How to learn JQuery (Step-by-Step) in 2021

Posted in jQuery
How to learn JQuery

Table of Contents

Introduction

JQuery is a JavaScript library. It’s fast, rich, easy-to-learn, and a “write more, do less” library. With the help of JQuery, you can wrap multiple lines of code written in JS into functions that can be invoked with only one small snippet of code. It simplifies lots of complicated tasks such as DOM manipulation, event handling, animation, HTML document traversal, and AJAX. The perfectly defined and easy-to-use JQuery API works across many web browsers and makes JavaScript programming easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. Moreover, JQuery has plugins that can perform almost all the tasks that would require tons of code when performed with plain JavaScript. 

Why Should You Learn JQuery?

Currently, tons of developers are on the JQuery bandwagon, and why shouldn’t they be? JQuery zeros down the cross-browser quirks, interoperability issues, and standardization issues. It creates an abstraction layer, taking care of all the workarounds. Let’s take a sneak-peek at some reasons why JQuery is so much popular even at the enterprise level.

  • It Promotes Simplicity: Anyone getting into the JavaScript world finds learning JQuery very intuitive and quite easy to learn. It has a simple syntax with open coding standards that allows you to create great websites.
  • It Gets Displayed Even When JS is Disabled: There can be many rendering issues if Adobe Flash is not installed on any browser. Thus, developers have to spend lots of time coding for those browsers that lack flash plugins. But with JQuery, they don’t have to do this anymore.
  • It can Create Animated Applications: Just like Flash, JQuery uses a combination o, HTML, CSS, JS, and AJAX that allows you to achieve great-looking effects. Hence, you don’t have to hire a Flash developer separately.
  • Pages Load Faster: The page load time, if slower, brings down your website’s performance and ranking in search engines. The best way to achieve a faster load time is to adopt coding practices that require very few code lines and can still achieve the desired result. JQuery provides you with the option to load tags only when you need them, thus improving the speed.
  • It is SEO-Friendly: There are tons of plugins available that can help you optimize your JQuery snippets for search engines. You can embed all your elements using simple unordered lists, a good and healthy practice to improve SEO ranking.

Needless to say, there are tons of reasons why you should adopt JQuery in your next web development project. First, it’s free and easy to use; it reduces waiting time by pushing content to the client; it’s smaller than flash, which results in smoother playbacks. Moreover, it works anywhere, eliminating compatibility issues and has a low learning curve. Most importantly, it’s SEO-friendly and CSS compliant.

While it’s true that the use of JQuery has been declining significantly in the past, thanks to the immense popularity gained by ReactJs and AngularJs, however, it’s still considered legacy technology and preferred by many.

   Source: https://insights.stackoverflow.com/trends?tags=jquery%2Cangular%2Cangularjs%2Creactjs%2Cvue.js

It’s indeed impossible for JQuery to return to its prominence. However, it will continue to exist for its legacy. The main reason behind this is Bootstrap still uses JQuery in almost all its code snippets. Hence, if you are a fan of bootstrap, you must as well learn JQuery. 

Moreover, from a job perspective, apart from modern frameworks like Vue, React, Angular, etc., it’s always good to have JavaScript and JQuery in your portfolio. When you apply for web development roles, or even front-end developers alone, they expect you to have a basic understanding of JS, JQuery, and AJAX. That being said, JQuery still has its own uses. It is still used in numerous projects ranging from enterprise-level eCommerce applications to straightforward and sleek landing pages. It’s still good for rapid prototyping and even animation if you are not good at CSS. It might be outdated, but it is surely not dead. 

Prerequisites

Before you get your hands dirty with JQuery, you need to have a deeper understanding of the following topics.

  • You should know and have worked with the fundamentals of CSS and HTML. You should have hands-on experience creating a simple website and understanding selectors in CSS, such as classes, ids, and pseudo-elements.
  • You should also have a fundamental understanding and have worked on the basics of programming. It’s also possible to begin working with JQuery without having advanced knowledge of JavaScript. Still, it’s strongly recommended that you are familiar with fundamentals such as objects, variables, data types, etc. 
  • You should also know about DOM manipulation since JQuery is mostly used to manipulate HTML DOM elements.

How to Install JQuery?

Predominantly, two ways are using which you can embed JQuery in your web pages. Please note that JQuery is nothing but a JavaScript file that you need to link with your HTML files. You can:

  • Either download the JQuery library from the official web page.
  • Or, you can link to the file via a CDN.  A Content Delivery Network or CDN is a group of multiple servers that combine to deliver web content to users based on their geographical location. Linking to a JQuery file via CDN arrives faster and loads efficiently than hosting it on your own server.

 

Downloading a Copy of JQuery

There are two versions of the JQuery file that are available for download.

  • The production version, which is used for the live websites since it is compressed and minified.
  • Development version, which is predominantly used for testing and development since it is readable and uncompressed.

Please visit the JQuery website to download.

After you have downloaded it, you can reference it using the <script> tag inside the head section in your HTML files.

<head>
<script src="jquery-3.5.1.min.js">
</script>
</head>

 

Using Google CDN

You can use the Google CDN for the JQuery library by simply embedding the source inside the script tag.

Please note that you should always link to the JQuery CDN before the closing body tag, followed by the custom JavaScript files you use in your project.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <title>Welcome to Hackr.io</title>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/style.css">
</head>
<body>
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.1.0/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script src="js/scripts.js"></script>
</body>
</html>


IDE (Integrated Development Environment)

To get the best out of JQuery, you must use IDEs that really appreciate the true capabilities of JQuery. There are tons of IDEs that provide immense support and plugins for JQuery. But choose the right one that helps you follow the best practices for coding, prompts at errors, has auto-completion features, etc. It’s always easier to use IDEs instead of text editors because IDEs help you generate standard codes automatically. They help you with compilation. They contain useful plugins, and they allow you to import libraries seamlessly. Let’s have a look at some popular IDEs that can be used to work with JQuery files.

Sublime Text: It’s a sophisticated next-generation text editor with a slick UI, extraordinary features, and top-notch performance. It utilizes a customized toolkit that is created to achieve speed and elegance. Some features that users love include - GoTo anything to open files with few keystrokes, GoTo definition to generate a project-wise index, multiple selections, command palette, powerful API and package ecosystem, easily customizable, split editing, instant project switching, and is available across all platforms.

Online Compiler

In case you don’t want to go through the hassle of downloading and installing IDEs in your system, you can always use online compilers that run on browsers. They are as useful as any other desktop IDEs but are relatively less customizable. Tutorialspoint is a free, fast, and secure online compiler used to develop JavaScript and JQuery scripts. 

How to Learn JQuery?

JQuery is easy-to-learn and can be learned within a few hours. However, it’s always recommended that you have a basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript before getting your hands dirty with JQuery. JQuery is simply a JS library. In simpler terms, it has 4 basic uses. These include:

  • It makes JavaScript codes very short. It can achieve the same thing in 2 lines which JavaScript does in 6-7 lines. 
  • It can perform complex tasks like DOM manipulation within a few lines of code.
  • Event handling is a piece of cake with JQuery as compared to plain JavaScript.
  • It makes AJAX calls very simple.

From a beginner’s perspective, it’s better to hop in and try out things like testing the various functionalities JQuery provides and its performance rather than going through the theory. Let’s take a look at 4 steps that you can follow to get started with JQuery right away.

Step 1. Adding a JQuery Library

Previously, we have already discussed how to use the JQuery library in our HTML files. There are two ways to do so - either by downloading the JQuery JavaScript file directly from the website and include it using the script tags, or you can use a CDN like Google to refer to the library. 

Using a CDN is a better choice because it loads faster than downloading files and hosting them on our own server. Moreover, it reduces the number of files in the project.

Step 2. Event Handling with JQuery.

You can easily program events like button clicks, mouse in, focus, key presses, etc., with the help of JQuery. For example, in the code below, on clicking a button, it displays an alert message.

<button id="alertButton">Click Here To Generate Alert</button>

<script type="text/javascript" src="JS/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
$(document).ready(function () {
    $("#alertButton").click(function (e) {
        alert("This is an alert for the Button")
    });
});
</script>

 

In the above code, the button click event is placed inside the function. This tells the server first to load the page completely; after that, a function is invoked when the button is clicked, displaying the alert message.

Step 3. DOM Manipulation using JQuery.

Making DOM manipulation using JavaScript is a hell of a task. However, JQuery makes it a piece of cake. Let’s take a simple example.

Let’s say there’s a list of 5 states displayed in radio buttons. When a person selects the right capital of the USA, it displays a “Correct” message. When he selects the wrong state, it displays the “Wrong” message. We can perform this by adding a click event with the radio button. 

<ul style="list-style:none">
    <li><input type="radio" value="Alaska" name="rdo">Alaska</li>
    <li><input type="radio" value="Buffalo" name="rdo">Buffalo</li>
    <li><input type="radio" value="Chicago" name="rdo">Chicago</li>
    <li><input type="radio" value="Boston" name="rdo">Boston</li>
    <li><input type="radio" value="DC" name="rdo">DC</li>
</div>

<script type="text/javascript" src="JS/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
$(document).ready(function () {
    $("input[type='radio']").click(function (e) {
        if($(this).val()=="DC")
            $(this).parent().append('<p style="margin:0;padding-left:10px;color:red;">Right</p>');
        else
            $(this).parent().append('<p style="margin:0;padding-left:10px;color:red;">Wrong</p>');
    });
});
</script>

In the above example, we check the value of the radio button which is clicked and compare it to the right answer. We then find the button clicked's parent list tag and append a paragraph tag with some CSS and appropriate text.

Step 4. JQuery AJAX.

Using JQuery, we can easily call server-side functions through AJAX requests and display the returned data to the HTML page. We can even query our database using AJAX and JQuery using partial postback.

All the four steps mentioned above are just enough to get you started with JQuery. Once you have hands-on experience with these steps, you can move one step ahead and learn how to optimize your code for better performance.

JQuery Course and Tutorials (Free and Paid)

 

Through this course, you will learn how to create elegant, responsive, dynamic websites that can compete with professional websites. It will help you to upgrade your understanding of the topic from beginner to advanced/expert level. You can learn important topics such as animations and effects, event handling, DOM manipulation, validation, etc. 

Key Points:

  • Topics are covered from scratch.
  • You will learn to add beautiful effects and animations to your websites.
  • You can add fast feedback and form validations.
  • You will learn to use AJAX to add content dynamically using APIs like TheMovieDB and Flickr.
  • You will handle user events like clicking mouse buttons, scrolling, pressing keys on a keyboard, etc. 
  • You will learn to manipulate the appearance of the web page and the content of any element.

 

Length: 51 lectures

Duration: 6h 4m

Rating: 4.6

This course is offered by Michigan University and is brought to you by the Coursera. You will begin with the JS language and the Object-Oriented pattern that it follows. You will then learn about the JQuery library and perform in-browser manipulation, DOM, and event handling. You will also learn about JSON to exchange data between server and code in the browser. 

Key Points:

  • A quick overview of JS and PHP.
  • Perform in-browser manipulation on-the-go.
  • Hands-on examples with quizzes and experiments.
  • Flexible deadline.
  • Graded assignments.
  • Certificate.

Length:  4 Courses for 4 Weeks

Duration: 26 hours Approx
Rating: 4.6

This is the best course to start with as a beginner. With no need to know any prerequisites to start with this JQuery course. It will give you a strong foundation, and you will gain enough confidence to move on to advanced certifications. 

Key Points:

  • No prerequisites are required.
  • Exemplary code for each concept.
  • You will build projects that you can apply to enhance your portfolio.
  • Quizzes for JQuery introduction, effects, and mouse events.
  • You will learn JQuery targeting, linking, and methods,
  • You will learn how to attach animations to the HTML tags.
  • You will learn how to do handle user events and use style methods.
  • You can master DOM manipulation.

Length: 3 Weeks (Approx)

Duration: 9 hours.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This is one of the best free JQuery resources that you will find anywhere. It contains a series of text tutorials with examples for each concept very well explained. You will learn every concept in the most detailed manner. 

Key Points:

  • You start with a basic introduction and syntax and move on to selectors and events. 
  • You will learn effects such as hide/show, fade, slide, stop, callback, etc.
  • You will get knowledge on manipulating HTML with JQuery.
  • You will learn how to traverse to elements which are ancestors, siblings, descendants, etc.
  • You will learn how to handle AJAX requests with JQuery.

Length: 2 Weeks (Approx)

Duration: Self-paced.

Rating: NA

JQuery Official Documentation

You can learn about the JQuery API through the official JQuery API documentation. You will get better insights on all the released versions. It contains rich information on all methods, functions, triggers, events, etc., that can be used with JQuery to manipulate HTML. You will learn about attributes, callbacks, CSS effects, browser events, document loading, forms, DOM manipulation, selectors, traversing, etc., all through detailed and easy-to-understand examples.

Projects

The best way to learn JQuery is to start building projects right away. You’ll get to learn lots of new features, tricks, useful resources once you start working on a project. Once you have the theoretical knowledge, you can start with a beginner project that interests you and play with it. You must start with an interesting project to stay on track with it throughout the project. 

You can learn better if you try to find alternative and better ways to perform a task rather than the methods already mentioned. This will allow you to expand your horizon and think beyond what already exists. 

Take a sneak-peak at some of the top beginner-level projects on JQuery.

  • Snake Game

You can begin with creating a simple snake game where you control a snake, and the goal is to get the snake to eat the fruit by taking the right track. The snake will grow bigger and longer each time it consumes the fruit. You have to prevent the snake from biting itself, and as soon as it does so, your game is over. You can use multiple animations, obstacles, and new features.

  • Custom Lightbox

Lightbox is a JS library that helps you to display images by filling the screen. It’s one of the most famous JQuery plugins. You can leverage JQuery to build your own custom lightbox, mimic the lightbox on buttons, and do more.

  • Password Strength Check

It’s quite a common project, and using JQuery; you can build one as well. You can leverage AJAX to carry out form validation, add alerts for weak passwords, add functions to make it more engaging, add animations, tooltips, etc.

  • Page Sliding

You can use JQuery to create a simple page slider where a new page slides in instead of refreshing. It’s a great way to please new visitors because it makes the web page interesting and good-looking. It’s an authentic and engaging way to drive more users.

  • Interesting Opening Animations

You can make cool animations using JQuery. You can leverage this feature to create interesting and lucrative opening animations for the homepage of your websites. Have a peek at this website to understand what JQuery can help you achieve.

Certifications

While there are many JQuery courses and tutorials available for beginnece, you can move forward and try your hands on some advanced certificatio once you know the concepts and have gained enough experiencens. Certifications will give you a boost in your resume and will allow you to gain the upper hand over tons of other candidates applying for the same jobs.

There are not many certifications available for JQuery. However, you can go with the below-listed certifications to test your knowledge.

CancanIT provides this certification, and it tests your skill and understanding on a deeper level. It has two parts - theoretical and practical. In the theoretical test, there are 20 questions (both single and multiple-choice), each for 1.5 minutes. The next is the practical task, where you will be asked to complete a real-life task, and you will be allotted 45 mins for it.

It covers elements such as element selectors, general framework, element events, Ajax calls, DOM manipulation, animations, and effects.

The certification cost is around USD 120.

 

Mindmajix provides this certification and training to develop your skills required to build interactive websites, animations, and more using JQuery. You will be able to master the fundamentals and work on real-time projects.

The course duration is 30 hrs and is led by an instructor. You will get around 20 hrs of lab sessions, certification, and even job assistance.

You have three options for training - self-paced learning, online live training, and corporate training. 

JQuery Interview Questions

Once you are well-versed with JQuery, it’s time for the big day. You now have to pull all your knowledge and preparation together to clear your job interview with flying colors. Before attending the interview, you must brush up on all the important concepts - both theoretical and practical. This will help you to gain confidence and will bring out the best in you. Let’s discuss a few questions that are frequently asked in JQuery interviews and are very likely to appear in your interview as well.

Check out the top 50 JQuery interview questions that you can use to prepare and crack even the interviews' toughest with ease.

Top Tips

If you are dead-serious about taking a career-path as JS or JQuery developer, you definitely need to give a chunk of time to figure out the most suitable pathway you can adopt to grasp it quickly and thoroughly. It’s essential to zero-in on all unnecessary hurdles so that you won’t get diverted and find the best way of learning JQuery. Here’s a list of a few tips that you must adopt during your journey with JQuery.

Tip #1 - Try to enroll yourself in a top practical course that is available online.

Tip #2 - Ensure you have a thorough knowledge of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

Tip #3 - You can look out for cheat sheets to learn JQuery quickly.

Tip #4 - Make sure you clearly understand the differences between IDs and Classes and their use-cases.

Tip #5 - You should know cache selectors and how to use them.

Tip #6 - Know the difference between Attributes and Properties.

Tip #7 - Ask for help in developer communities.

Tip #8 - Use the latest version of JQuery and always keep an eye on the latest updates.

Tip #9 - Leverage JQuery plugins.

Tip #10 - Always get in touch with other JQuery developers.

 

Wrapping Up

To sum up, in this step-by-step guide, we have covered the following topics.

  • We started with a brief introduction describing JQuery and how you can leverage it to make your development experience seamless. We then discussed why you should learn JQuery with a few points stating its advantages and use-cases. We discussed why its popularity is gradually decreasing, but it’s still being used to create dynamic web applications.
  • We then moved on to discuss what prerequisites you need to learn JQuery. We talked about how learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can help you better understand JQuery. We saw two different ways using which you can use JQuery in your scripts.
  • Post that, we discussed some popular IDEs that you can use to enhance your experience working with JQuery and leverage them to install useful plugins. We also discussed how you could use online compilers instead of downloading standalone IDEs.
  • After that, we discussed 4 easy and simple steps that you can adopt to learn JQuery quickly and thoroughly. We saw examples and sample codes for each of them. We discussed how JQuery can significantly reduce the number of code lines while still achieving the same JavaScript functionality.
  • Moving on, we discussed some popular free and paid JQuery courses and tutorials that will help you to get hands-on experience with JQuery and build up your portfolio. We discussed some cool projects that you can undertake to understand the topics better and play around with JQuery. We saw how you could use the JQuery official documentation as well.
  • We discussed how certifications in JQuery could help you gain an edge over other candidates and give you confidence while attending job interviews. We discussed some important interview questions on JQuery to help you get a last-minute prep on JQuery before you ace your interviews.
  • Finally, we discussed some important tips that you need to adopt to ensure that you follow the right track and learn JQuery the better way.

We certainly hope that you enjoyed our step-by-step guide that will help you to learn JQuery the modern way. This guide will surely help you find the right resources, adopt the right path, and gain in-depth knowledge and experience in JQuery before you jump into the corporate world.

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