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Javascript


 

What is JavaScript?


JavaScript is a client-side programming language used to create dynamic interactions in app, game and web development. Commonly represented as JS, this language is considered one of the core technologies of the web in conjunction with HTML and CSS.


Developers use JavaScript to bring a webpage to life, as it transforms an otherwise static page into one that responds to user engagement, livens up the page with motion, and displays real-time, variable, and personalized content.



How does JavaScript differ from other markup languages?


The three foundational languages of web design and development work together while simultaneously adding greater degrees of complexity to a website.


HTML is a basic markup language. It tells the browser how to present content to the user. Among other things, HTML is used to:

  • Define the start and end of paragraphs.

  • Convert text into headings.

  • Add basic styling to text like bold and italics.

  • Provide structure for spacing, indents, tables, and more.

  • Embed images or videos into a page.


CSS is a style sheet language. This rules-based language dictates to the browser how to apply styles to the various HTML elements on a page. It can also be used to add more complex structures, like columns and rows.


JavaScript is a scripting language that improves user interaction. For example, it allows developers to:

  • Animate images.

  • Autoplay videos.

  • Load pop-ups.

  • React to user engagement.

  • Display dropdown menu options or links.

  • Present personalized content.

  • Pull in content from other websites.

  • Set cookies.


When a visitor enters a web page, the browser runs any scripts present. The dynamic code may load automatically or when an event is triggered through a user-controlled action.


 

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What is JavaScript used for?


Website interactivity and engagement are important in this day and age. As users attention spans’ wane, a static website just won’t do. As such, JavaScript has a critical role to play in web development. There are a wide range of use cases for JavaScript, with the most common ones including:

  • Web apps

  • Mobile apps

  • Servers

  • Server applications

  • Games


Furthermore, JS can also be useful for web developers or designers who want more control over the dynamic nature of their websites.



Pros and cons of coding with JavaScript


When it comes to static vs. dynamic web pages, the latter are significantly more interesting and engaging for users. But while there are clear benefits to learning JavaScript and using it to further enhance a site, there are some drawbacks to be aware of, too.


Pros


Simplicity


Javascripts’ simple structure makes it easier to learn compared to other programming languages. Additionally, since scripts are executed within the web browser they can be implemented and run remarkably fast.


Support


Because JS it’s a critical component of every website and app built, the language is well-supported and updated. In addition, there are new frameworks and libraries being created that make it even easier to use.


Website performance


Because JavaScript is processed at the browser level, it doesn’t put a lot of pressure on web servers or cause webpages to load slowly as a result. So if website performance is important to you, this is something to keep in mind.


Cons


Consistency and reliability


There doesn’t seem to be a clear standard in terms of how web browsers interpret JavaScript. Because of this, scripts can present web pages differently from browser to browser. To avoid this, you’ll have to do extra cross-browser testing to ensure those discrepancies don’t interfere with the user experience.


Security


Security breaches that take place on a website can occur via an injection of corrupted JavaScript. This is commonly known as cross-site scripting or cross-site request forgery. It’s not just malicious users that can corrupt JavaScript on a website, if you use a third-party library or framework with corruption (accidental or otherwise), it can make your site vulnerable to attack.


Debugging


While there’s a well-documented syntax you use to write JavaScript, the language can be tricky to debug if issues arise. So if you’re going to write lots of custom JavaScript for your site, plan on devoting extra time to the debugging process as it can take awhile to figure out the source of the issue and then fix it in the code.


Important JavaScript terms to learn


If you’re wondering how to make a website on Wix with JavaScript, the short answer is that you don’t need to. With Wix, you’ll get all the benefits of a low code, no code builder, with the code being generated behind the scenes as you visually design your website with the drag-and-drop builder.


That said, if you’re interested in learning JavaScript or want to further enhance your site’s dynamic content, you can do so with Velo by Wix, a full-stack development platform that allows you to add custom JS functionality to your user interface. Here are some terms you should familiarize yourself with if you choose this option:


Script: This refers to the JavaScript programs applied to a webpage.


Variable: This is a container that stores data values. For example:


var x = 25;


Object: This is another type of container in JavaScript. This one can contain non-numerical as well as numerical values. For example:


let person = firstName:"John";


String: This is a text value in JavaScript. The value will be placed between single or double quotation marks (“”). For example, the string in the Object example is:


"John"


Array: This enables you to have a group of values within one variable. The values appear between curly brackets ({}). For example:


let person = {firstName:"John", lastName:"Stamos", age:54, hairColor:"brown"};


Statement: This is a set of instructions that the browser will carry out. Each instruction line is separated by a semicolon (;). For example:


var x, y, z;

x = 25;

y = 35;

z = 55;


Comment: This allows you to enter a non-executable note within your JavaScript code. It’s there merely as a reference. A note is separated from executable code by (//). Here’s how the Statement above would look with comments:


var x, y, z; // Declare your variables

x = 25; // Assign the value 55 to x

y = 35; // Assign the value 35 to y

z = 55; // Assign the value 55 to z


Function: This is a block of code that performs a task. In some cases, it’s automatic upon the loading of a webpage. In other cases, it’s user-triggered. For example:


function toUSD(ILS) {

return (3.52812) * (ILS);

}

document.getElementById("currency").innerHTML = toUSD;


Comments


Related Term

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Related Term

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)

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