BuiltWith.com downloaded the top million sites to determine the version usage of jQuery and jQuery plugins. The report details the most popular jQuery versions and plugins in use on the web today.
Just over a week later Michael Geary had written the first third-party jQuery plugin, a JSON manipulation function which would later be added to the main jQuery library.
Version 1.0 of jQuery was released on August 26th 2006 and since then there have been 33 increment releases, with the current version at 1.6.4, released on September 12th, 2011.
BuiltWith.com has been compiling weekly trends of website technology usage since 2008. The following chart shows jQuery usage in the top 10k sites on the Internet –
jQuery Usage in the Top 10k Sites since December 2008
jQuery Version Usage
In the top million sites as provided by Quantcast, 311,654 sites report using jQuery, 60% of those use 5 different versions of the jQuery library.
Top 5 Versions of jQuery in use in the Top Million Sites
Version 1.4.2 is the most popular version of jQuery in use, shortly followed by version 1.3.2. The release cycle of jQuery is typically quite short, ranging from a few days (bad build fixes) to a few months. Version 1.3.2 was the stable version of jQuery until 1.4 was released 11 months later. Version 1.4.2 was also the latest released version for 8 months. The amount of time these were the latest versions of jQuery may be a contributing factor in their increased usage.
291 sites out of the top million reported using version 1.6.4 which was available 7 days after the report was generated.
jQuery Version Changes over 2011 (large version)
The area chart above shows the changes in version usage since January 2011 to October 2011 in the top million sites. It shows how version 1.3.2 and 1.4.2 are being replaced by more fragmented versions of jQuery versions 1.4.3 and above.
Popular jQuery Plugins
jQuery plugins provide additional functionality off the back of the jQuery library. Plugins build on jQuery functionality to provide many different functionality aspects, such as widgets, validation, fixes for older browsers and many more functions.
Popularity of the Top 10 jQuery Plugins in the top million sites3
jQuery UI is the most popular plugin for jQuery. Developed by the jQuery team, it extends jQuery by providing tabs, sliders, calendars many other widgets and a themeing framework.
Mike Alsup’s Cycle plugin, the slideshow plugin, is the second most popular jQuery plugin followed by the Form plugin developed by the same author.
BuiltWith found over twenty thousand different jQuery related files used in the top million sites showing jQuery has a very active third party developer following.
jQuery is helping to shape the next generation of websites. As web sites move into HTML5, CSS3 development and uptake of modern web browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox and IE9 continues, jQuery is an indispensable tool and is the de facto tool for website development.
The coverage does not include sites which embed jQuery in files which are not named jQuery and also only reported entries where the version number could be identified.
The plugin detection was found in a similar way, this report does not cover any jQuery extensions that do not use the word jQuery in the filename.
1. jQuery Usage Statistics
2. John Resig – Announcing the jQuery Blog
3. Quantcast Top Sites