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jQuery vs Zepto: What are the differences?

What is jQuery? The Write Less, Do More, JavaScript Library. jQuery is a cross-platform JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML.

What is Zepto? Minimalist JavaScript library for modern browsers, with a jQuery-compatible API. While 100% jQuery coverage is not a design goal, the APIs provided match their jQuery counterparts. The goal is to have a ~5-10k modular library that downloads and executes fast, with a familiar and versatile API, so you can concentrate on getting stuff done.

jQuery and Zepto can be primarily classified as "Javascript UI Libraries" tools.

"Cross-browser" is the top reason why over 1265 developers like jQuery, while over 2 developers mention "Lightweight " as the leading cause for choosing Zepto.

jQuery and Zepto are both open source tools. jQuery with 51.9K GitHub stars and 18.3K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Zepto with 14.5K GitHub stars and 4.06K GitHub forks.

Advice on jQuery and Zepto
Adan van Dijk
designer, programmer at Downdijk · | 10 upvotes · 13K views
Needs advice

I use jQuery at the moment because I use it for a lot of years already, but now Bootstrap 5 decided to switch to JavaScript, I am thinking of switching to an alternative.

I use jQuery only for the DOM integration, animations and ajax calls because JavaScript calls to a class looks such a long call. I like the way of jQuery with $(document).on('click','.something',function() {});

By the way, I like to keep using HTML, PHP and Bootstrap as I do now.

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Replies (3)

Hi Adan,

Javascript has changed quite a bit in the recent years and lot of it was inspired from jquery. Now almost all modern browsers support javascript syntax everything that jquery does with few elaborate / sometimes better alternatives. So, if you like to switch, find the equivalents of what portions of jquery you use and replace those parts. Btw, jquery is still nicer sometimes with its method chaining and a lot simpler syntax - the equivalent in js may not be that sugary syntactically.

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Othmane Agoulzi
Front-End Developer at Potfolio · | 4 upvotes · 4.1K views

I was like you two years ago, used to jquery and didn't want to switch, but if you're willing to use js frameworks in your projects(React, Vuejs...), I advise you to switch asap, and get used to normal javascript, because in the end, it's the core language, but there are some new ways in it (especially in ES6) that will make your life easier, like you can replace the document.querySelector() with $() and document.querySelectorAll() with $$(), using this line of code: const $ = e => document.querySelector(e), $$ = e => document.querySelectorAll(e); then you can select a p element just by writing: $('p'), and multiple p elements like that: $$('p'). I hope my advice helped you in any way.

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I thinl javascript is a good choice

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Decisions about jQuery and Zepto
Peter Schmalfeldt
Senior Software Engineer · | 9 upvotes · 35.6K views

I have made an extended effort to drop frameworks completely if they are not actually needed. While I still use JS Frameworks like Vue, Angular and React ( if I have too ), I see far too often devs / teams deciding to build a single page site entirely in a framework, rather than just using HTML, CSS and a little JS.

I personally feel it's important to know when a framework is a good solution, and maybe when it's overkill.

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Malek Boubakri
Web developer at Quicktext · | 0 upvote · 95.5K views

The project is a web gadget previously made using vanilla script and JQuery, It is a part of the "Quicktext" platform and offers an in-app live & customizable messaging widget. We made that remake with React eco-system and Typescript and we're so far happy with results. We gained tons of TS features, React scaling & re-usabilities capabilities and much more!

What do you think?

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kazi shahin
CTO at Blubird Interactive Ltd. · | 3 upvotes · 61K views

I've an eCommerce platform building using Laravel, MySQL and jQuery. It's working good and if anyone become interested, I just deploy the entire source cod e in environment / Hosting. This is not a good model of course. Because everyone ask for small or large amount of change and I had to do this. Imagine when there will be 100 separate deploy and I had to manage 100 separate source. So How do I make my system architecture so that I'll have a core / base source code. To make any any change / update on specific deployment, it will be theme / plugin / extension based . Also if I introduce an API layer then I could handle the Web, Mobile App and POS as well ? Is the API should be part of source code or a individual single API and all the deployment will use that API ?

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Manatsawin Hanmongkolchai

When I started TipMe, I thought about using React frontend. At the end, plain, simple jQuery won.

I had to build this iteration of the site fast and by using jQuery I could keep using Django as a full stack development tool. One important point is Django form (combined with Django Bootstrap3) means that I don't have to reinvent form rendering again, which will be the case with React.

Over time, more interactivity seeped into the site and React components start making its way into the codebase.

I now wish the site is built using React so that I could add more user friendly interfaces easier (no more fuddling with server states) but I would still say jQuery helped me get past those early days.

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Pros of jQuery
Pros of Zepto
  • 1.3K
  • 957
    Dom manipulation
  • 806
  • 660
    Open source
  • 610
  • 458
  • 395
  • 350
  • 281
  • 227
    Light weight
  • 92
  • 84
    Great community
  • 79
    CSS3 Compliant
  • 69
    Mobile friendly
  • 67
  • 43
  • 42
    Swiss Army knife for webdev
  • 35
    Huge Community
  • 11
    Easy to learn
  • 4
    Clean code
  • 3
    Because of Ajax request :)
  • 2
    Used everywhere
  • 2
    Just awesome
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1
    Widely Used
  • 1
    Improves productivity
  • 1
    Open Source, Simple, Easy Setup
  • 1
    It Just Works
  • 1
    Industry acceptance
  • 1
    Allows great manipulation of HTML and CSS
  • 1
  • 1
    Easy Setup
  • 3

Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

Cons of jQuery
Cons of Zepto
  • 5
    Sometimes inconsistent API
  • 5
    Large size
  • 5
    Encourages DOM as primary data source
  • 2
    Live events is overly complex feature
    Be the first to leave a con

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    What is jQuery?

    jQuery is a cross-platform JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML.

    What is Zepto?

    While 100% jQuery coverage is not a design goal, the APIs provided match their jQuery counterparts. The goal is to have a ~5-10k modular library that downloads and executes fast, with a familiar and versatile API, so you can concentrate on getting stuff done.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    Jobs that mention jQuery and Zepto as a desired skillset
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    San Francisco, CA, US; Palo Alto, CA, US; Seattle, WA, US;
    What companies use jQuery?
    What companies use Zepto?
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    What tools integrate with jQuery?
    What tools integrate with Zepto?

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    Blog Posts

    What are some alternatives to jQuery and Zepto?
    Bootstrap is the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web.
    JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
    Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
    AngularJS lets you write client-side web applications as if you had a smarter browser. It lets you use good old HTML (or HAML, Jade and friends!) as your template language and lets you extend HTML’s syntax to express your application’s components clearly and succinctly. It automatically synchronizes data from your UI (view) with your JavaScript objects (model) through 2-way data binding.
    jQuery Mobile
    jQuery Mobile is a HTML5-based user interface system designed to make responsive web sites and apps that are accessible on all smartphone, tablet and desktop devices.
    See all alternatives