CSS vs JavaScript For Website Animations

CSS vs JavaScript For Website Animations

CSS vs JavaScript For Website Animations

CSS is a language style that describes the appearance of a file or document created in a markup style language; it’s how websites are designed. Web browsers receive HTML documents from a web server or local storage and render the documents into multimedia web pages. All tags in HTML are styled using CSS, including the document’s headings, paragraphs, body and other text pieces.

JavaScript is a programming language that enables interactive web pages. It is commonly used to create polls and surveys, display dynamic content, and provide user input validation. You can also use JavaScript to create games and applications that run in web browsers.

So which is better for animating websites: CSS or JavaScript?

CSS vs JavaScript For Website Animation

Regarding website animations, there are two main options: CSS and JavaScript. Both have benefits and drawbacks, so how do you know which is right for you? Our experienced Manchester web designers will use this blog to compare CSS and JavaScript animations to help you make the right decision for your project.

Ease of Use

CSS is much easier to use than JavaScript regarding animation. All you need is a basic understanding of HTML and CSS to create animations with CSS. This can be an excellent option for those just starting with web animation. JavaScript, on the other hand, requires more coding knowledge and can be more challenging to learn. 

To use JavaScript for animation, you need to understand the language well. JavaScript Language is also more complex than CSS. The language here is not mean human language but the structure and order of a programming language. So, if you want to use JavaScript for animation on your website, be prepared to spend some time learning the language.

Browser Support 

CSS animations are supported by all major browsers, including Internet Explorer 9+; this makes it easy to create animations that will work for all users, regardless of their browser. JavaScript animations are not as widely supported and may not work in older browsers. 

This can be a disadvantage if you want your animations to be visible to everyone. Some browsers supported by JavaScript animations include Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. You cannot use Microsoft Internet Explorer for JavaScript animations.


When it comes to performance, CSS animations are generally smoother and more performant than JavaScript animations. This is because the browser can optimize CSS code to run more efficiently. As a result, CSS animations are more responsive than JavaScript animations. 

However, there are some instances where JavaScript can outperform CSS. For example, if you want to create complex animations that require a lot of processing power, JavaScript may be the better option. This is because JavaScript has access to the browser’s main thread, which means it can use more resources.


CSS animations are free and easy to create. You don’t need any special software or tools to create CSS animations. All you need is a text editor and a web browser. You can also find many free tutorials and resources online to help you get started. On the other hand, JavaScript animations can be more expensive to create. 

This is because you need to use a text editor, a web browser, and a JavaScript library or framework. You may also need to hire a developer to create complex animations. So when it comes to cost, CSS is the clear winner.


In terms of maintenance, CSS animations are easy to maintain and update. You can update the CSS code if you need to make changes to your animation; this can be done without updating any JavaScript code. However, you may need to update the HTML and JavaScript code with JavaScript animations. This can be more time-consuming and complicated. So for ease of maintenance, CSS is the better option.

Page Load Times 

CSS animations can help improve your website’s page load times. This is because the CSS code for animation is typically smaller than the JavaScript code required to create the same animation. Your webpage will have to load less data, which can help improve page load times. 

In contrast, JavaScript animations can hurt your page load times because the JavaScript code for an animation can be larger than the CSS code. As a result, your webpage will have to load more data, which can slow down page load times.

You can view a more detailed comparison of performance for CSS vs JS animations by MDN.

User Experience

CSS animations can provide a more seamless and enjoyable user experience. This is because they are less disruptive and more fluid than JavaScript animations. With CSS animations, users can still interact with the content on your webpage while the animation is playing. This can be beneficial if you want to keep users engaged with your content. 

However, JavaScript animations can disrupt the user’s ability to interact with your content. In some cases, this can lead to a poor user experience. Nevertheless, both CSS and JavaScript have their advantages and disadvantages. It depends on your specific needs as to which one is the better option for you.

Development Time

The development time for CSS animations is typically shorter than the development time for JavaScript animations. As mentioned earlier, you don’t need any special software or tools to create CSS animations. CSS enables you to create complex animations using simple code. 

JavaScript animations are more time-consuming to implement because they require a lot of code. In addition, you also need a JavaScript library or framework to create complex animations. All of this can add up to a longer development time.

Bottom Line

Both CSS and JavaScript have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to website animations. If you are starting, CSS is the easier option. It is also free to use and easy to maintain. However, JavaScript may be the better option if you need more complex animations or want to support older browsers. In the end, it comes down to your specific needs as to which one is the better option for you. So make sure to weigh all the factors before making a decision on using website animations in your web design. That way, you can choose the best option for your website.