AngularJS vs. jQuery: What are the key differences

AngularJS vs. jQuery: What are the key differences

jQuery is a library and Angular is a MVVM framework. jQuery is included in Angular.js file so you can use the jQuery functions and features within Angular.


jQuery is a DOM manipulation library that makes it easier to use JavaScript on your website. JavaScript is the language of choice for making webpages dynamic and interactive. jQuery takes the complex code that would be required to make AJAX calls or manipulate the DOM and wraps them into simple methods you can call with a single line of JavaScript.

Here are some of the key technical features that are available in the jQuery library:

  • DOM manipulations are a lot easier with the help of jQuery
  • CSS manipulation
  • It simplifies many complicated things attached to JavaScript – e.g. Ajax calls.
  • Event handling
  • Effects and animations
  • Cross-browser compatibility
  • Lightweight (minified and gzipped)

jQuery makes no assumptions about your web technology stack, and may be used in conjunction with other frameworks, including AngularJS. In fact, AngularJS is built off of an implementation of jQuery called jqLite.


AngularJS is a JavaScript framework that was specifically designed to help developers build SPAs in accordance with best practices for web development. By providing a structured environment for building SPAs, the risk of producing “spaghetti code” is greatly reduced. AngularJS also provides a suite of features that help the developer do more with less code than would be required with “vanilla JavaScript” (developer speak for plain, simple JavaScript without the use of any libraries) and jQuery.

Some of the key features AngularJS adds on top of jQuery are:

  • Angular directives (extension to HTML)
  • Templating
  • Dependency injection
  • Two-way data binding
  • Support for MVC
  • RESTful API
  • Form validation

It goes without saying that AngularJS also abstracts the DOM, has a system for managing event handlers, and supports AJAX/JSONP.

As far as choosing between Angular JS and jQuery, it always depends on the nature of the application. If we are talking about a complex application, then Angular JS is the best otherwise go with jQuery.

Author Surjit Sidhu

Surjit SidhuSurjit is a student of IT, a freelance web designer/developer and a tech writer. He deals with both front-end and back-end stuff. Whenever he is not in front of an Internet-enabled device he is probably reading a book or traveling.