Understanding the Role of Javascript In Front-End Web Development

Chad Faith
Chad Faith

Director of Content


There are many elements that have to come together to ensure that a website is well-developed and that it functions normally. One of these is front-end web development. This refers to the laying of the groundwork that will lead to how the website will eventually look once done. As you can imagine, front-end web development is very important since it will have a direct influence on the viewers’ impression of the website. It also has an impact on determining how easy the website will be to use, as well as technical aspects such as how fast it will take to load. The key to proper front-end web development is to ensure that the final product serves its needs with as little a footprint as possible.

What is JavaScript?

In front-end web development, JavaScript is one of three major elements that are needed to end up with a web page that can be rendered properly. The other two are CSS and HTML. HTML is the most basic of this and is used to design the overall structure and content of the site. CSS, on the other hand, is a powerful tool that can be used to make the site more aesthetically friendly and can also have a minimal impact on interactivity.

JavaScript’s major role is to provide a platform for making the website more interactive, such as by creating dropdown menus and forms. Other major functions of JavaScript in front-end web development include:

  • Standards compliance: Depending on the purpose of the website, it may need to comply to a set of standards set by various bodies. For instance, online stores which will need a user’s personal and financial information on checkout will need a minimum level of security to protect the user from identity theft and other forms of fraud. JavaScript has enough tools to enable this to be done.
  • Cross-compatibility: When building a website, it’s worth noting that not everyone will be viewing it from the same device or browser type. However, the site needs to look exactly the same no matter. JavaScript is excellent at determining the type of browser being used, and then rendering the page in such a manner that not only is it compatible with that page, but that it functions exactly as intended.
  • JavaScript makes plugin use easy: Websites are easier to use when they have plugins such as chat facilities, ads, forms and social media sharing. All these run off JavaScript, showing just how powerful and versatile it is.
  • Enabling complex interaction: When complex dynamic interactions are needed of a site, JavaScript can be used to create its framework rather than simply relying only on HTML. These websites are usually technically complex but enable astonishing capabilities particularly if JavaScript is used skillfully.

Taking Advantage of JavaScript

These are just a few of the many capabilities of JavaScript. The key to ensuring your site is as useful as possible is by using all the tools that JavaScript has to offer in a prudent manner. It’s also important to avoid having the website bloated with unnecessary features as this may compromise JavaScript’s other functions and also interfere with HTML and CSS.