What would be a good way to attempt to load the hosted jQuery at Google (or other Google hosted libs), but load my copy of jQuery if the Google attempt fails?

I'm not saying Google is flaky. There are cases where the Google copy is blocked (apparently in Iran, for instance).

Would I set up a timer and check for the jQuery object?

What would be the danger of both copies coming through?

Not really looking for answers like "just use the Google one" or "just use your own." I understand those arguments. I also understand that the user is likely to have the Google version cached. I'm thinking about fallbacks for the cloud in general.

Edit: This part added...

Since Google suggests using google.load to load the ajax libraries, and it performs a callback when done, I'm wondering if that's the key to serializing this problem.

I know it sounds a bit crazy. I'm just trying to figure out if it can be done in a reliable way or not.

Update: jQuery now hosted on Microsoft's CDN.


Solution 1

You can achieve it like this:

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.2.6/jquery.min.js"></script>

       window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="/path/to/your/jquery"><\/script>');

This should be in your page's <head> and any jQuery ready event handlers should be in the <body> to avoid errors (although it's not fool-proof!).

One more reason to not use Google-hosted jQuery is that in some countries, Google's domain name is banned.

Solution 2

The easiest and cleanest way to do this by far:

<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script>window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="path/to/your/jquery"><\/script>')</script>

Solution 3

This seems to work for me:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/jsapi"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
// has the google object loaded?
if (window.google && window.google.load) {
    google.load("jquery", "1.3.2");
} else {
    document.write('<script type="text/javascript" src="http://joecrawford.com/jquery-1.3.2.min.js"><\/script>');
window.onload = function() {
    $('#test').css({'border':'2px solid #f00'});
    <p id="test">hello jQuery</p>

The way it works is to use the google object that calling http://www.google.com/jsapi loads onto the window object. If that object is not present, we are assuming that access to Google is failing. If that is the case, we load a local copy using document.write. (I'm using my own server in this case, please use your own for testing this).

I also test for the presence of window.google.load - I could also do a typeof check to see that things are objects or functions as appropriate. But I think this does the trick.

Here's just the loading logic, since code highlighting seems to fail since I posted the whole HTML page I was testing:

if (window.google && window.google.load) {
    google.load("jquery", "1.3.2");
} else {
    document.write('<script type="text/javascript" src="http://joecrawford.com/jquery-1.3.2.min.js"><\/script>');

Though I must say, I'm not sure that if this is a concern for your site visitors you should be fiddling with the Google AJAX Libraries API at all.

Fun fact: I tried initially to use a try..catch block for this in various versions but could not find a combination that was as clean as this. I'd be interested to see other implementations of this idea, purely as an exercise.

Solution 4

If you have modernizr.js embedded on your site, you can use the built-in yepnope.js to load your scripts asynchronously - among others jQuery (with fallback).

    load : '//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.2/jquery.min.js'
    test : window.jQuery,
    nope : 'path/to/local/jquery-1.7.2.min.js',
    both : ['myscript.js', 'another-script.js'],
    complete : function () {

This loads jQuery from the Google-cdn. Afterwards it's checked, if jQuery was loaded successfully. If not ("nope"), the local version is loaded. Also your personal scripts are loaded - the "both" indicates, that the load-process is iniated independently from the result of the test.

When all load-processes are complete, a function is executed, in the case 'MyApp.init'.

I personally prefer this way of asynchronous script loading. And as I rely on the feature-tests provided by modernizr when building a site, I have it embedded on the site anyway. So there's actually no overhead.

Solution 5

There are some great solutions here, but I'll like to take it one step further regarding the local file.

In a scenario when Google does fail, it should load a local source but maybe a physical file on the server isn't necessarily the best option. I bring this up because I'm currently implementing the same solution, only I want to fall back to a local file that gets generated by a data source.

My reasons for this is that I want to have some piece of mind when it comes to keeping track of what I load from Google vs. what I have on the local server. If I want to change versions, I'll want to keep my local copy synced with what I'm trying to load from Google. In an environment where there are many developers, I think the best approach would be to automate this process so that all one would have to do is change a version number in a configuration file.

Here's my proposed solution that should work in theory:

  • In an application configuration file, I'll store 3 things: absolute URL for the library, the URL for the JavaScript API, and the version number
  • Write a class which gets the file contents of the library itself (gets the URL from app config), stores it in my datasource with the name and version number
  • Write a handler which pulls my local file out of the db and caches the file until the version number changes.
  • If it does change (in my app config), my class will pull the file contents based on the version number, save it as a new record in my datasource, then the handler will kick in and serve up the new version.

In theory, if my code is written properly, all I would need to do is change the version number in my app config then viola! You have a fallback solution which is automated, and you don't have to maintain physical files on your server.

What does everyone think? Maybe this is overkill, but it could be an elegant method of maintaining your AJAX libraries.


Solution 6

if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') {
// or if ( ! window.jQuery)
// or if ( ! 'jQuery' in window)
// or if ( ! window.hasOwnProperty('jQuery'))    

  var script = document.createElement('script');
  script.type = 'text/javascript';
  script.src = '/libs/jquery.js';

  var scriptHook = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
  scriptHook.parentNode.insertBefore(script, scriptHook);


After you attempt to include Google's copy from the CDN.

In HTML5, you don't need to set the type attribute.

You can also use...

window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="/libs/jquery.js"><\/script>');

Solution 7

You might want to use your local file as a last resort.

Seems as of now jQuery's own CDN does not support https. If it did you then might want to load from there first.

So here's the sequence: Google CDN => Microsoft CDN => Your local copy.

<!-- load jQuery from Google's CDN -->
<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.8.3/jquery.min.js"></script> 
<!-- fallback to Microsoft's Ajax CDN -->
<script> window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="//ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-1.8.3.min.js">\x3C/script>')</script> 
<!-- fallback to local file -->
<script> window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="Assets/jquery-1.8.3.min.js">\x3C/script>')</script> 

Solution 8

Conditionally load latest/legacy jQuery version and fallback:

<!--[if lt IE 9]>
    <script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.3/jquery.min.js"></script>
    <script>window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="/public/vendor/jquery-legacy/dist/jquery.min.js">\x3C/script>')</script>
<!--[if gte IE 9]><!-->
    <script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.4/jquery.min.js"></script>
    <script>window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="/public/vendor/jquery/dist/jquery.min.js">\x3C/script>')</script>

Solution 9

  • Step 1: Did jQuery fail to load? (check jQuery variable)

How to check a not-defined variable in JavaScript

  • Step 2: Dynamically import (the backup) javascript file

How do I include a JavaScript file in another JavaScript file?

Solution 10

Because of the Google's banning problem I prefer to use Microsoft's cdn http://www.asp.net/ajaxlibrary/cdn.ashx

Solution 11

For those people using ASP.NET MVC 5, add this code in your BundleConfig.cs to enable the CDN for jquery:

bundles.UseCdn = true;
Bundle jqueryBundle = new ScriptBundle("~/bundles/jquery", "//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.1/jquery.min.js").Include("~/Scripts/jquery-{version}.js");
jqueryBundle.CdnFallbackExpression = "window.jQuery";

Solution 12

This answer turned out to be wrong. Please see the comments for the real explanation.

Most of you question has been answered, but as for the final part:

What would be the danger of both copies coming through?

None really. You'd waste bandwidth, might add some milliseconds downloading a second useless copy, but there's not actual harm if they both come through. You should, of course, avoid this using the techniques mentioned above.

Solution 13

I made a Gist that should dynamically load jQuery if it isn't already loaded, and if the source fails, it proceeds onto fallbacks (stitched together from many answers): https://gist.github.com/tigerhawkvok/9673154

Please note I plan to keep the Gist updated but not this answer, for what it's worth!

/* See https://gist.github.com/tigerhawkvok/9673154 for the latest version */
function cascadeJQLoad(i) { // Use alternate CDNs where appropriate to load jQuery
    if (typeof(i) != "number") i = 0;
    // the actual paths to your jQuery CDNs
    var jq_paths = [
    // Paths to your libraries that require jQuery
    var dependent_libraries = [
    if (window.jQuery === undefined && i < jq_paths.length) {
        loadJQ(jq_paths[i], i, dependent_libraries);
    if (window.jQuery === undefined && i == jq_paths.length) {
        // jQuery failed to load
        // Insert your handler here

 * You shouldn't have to modify anything below here

function loadJQ(jq_path, i, libs) { //load jQuery if it isn't already
    if (typeof(jq_path) == "undefined") return false;
    if (typeof(i) != "number") i = 1;
    var loadNextJQ = function() {
        var src = 'https:' == location.protocol ? 'https' : 'http';
        var script_url = src + '://' + jq_path;
        loadJS(script_url, function() {
            if (window.jQuery === undefined) cascadeJQLoad(i);
    window.onload = function() {
        if (window.jQuery === undefined) loadNextJQ();
        else {
            // Load libraries that rely on jQuery
            if (typeof(libs) == "object") {
                $.each(libs, function() {
    if (i > 0) loadNextJQ();

function loadJS(src, callback) {
    var s = document.createElement('script');
    s.src = src;
    s.async = true;
    s.onreadystatechange = s.onload = function() {
        var state = s.readyState;
        try {
            if (!callback.done && (!state || /loaded|complete/.test(state))) {
                callback.done = true;
        } catch (e) {
            // do nothing, no callback function passed
    s.onerror = function() {
        try {
            if (!callback.done) {
                callback.done = true;
        } catch (e) {
            // do nothing, no callback function passed

 * The part that actually calls above

if (window.readyState) { //older microsoft browsers
    window.onreadystatechange = function() {
        if (this.readyState == 'complete' || this.readyState == 'loaded') {
} else { //modern browsers

Solution 14

Google Hosted jQuery

  • If you care about older browsers, primarily versions of IE prior to IE9, this is the most widely compatible jQuery version
<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.3/jquery.min.js"></script>
  • If you dont care about oldIE, this one is smaller and faster:
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.4/jquery.min.js"></script>

Backup/Fallback Plan!

  • Either way, you should use a fallback to local just in case the Google CDN fails (unlikely) or is blocked in a location that your users access your site from (slightly more likely), like Iran or sometimes China.
<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.3/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script>if (!window.jQuery) { document.write('<script src="/path/to/your/jquery"><\/script>'); }

Reference: http://websitespeedoptimizations.com/ContentDeliveryNetworkPost.aspx

Solution 15

I consider that should escape the last < to \x3C in string. When the browser sees , it considers this to be the end of the script block (since the HTML parser has no idea about JavaScript, it can't distinguish between something that just appears in a string, and something that's actually meant to end the script element). So appearing literally in JavaScript that's inside an HTML page will (in the best case) cause errors, and (in the worst case) be a huge security hole.

<script src="https://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jquery/jquery-2.0.0.min.js"></script>
<script>window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="js/jquery-2.0.0.min.js">\x3C/script>')</script>

Solution 16

if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined')) { ...



Will not works if cdn version not loaded, because browser will run through this condition and during it still downloading the rest of javascripts which needs jQuery and it returns error. Solution was to load scripts through that condition.

    <script src="http://WRONGPATH.code.jquery.com/jquery-1.4.2.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script><!--  WRONGPATH for test-->
  <script type="text/javascript">
  function loadCDN_or_local(){
    if(!window.jQuery){//jQuery not loaded, take a local copy of jQuery and then my scripts
      var scripts=['local_copy_jquery.js','my_javascripts.js'];
      for(var i=0;i<scripts.length;i++){
  else{// jQuery loaded can load my scripts
    var s=document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(document.createElement('script'));

Solution 17

Almost all public CDNs are pretty reliably. However, if you are worried about blocked google domain, then you can simply fallback to an alternative jQuery CDN. However, in such a case, you may prefer to do it opposite way and use some other CDN as your preferred option and fallback to Google CDN to avoid failed requests and waiting time:

<script src="https://pagecdn.io/lib/jquery/3.2.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
   window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.2.1/jquery.min.js"><\/script>');

Solution 18

Using Razor syntax in ASP.NET, this code provides fallback support and works with a virtual root:

@{var jQueryPath = Url.Content("~/Scripts/jquery-1.7.1.min.js");}
<script type="text/javascript">
    if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined')
        document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='@jQueryPath' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));

Or make a helper (helper overview):

@helper CdnScript(string script, string cdnPath, string test) {
    @Html.Raw("<script src=\"http://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/" + cdnPath + "/" + script + "\" type=\"text/javascript\"></script>" +
        "<script type=\"text/javascript\">" + test + " || document.write(unescape(\"%3Cscript src='" + Url.Content("~/Scripts/" + script) + "' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E\"));</script>")

and use it like this:

@CdnScript("jquery-1.7.1.min.js", "ajax/jQuery", "window.jQuery")
@CdnScript("jquery.validate.min.js", "ajax/jquery.validate/1.9", "jQuery.fn.validate")

Solution 19

Although writing document.write("<script></script>") seems easier for jQuery backoff, Chrome gives validation error on that case. So I prefer breaking "script" word. So it becomes safer like above.

<script src="http://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-1.11.1.min.js"></script>
<script>if (typeof jQuery === "undefined") {
   window.jqFallback = true;
   document.write("<scr"+"ipt src='http://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.1/jquery.min.js'></scr"+"ipt>");
} </script>

For long term issues, it would be better to log JQuery fallbacks. In the code above, if first CDN is not available JQuery is loaded from another CDN. But you could want to know that erroneous CDN and remove it permanently. (this case is very exceptional case) Also it is better to log fallback issues. So you can send erroneous cases with AJAX. Because of JQuery isn't defined, you should use vanilla javascript for AJAX request.

<script type="text/javascript">
    if (typeof jQuery === 'undefined' || window.jqFallback == true) {
        // XMLHttpRequest for IE7+, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari
        // ActiveXObject for IE6, IE5
        var xmlhttp = window.XMLHttpRequest ? new XMLHttpRequest() : new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
        var url = window.jqFallback == true ? "/yourUrl/" : "/yourUrl2/";
        xmlhttp.open("POST", url, true);

Solution 20

The inability to load the resource from an external data store beyond your control is difficult. Looking for missing functions is totally fallacious as a means to avoid suffering a timeout, as described herein: http://www.tech-101.com/support/topic/4499-issues-using-a-cdn/

Solution 21

Yet another fallback that replaces ajax.googleapis.com with cdnjs.cloudflare.com:

(function (doc, $)
    'use strict';

    if (typeof $ === 'undefined')
        var script = doc.querySelector('script[src*="jquery.min.js"]'),
            src = script.src.replace('ajax.googleapis.com', 'cdnjs.cloudflare.com');

        doc.write('<script src="' + src + '"></script>');
})(document, window.jQuery || window.Zepto);
  • You can stick to a jQuery version by specifying it in the string
  • Perfect for Asset Management that doesn't work with HTML snips
  • Tested in the wild - works perfect for users from China

Solution 22

You can use code like:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.min.js"></script>
<script>window.jQuery || document.write('<script type="text/javascript" src="./scripts/jquery.min.js">\x3C/script>')</script>

But also there are libraries you can use to setup several possible fallbacks for your scripts and optimize the loading process:

  • basket.js
  • RequireJS
  • yepnope


basket.js I think the best variant for now. Will cach your script in the localStorage, that will speed up next loadings. The simplest call:

basket.require({ url: '/path/to/jquery.js' });

This will return a promise and you can do next call on error, or load dependencies on success:

    .require({ url: '/path/to/jquery.js' })
    .then(function () {
        // Success
    }, function (error) {
        // There was an error fetching the script
        // Try to load jquery from the next cdn


    enforceDefine: true,
    paths: {
        jquery: [
            //If the CDN location fails, load from this location

require(['jquery'], function ($) {


  load: 'http://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jquery/jquery-2.0.0.min.js',
  complete: function () {
    if (!window.jQuery) {

Solution 23

You should never need to use a personal copy. Here is my full belt and braces script.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
        <meta charset="utf-8"/>
        <script type="text/javascript" src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.6.0/jquery.min.js"></script>

        <script type="text/javascript">
            window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.6.0/jquery.min.js"><\/script>');

        <!-- IF THAT FAILS ************* HOW??? *********** EMBED JQUERY FROM MICROSOFT -->
        <script type="text/javascript">
            window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="https://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-3.6.0.min.js"><\/script>');

        <!-- IF THAT FAILS ************* WOW!!! *********** EMBED JQUERY FROM JQUERY.COM -->
        <script type="text/javascript">
            window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="https://code.jquery.com/jquery-3.6.0.min.js"><\/script>');

        <!-- IF THAT FAILS ************* LET'S STOP!!! *********** EMBED JQUERY FROM PERSONAL COPY -->
        <script type="text/javascript">
            window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="jquery.min.js"><\/script>');