What Is jQuery And Why It’s Important

First, let’s talk briefly about what jQuery is. It is a programming language, a derivative of JavaScript, that runs within the Browser. That is to say, after the browser loads the page and loads any jQuery files that are referenced in the page, it executes the program contained in the jQuery file(s).

jQuery can be programmed to change almost anything about your web page. It can change styling, content, and provide effects such as animation. It can even make calls back to the server to get information or data that can affect your web page without the page being refreshed.

Now, why is jQuery so important to the WordPress world? It is important because the WordPress core comes with a huge library of jQuery programs, many of which get loaded by your web page when you are in the WordPress dashboard. jQuery is responsible for the new media library and the drag and drop features and the new theme customizer. It is important because WordPress Project lead Andrew Nacin is quoted as saying that in the future much more will be built in jQuery. He said that WordPress 3.5 was a shift from PHP land to jQuery for everything that they are going to do in the future.

Themes can be programmed to load either parts of the WordPress core jQuery library or your own jQuery programming into your web pages. So for me as a WordPress engineer, it is important because it opens up endless possibilities for what can be done on a web page. And if you are involved at all with any aspect of theme customization, it should be important to you, as well.