What is AJAX? Advantages & Disadvantages of Ajax?

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Mia Updated: July 02, 2021

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For web developers, the “Ajax” term is quite a common tech jargon over the past few years due to its increasing application in practice.

Though the use of Ajax technology for web applications is simple, it shows excellent development potential. For a deeper understanding, let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Ajax. Plus, find out some practices of Ajax technology in Magento 2.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

What is Ajax?

What is Ajax?
What is Ajax?

It won’t take much time for us to have a quick look at the definition of Ajax. At the most basic level, the acronym of Ajax is Asynchronous JavaScrip and XML.

You can understand it as a set of web development techniques that are used to create better and faster web applications via the use of XML, HTML, CSS, Javascript.

In other words, web applications apply Ajax technology to send and retrieve data from a server without interrupting the display of the existing page.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ajax

When talking about technology and its uses, we usually discuss the pros and cons of everything. Of course, like many other techniques, Ajax itself comes with many different advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s have a deeper look at these 2 sides of Ajax technology these days.

Advantages of AJAX

Reduce server traffic and increase speed

The first and foremost advantage of Ajax is its ability to improve the performance and usability of web applications.

To explain more detailedly, Ajax techniques allow applications to render without data, which reduces the server traffic inside requests. That being said, web developers can lower the time consumption on both side’s responses significantly.

As a result, your web’s visitors will never have to see a white window and wait for pages to refresh with Ajax implementation.

Enable asynchronous calls

Ajax benefits web developers in how its framework can be used for lazy loading. Those who don’t know what Lazy Loading is are an optimization technique that’s widely used for online content.

In essence, Ajax allows its users to make asynchronous calls to the web server without reloading the whole web page. As a web visitor, you don’t have to wait for the entire page to load entirely in order to access the entire page content.

The concept of lazy loading assists in loading only the required section and delays the remaining, until it is needed by users. Thus, Ajax Lazy Loading not only improves a web page load it also has a positive impact on user experience and conversion rates.

XMLHttpRequest

XMLHttpRequest is a request type widely used for sending a request to Ajax pages. You can also call it with a different name: Asynchronous HTTP request. It plays a vital role in the implementation of Ajax techniques for web development.

XMLHttpRequest transfers and manipulates the XML data to and from a web service using HTTP. Its purpose is to establish an independent connection between the webpage’s client-side and server.

Reduce bandwidth usage

One more advantage of Ajax comes from the bandwidth usage. This action is effective in improving web performance and load speed as well.

Ajax makes the best use of the server’s bandwidth by fetching particle contents instead of transmitting the entire page’s content. This means that you can bring data from the database and store it into the database to perform background without reloading the page.

Form Validation

In contrast to traditional form submission, where client-side validations occur after submission, the AJAX method enables precise and immediate form validation. AJAX provides speed, which is also one of its significant benefits.

Disadvantages of Ajax

We’ve just listed out all the areas where Ajax can show its great potential in implementation. Let’s move on to some possible drawbacks you can meet when using Ajax.

  • Open-source. View source is allowed, and anyone can view the code source written for Ajax, which makes it less secure compared to other technologies

  • Search Engines cannot index Ajax pages can not be indexed by Google as well as other search engines

  • The usage of Ajax can cause difficulties for your web pages to debug as well as make them prone to possible security issues in the future

  • Most importantly, Ajax has a considerable dependency on JavaScript, so only browsers that support Javascripts or XMLHttpRequest can use pages with Ajax techniques

  • Users will find it challenging to bookmark a specific state of the application due to the dynamic web page

  • From the users’ perspective, when you click the back button on the browser, you may not return to the previous state of the page but the entire page. This happens because the pages with successive Ajax requests are unable to register with the browser’s history

The application of Ajax for Magento 2

Ajax can be utilized in many cases where small amounts of data should be stored or received from the server without having to reload the whole page. Thus, web owners can deliver a far more seamless experience when browsing the entire store.

Still, developing a feature for web applications from scratch can cost time and effort. But don’t worry since there are many well-built extensions using Ajax technology out there.

All you need to do is download and install the modules that fit your needs to use. So below are some extensions with the usage of Ajax technologies for your Magento 2 stores.

Magento 2 Lazy Loading

Lazy Loading for Magento 2
Lazy Loading for Magento 2

As mentioned earlier, lazy loading is a term given to Ajax coding used to speed up the rendering process on a website. A Magento 2 Lazy Loading extension, as its name suggests, improves the web load speed by displaying web images only at the demanding time.

The Lazy Loading module applies the Ajax technology for loading images. This means that images on a web page won’t be loaded until the user scrolls to a particular browser’s viewpoint.

This feature benefits eCommerce websites significantly in giving customers a frictionless browsing experience.

Magento 2 Ajax Layered Navigation

Ajax Layered Navigation for Magento 2
Ajax Layered Navigation for Magento 2

Having the same merchandise as Lazy Loading, Magento 2 Ajax Layered Navigation helps merchants cut down a great deal of time on page loading.

The Ajax technology used in this module improves web responsiveness and delivers faster loading on every touchpoint.

Read more:

Magento 2 Ajax Cart extension

Ajax Cart for Magento 2
Ajax Cart for Magento 2

If the Magento 2 Lazy Loading focuses on optimizing the image load speed, Ajax Cart for Magento 2 delivers a better shopping experience when customers come to the shopping cart.

Specifically, your customers can instantly select and add products to their cart via an add-to-cart popup. Of course, this popup is built using Ajax technology. It’s included in:

  • Add to Cart

  • Add to Compare

  • Add to Wishlist

With this module, you can enhance customers’ shopping experience on a user-friendly shopping site effortlessly.

Ajax Search for Magento 2
Ajax Search for Magento 2

The Magento 2 Ajax Search extension allows consumers to get auto-complete search results as soon as they enter a word in the search field.

The search results will be shown in a drop-down list right under the search field and include all essential info of each suggested items, particularly:

  • Image

  • Product name

  • Price

  • A short description

This feature is hugely beneficial for web visitors since they can quickly and conveniently find their wanted products.

The bottom line!

It’s undeniable that Ajax technology gives online businesses a new approach and method to communicate with a web page in a way that effectively improves user experience.

We hope that this guide will assist you in learning and utilizing it effectively. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

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Mia
Mia
As a content executive at Mageplaza, Mia Hoang understands the value of content marketing lies in the engagement between the customers and companies. Her wish is to bring a unique voice, different perspectives, and new light for every audience.
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