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What is jQuery and why should my website use it?

Apr 26, 2013 9:44:00 AM / by Matthew Rayner

Rollingsons-jQueryIf you’ve recently looked into website development, you may have heard developers talking about jQuery. jQuery is a framework that allows web developers to make changes to a site as it is being viewed.
One of the most popular uses for jQuery is to animate content on a website. The term “animation” can cover moving words or images, and not just video content. It is a useful visual aid that can be used to attract the attention of visitors and direct them to important content and key pages of your website.
Traditionally, this animation was developed using by Adobe’s Flash software. However, jQuery offers some important advantages for a modern website over Flash.
Flash files use their own special format for describing the content it contains. This means that search engines are unable to read that content, preventing them from indexing that content. This can have a negative impact on the search visibility of a website if a significant amount of the content is animated and therefore hidden to search engines. Content in a jQuery site is no different in format to a typical static website, so a search engine will not encounter any difficulties indexing this content.
Another problem with Flash is that many mobile devices are unable to display content created with it. This is the case on Apple’s range of popular devices that include the iPhone and iPad. These devices can use jQuery to animate the page, and the content can even utilise responsive web design techniques that allow the animation to adjust to better suit the smaller mobile device.
DBS’s web design team has used jQuery in the development of many of its recent websites. Rollingsons Solicitors uses jQuery to turn a static image on the home page into a slideshow with a moving arrow that draws a user’s attention to the different types of law that Rollingsons specialise in. This list then links the user to the section where they can find the content most relevant to their needs.

Matthew Rayner

Written by Matthew Rayner

Web Project Manager

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