Common jQuery text pitfalls

jQuery is a great way to make text stand out, especially if you aren’t a traditional web designer and you want to focus on effects that are easy to adjust.

Colours, styles and fonts can all be changed in seconds without the need for Photoshop or other editing software, and there are a huge range of jQuery plugins available on the web for free.

Although jQuery text effects have a lot of benefits, there are some common pitfalls we see cropping up on a regular basis. Here are the top five mistakes we see being made on a regular basis – are you guilty of any of the following?!


1. Size matters

Whilst images often add a significant amount to a page’s size, if you’re not careful you can do just the same damage by loading up on scripts. Remember to delete any unnecessary code and files after you’ve finished testing, and use minifying and cahcing techniques to increase page speed.

2. Unnecessary jQuery

Make sure you’re using jQuery in an appropriate context. Your code might be snazzy, but if a bit of CSS can achieve the same job, then it’s best to stick with that. Similarly, if an image of a few bytes will create the same effect, it’s usually better to go down that route rather than adding extra code and scripts.

3. Using the defaults

There are some fantastic jQuery plugins out there which give you the chance to use some unique effects very easily. However, don’t make the mistake of using them out of the box – it’s instantly obvious with mainstream plugins as they’re regularly posted and reposted on the big design and development websites. Add your own twist and take advantage of any configuration options as well as using your own creative colours and styling to put your own stamp on them.

4. Neglecting to test

Whilst checking the documentation and any recent updates and blog posts can help, you should always double-check the browser compatibility of the jQuery plugins you’re using to ensure they meet your needs. It’s also worth checking your design with JavaScript turned off and in old browsers to see if your website is still navigable for visitors. If you’re relying heavily on jQuery text plugins, you’ll also want to make sure that the information is still compatible with screen readers.

5. Using jQuery as a complete replacement for design

Plugins definitely make life easier for developers and other web pros who don’t focus on design, but jQuery shouldn’t be the be all and end all of your text effects. Sometimes it’s good to push yourself out of your comfort zone and experiment with software, online editors and even basic HTML and CSS.

What are your biggest jQuery text challenges? Let us know in the comments!

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