In 2016, it’s okay to build a website that doesn’t work without JavaScript. Opinions?

I was a bit worried the site I’m currently working on was a bit too reliant on javascript. After reading this post, not sure I need to worry -

Just wondered what you guys think about a site that relies on javascript - say, a shop where you can only add to the basket via a jquery dialogue & some ajax?

I think it is a big mistake to make a site’s functionality depend on javascript. There are a growing number of people that only activate javascript for sites they trust, for security reasons.

Most of the statistics you will find about users with javascript off are dated. The percentage of users that has javascript off by default differs in countries and group of people. E.g. in Germany there seem to be a great number of security aware users:

I for one, if I search and the result is a site demanding javascript to be turned on and doesn’t bother showing me the content so I can decide if I’m interested, I just leave.

This article might be of interest:


What if it’s a social network like Facebook or Twitter? I have been messing around with things such as this on big websites and they demand Javascript to be turned on, but will only show you things that don’t require Javascript. How would one react to this if it’s a social network making a name for itself? I feel it’s best to enable Javascript and disable popups and things like ads that may annoy someone.

If you are a web developer and your only concern is to
create sites just for those users who have similar views
to yours, then stick your middle finger defiantly in the
air and carry on in your self satisfied way.

If you are a web developer with broader concerns, then
stick your middle finger defiantly in the air, use a
progressive enhancement strategy and carry on in your
self satisfied way.

coothead is worth a read…


I keep JS disabled, mainly as a defence against all those sites whose owners seem to feel that fancy flashing/moving visual effects are a requirement for a “modern” site. I expect a site to be basically usable without JS. I at least expect to be able to look around the site and see what kind of content it has. If all I get is a blank page with a loading symbol - or even worse, a brief flash of actual content, which is replaced by an overlay telling me I have to enable JS to use the site - I’ll just go elsewhere.

On the other hand, if I’ve viewed the site and want to interact with it - such as adding items to a shopping cart - I have no problem with enabling JS so I can do that.

IMHO, use JS where it’s required, and elsewhere use it carefully, and ensure the site functions without it.


There are as many opinions on this as there are developers.

And to be clear we are talking about a web page (like a blog or something) not say a SAAS app.

The questions to ask

  1. How many people (Percent) in my target audience have javascript turned off
  2. What features will they loose
  3. How much will that hurt me
  4. How much will it cost to implement a no javascript solution?
  5. What is the ratio of 3:4

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