Utilize Javascript for Enhanced Website Interactivity

Utilize Javascript
Javascript is a programming language that relies on Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS): If HTML provides the content for a webpage and CSS provides the styling then Javascript provides the behavior and interactivity for the page. Most of the time when you go to a website with dynamic user interaction you can be fairly certain that Javascript is involved. For example, if you visit a site and fill out a contact form then the webmaster of that particular site is employing Javascript to validate the form – i.e., to ensure that it’s filled out correctly.

Javascript can enable users to click through an image slideshow, change the color or styling of elements on a web page simply by clicking on them and even play games online. If you are a budding web developer with a working knowledge of basic HTML and CSS then learning Javascript should be the logical next step in improving your website.

There are two main types of websites. The first type is known as a static website, and it allows for little – if any – user interaction. The second type is known as a dynamic website and is characterized by a great amount of user interactivity. This kind of site is usually more appealing to visitors because of the greater range of options and enhanced user experience that it offers. Upgrading a static website to a dynamic website involves some form of programming language beyond the basic HTML and CSS. The most common of these languages, one that is supported by every major browser, is Javascript.

Javascript was designed to be a companion to HTML and CSS, and is therefore very simple to integrate into an already-existing website. To do this, begin by creating a new scripting page in a text editor and saving it as a .js file. Then, assuming you have an HTML file already created, add a <script> tag to that file, linking it to your newly-created Javascript file.

Once you’ve completed this step you’ll be ready to add some script to your Javascript file. This is where you have the freedom to add whatever interactive features you desire. You may want to redirect your visitors to another page on your site. You may want to make certain content visible only to registered users when they are logged on. Clocks, calendars and other time-sensitive functions can be made possible. Javascript makes a website more engaging in numerous ways.

There are a variety of books and online resources such as Lynda.com that provide excellent instruction in Javascript use. If you don’t want to write your own code there are multiple Javascript libraries available such as JQuery that significantly simplify the process by enabling you to access pre-written code. While certain large websites such as Facebook rely on other programming languages such as PHP, Javascript easily fulfills the needs of the average web developer when it comes to creating a dynamic and engaging site, and it is even used to enhance the look and feel of high-traffic sites.