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


JavaScript is the popular programming language of the web. It is one of the core technologies – the other two being HTML and CSS – that powers the web. There are numerous tools, libraries, and frameworks for JavaScript that facilitate web development.

One of the most popular libraries for JS is jQuery. In this article, we will focus on this popular JavaScript library. So, let’s start our discussion with “what is jQuery?”

What is jQuery?

jQuery is a JavaScript library that is free to use. It’s lightweight and comes in handy when we need to write less code and get more done. It is likely the most widely used JS library today. According to W3techs.com, more than 77% of all websites use jQuery.

It’s simple to change and use. Additionally, jQuery has a sizable community that offers a wealth of learning materials, assistance, and documentation.

The best thing about this popular JS library is that it works with different JavaScript libraries. Moreover, it has a plethora of plugins to assist scale its capabilities. It does not, however, work with other programming languages.

Developers can use this library to create a standard user interface and deal with browser compatibility concerns without difficulty. Internally, all code written in jQuery is converted into JavaScript code.

Why jQuery?

jQuery is significantly easier to use, with a basic API that works in a variety of browsers. It improves user experience by making your web pages more dynamic and simple.

It has a number of visual features, including ease-in and ease-out effects, that make it one of the most popular options among web designers. Netflix, Google, IBM, and Microsoft are some of the big companies that use them.

Because its syntax for AJAX calls is fairly easy compared to the native XmlHttpRequest, it is frequently the first library that JavaScript developers learn. It provides quick fixes for typical JavaScript problems like sorting and filtering arrays.

Basic Syntax

  • $ is used to define a query.
  • (selector) is used to “query” the HTML elements in the HTML page.
  • action() is the action that should be performed on the selected elements.

Features of jQuery

  • The jQuery code must also be written within an HTML tag. To run the code within, we need to import/add the JS library.
  • The JavaScript library provides Selectors for retrieving DOM elements based on various criteria such as tag name, id, CSS class name, attribute name, value, and hierarchy’s nth-child.
  • Various built-in functions can be used to manipulate DOM elements, which include adding or removing items, altering HTML text, CSS classes, and so on.
  • Show or conceal elements, fade-in or fade-out of visibility, sliding effect, animation, and other special effects can be applied to DOM elements.
  • The jQuery library has functions that are similar to DOM events such as click, dblclick, mouseenter, mouseleave, blur, keyup, and keydown. Cross-browser concerns are handled automatically by these functions.
  • The popular JS library includes simple AJAX routines for loading data from services without having to reload the entire page.

jQuery Selector

You can select and manipulate HTML components with the help of jQuery Selectors. They are a crucial component of the JavaScript library. You can use jQuery selectors to find HTML components from their id, classes, attributes, types, and more.

In simple terms, selectors are used in jQuery to choose one or more HTML elements, and after the element has been selected, you can execute various operations on it.

This $ sign appears at the beginning of every jQuery selector (). The factory function is the name for this symbol.

  • Tag Name is a name that can be found in the DOM.

$(‘p’) will select all ‘p’ paragraphs in the document.

  • ID refers to a tag in the DOM that has a unique ID.

$(‘#abc’) picks a specific element in the document with the ID abc.

  • Tag Class represents a tag in the DOM that has a defined class.

$(‘xyz’) selects all elements in the document with the xyz class.

Advantages of jQuery

  • Ability to maintain basic, readable, clear, and reusable code.
  • Your website can look professional if the transitions or effects are used properly.
  • Compared to other libraries and plain JavaScript (Vanilla JS), jQuery is simpler to use.
  • Plugins are easy to find because they are available everywhere on the internet.
  • A few of the free jQuery plugins provide an excellent visual presentation.
  • It addresses several cross-browser problems and errors that come up while using JavaScript alone for development.

Disadvantages of jQuery

  • Backward compatibility is not possible with jQuery. Because there are so many published versions of the JS library, you’ll have to host the library yourself and update it on a regular basis.
  • While it is a large library, depending on how much customization you need on your website, the functionality may be limited. Thus, making the use of plain JavaScript is necessary for some circumstances.
  • Another significant issue with jQuery is that there are numerous versions available. Some versions work well together, while others don’t.
  • The development environment might become out of control if the library is implemented incorrectly as a framework.


jQuery is a sufficient library for the majority of web development projects with JS. It brings a lot of benefits to the table for web developers, therefore knowing how to use it should be a top priority.

When you use the leading JavaScript library, you can write less JS code while still enjoying all of the benefits. This frees you up to focus on other aspects of the project and work more efficiently.

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