What is AJAX? Why to Use it for Web Development?

what-is-ajax

AJAX is one of the best techniques for creating dynamic websites that provide an enhanced user experience. It’s also one of the hardest web development techniques to understand. AJAX is a web development technique that assist in developing responsive web applications. It allows web developers to create interactive websites with smooth navigation, fast loading time, and immediate response to inputs.

AJAX programming is a term that refers to the use of XML HTTP requests and core JavaScript to send and retrieve data from a web server asynchronously (in the background) without interfering with the display or rendering functionality of a webpage.

In this article, we will talk about AJAX and discuss all the major benefits of using it for web development.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

What is AJAX?

AJAX is a programming technique for creating dynamic web pages. It’s a shorthand name for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. AJAX helps to boost the user experience by sending and receiving data to and from a server in the background, while a web page loading in the foreground can remain largely unchanged. This means that a user can interact with all or part of a page before it’s completely loaded – without waiting 2-3 seconds every time for a new web page to load.

Benefits of Using AJAX

There are several benefits of using AJAX on your website. Take a look at some of those benefits mentioned below:

1. Improved User Experience

AJAX is a technique in web development that allows a web page to refresh parts of it without reloading the entire webpage. The casual observer may not notice the difference, but the improved functionality and user experience can be compelling. Also, this technique comes in handy for creating interactive web applications that look and feel like desktop applications.

AJAX compliments many aspects of User Experience (UX) by allowing visitors to stay on the website longer because they do not need to refresh pages when interacting with different features of the website.

2. Asynchronous Processing

Asynchronous processing is a software development technique used to increase a web application’s responsiveness by allowing a server to send a partial HTTP response to a client while a time-consuming task continues to run on the server. In other words, it allows a web page to display some content immediately while the remaining content is being retrieved from the server.

AJAX allows you to send and receive data from a server asynchronously in the background. It has emerged as one of the most powerful and widely used modern website development technologies.

3. Reduced Server Hits and Network Load

With more and more individuals using mobiles to browse the web, there’s a real need for optimization in order to reduce page load times and meet certain bandwidth requirements. At a basic level, one way to achieve this goal is by making fewer calls to the server.

If you’re only making AJAX requests on clicks, it will decrease server load because you are making fewer requests and the server is responding with limited data. Also, it becomes possible to load data dynamically on websites without hampering the user experience of  visitors.

4. Faster Responses to Client Requests

In a non-AJAX web application environment, HTTP requests sent by the client browser are directly processed by the server. The web server processes the incoming request and returns the response to the client browser in the form of HTML and CSS.

On the contrary, in an AJAX web application environment, the AJAX engine sits in between the client browser and the web server. It is the AJAX layer that is responsible for initiating requests to the server. The web server processes these incoming requests and returns the response to the AJAX engine rather than the client directly. This model facilitates faster responsiveness by minimizing delays.

5. Multi-browser Support

AJAX has been around for some time now and is something that new web developers appreciate. It is a technology that makes it convenient for users to navigate your website.

Having support for multiple browsers is good in many ways. For one, the code only needs to be written once, which decreases development time. AJAX supports different browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It uses XML code to send information between web pages without requesting a page refresh.

6. Faster Page Rendering and Improved Response Time

AJAX is a JavaScript library that allows web applications to asynchronously send and retrieve data from the server. Also, many popular websites such as Gmail, Facebook, and Wikipedia uses it. One of the benefits that AJAX provides is faster page loads due to its capability of loading something into or removing something from a page without having to reload the whole thing. These changes can happen instantly, so users don’t have to wait for a page to refresh to see a change.

Conclusion

In this article, we have learned what AJAX is and why it is relevant today. We have also seen the benefits of using it for web development. Today, AJAX has become a critical part of many websites to load data from different web pages to the main window without refreshing the entire page.

We hope that this article has helped you to understand AJAX better so that you can easily exploit its features to develop high-performance websites.

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