Talk to us
Talk to us

jQuery vs JavaScript: What’s the Difference?

jQuery vs JavaScript: What’s the Difference?

Ever felt confused about the difference between jQuery and JavaScript? They are both critical in web design but have vital variations. This guide will explain the distinctions between using plain jQuery vs JavaScript. If you are ready to learn, let’s dive in!

What is jQuery?

jQuery is a small JavaScript library that makes it easy to do everyday things on websites. It helps you work with HTML and CSS to make web pages interactive. With jQuery, you can find elements on a page and change them without writing lots of code.

For example, you can show and hide things with just one line of code. Hence, you can make animations and add effects like sliding or fading. Furthermore, jQuery also makes it easy to respond when the user clicks or types something. This is called handling events.

Lastly, the best thing about jQuery is that it works the same in all web browsers. You don’t have to worry about browsers being different. jQuery takes care of that for you. Overall, jQuery lets web developers do more but write less code. It’s faster, simpler, and more fun than regular JavaScript. That’s why so many websites use jQuery today.

Features of jQuery

jQuery provides developers with a concise and efficient solution for building interactive web applications. Next, let’s look at some key features of jQuery:

  • jQuery makes everyday JavaScript tasks easier. For example, its simple syntax lets you select, move through, and change page elements with less code than regular JavaScript.
  • Also, jQuery makes it easy to style HTML elements. It has methods like .css() that let you quickly change CSS.
  • In addition, jQuery works with all major browsers like IE, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
  • Further, jQuery supports AJAX technology out of the box. This lets you quickly load data and update page parts without reloading.
  • Plus, jQuery has built-in methods for animations like fades, slides up/down etc. So you can make custom animations efficiently.
  • Likewise, jQuery lets you “chain” methods to do multiple operations in one line of code. This gives shorter and faster code.
  • Finally, jQuery is open-source and has a big community. So lots of help is available through docs and tutorials.

Pros and Cons of jQuery

This section covers the key advantages and potential drawbacks of using jQuery. We’ll examine the main positives and some areas where jQuery may not be the best option.

Pros of jQuery

  • Easy to Learn and Use: jQuery has a straightforward, easy-to-understand syntax that makes it accessible for novices to pick up and apply. In addition, it provides shortcuts for everyday tasks, which can help you reduce the size of your JavaScript code.
  • Cross-browser Compatible: jQuery is cross-browser compatible, meaning that it works on all major browsers. This can save you time and effort when developing websites compatible with multiple browsers.
  • Extensive Library of Plugins: jQuery offers a vast selection of plug-ins that can expand the capabilities of your web pages. Hence, these plugins can be easily installed and used, making adding new website features accessible.

Cons of jQuery

  • Can be Restrictive: jQuery can sometimes be restrictive, as it only provides a limited set of functions. However, it is still a powerful library that can be used to develop various websites.
  • More Powerful than Other Frameworks: jQuery is less powerful than JavaScript frameworks, such as AngularJS or React. However, it is still famous for developing simple and lightweight websites.
  • Can be Difficult to Debug: jQuery can be cumbersome to debug, as it can be challenging to track down the source of errors. However, there are several tools available that can help with debugging jQuery code.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript makes websites do more. It lets web pages change and respond when people use them. HTML is the structure, CSS is the style, and JavaScript makes it come alive.

For example, when you fill in a form or click a button on a website, JavaScript often makes something happen. It can change what you see without reloading the page. Moreover, it can make animations and get data from servers in the background.

JavaScript is unique because it works right in your web browser. Every modern website uses it to make the site better. The programmer writes JavaScript code. Hence, the code runs when the website loads. It responds when the user clicks, scrolls, types, and more. So the website feels responsive and interactive, not static. All thanks to JavaScript!

In conclusion, You don’t need any extra software for JavaScript. It comes built-in with web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. That’s why it’s used on almost every website today to provide a smooth experience.

You may also like: How to Build a JavaScript Chat App

Features of JavaScript

JavaScript is a powerful programming language for web development. From handling user interactions to making HTTP requests, JavaScript plays a crucial role in enhancing the user experience. Here are the key features of JavaScript and its importance in modern web development.

  • JavaScript makes web pages interactive. For example, it responds to things like button clicks or mouse moves.
  • JavaScript uses functions in a unique way. You can pass them around, use them as values, or store them in variables.
  • JavaScript handles tasks without waiting. It uses tools like promises and async/awaits for this.
  • You can use JavaScript to connect with other online services or tools. It fetches data, links with other platforms, and even discusses hardware.
  • It can change web page content on the fly. This is thanks to its support for the DOM.
  • JavaScript uses a unique system for linking objects. This system, called prototypes, offers a flexible way to set up object relationships.
  • Almost all web browsers understand and run JavaScript. This means more people can access JavaScript-powered sites.

Pros and Cons of JavaScript

Understanding the pros and cons of JavaScript is crucial for developers and businesses alike. Here are the strengths and weaknesses of JavaScript, allowing you to make informed decisions when using it in your web development projects.

Pros of JavaScript

  • Everywhere in Browsers: All modern web browsers understand JavaScript. So, if you write a website or app with it, most people can use it.
  • Not Just for Websites: JavaScript is for more than just web pages. With special tools, it can run on servers and even on desktop computers. You can use JavaScript in many places.
  • React to User Actions: JavaScript is excellent at responding to what users do, like clicks or key presses. Websites feel alive and interactive with it.
  • Lots of Ready-to-Use Code: Many ready-made tools and code pieces are available for JavaScript. This means you often don’t need to start from scratch.

Cons of JavaScript

  • Can Be Tricky: Doing many things at once in JavaScript can be challenging for new learners. It feels like juggling!
  • Not the Fastest: For cumbersome tasks, other languages might be faster. But for most web stuff, JavaScript is quick enough.
  • **Safety Issues: Because it’s everywhere, bad people try to find weak spots in JavaScript to cause harm. So, writing safe code is essential.
  • Browsers Think Differently: Different web browsers understand JavaScript in their ways. This could lead to headaches, but it’s gotten better.

Examples of JavaScript and JQuery

JavaScript and jQuery are essential tools in web development for creating dynamic and interactive websites. Now we will explore practical examples that demonstrate the capabilities of JavaScript and jQuery.

Vanilla JavaScript

document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded", function() {
    // firstly, Selecting the button using getElementById
    var button = document.getElementById("myButton");

    button.addEventListener("click", function() {
        // secondly, Selecting the paragraph using getElementById
        var paragraph = document.getElementById("myParagraph");

        // third, Changing the text and color of the paragraph
        paragraph.innerText = "Hello from JavaScript!"; = "red";


$(document).ready(function() {
    // first, Selecting the button using jQuery selector
    $("#myButton").click(function() {
        // secondly, Changing the text and color of the paragraph using jQuery methods
        $("#myParagraph").text("Hello from jQuery!").css("color", "red");

Key Differences Between jQuery and JavaScript

JavaScript and jQuery are both essential for building websites. However, they are not the same thing. There are some key differences between them. Hence, knowing their differences helps web developers improve their skills and make better websites.

This table shows the main differences between JavaScript and jQuery:

NatureProgramming languageLibrary built on JavaScript
ComplexityRequires more lines of code for complex tasksSimplifies coding with shorter and cleaner syntax
DOM ManipulationUses standard DOM APIProvides simpler methods for DOM manipulation
Cross-browserPotential issues across different browsersDesigned to handle cross-browser inconsistencies
PluginsDoesn’t inherently support pluginsExtensive plugins available for various functionalities
Learning CurveSteeper, especially for beginnersEasier to grasp due to its simplification of tasks


In summary, JavaScript lays the foundation. jQuery builds on it. jQuery gives handy tools to work faster. For example, it makes DOM and AJAX coding simpler. So the choice depends on the project and developer. For simple sites, plain JavaScript may be enough. However, for complex sites, jQuery can save time and effort. In short, JavaScript handles the core logic. jQuery streamlines typical jobs.

Together, they enable interactive web development. Hence, finding the right balance allows efficient coding. With powerful real-time interaction tools like the ZEGOCLOUD SDK, developers can now quickly build real-time apps with video call SDK, voice chat SDK, and live streaming SDK, using plain JavaScript or jQuery to interact with the DOM and make network requests. Sign up to get started!

Talk to Expert

Learn more about our solutions and get your question answered.

Talk to us

Take your apps to the next level with our voice, video and chat APIs

Free Trial
  • 10,000 minutes for free
  • 4,000+ corporate clients
  • 3 Billion daily call minutes

Stay updated with us by signing up for our newsletter!

Don't miss out on important news and updates from ZEGOCLOUD!

* You may unsubscribe at any time using the unsubscribe link in the digest email. See our privacy policy for more information.