File Under: JavaScript

Survey Finds JQuery Library Running on Half of All Websites

JQuery, the crown king of JavaScript. Image: Roberto Verzo/Flickr.

Every web developer knows that JQuery is popular, but just how popular? According to web technology survey group W3Techs, the little JavaScript library that could … already has, turning up on half of all sites on the web.

Created to simplify the process of writing JavaScript and manipulating HTML, JQuery began life a mere seven years ago, which makes the 50 percent adoption rate very impressive indeed.

And the numbers look even more impressive if you limit the survey to the top 10,000 sites (in terms of traffic) where the number jumps to 58.8 percent (curiously, if you limit it further to the top 1,000 use falls to 46.2 percent).

JQuery greatly simplifies working with JavaScript, particularly for newcomers, and that has clearly made it a favorite with developers. But it’s worth noting that some of JQuery’s widespread use is no doubt related to the fact that it’s a default part of many popular publishing platforms, like WordPress. In other words, many people may be using JQuery without even realizing it.

What we find most surprising (dare we say depressing?) about W3Techs’ data is that even if a site uses another library like Prototype, Dojo or MooTools there’s a good chance that it’s using JQuery as well, which is probably overkill in most cases. JQuery alone certainly isn’t responsible for the fact that we’re building a fatter, slower web, but if you’ve got two JS libraries loading on your site you might be doing it wrong.

Naturally that’s no fault of JQuery, but remember to use JavaScript judiciously no matter what library you choose. The fanciest interface in the world is worthless if no one sticks around for it to load.