Use Vanilla JS instead of jQuery for improved speed

David Ha


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In the realm of web development, performance optimization stands as a pivotal factor in delivering a seamless user experience. For years, jQuery has been a go-to library simplifying interaction with web elements. However, with browser advancements and JavaScript language evolution, the shift towards Vanilla JS (pure JavaScript) has gained momentum, offering numerous benefits, notably in boosting website speed.

David Ha
David Ha

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jQuery vs. Vanilla JS: Why the need for transition?

File Size

In the realm of web development, it is a well-known fact that jQuery, a popular JavaScript library, often comes with a larger file size when compared to Vanilla JS, which refers to plain JavaScript. As a result, this disparity in file size has a direct impact on the load times of web pages.

This is because larger files naturally require more time to be downloaded and parsed by a browser. Consequently, users may experience slightly longer wait times before the web page fully loads and becomes interactive.

Execution Speed

When it comes to performance, Vanilla JS has a clear advantage over jQuery. This is primarily because Vanilla JS interacts directly with the Document Object Model (DOM), eliminating the need for an abstraction layer and utility functions. As a result, Vanilla JS is able to execute code faster, leading to improved overall performance.

By bypassing the extra layers of abstraction and simplifying the code execution process, Vanilla JS streamlines the interaction with the DOM, resulting in a more efficient and speedy experience. So, if you’re looking for optimal performance, Vanilla JS is definitely worth considering.

Performance Optimization

By utilizing Vanilla JS, or pure JavaScript, you have the ability to greatly improve the overall performance of your website and enhance its speed. This is particularly important when it comes to mobile devices and slower internet connections, where every millisecond counts.

Vanilla JS allows you to avoid unnecessary dependencies on external libraries or frameworks, resulting in a leaner and more efficient codebase. With its lightweight nature, Vanilla JS ensures that your website loads quickly and smoothly, providing a seamless user experience for all visitors.

Whether it’s reducing page load times, minimizing render-blocking resources, or optimizing script execution, Vanilla JS empowers you to fine-tune every aspect of your website’s performance. So, next time you’re working on a web project, consider harnessing the power of Vanilla JS to unlock its true potential.

Use Vanilla JS instead of jQuery for improved speed - It Startup
Use Vanilla JS instead of jQuery for improved speed – It Startup

Transitioning from jQuery to Vanilla JS

Event Listeners

Replace $(document).ready() with DOMContentLoaded using Vanilla JS.


document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function() {
    // Your code to execute after the document is loaded

Element Selection

Substitute $('.element') with document.querySelector('.element') or document.querySelectorAll('.element').

Manipulating CSS

Instead of $('.element').css('property', 'value'), employ = 'value' for CSS changes.

AJAX Requests

Utilize XMLHttpRequest or fetch() for AJAX requests instead of $.ajax() in jQuery.

Benefits of the Transition

Faster Page Load

The ability to shrink the size of files and improve the speed of execution in Vanilla JS, which is a lightweight and widely-used JavaScript library, plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall performance of web pages. By reducing the file size, it allows for quicker downloading and rendering of web content, resulting in significantly faster loading times.

This optimization technique is particularly beneficial for websites that contain large amounts of code or media files, as it enables smoother user experiences and reduces the frustration caused by slow-loading pages. In addition to improving loading times, optimizing file size and execution speed can also positively impact other aspects of web performance, such as reducing bandwidth usage and improving compatibility across different devices and browsers.

Therefore, understanding and implementing techniques to shrink file sizes and optimize execution speed in Vanilla JS is essential for web developers aiming to deliver high-performing websites.

Performance Optimization

Vanilla JS, also known as plain JavaScript, is a powerful tool that can greatly contribute to enhancing the overall performance of a website. This is especially true when it comes to devices that have limited resources or are operating on slower internet connections.

By utilizing Vanilla JS, developers can ensure that their website runs smoothly and efficiently, regardless of the device or connection speed. Whether it’s reducing the load time of web pages, optimizing animations, or implementing efficient algorithms, Vanilla JS is a go-to solution for achieving optimal website performance. Its lightweight nature and minimalistic approach make it an ideal choice for creating fast and responsive web experiences.

With Vanilla JS, developers can tap into the full potential of their websites and deliver seamless user experiences to all visitors, regardless of their device or internet speed.

Easier Maintenance and Updates

Pure JavaScript code, with its inherent readability and maintainability, offers a plethora of benefits that make it the go-to choice for developers when it comes to building robust and efficient applications. Not only does it enhance the overall readability of the codebase, but it also simplifies the arduous task of maintaining and updating the code, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free process for future developments.

With its clean syntax and comprehensive documentation, pure JavaScript empowers developers to write concise and elegant code that is easily comprehensible by both experienced programmers and newcomers to the language. This not only saves valuable time and effort but also promotes collaboration and knowledge sharing within development teams.

Furthermore, the simplicity of pure JavaScript allows for swift debugging and troubleshooting, reducing the time spent on resolving issues and enhancing the overall productivity of the development process.

So, whether you’re working on a small personal project or a large-scale enterprise application, choosing pure JavaScript as your programming language will undoubtedly lead to a more efficient and enjoyable development experience.

Transitioning from jQuery to Vanilla JS might initially require adaptation time, but the long-term benefits in terms of performance and website speed justify the effort. Embrace this transition and witness the substantial difference it can make in enhancing your project’s performance and user experience.

Some lightweight vanilla JavaScript libraries that you can use as alternatives to jQuery on your website

  1. Cash: Cash is a super lightweight JavaScript library, built on jQuery syntax, but focused on essential features like element selection, DOM manipulation, and AJAX. It has a very small footprint, around 8KB.
  2. Umbrella: Umbrella is another lightweight JavaScript library, similar to Cash, designed to provide some basic jQuery-like functionality. It weighs only about 4KB.
  3. Bliss: Bliss is an ultra-lightweight DOM library, with a size of only about 2KB, built to offer jQuery-like syntax and support for basic element selection and DOM manipulation.
  4. Zepto: Zepto is a lightweight JavaScript library, weighing around 9KB, designed to be compatible with mobile browsers. It provides jQuery-like methods for element selection, DOM manipulation, and AJAX.

These libraries are not only lightweight but also have a similar syntax to jQuery, making it easy for you to transition from jQuery to these libraries without making significant changes to your code. Take a look at each library and choose the one that suits your needs best.

My favorite Vanilla JS libraries

Here are some popular vanilla JavaScript libraries that you might like:

  1. AOS.js: AOS stands for “Animate On Scroll”. This library provides smooth animated effects for elements as you scroll the page. It allows you to easily add stunning animations to your website.
  2. Sal.js: Sal (Scroll Animation Library) is a lightweight library that enables scroll-based animations. It offers a simple and intuitive way to animate elements as they enter or exit the viewport. Sal.js is highly customizable and works well with modern web development practices.
  3. GLightbox.js: GLightbox is a lightweight lightbox library that allows you to display images, videos, and HTML content in a popup window. It offers a clean and responsive design, and it’s easy to implement into your website.
  4. FS Lightbox.js: FS Lightbox is a simple and lightweight lightbox library that provides a straightforward way to display images, videos, and HTML content in a beautiful interface. It offers a fullscreen mode and supports touch gestures for mobile devices.
  5. Vanilla-Tilt.js: Vanilla Tilt is a library that adds smooth tilt animations to elements on your website. It allows you to create subtle and dynamic tilt effects that respond to mouse movements, giving your website an interactive and engaging feel.
  6. List.js: List.js is a powerful JavaScript library for creating and manipulating lists. It provides functionality for sorting, filtering, searching, and pagination, making it easy to work with large datasets and create dynamic list views.
  7. Swiper.js: Swiper is a powerful mobile-friendly slider library that allows you to create carousels, sliders, and other content sliders on your website. It provides a wide range of options and features, such as navigation, pagination, autoplay, and touch support.
  8. Splide.js: Splide is a lightweight and flexible slider library. It supports both horizontal and vertical sliders, as well as features like navigation arrows, pagination, autoplay, and custom animations. Splide.js is easy to use and highly customizable.
  9. Glide.js: Glide is a versatile slider library that offers a simple and intuitive API for creating sliders on your website. It provides features like automatic transitioning, navigation arrows, progress bar, and customizable settings. Glide.js is lightweight and optimized for performance.
  10. GSAP.js: GSAP (GreenSock Animation Platform) is a powerful JavaScript animation library that allows you to create complex animations with ease. It provides a wide range of animation options, including timeline-based sequencing, easing functions, and advanced control over animation properties.

These are just a few examples of popular vanilla JavaScript libraries that you might find useful. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, there are many other libraries available to explore!

And if you use WordPress…

You know, if you choose not to utilize WooCommerce for your online store, it would be beneficial if the products you opt for do not have a dependency on jQuery. Why, you may ask? Well, the reason being that abstaining from jQuery integration will contribute to a significant enhancement in the overall speed and performance of your website. By reducing the reliance on this particular library, your website’s loading time will be greatly expedited, resulting in a more efficient and seamless user experience for visitors.

Use Vanilla JS instead of jQuery for improved speed - It Startup
Use Vanilla JS instead of jQuery for improved speed
Use Vanilla JS instead of jQuery for improved speed - It Startup
Use Vanilla JS instead of jQuery for improved speed

If you really have to use jQuery, should you use defer and delay?

If you are required to use jQuery, it is generally recommended to use the “defer” or “delay” functions in certain scenarios.

The “defer” function is useful when you want to delay the execution of a jQuery script until after the page has finished loading. This can help improve performance by ensuring that the script does not block the rendering of the page. By deferring the execution, the browser can continue parsing and rendering the HTML, CSS, and other assets, resulting in a faster page load time.

On the other hand, the “delay” function is used to introduce a delay between subsequent actions in a jQuery animation or effect. It allows you to control the timing and sequence of different actions, creating more visually appealing and interactive effects.

However, it’s important to note that both “defer” and “delay” functions should be used judiciously and only when necessary. Overusing them can lead to unnecessary complexity and potential performance issues. It’s always recommended to optimize your code and reduce dependencies on external libraries like jQuery whenever possible.

In conclusion, if you have a specific need for using jQuery, consider using the “defer” function to improve page load performance or the “delay” function to control animation timing. But remember to use them sparingly and optimize your code for best results.

Which WordPress plugin effectively controls JS and defers or delays Jquery?

If you are not a web developer and are not very familiar with code, I highly recommend utilizing the Perfmatters plugin. This handy tool is designed to optimize website performance and improve loading times, making it an excellent choice for individuals who may not have extensive coding knowledge. By implementing the Perfmatters plugin, you can effortlessly enhance your website’s speed and overall user experience without the need for complex programming. Give it a try and unlock the potential of your website today!

Perfmatters - The great WP optimization plugin - It Startup
  • The script manager feature is highly effective
  • Helps you Delay and Defer JS easily
  • Easy to use even if you don’t know how to code
  • Additional 15% discount when renewing next year
Perfmatters Script Manager feature is essential for everyone! Use code PERFMATTERS for an extra 10% off!


Using Vanilla JS instead of jQuery can significantly improve the speed of your website or application. jQuery is a powerful library that provides a wide range of features and functionalities, but it can also introduce unnecessary overhead and slow down the performance.

Vanilla JS refers to using pure JavaScript without any external libraries or frameworks. By writing code in pure JavaScript, you can optimize the execution time and reduce the size of your codebase. This leads to faster loading times, quicker response times, and overall improved performance.

One of the main reasons why Vanilla JS is faster than jQuery is because it eliminates the need for additional HTTP requests to load the jQuery library. This can be especially beneficial for mobile devices or slower internet connections where every extra kilobyte matters.

Additionally, Vanilla JS allows you to directly access and manipulate the DOM (Document Object Model) without the need for jQuery’s abstraction layer. This results in more efficient and streamlined code execution.

Moreover, using Vanilla JS promotes better understanding and control over your codebase. Since you are not relying on a third-party library, you have full visibility and control over every aspect of your code. This can lead to easier debugging, maintenance, and scalability in the long run.

In conclusion, if speed and performance are crucial factors for your project, it is recommended to use Vanilla JS instead of jQuery. By leveraging the native power of JavaScript, you can optimize your code and deliver a faster and more efficient user experience.

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