Getting independent from jQuery

2015-09-23 |

When I first started coding JavaScript, I quickly found myself using jQuery because it simplifies a lot of basic tasks ranging from DOM manipulation to animation (which it does rather bad by the way)

But after I got further into JavaScript, I realized that in a lot of cases jQuery is not the best solution: It does a lot of things, but none of them very good. Further if you include jQuery in every project you always have a pretty massive library to handle: 80kb doesn't seem that big on paper, but combined with other libraries and plugins it surely has a noticeable impact on performance and load times. Especially when creating non-web-based apps you should care about performance: using jQuery in an Android app, for example, has a huge impact on the app performance

So what can you do against this? The first question you must ask yourself when moving away from jQuery: What did you use jQuery for?:

  • DOM Manipulation?
  • AJAX?
  • Event handlers?
  • Animation?
  • the smaller utility Functions?

Depending on the answer there are some dedicated libraries for that single purpose! lets explore some of them.

DOM Manipulation Libraries

DollarDom DollarDom is a tiny(5kb) library dedicated to DOM manipulation. very useful if you need a basic and lightweight DOM-manipulation code.

ZeptoJavaScript Even though Zepto is more than a pure DOM-manipulation library, its the main purpose of it. JQuery-like syntax makes it easy to use if you already know jQuery

microDOM Even smaller than DollarDom, this jQuery-syntax-like library has all the essential DOM manipulation functions while being only 1.7KB minified! (Made by myself)

AJAX Libraries

MicroAJAX MicroAjax is very tiny (800byte) library providing access the most important AJAX functions

MarmottAJAX This Library is more functional and includes advanced utilities like "update" and "delete" for your AJAX requests

esQuery esQuery is a ES6 based, modern and small library for DOM-Manipulation and event binding with a jQuery-like syntax.

Event handlers

MiniEvents Again, very tiny but with solid utility, can really recommend this one


GSAP GSAP is an animation library from GreenSock focused on performance. it comes in various version and supports plugins!

VelocityJavaScript VelocityJavaScript is more feature oriented than GSAP, and can be integrated in Zepto or jQuery. Has a lot of options.

Utility Functions

UnderscoreJavaScript Underscore is most likely the most popular utility library with over 100 functions for everyday purposes like "map", "filter", "max", "contains" etc...

lodash Right after underscore, lodash is another very popular "utility-belt" library with tons of cool features!

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