jQuery at its core, excels at manipulating the DOM by finding and selecting (hence the word "query" in the name) DOM elements into a jQuery object, often called a wrapper. This allows you to easily get and set page elements and content, and work with all the modern browser event models allowing you to add sophisticated features to your site. Last but not least, jQuery has a really cool set of effects and a UI library. Animation and interface widgets are now at your complete command.
Don't panic. I know, we're barely into the first chapter and I've mentioned this mysterious acronym DOM several times. I'll be mentioning it a lot more. Learning about the Document Object Model can really enhance your understanding of your HTML for WordPress theme design and jQuery enhancements.
It will also help you better understand how to effectively structure your CSS rules and write cleaner and accurate jQuery scripts. For more information, you can of course refer to the W3Schools website: (http://w3schools.com/htmldom/.
Beyond all that cool DOM manipulation stuff, jQuery has a nice easy learning curve. You CSS gurus will especially enjoy picking up jQuery. Again, in finding the best way to select elements easily, John developed jQuery so that it leveraged web developers' existing knowledge of CSS. You'll find jQuery selectors a snap, especially as you can grab and select sets of elements almost as easily as you can style them with CSS!
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