It’s often the case that I see busy sites hosting copies of the JQuery library locally. E.g
The preferred and better way is to host your JQuery through Google E.g.
So, why is this better? Well there are several valid reasons:
CDN (Content Delivery Network) – Google’s datacenters are located over a range of locations and when a user requests content the closest location is automatically chosen. This is better because it does not force users to download from a single server location (E.g your server) and the chances are Google will be able to serve content faster than your webhost. A similar theory is used for the popularweb based game called quakelive. Usually CDN‘s are a service you pay for, but you’re getting this free through Google!
Less server load – When all your website’s files are located on a single server, downloading them simulainiously increases server load and some users will recieve delays while files download. By having an external location for your JQuery library the latter is not an issue.
Improved caching – This is the biggest benefit as users will not have to re-download content. Hosting JQuery on your own server will cause a first time visitor to download the whole file, even if they have several copies of the same file from other sites. Through Google’s CDN, re-requests for the same file will result in a response to cache the file for up to one year, as it understands that it is a repeat request for a duplicate file.
Local Bandwidth savings – by letting Google host the file for you, you are in essence saving bandwidth. For personal sites this may not be an issue, but busy sites will notice significant bandwidth savings.
Google actually suggests using a .load() function to load the library (see below), but this not only interrupts JQuery’s killer feature (document.ready), but also causes an extra HTTP request. Personally I prfer the old fashioned script method, even though there are several other valid reasons to use the .load() method.