45% of the popular websites use a javascript framework

By crawling Alexa top 100 000 websites I found out that 45% of them use a Javascript framework and among those who use a framework 28% of them use Jquery.

I expected that more websites will use a framework but apparently many people like to do things by hands Anyway the following chart depicts how popular each framework is:

As one can see JQuery is by far the most used framework: 63% of the Alexa top 100 000 websites that use a javascript framework, choose it.  Prototype is their second choice with almost 13%. The third and fourth frameworks,  namely YUI and Mootool are not very far from prototype: Both of them have around 9% market share.   Accordingly if you are trying to decide which framework to learn or use JQuery is without any doubt the one that you will most likely encounter while working on various web apps.

Given that JQuery is so popular, I was curious to know which version is the most used.  The result of my data mining on this is summarized on the chart below. These numbers are only an approximation because some websites strip out the version of JQuery they are using.

Beside the obvious fact that the 1.3.2 version  is by far the most popular version with 51.25% this graph tell us that people do not update their javascript framework:  the 1.2.6 version is still used by 17.4% of the websites.  The question is why ? Why not updating their framework ?  I think it is a combination of two factors: On one hand developers are afraid of breaking things by updating their framework and on the other hand they don’t see the benefits of updating it.  If anyone can come up with a better explanation or stories/facts that support this hypothesis, I will love to hear it.

Finally since JQuery comes in two flavors : the regular version and the minified version, I was curious to know how many websites optimizing their loading time by using the  minified version. The surprising answer to this question is reported in the following chart:


64% of the websites do not use a minified version of JQuery ! I don’t know for you but for me it came as a huge surprise. Why a website will use a non minifed version of JQuery in production ?

Thanks for reading this post and if you have some cool idea of statistics I should extract from the crawl database let me know

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Elie Bursztein

I lead Google's anti-abuse research team, which invents ways to protect users against cyber-criminal activities and Internet threats. I blog about web performance and security.

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