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AngularJS vs. jQuery: What’s the Difference?

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There was a day when we found a lot of ridiculous request on the internet when browsing some new tips that we could implement in our works. Of course, skilled front-end developer would slightly smile when he sees such kind of query. Because once, he’s been just the same, asking questions that later turned to be absurd. Here is a short list of them:

  • What is better, AngularJS or jQuery?
  • AngularJS vs jQuery comparison.
  • JavaScript vs jQuery comparison.
  • AngularJS vs JavaScript.

Well, is it possible to compare a car and a wheel? No, they are not equal. The same situation arises when you try to compare AngularJS and jQuery.

Let’s start with the basics:

  • JavaScript is a programming language.
  • AngularJS is a framework.
  • jQuery is a library.

In this article, we are going to describe the purposes of each tool and explain how we use them in our work. Stay tuned!

What is AngularJS?

AngularJS is an open-source framework for building dynamic apps using JavaScript. The structured environment is best for building SPAs (single page applications) as it allows to avoid the “spaghetti code”.

Moreover, AngularJS allows using HTML as a template language for building static documents. Additionally, you can extend HTML’s syntax and adapt it to present dynamic content. This happens due to the framework’s two-way data binding and dependency injection, you don’t have to write a lot of code, as it’s eliminated automatically. For that reason, AngularJS is a handy tool to use with any server technology because everything happens within the browser.

Since AngularJS is compatible with both JavaScript and HTML, there might appear the independence mismatches. That happens because JavaScript stands for dynamic applications and HTML – for static documents. Generally, these mismatches can be solved in two ways:

  1. Using a library that is a collection of functions for creating web apps. For instance, jQuery is a library.
  2. Using frameworks which means an implementation of web apps.

Nevertheless, AngularJS takes its own approach to solving mismatches. AngularJS framework teaches the browser new syntax using the directives. How it works:

  • Uses form validation.
  • Two-way data binding is used for adapting and extending the HTML.
  • Uses MVS pattern to separate presentation, data, and logic components.
  • Decouples client side from server side giving the opportunity to work in parallel and reuse elements.
  • Decouples DOM manipulation from app logic.

how angularjs works

When to use AngularJS framework?

AngularJS is the perfect match if you need to develop web apps from scratch. This framework allows you to keep all the projects organized and modular so you can get rid of writing the same code again and again. AngularJS also saves your time as it helps to develop good-looking and engaging apps quickly unlike vanilla JavaScript (this means using plain JavaScript without any additional libraries) or jQuery. This is possible due to its advanced features such as two-way data binding.

AngularJS was created as a tool for CRUD application development. Luckily such apps represent the majority of the web applications. Nevertheless, not every app would be a good fit for AngularJS, but you can always use libraries, for example, jQuery.

What is jQuery?

jQuery is an open-source cross-platform JavaScript library used for client-side scripting of HTML in a simple manner. Using jQuery you can easily navigate the document, select DOM (document object model) elements, create animations, handle events, and build Ajax apps. jQuery allows building both dynamic web pages and Web apps thanks to modular approach.

jQuery can be used both separately and together with frameworks e.g. AngularJS. The difference between these two approaches lies in the structure of the project. When you code in pure jQuery, you can build a project as you can see as there is no structure. However, the absence of clear design can easily lead to writing spaghetti code. As a result, you might face collisions on large projects with no structure. In such cases. It’s better to use jQuery in a conjunction with frameworks like AngularJS that organize projects.

Key features of jQuery:

  • HTML and DOM manipulation. Allows adding an event handler to the DOM using JavaScript.
  • Ensures JavaScript cross-browsers compatibility.
  • Allows adding new event, element or method and reusing each of them later as a plugin.
  • jQuery is lightweight.

When to use jQuery library?

jQuery is a lightweight yet powerful tool best for DOM manipulation. Its main purpose is to help developers to handle the DOM with JavaScript. You can use this tiny library as a plugin alongside with AngularJS framework but in this case, you need to ensure that the data binding isn’t broken.

The sweet points of jQuery are flexibility and the possibility to quickly script working solutions to test an idea of your app.

comparison of angularjs and jquery features


As you can see, the difference between AngularJS and jQuery exists, however, it’s impossible to compare these tools as they are created for different purposes. Both AngularJS and jQuery have their own pros and cons, but still, they are powerful and functional instruments for front-end development. We at Altamira have AngularJS as one of our main technologies as it allows to build dynamic web apps quickly, reusing ready-made solutions. This helps us to save time and money of our clients.

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