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JavaScript 101: What Is It and Why Should I Care?

JavaScript is a programming language that is used to create interactive elements and online programs that can be incorporated into webpages and desktop applications. Along with HTML and CSS, JavaScript is one of the three core technologies that are used in web development to build pages and sites across the internet.

Imagine a website as a house and all the pages as rooms. HTML is the framework of the house, laying out the content and structure of the pages. CSS is like the furniture of the house, providing descriptions for styling the pages. JavaScript can be compared to household devices that users can interact with. Within the framework and styling of the web pages, JavaScript provides features that improve users’ experience through interaction and dynamic changes within the page.


JavaScript is NOT Java.

Java and JavaScript are two distinct languages, which often confuses laypeople. While both are object-oriented programming (OOP) languages, Java is a programming language, whereas JavaScript is a scripting language. JavaScript code is run on a browser only, and Java is used to create applications that can be run in a virtual machine or a browser. Another difference is that JavaScript code is all in text, while Java code needs to be compiled. This means that the compiler (usually another program) takes the program a human wrote and converts it into a program the computer can understand. Knowing the key differences between these two languages can help you to better understand the exact uses and capabilities of JavaScript.


What can JavaScript do?

So now that you understand the basics of what JavaScript is, you might be asking yourself what JavaScript can do. In web design, JavaScript can bring all sorts of interactive and dynamic function to your site. JavaScript has an application programming interface (API) that allows basic manipulation of the Document Object Model (DOM), which lets the script make changes to the HTML and CSS of the page. JavaScript can allow you to add, change, and remove all of the HTML elements and attributes in the page as well as change all of the CSS styles. This allows it to make dramatic changes by altering colors, fonts, and images throughout the pages. JavaScript can also react to events on the page, such as a user clicking on an HTML element. Beyond web design, JavaScript is also capable of writing mobile and desktop applications, including desktop widgets.


If you are looking for someone to build your online presence and design a compelling website for you, Blue Frog Marketing can help. We have offices in Des Moines, Denver, and Huron, assisting clients across the country with website design and web developmentContact us today to learn more.


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