Free JavaScript Download

Find and Download JavaScript, Even If You're Not a Master Programmer

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Unlike other languages that can be used in a web browser, JavaScript doesn't need to be downloaded and installed. Browsers that support JavaScript have it built into the browser, where it is turned on by default (meaning that typically, you'll need to change your browser settings only if you don't want the browser to run JavaScript). The only exception is that Internet Explorer also supports vbScript the same way, and the two languages are controlled via settings called "active scripting" rather than a setting that reference JavaScript specifically.

What you will need to download with JavaScript, then, is not the scripting language itself, but rather those scripts that you want to run in your web page (assuming that you have decided not to learn JavaScript so you can write it all yourself).

Many JavaScript Downloads Are Free

There is no need to pay for scripts written in JavaScript, because just about any script imaginable is available somewhere as a free JavaScript download. What you need to be careful of, though, is to obtain them from a site that is actually offering the scripts as a free download, rather than just copying the scripts from any site. JavaScript code that performs any significant task will be subject to copyright, so you will need permission from the author to use his or her script.

The task the JavaScript is doing is not able to be copyrighted, however, so if you are writing a script yourself, you can't get into trouble for looking at an existing script to see how the programmer did it and then writing your own version. But if you are just looking for free JavaScript downloads, then you should go to a site where the author specifically states that his or her script is available as a free download and can be used on your site. There are many sites that offer free JavaScript downloads, including several huge sites that only offer JavaScript downloads, as well as other sites that offer free JavaScript downloads and also have tutorials on how to write the scripts for yourself.

JavaScript Downloads Often Come With Instructions

Apart from avoiding copyright issues, there are other advantages to getting your free JavaScript downloads from a site that is actively offering the scripts. The main one is that such sites usually provide step-by-step instructions on how to actually install and use the script. Where you just grab a script from anywhere, not only are you stealing a script but also you won't get instructions on how to install it or support if you can't get it to work.

Be Sure That Downloads Are up to Date

Another thing to watch for when you are getting your free JavaScript downloads from an appropriate site is that many of these sites have been in existence for many years, and the way that JavaScript should be used has changed over time. In many cases, you'll find scripts that were written many years ago to work on the most popular browsers available at that time -- browsers that are now long gone. Ideally, you should have at least some familiarity with what is currently considered the best way of writing JavaScript, so that you can choose the version that will work best with current browsers.

You can't really blame the sites offering scripts that are not up to date. It does take time to code and test JavaScripts to make sure that they work correctly with the wide range of browsers in common use today. Having a somewhat dated script that still works available as a free download is certainly better than not having the script available at all. The biggest sites specializing in free JavaScript downloads usually offer scripts written by a lot of different people, and they rely on someone actually writing a new version of a script before they can offer it for download. Other sites that have their own staff to write and test scripts may have limited resources for being able to create updated versions of scripts, and so they may be offering older scripts until they can make updates.

How to Update Free JavaScript Downloads

One thing to remember when you obtain free JavaScripts for your site is that there's no reason to continue running the same version of the script forever. When a more modern version of the script is made available as a free download, you can always update your page and replace the old script with the new one. This is particularly easy where the new version of the script is offered as a direct replacement for the script you are currently using, but it shouldn't be all that hard even if you get it from a completely different source.

You May Choose to Use Just Parts of a Free Script

The number and variety of scripts offered for free download mean that no matter what sort of JavaScript you want to add to your page, you should be able to find several sites offering one or more variations on such scripts. Only when you get to the stage where you require a script that directly interacts with custom code within your web page (such as for form field validation) will you be unable to find a free JavaScript download that does everything for you without your having to code any of it yourself. Even in such situations, you should be able to find free downloads that provide you with pieces of code that will do at least a part of what you need, along with instructions on how to attach such code fragments together to do what you require.

Even those who move on to writing their own JavaScript rather than relying on pre-written free downloads can make use of free downloads. Along with complete scripts for performing a variety of simple tasks, there are also code libraries available as free downloads that will provide common functionality that will make writing your own JavaScript much easier.

For those want to learn to program, one of the biggest advantages of JavaScript is that it is all free. You don't need to pay for anything to get started. The JavaScript language itself is built into all the browsers you need for testing the scripts, and there are plenty of free JavaScript downloads of complete scripts and libraries that you can either use as is or examine to see how things work in order to write your own code.

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Your Citation
Chapman, Stephen. "Free JavaScript Download." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Chapman, Stephen. (2021, February 16). Free JavaScript Download. Retrieved from Chapman, Stephen. "Free JavaScript Download." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 7, 2023).