But don’t be misled into thinking that jQuery is only for beginners. As many as 54% of the Top 17,000 most visited websites in the world use jQuery for many functions. Compared to only 47% of websites using Flash, it’s clear that experienced developers recognize the benefits of using jQuery as well.
What is jQuery?
Some of the tasks jQuery does best include interacting with the Document Object Model (DOM), AJAX requests, and creating effects such as animations. Even though jQuery is not a complete application framework, there are thousands of plug-ins available that allow jQuery to do many things above and beyond its original intentions.
jQuery for Beginners explains many of the basic concepts you need to become proficient in jQuery scripting.
Once you have mastered jQuery, consider learning some basic PHP techniques as well.
The first thing you need to do is include the jQuery source code in your website. There are two ways to do this. The first is to download a copy of the source directly and import it from the server each time.
The second method is much easier and reduces strain on the Web server. You can include jQuery from Google’s Content Delivery Network (CDN). This is the better option because your website is guaranteed to be using the latest version of jQuery and of course, it reduces website bandwidth from the server.
Once jQuery is loaded on your webpage, you can begin using it. If you have any experience using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), you should be right at home using jQuery because it allows you to easily manipulate HTML elements in the same way you would using CSS.
If you’re not familiar with CSS or are interested in a refresher course, make sure you check out CSS Made Easy.
JQuery relies on a CSS selector engine known as Sizzle. Basically, this means that any selector used in your stylesheet gets applied to the DOM and can be manipulated using jQuery.
One thing that many beginning jQuery users don’t realize is that the browser has to parse the entire HTML and DOM hierarchy before visitors can interact with the website. If you query the DOM before it’s ready, your website may not work properly. Although it’s easy to blame jQuery for this problem, it’s relatively easy to fix.
The best way to avoid these issues is to use the jQuery method $(document) .ready ( ). By placing your jQuery scripts with in this method, you ensure that visitors do not interact with an element before the DOM is ready.
The best way to learn how to use jQuery is to practice. The AJAX support in jQuery is excellent and allows you to easily pull in data asynchronously for your site. AJAX Development explains this concept in more detail. Animation is also very simple using jQuery and can add some really interesting effects to new websites and existing designs.
So – what are you waiting for? Start using jQuery today and learn how easy it is to improve your existing HTML/CSS-based designs.