What is Vanilla JavaScript?

JavaScript is a programming language used both for the client-side as well as the server-side to make our websites interactive by giving us the edge of implementing complex features on our website. If you visit Amazon there is the search bar at the top of the website which is developed using JavaScript.

JavaScript (Js) is one of the most recommended programming languages out there and a necessity for a beginner web developer. However, as you go in depth of JavaScript you will come across frameworks and libraries which you will learn to make your lives easy. But before going into the frameworks and libraries, people recommend that you should have a strong base with Vanilla JS. Wait! What really is Vanilla JS? Is it a framework or a library? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered; in this post, we’ll go over all there is to know about Vanilla Javascript, including its benefits and drawbacks.

What is Vanilla Js?

Vanilla Js is plain JavaScript with no difference whatsoever. Vanilla Js is the purest form of Javascript with no addition of any library and using the inbuilt functions/methods and objects. To make our webpage work, you do not need to download any other tools or libraries and Vanilla means something that is ordinary or something standard with no extra or special features.

Plain JavaScript is lightweight where you can create amazing websites using basic and straightforward scripts. The Vanilla JavaScript developers are continuously making an effort to make vanilla JavaScript more useful for web developers. The importance of Vanilla Javascript can be taken from the fact that many popular and known websites are developed using vanilla JavaScript. Some of them are:

  • Youtube
  • Wikipedia
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo
  • Amazon
  • Twitter
  • Paypal
  • Netflix
  • Stack overflow

And many more.

Why learn Vanilla JS?

Now that we know what Vanilla Js is, let us explore the idea of why we should even learn Vanilla Js when there are so many libraries out there that can make our lives easy. Let’s look at a few reasons why you should use Vanilla JS:

User Friendly

Vanilla JS is very easy to handle and a revelation for beginners as they don’t have to dig in and install libraries and learn about npm, or the compilation steps as well as no build. One just needs a text editor to start coding thus making Vanilla JS user-friendly as well as effortless.

Builds a base

If you don’t feel familiar with Vanilla JS and move on to other frameworks, such as node js or react js, believe me when I say that you will struggle to master such frameworks and will eventually need to return to Vanilla JS to grasp some fundamentals. Why move back and forth when you can go in one direction by first establishing a strong foundation and then moving forward?

Better web performance

For the front-end web, it is the most important part, and rightly so as it gives a much better web performance than most of the frameworks and libraries that are available right now. Unlike HTML or CSS the Vanilla JS needs to be parsed and compiled and a 30kb Vanilla JS file has a more significant impact than the same size of the file of HTML and CSS on web performance.


Vanilla Js does not need any external resources for which purpose the execution of Vanilla JS code occurs on the client-side hence making its speed excellent. It should also be kept in mind that the speed of Vanilla JS is not affected by the calls to a back-end server.


Now that we have discussed the advantages of Vanilla Javascript let us flip the coin and discuss the other side, that is the disadvantages of using Vanilla JS:

  • Lacks Debugging utilities.
  • No support for the network-based applications hence cannot be used to develop network-based applications.
  • No multiprocessors as well as no multithreading.
  • As the code is available on the client-side hence people can modify that code and use it for malicious activity.


Vanilla Javascript is just another term that is used for plain JavaScript. The libraries and frameworks are getting popular day by day and they exclude a lot of repetitive code but they are not a necessity. Vanilla Js is used by a number of well-known web apps, including Facebook, Twitter, and many others.

In this article, we shed light on what Vanilla JavaScript is and why we should use Vanilla JavaScript by discussing its advantages. We hope you gained the purpose of coming into this article and we hope you have learned a bunch of stuff.

About the author

Shehroz Azam

A Javascript Developer & Linux enthusiast with 4 years of industrial experience and proven know-how to combine creative and usability viewpoints resulting in world-class web applications. I have experience working with Vue, React & Node.js & currently working on article writing and video creation.