Including JavaScript In Your Page

Including JavaScript in your page is a fairly simple process.

First, What Is JavaScript?

From the W3C Schools Site:

Including the JavaScript

You can include JavaScript in your HTML in two ways:

For the most part, you will include the JavaScript as an external file.

The Script Tag

The <script> tag is what we use to includes our JavaScript. It's a lot like the <link> tag you've already been using to include your CSS files.

Here's a very basic snippet of JavaScript using the script tag. This JavaScript is written directly into our HTML page. It will call and alert box as soon as the page loads.

<script type="text/javascript">
  alert("This alert box was called with the onload event");

When using the script tag, we must always use the attribute name and value of type="text/javascript".

Using the script tag to include an external JavaScript file

To include an external JavaScript file, we can use the script tag with the attribute src. You've already used the src attribute when using images. The value for the src attribute should be the path to your JavaScript file.

<script type="text/javascript" src="path-to-javascript-file.js"></script>

This script tag should be included between the <head> tags in your HTML document.

JavaScript Files

JavaScript files are not HTML files or CSS files.

It's customary to put all JavaScript files in a folder called js on websites, like so:

A screenshot of the js folder

Simple Demo of Including JavaScript

Here's a very simple demonstration of how to include an external JavaScript file into an HTML page.

Other People's JavaScript

For this class you are not expected to write any actual JavaScript code. Lucky for you, many of people have already written lots of JavaScript and even allow you to use it for free.

JavaScript Frameworks

A Framework is basically a library of code for a certain language. Generally, the framework abstracts common tasks and makes it easier and faster for designers and developers to write their specific code. Frameworks don't really do anything by themselves, they just provide an easier platform for people to build on.

Common JavaScript Frameworks:

Of these frameworks, JQuery is currently the most popular one. It's also the one you're most like to encounter being used as a buzz word.

JavaScript File Sizes

Many JavaScript files can tend to be rather large, which can slow down the load time of your page. Popular frameworks usually offer a "minified" version of their code. You should always use this version in your pages because it will have a smaller file size.