If you find yourself asking, “How did they do that?” about some of the functional elements on today’s leading websites, the answer would most likely be jQuery. Although it’s been around for roughly five years, jQuery has picked up a lot of steam lately, and become one of the best ways to create everything from simple accordion menus to complex carousels with dynamically-loaded content.
Pros, pros and more pros
The Flash Assassin
In addition to cutting down on troubleshooting time, jQuery animations are significantly easier to create and manipulate compared to anything developed in Adobe Flash. If you really take the time to study what you can accomplish with basic jQuery functions, you’ll start to question why you’ve spent as much time as you have ActionScripting, compressing and integrating heavier Flash files.
Right now, there are very specific things you may need Flash for, such as homegrown video players. But when you stop and analyze what you’re mainly using Flash for, you’ll quickly find jQuery to be a suitable replacement. Why? Well, compared to Flash files, jQuery code …
- Loads faster
- Can be read by search engines
- Is easier and more efficient to work with
- Can be viewed on mobile devices
- Doesn’t require a user to regularly update software to run
- Is easier to troubleshoot
- Isn’t dependent on a unique piece of desktop software
Can be viewed on mobile devices is one of the top things to be aware of when considering when and where to use jQuery as opposed to Flash. As mobile device usage increases, users will begin to demand the same unique functionality on those devices as they find on desktop browsers. But even if Flash files suddenly become viewable on smartphones, we’ll still be working on a platform that doesn’t have the same computing capacity – specifically memory usage – as a traditional desktop computer. Therefore, businesses that want to embrace the mobile online channel and provide users with that “wow” factor are going to want to ask their Web design company about jQuery and some alternate solutions.