The jQuery get() and post() methods allows you to easily send a HTTP request to a page and get the result back. When you post a form, it’s usually either a GET or a POST request, and with jQuery you can mimic that, since both a get() and a post() method exists.
The two methods are pretty much identical, since they simply just invoke different request types against the server. They are both static methods, which means that instead of instantiating a jQuery object and then working with that, we call get() or post() directly on the jQuery class, either by writing jQuery.get() or by using the shortcut character like this: $.get(). In its most simple form, the get() and post() methods takes a single parameter, which is the URL that you wish to request. However, in most cases you will want to do something with the returned data, in which case you can pass a callback function as a parameter, which jQuery will call if the request succeeds.
Let’s do some testing. In the previous chapter, I created an HTML file called “content.html”, which we loaded using the jQuery load() method. When testing the following example, make sure that you have a file called “content.html” in the same directory as the file in which you have the example. The content doesn’t really matter, just write anything in there really. Here’s an example of the get() method:
The first parameter is the URL, which is just content.html. The second parameter is more interesting. It’s a callback function, which jQuery calls if the page request succeeds. The first callback parameter is simply the content of the page requested, while the second callback parameter is the textual status of the request.
You can of course request a simple HTML page, like in the example above, but normally the reason for using a GET or a POST request is that you wish to pass in some parameters, which is then processed by the server, for instance with a piece of PHP, ASP or ASP.NET code, and then return the result. jQuery can take a map of GET or POST parameters, which we will try in the following example, where we use the post() method:
This example is much like the first one, but we make the POST request to another page, in this example a PHP page, and as the second parameter, we pass in a map of POST parameters. The map is constructed of two parameters, a name and an age. If we had used a GET request instead of a POST request (POST requests doesn’t take parameters from the URL like GET does), the above code would actually have corresponded to requesting an URL like this in your browser:
The PHP script can then read the parameters, process them and return a result. The script on our server simply takes the two values and creates a string like “is years old” and then returns it, which you can see if you test the example above.