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What Can You Do With jQuery?

Are you wondering what is jQuery and what does it have to do with running a small business? It’s no secret that a well-made website can make or break a business. If your website does not function correctly, you will chase customers away. It will not matter if you have an amazing product if it is too hard for customers to purchase the product. It’s also no secret that web design and development is not a skill you can learn overnight. jQuery is a program full of resources that can help you build the perfect website for your business. In this article, you will learn what jQuery is and how to use it.

how to use jquery

What Is jQuery?

Let’s first answer the question, “What is jQuery?” It is one of the most popular JavaScript libraries, used by companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, Netflix, and many more. It is not a programming language, rather it is a library of concise JavaScript tasks.

Sometimes common website building tasks require the most lines of code. jQuery simplifies these lines of code into a single line of code called a method that you can call on instead. What would normally be 25 lines of Java code is only 5 lines in jQuery. That means a lot less typing for you. 

In addition to shortening the code, jQuery is relatively easy to learn. You should learn simple coding syntax and standards, but in terms of learning to code, only the basics are needed. jQuery makes difficult or tedious work simpler so you can focus on building your website. 

This program is massive. New code is added all the time. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. There are a lot of commands to choose from, but as it grows larger, the more strain your computer will feel. A larger file means it will take longer to open. Another disadvantage of jQuery is that it uses abstraction. Events will be easier for beginners, but more difficult functions like DOM manipulation will require a deeper understanding of JavaScript.

If you are willing to put in a little extra time to learn the answer to the question, “What is jQuery?” and how to use it, you will save a lot of time building a website in the long run. jQuery’s many functions make building a great website easy.

jQuery Function

jQuery functions make building your website easy and quick. Below are some of jQuery’s most useful functions.

Plugins

Plugins are a useful function. It is simply a piece of code written in a JavaScript file, but it can make your life so much easier.  There are plugins for many of the most common web development techniques.

DOM Manipulation (Document Object Model)

DOM manipulation is the process of interacting with the DOM API to change the HTML document to add, remove, and edit elements before it is rendered onto the web browser. jQuery uses an engine called sizzle to make this process easier.

Animation and AJAX support

If you want an engaging website, you might want to consider using jQuery’s built-in animation effects and responsive web design technology through AJAX. AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. Responsive web design is important. You want your website to be legible and intuitive for all customers, no matter which device or screen size they view it from. This jQuery function can make that much easier. 

jquery function

Search Engine Optimization

jQuery is search engine optimized. Its content is smaller than Flash and easily read by all major search engines. Just by using jQuery, you get the added benefit of search engine algorithms accurately reading your website. This will help your website be sorted accurately, hopefully towards the top, on the search engine results pages.

Cross-Browser Compatible

jQuery is considered cross-browser compatible. This means that your code will render as intended on modern browsers.

How to Use jQuery

jQuery can be helpful, but it can quickly become overwhelming if it is your first time doing any kind of programming. Luckily, as long as you have a decent understanding of coding basics, this tool is one of the easiest ways to code your website. 

Getting Started with jQuery

Now that you can answer, “what is jQuery,” you can learn how to use jQuery. Before you start using jQuery, you should have some knowledge of HTML and CSS and an understanding of the fundamentals of programming. While this might seem daunting, you just need to know the basics. Taking the time to learn the basics will make using this tool much simpler. 

When you have the necessary background, you can begin building your website. You can begin using jQuery in one of two ways:

Download jQuery

There are two types of jQuery available for download. The production version of jQuery is for live websites. Your code will be minified and compressed. The development version is for testing and development. Your code will be readable and uncompressed.

jQuery CDN

You can also use a Content Delivery Network, or CDN. This will allow you to include jQuery directly into your HTML from the CDN. Google and Microsoft both provide content delivery for jquery. 

jquery library

Using jQuery

Below are some of the most important things you should know about using jQuery.

Document Object

Before you can make changes to your website, you need to make the document object ready to edit.  Create a file in the correct directory with the code:

$(document).ready(function() {

// Custom jQuery Code Goes Here

});

Now you are ready to make changes to your website. Any jQuery code you pull from their library will be placed where the comment, // Custom jQuery Code Goes Here, is written. Make sure that you use the correct syntax and formatting or else your code might not execute.

Selectors

To tell jQuery which element you want to work on, you will use selectors. Selectors can be accessed by using the $ symbol followed by the selector enclosed by quotation marks and parenthesis. 

Example: $(“Selector”)

Here are some of the most commonly used selectors for reference:

  • $(“*”) 
    • This selector selects every element on the page.
  • $(“this”) 
    • This selector selects only the element that is currently being edited.
  • $(“p”)
    • This selector selects all <p> tags. 
  • $(“.sample”)
    • This selector selects every element that has a sample class applied to it.
  • $(“#sample”)
    • This selector selects only one element with a sample id 
  • $(“[type=’text’]”)
    • This selector selects any element with text applied to the type attribute.
  • $(“p:first-of-type”)
    • This selector only selects the first instance of <p>.

If you need another type of selector, you can refer to the full list to find what you need.

Events

If you want to do more than add text to your website, you will need to use events. There is an element to add a clickable button, that causes something to happen when a user hovers over an element, allows a user to submit something, causes something to happen when a user scrolls, and many more. 

Perhaps you want a message to show up when a user clicks on an image. You would use the click() command about the image element.

Elements bring a level of interactivity that helps keep customers entertained and on your website longer. 

Effects

Effects are similar to events, though they are not necessarily instigated by a user’s action. Animations are a common effect, but you can also change opacity, add sliding effects, and other effects. Effects are added in the same way that events are added. 

You can use a combination of any event or effect you would like, but the more you do to a single element the more likely you are to make a mistake. Play around until you have a dynamic website, but be careful not to overdo it. Movement catches the eye, but if it is too much, it can be overwhelming. 

what is jquery

jQuery Library

The jQuery library is full of concise and easy-to-understand code to help you build the best website for your business. If you are willing to take the time to learn the coding basics, this tool will make creating a website quick and easy. You might even have some fun trying out the different functions until you settle on something that works for you and your customers. There are many things you can do with this helpful tool: you just need to try it out for yourself.

If you have any questions jQuery or need help designing a search engine optimized website, be sure to reach out to SEO Design Chicago. Our team of experts is ready to help you.

FAQ:

  • What is jQuery?
  • What are some jQuery functions?
  • Is learning jQuery easy?
  • How can you download jQuery?
  • What are effects in jQuery?

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