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What is jQuery, and what does it mean to website owners

Not too long ago, flash was used in many websites to create stunning visual effects.  Flash, unfortunately was not based on any standard, and produced by one company, Adobe Systems, formerly Macromedia, and not everyone in the tech world likes this type of monopoloy (flash was at some point installed on around 98% of desktops).

Interactive websites? Animation, the WOW effect...

With the development of javascript libraries, such as jQuery, it started to become a lot easier for site builders to create more interesting visual effects on their web pages.  What's more, because jQuery makes use of html / css to a large extent, it also became a lot easier to upgrade such animation effects.

In the past, if you had 3 big images scrolling left to right, and you wanted to add a 4th, you had to either redo your flash file, or write some kind of a script that loads image sources into the flash movie via javascript.

With jQuery though, these type of updates became a lot easier, as in most cases it would simply require an additional <img> tag in your html.

The result...

The result is that it has, and is still becoming more and more, a lot easier to create beautiful visual effects with reletavely minimal development effort. Such effects are not only confined to animating images, but can also play a big role in creating better user experiences by e.g. showing a person only the bits that you think she's interested in at the time, while neatly tucking away bits that might not be of immediate importance to them.

It might therefore be time for yourself, as a website owner, to start looking at your own website in a slightly different light. A light which departs from the traditional copy and pasting of text and moves more into the brave new world that uses emphasis and visual appeal to selectively highlight the information that you think a particular visitor to your website might be interested in, at a particular time.

Drop us a line if you'd like to come and sit down with us to talk through what these might be.