The Beginner’s Guide To JavaScript Best Practices

By September 11, 2015 Blog No Comments
The Beginner's Guide To JavaScript Best Practices

Writing about JavaScript best practices can be a tricky business – while some of you will think most of these things are obvious, you’d be surprised how many developers actually fail to follow them, especially as the deadline starts creeping up. So, whether you’re an absolute beginner just starting to learn the ins and outs of JavaScript, or an experienced developer looking to brush up on your JavaScript skills, we’re sure you’ll find something here today that will help you improve your code.

Place Scripts at the Bottom of Your Page

Your ultimate goal is to end up with a page that loads quickly and performs seamlessly. When loading a script, the browser will not be able to continue until the file has been completely loaded, which means the user will have to wait longer before noticing any progress. To avoid this issue, include the file at the bottom of the file, just before the closing body tag. On the other hand, one of the well-established JavaScript best practices is to place declarations at the top of the script.

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Global Variables Are An Incredibly Bad Idea

Almost every developer will tell you that one of the most important JavaScript best practices is to avoid declaring global variables, simply because you risk your code being overwritten by any other JavaScript added to the page after yours, as every JavaScript file included in the page runs in the same scope. This includes all data types, objects, and functions.

Stick To A Strict Coding Style

Even though JavaScript is one of the most forgiving languages, it doesn’t give you an excuse to write sloppy code. Using debugging tools such as JSLint that gives you a very detailed report about the syntax warnings and their meaning, and it checks your coding style. There are many extensions out there than enable you to automatically lint your code when you save it. While not one of the most important JavaScript best practices, it’s still a neat trick that will save you tons of headache down the road.

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One Of The Most Ignored JavaScript Best Practices: Commenting The Code

While it may seem redundant right now, trust countless developers out there that learned this the hard way – you will want to comment your code. Chances are, you’ll come back to the code months down the road, or perhaps other developers will taking a look at your code, and they will save you tons of headache. Comment when there is an important thing to say, and if you do comment, use the /* */ notation, because single-line comments can cause you problems when you minify the code.

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