Magical ajax. Ajax is a great technology. It allows you to update various aspects of your page, without ever having to refresh.

The Trouble With Ajax

The trouble with Ajax is that it is overused and abused. Many people try to do too much with it. If you’re building a web-app, fantastic, use it all you like! If you’re just building a blog though, remember your restraint.

Good use of Ajax comes in small doses, and only when it helps you achieve your goals. Can it save you the hassle of reloading the same page? Will it let you accomplish simple tasks quickly? If so, then you’re using Ajax well.

5 Common Ways That Ajax Can Help

  • Commenting. Whilst it certainly isn’t necessary, Ajax comments are a nice touch. If I have just written a comment, then the odds are good that I’m finished with this page and am looking for somewhere else to go. Reloading a page you want to leave is a bit of a paradox!
  • Editing comments. There is a fantastic Ajax WordPress plugin by Ronald Huereca that allows you to edit your comments for a set period time after submitting them.There is another plugin which does the exact same thing, but without the Ajax. Which is better? If all I want to do is correct that little typo, I’m much more likely to do it with the fast plugin, rather than the one that is going to make me reload and resubmit.
  • Comment preview. The comment preview plugin creates a live preview of how your comment will look. Very useful for spotting typing errors, especially in comments where you’re writing a little code. The Ajax is much nicer than a MySpace-style “Preview” page being shown after you submit.
  • Voting in polls. Polls are fun because you can give an opinion in a matter of seconds. You just click your choice and vote. Ajax speeds that up a little more, making me much more likely to vote again in your next poll.
  • Rating systems. Certain blogs have post ratings on them, in particular for those reviewing different products. In the same way that Ajax benefits polls, it benefits these rating systems.

At present, I don’t use Ajax anywhere here on Pro Blog Design. It is rarely ever necessary to use it, but can certainly be an asset. Have you used Ajax on your blog? What for?

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