What Is jQuery CDN?

Posted on March 12, 2020 | Updated on December 17, 2020

jQuery CDN incorporates jQuery into web development without downloading the program and keeping it. It makes websites less bulky and takes up less space on your servers. CDN stands for content delivery network. CDNs are located all over the globe and provide files users can access at any time. They reduce page load times because the data is sent from the server closest to the user.

There are about 23 different CDNs in the U.S. with points of presence in cities such as Chicago, Atlanta and New York. Each content delivery network may have multiple locations, so there are more than 23 possibilities for delivering files.

jQuery CDN can be used for CSS animation as well as common tasks. It makes writing code much faster and easier and reduces the load on your system.

A Brief History

John Resig created jQuery in 2006. The cssQuery library that came before inspired him. At one time, jQuery was licensed under both GPL and MIT licenses, but that led to confusion. Now,  jQuery is only under the MIT license.

Resig said writing Javascript code should be fun. His goal with creating jQuery was to get rid of the unnecessary markup and make common, repetitive tasks easy to understand and simple.

jQuery CDN is quite popular. In a look at the top 10 million websites, researchers found jQuery is used by over 74% of developers. This is a solid increase from 2015, when it was used by 62.7% of the top million sites.

How jQuery CDN Is Used in Website Development

The code to pull from a jQuery CDN provider goes right under the header in your webpage code. You can get it from various sources.

jQuery CDN offers the leverage of letting you create amazing pages with special effects.

The average person visiting your website is pretty impatient. They will wait a few seconds for your site to load, and then they’ll bounce away to another task. With the increasing popularity of mobile device usage, people multitask more than ever before. Your page needs to load within milliseconds, and jQuery CDN can help speed things up.

In a look at 5.2 million pages, researchers found the average website takes about 88% longer to load on mobile. This is unacceptable for most users. While you can’t control how quickly your site loads across all devices, utilizing CDNs helps.

Possible Issues With jQuery

There are some disadvantages to using jQuery CDN that you should be aware of. We believe the benefits outweigh the advantages. However, knowing what the cons are helps you navigate issues before they arise.

  • jQuery is a huge library. It is basically a single Javascript file and holds DOM, effects, events and AJAX. At first, the user has to download this library, which slows the process.
  • Developers may not learn more complex JavaScript. They can call up a command to do a rollover, but they can’t do their own DOM manipulation.
  • Modern browsers can do much of the same work of jQuery and eventually make it obsolete.

Although there are a few disadvantages to jQuery, there are also many pros:

  1. jQuery helps pages load faster and is SEO friendly.
  2. The syntax is simple and easy to read and edit for even amateur developers.
  3. It’s used widely, so there are new scripts and features added almost constantly as well as experts updating current code and fixing bugs.

One of the biggest benefits is that jQuery is readable by nearly any browser because of its simple language.

Recent Advances

jQuery CDN libraries are constantly evolving. New scripts are added and code gets refined on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. Although the basic syntax of jQuery hasn’t changed much from the time it was first created in 2006, the commands users can call on have increased. The first version of jQuery (1.2) was a mere 77.40 kilobytes. By comparison, the most current version (3.4.1) is around 266 or so kilobytes.

With faster internet speeds and better connectivity, most users hardly notice the time to initially download the jQuery files. Even though the file size has remained relatively small, the software is packed with fixes. jQuery developers constantly improve the library.

Impact on IT

jQuery can be used on local machines or called up from CDNs, making it popular with company IT departments. IT experts use jQuery to develop AJAX-based applications and ensure cross-browser support. It’s very easy to learn, so even new hires or those without a lot of experience in website development can pick it up easily.

IT departments might find they need to keep less material on in-house networks, reducing costs for the company. Because code is stored on other computers for fast delivery, the IT department can easily move to cloud-based computing.

Should I Use jQuery?

You might be wondering if a simple website design really needs to use jQuery, or if it’s a bloated program with slow load times that will aggravate your audience. Those who say jQuery bogs things down are not entirely correct. While there have been a lot of features and fixes added to the library over time, the program is still slim.

The raw production is around 88 kilobytes. The slim version is about 71 kilobytes, and it doesn’t contain AJAX or effects. It’s likely the same size as many of the images on your site.

Others say you must know Vanilla Javascript before you can understand jQuery. Remember, though, that Resig created jQuery for simple, fun Javascript options. It’s effortless to pick up the language, even if you’ve never used it before and only know basic coding. You will need to learn coding basics of conditionals, operators and variables, but those are fairly easy to pick up.

Will jQuery Be Obsolete Soon?

The program has already lessened in popularity. Developers once worked frantically to add to it. Now, with advances in browsers, much of the work of jQuery is taken care of already. With the latest release, users also find items that were once cached and loaded at lightning speed no longer do.

Whether you should use jQuery 3.4 or not depends on your personal needs. There is now a wider variety of tools that handle AJAX and work better with SVG. Some developers now use React instead because of the ability to do virtual direct object management (DOM). Modern Javascript is capable of doing anything jQuery can do. Some see it as old school and expect it to eventually be obsolete, while others argue there is still a need.

There are numerous articles and blogs stating jQuery is on its way out, and just as many others claiming it is here to stay for the long haul. The truth likely lies in the middle. Those who find it useful will continue to call on jQuery CDN libraries, and those who find other tools more helpful will go with those instead. The core of the issue is choices, and developers have more options today than they’ve ever had before.

Learning jQuery

If you’ve not yet used jQuery and it sounds interesting to you, spend some time studying how other developers use the language to call up commands. Experiment with some of the features from the library and see if it’s right for your website and your users. You will likely find that jQuery CDN is quite helpful for the simple commands you use over and over again. You may just fall in love with the language.

About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.

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