jQuery alternatives in 2023

jQuery alternatives in 2023


I decided to write this article because I noticed that looking for the "best jQuery alternatives" is still a relevant topic even nowadays. However, the most relevant articles I googled, in my opinion, are not helpful to the readers, especially if they are new to JavaScript and web development.

I'll do my best to give you helpful answers to some of your questions while keeping this article short, hoping you'll read it till the end.

What is jQuery?

jQuery is a popular JavaScript library that makes interactions with HTML documents easy and efficient for both developers and users.

Created in 2006, jQuery is so popular that it's still used by more than 70% of the top 10 million websites, according to W3Techs.

The main benefits of using jQuery are that it simplifies the HTML DOM manipulation and traversal, and event handling, it's easy to learn even for developers with little experience with JavaScript, and you can find a lot of resources and guides online to build cool things with it.


Cash is a minimalist JavaScript library for modern browsers and, in my opinion, is the most promising JavaScript library to replace jQuery. Its codebase is actively maintained, and bugs reported by users on Github get resolved pretty quickly.

The library only weighs 6KB (minified and gzipped), while jQuery weighs 30KB (minified and gzipped).

Cash has a syntax similar to jQuery but with a smaller set of features. One of the functionalities missing is Ajax, which can be implemented by using modern alternatives like Fetch API or Axios.

Cash website

jQuery Slim

jQuery Slim it's a smaller bundle of jQuery, 24KB (minified and gzipped), which doesn't include Ajax and animations. This bundle can be useful if you still want to keep the benefits of using jQuery but want to achieve animations using CSS transitions and network requests using modern browser APIs or other javascript libraries.

Even if this is not a real jQuery alternative, I think it's worth to be mentioned if you are looking for a quick way to improve the loading time of your web pages.

jQuery website


UmbrellaJS is another interesting library and a valuable alternative to jQuery if you don't care about compatibility with old browsers.

UmbrellaJS weighs only 3KB (minified and gzipped), provides a syntax similar to jQuery and focuses on speed. To achieve better performance, it uses native DOM elements instead of objects and native javascript methods. Similar to other jQuery alternatives mentioned earlier, it removes Ajax in favour of Fetch API.

UmbrellaJS website


Zepto is another minimalist javascript library targeting modern browsers that can be used almost as a drop-in replacement for jQuery.

However, considering its last release was in 2016, at the moment of writing this article, and considering there are around 70 open issues on their GitHub page, the library is no anymore maintained.

Zepto.js website

What's the best jQuery alternative among Cash, jQuery Slim, UmbrellaJS and Zepto.js?

You might have noticed that my list of alternatives is way smaller when compared to other jQuery alternatives articles out there. The reason is simple, many JavaScript libraries (e.g. Mootools, Bliss, Chibi JS etc...) are not maintained anymore.

Some articles mention Bootstrap or D3.js as alternatives to jQuery when they are not. Others instead will present ReactJS, AngularJS, Angular 2+, VueJS and other javascript frameworks as alternatives to jQuery when they're more than that.
For example, I think these are not all alternatives to jQuery, and I think these are not all alternatives to jQuery either.

Anyway, if I'm forced to pick one library to replace jQuery on my next project, knowing that it doesn't heavily rely on JavaScript, Cash is my choice.

However, I don't think I will find myself in a situation where I need an alternative to jQuery, and maybe neither will you. Or maybe, we don't need jQuery at all.

Do I need jQuery or any similar JavaScript library?

First of all, we need to understand the role of jQuery and the time when it was created. We need to think of jQuery as a utility that makes it easier to manipulate the DOM and handle events. At a time when JavaScript wasn't so popular among web developers, it was easier to grasp by using jQuery.

In the past, you could find that almost every library was built using jQuery: Carousels, image galleries with a lightbox effect, animated popups and much more. Today is a bit different, and you might have noticed that most of these libraries moved away from jQuery or any other dependency.

That's why I'd like you to look at You might not need jQuery. You can achieve everything you need by using native JavaScript methods instead of using jQuery.

Is it still worth using jQuery?

If you're building a new website and don't need to use any library that requires jQuery, then the answer is no. You can achieve everything you need using modern browser functionalities and APIs.

Is jQuery still relevant in 2023?

The short answer is yes. You can still find jQuery used in some HTML templates you download, or maybe you want to use a fancy library that depends on jQuery.

If you don't know jQuery already, then don't spend too much time learning it. A basic understanding of it will be just fine.

If you haven't done yet, I would suggest investing your time in learning React or a similar js framework. Doing that will allows you to build modern web apps with complex user interfaces.

Is React a substitute for jQuery?

I will not define React as a substitute for jQuery because they are too different in what they offer and how they work.

React is a JavaScript framework used for modern web app development. It provides you with all the tools to quickly build complex single page applications with a smooth user interface.

In my opinion, you can compare React with other JavaScript frameworks like Angular or VueJS but not jQuery.


I hope I was able to provide you with the answers you needed. Please find some time to share this article if you like. Check also what is and what are the alternatives to jQuery Mobile.