A simple guide to AJAX in 2023

In the world of web development, AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a powerful tool that has revolutionized the way we interact with websites.

11 months ago | The Author, Charlie Cooper by Charlie Cooper

What is AJAX, and how does it work? In this blog, we will look at AJAX and explain its capabilities. This will help you understand (even if you aren’t familiar with web development!).

Understanding AJAX

At its core, AJAX is a technique that allows web pages to update without requiring the page to refresh.

Most of the time when you browse the web, whenever you perform an action on a website, such as submitting a form, or clicking a button, the entire page refreshes or ‘reloads’, resulting in a delay and disrupting the user experience.

AJAX eliminates this inconvenience by allowing data to be pulled or sent in the background, without that interruption of the user experience (UX).

How AJAX Works

To understand how AJAX works, imagine a waitor in a restaurant taking your order.

Instead of waiting for the entire order to be prepared and served before attending to the next table, the waiter takes your order and passes it to the kitchen while simultaneously attending to other customers.

Similarly, AJAX operates by sending requests to the server (the computer that powers a website) in the background whilst the user continues interacting with the webpage.

Asynchronous Requests

The “A” in AJAX stands for “asynchronous,” which is a fancy way of saying the requests made by AJAX don’t happen in a specific order.

This allows multiple requests to be sent and processed at the same time, significantly improving the speed and responsiveness of the process.

This means users experience a more fluid and interactive website experience.

Enhanced User Experience

By minimizing the need for page reloads, AJAX significantly enhances the user experience.

Forms (like seen on contact pages or our interactive quizzes) can be validated on the fly, search results can be dynamically shown and filtered, and maps can be smoothly navigated, all without interrupting the user’s experience using a page.

AJAX has revolutionized the web by making possible seamless, real-time interactions between users and websites. By getting or ‘fetching’ and updating data in the background, AJAX eliminates delays and provides a more fluid and interactive user experience.

With its ability to update web content, AJAX has opened doors to a new era of interactivity, empowering developers to build powerful and engaging web applications.

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