no work, you may design products such as hiding/showing items, fading in/out backdrop color, sliding up/down, and unique animations.

In this case, clicking the button causes the green box to animate. The box will expand and move to the right and down:


Learning JQuery

It's critical to grasp JavaScript before diving into a JQuery tutorial. A JQuery tutorial simplifies JavaScript. However, studying a JQuery tutorial is much simpler if you have a good JS foundation.

JQuery's heart is in choosing components and performing actions on them. The $ symbol is used as a shorthand for jQuery. As a result, $(this).hide() means "hide the current element."

Let’s see an example.


The function $(document).ready in the preceding example guarantees that the script executes after loading the page. The function $("p").click attaches a click event to all p elements and the function $(this).hide() conceals the clicked element.

Conclusion: The Future of JQuery

JQuery is the ideal easy-to-use framework for JavaScript and for inexperienced website developers.

The rationale behind success stems from the framework's capacity to draw on additional individuals. To clarify, this framework is maintained by a big developer community, indicating that JQuery is not only current but also here to stay for a long time.

To get the full benefits of JQuery, we propose that you master the ins and outs of this technology by enrolling in a thorough course that covers the framework's fundamental building elements.

Need help starting with your first jQuery app? Let MarsDevs help you. Reach out to us today!


  1. What is JQuery used for?

JQuery is a well-known, compact, and feature-rich JavaScript library. With its simple API that works across multiple browsers, it has eased HTML page navigation and manipulation, event handling, and animation.

  1. How does using JQuery simplifies JavaScript programming?

JQuery significantly simplifies JavaScript development since it uses such a basic vocabulary and techniques to do complicated tasks. It encapsulates low-level activities so that developers may focus on the logic of their applications rather than becoming mired down in the complexities of multiple browsers.

  1. How can I start learning JQuery?

To get started with JQuery, you must first understand HTML, which is the starting point for any web developer. CSS should also be addressed, as a website can only be produced with CSS files that include all of your page's design elements.

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