JavaScript is a programming language that’s used extensively throughout the Internet. It has been around for a long time and has helped to dramatically improve the functionality of websites.

If you’re running an e-commerce website, you likely need to use JavaScript code to get your site to work in a way that’s best for you and your visitors. To get started with this, read this page and find answers to things such as:

  • What is JavaScript?
  • How does JavaScript work?
  • Why is JavaScript important to your e-commerce website?
  • How can you implement JavaScript on your e-commerce website?
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What Is JavaScript?

JavaScript was first developed in the late 1990s. It was made for the Netscape Navigator web browser, which at the time was one of the most popular browsers in the world. This innovative programming language allowed websites to become much more interactive. Prior to JavaScript, websites were generally just a lot of text with a few images added in.

In the early years, many popular web browsers, including Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, didn’t support JavaScript. Microsoft tried to develop a competing language called Jscript.

By 1999, however, JavaScript became the standard and was supported by most of the popular browsers. Today, JavaScript can be found on most of the popular websites around the world and continues to be extremely popular with web developers of all types.

How Does JavaScript Work?

JavaScript is a client-side scripting language. Unlike many functionalities on a website, those that use JavaScript occur entirely on the client’s (user) browser. There’s no need for communication between your web browser and the website’s server for this code to execute properly.

Not only does this make JavaScript more reliable than many other languages, but it also means that it can load more quickly. Since the code that has to be sent from the server to the browser is just the actual JavaScript code, which is quite small, it also takes much more bandwidth.

The actual functionality is built into the web browser so that the desired actions can take place.

Do You Need To Know How To Code in JavaScript to Use It?

While understanding how JavaScript works and being able to code with it’s going to be very helpful, it isn’t a strict requirement. Almost all website creation tools incorporate JavaScript into their functionality for you.

This means you can get all the benefits of the JavaScript language without having to learn it yourself. You can do this by using any of the best website builders available or even using plug-ins for things like WordPress.

Many people start off by just using website builders and then learn how to code slowly with JavaScript over time. This allows them to take advantage of this language while they’re still going through the learning process.

Why Is JavaScript Important to Your E-Commerce Website?

E-Commerce websites are designed specifically to help you to sell various products or services to visitors. This generally means that each page has a large number of different items that need to load and can be interacted with. JavaScript is the standard language used in web development for creating these types of features and functionalities.

In addition to just being the standard used by most developers, it’s also something that almost all users are very familiar with. Even though most people don’t know anything about JavaScript, the functions that it performs are found on millions of websites so people are very used to using them. This is important no matter what type of website you run, but with e-commerce sites, it’s even more critical. You always want to make sure that your users are as comfortable as possible each time they access your page so they are ready to make a purchase.

How Can You Implement JavaScript on Your E-Commerce Website?

There are two main options when it comes to implementing JavaScript on your website. You can choose to use either one, or use them both, depending on your particular preference and the needs of your website.

Use Premade JavaScript Functionality

Using plug-ins, website builders, and other precoded tools is likely the most common way that JavaScript is implemented into websites today.

When an individual or a company creates tools, templates, or other things that people can use to create websites, they almost always include some type of JavaScript.

As soon as you install those things onto your page, you have this programming language as a part of your site.

Manually Code the JavaScript Functionality

The other option is to program JavaScript functions onto your page manually. You can either do this by coding the entire page from scratch, or by editing existing pages and adding in the JavaScript you desire.

Either way, this gives you full control over what you want your website to do and how you want your visitors to interact with the page.

Combining Premade and Custom JavaScript Code

For most people who want to learn to code in JavaScript, the easiest option is going to be to take existing pre-made pages and edit them to meet your needs. You can find a plug-in for a WordPress site, for example, that uses JavaScript to complete some type of image transitions on the page.

From there, you can code in some additional functionality that enlarges an image when the user puts their mouse over a picture. This lets you create a unique page with very little custom coding on your end.

What Is an Example of JavaScript on an E-Commerce Website?

There are many different things that JavaScript is used for on many different websites. Take a look at the following common examples of what JavaScript is used for on e-commerce and other websites today:

  • Autocomplete: If you have a search box on your e-commerce site, JavaScript can use autocomplete to suggest various products or other things as the user is typing in their search request.
  • Loading new content: You can use JavaScript to load new content on a page without the user having to refresh. This is great for e-commerce sites since inventory levels and products may change regularly throughout the day.
  • Rollover effects: When a user puts their mouse on a particular part of the page, JavaScript can trigger an effect. E-commerce sites often use this to display images of a product when the user puts their mouse in a specific spot.
  • Validating input: If you have your users filling out forms (credit card information, for example) you can have JavaScript verify that the input that the users enter is valid. This way, they can only hit submit if they have properly filled out the form.

What Should You Do Next?

If you want to make a website that takes advantage of the powerful features of JavaScript, you want to use some of the popular website builders that are available. You can also take the time to learn how to code in JavaScript.

This programming language is surprisingly easy to learn. Whether you already know how to code in other languages, or this would be your first one, you can start learning this language right away.

A great place to start is our simple JavaScript guide available at Digital.com. Check it out and see if this is something you want to pursue.