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Min read

jQuery is slow

Donald Ng
December 9, 2023
5-star rating
Reviews on Capterra

Once upon a time, jQuery ruled the JavaScript landscape. Its ease of use and powerful capabilities revolutionized web development, making complex tasks a breeze. But time marches on, and the web has evolved.

Today, jQuery's bulky footprint and performance limitations are increasingly detrimental to modern web development.

The Rise and Fall of jQuery

jQuery rose to prominence in the early days of web development when JavaScript APIs were limited and fragmented. It offered a standardized, cross-browser approach to DOM manipulation, event handling, and Ajax requests, filling a crucial gap and saving developers countless hours.

However, the web has matured. Modern browsers now offer robust native JavaScript APIs that can handle most tasks previously delegated to jQuery. Additionally, lightweight frameworks like React and Vue.js have emerged with powerful features and optimized performance, leaving jQuery in the dust.

Performance: The Elephant in the Room

Performance is where jQuery truly falls short. Its large file size and complex codebase add significant weight to websites, leading to slower loading times. This is detrimental for both user experience and search engine ranking. Consider these benchmarks:

  • Native JavaScript: Can execute DOM manipulations up to 10 times faster than jQuery.
  • React: Renders content 40% faster than jQuery on average.

These numbers paint a clear picture. While jQuery may have been a performance booster in its day, it now lags behind the speed and efficiency demanded by modern web users and search engines.

Embracing the Future: Modern Alternatives to jQuery

The good news is that moving away from jQuery is easier than ever. Resources like YouMightNotNeedjQuery.com provide a comprehensive roadmap, outlining equivalent native JavaScript or library implementations for most common jQuery functions.

Moreover, online communities and tutorials like MDN Web Docs and JavaScript30 offer invaluable support and guidance for mastering modern JavaScript features.

Here are some specific examples of modern alternatives:

DOM Manipulation:

  • Native JavaScript: querySelector and querySelectorAll offer powerful and efficient ways to select and manipulate DOM elements.
  • React: Utilizes virtual DOM diffing, minimizing actual DOM manipulations and boosting performance.

Ajax Requests:

  • Fetch API: A modern and standardized approach to making HTTP requests, offering improved performance and ease of use.
  • Axios: A popular library built on top of Fetch API, providing additional features like interceptors and error handling.

Event Handling:

  • Native JavaScript: addEventListener allows attaching event listeners to DOM elements with flexibility and control.
  • Vue.js: Offers a declarative approach to event handling, integrating seamlessly with the component-based architecture.

These are just a few examples, and the landscape of modern JavaScript libraries is constantly evolving. With so many powerful options available, there's no reason to be tied to jQuery and its performance limitations.

Beyond Performance: Security and Maintainability

The benefits of moving beyond jQuery extend beyond performance. Modern frameworks and libraries are built with security and maintainability in mind. They often utilize modular architecture, allowing for easier code reuse and collaboration. Additionally, active development communities ensure regular updates and bug fixes, keeping your codebase secure and up-to-date.


While jQuery played a crucial role in the development of the web, its limitations are increasingly apparent. Its performance lags behind modern alternatives, its codebase can feel cumbersome, and it lacks the security and maintainability features required for optimal website development.

By embracing modern JavaScript libraries and frameworks, you unlock a world of speed, efficiency, security, and maintainability. The future of web development is bright, and it's time to leave jQuery in the past.

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