How to Setup a jQuery Development Environment

As you’d expect from a programming language, jQuery requires an editor to write the code and work with the library.

The good news is that you can use all the same editors for jQuery that you would use with JavaScript. The most common editors include:

  1. Notepad
  2. Notepad++
  3. Visual Studio
  4. Eclipse
  5. Aptana Studio
  6. Ultra Edit

Any text editing program can be used to write jQuery script, such as the ones listed above.

If you prefer to use an editor that is not on this list, that is perfectly acceptable. However, your best bet is one that supports IntelliSense for JavaScript, as well as jQuery function support. Not only will this make the development process much easier, it will also improve your productivity when working with the language.

What Do You Need to Work With jQuery?

Aside from the editor, you will also need to download the jQuery library from the official site.

Depending on what browser you will be working with, there are different versions of the jQuery library to use. If you are working with Internet Explorer versions 6 to 8, then you’ll want to acquire the jQuery library v1.x. If you are working with modern browsers like IE 9+, Chrome, and Firefox you’ll want to download v2.x.

There are usually two separate packages of the jQuery library: compressed and uncompressed. Uncompressed is better suited for development purposes and is much easier to read, especially during the debugging process. This is because the compressed jQuery library is compacted by removing white space, line feed, and variable and function names in the code. Compressed is obviously better suited for production environments.

How to Get Started

Once you have everything necessary to develop with jQuery, you only need to create an HTML file – like you would when building a web page – and then call upon the jQuery library. Of course, the jQuery library – which is nothing more than a JavaScript file – must be included in the same directory as your HTML file.

For a quick beginner’s tutorial, be sure to check out our jQuery 101 guide where we walk you through the infamous “hello world” tutorial for beginners.

Additional Resources for jQuery

If you’re looking for a place where you can find a variety of resources for working with JavaScript and jQuery, we can help! We scoured the net and found the 50 Best Websites you can use to Learn JavaScript.

Make sure to bookmark the page for all of your jQuery needs!


Next, we’ll be covering an Intro Tutorial for jQuery Beginners.

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