Inquiries about jQuery


Keep hearing about jQuery and have no idea what it is? I’m here to help. jQuery is a the most popular JavaScript Library, meaning that it is a collection of functions of JavaScript. JavaScript is a language that tell things in a code how to function, and with jQuery, JavaScript is used to select, a.k.a. “query,” elements and then tell them what to do. jQuery is advantageous to use because it is free, open source, easy, and there is a lot to choose from within the library. There is a large jQuery community that provides tutorials, explanations, and support. I know this can all be a little confusing, but just stick with me.

It makes sense to use jQuery if your platform for your project already includes it, like on WordPress or Drupal. It is also useful if you want to use plugins relevant to what you are trying to accomplish on your website, since jQuery is so available and easy to use. jQuery can also be used to create compatibility between JavaScript and Internet Explorer. Sometimes JavaScript is not supported on this browser, so jQuery can step in and make sure it works. It also makes JavaScript shorter and easier to read and understand.

To use jQuery, you have to download the file of the version you want to use. The file encompasses the code that you need. You would then have to point to your file, either by embedding the code directly in your html, or linking to it externally. The mark up to reference the jQuery is typically located either in the head of the document or at the end of the body. The end of the document before the closing body tag is typically preferred. Then you would write your own scripts to tell it specifically what you want it to do.

There are multiple resources out there that recommend useful jQuery plugins. One such helpful site is, which lists multiple different plugins and their uses. One plugin from this resource that I find really interesting is Tubular, which lets you set a YouTube video as your page background that keeps playing. This would be a visually dynamic way to capture that attention of your audience.

Many plugins can be found directly on the jQuery library website, Two useful ones are Colorbox and Magnific Popup. Colorbox is a lightbox plugin that supports pictures and slideshows. What’s nice about it is that it doesn’t require changes in the HTML and can be styled through CSS. Magnific Popup is another lightbox-type plugin for images, videos, galleries, etc. It’s usefulness comes in its small size and compatibility, making it fast and efficient. It’s also responsive and mobile friendly, which is a great feature for web design nowadays.

Another resource with great jQuery plugins is, which had jQuery packages and plugins. It has anything from Cascading Dropdown menus, where one dropdown is dependent on the value of the previous dropdown, to AnimateTimeline, which you guessed it…allows you to animate a timeline. Imagine that! This could be really interesting and useful when trying to communicate a series of events.

Start exploring and see how jQuery can enhance your website!