When is CSS not available?

Hi All,

I am probably going to show myself up badly here but there seems to be an obvious question that is never answered in any of tutorials or articles and that is under what circumstances is CSS not available.

Many tutorials and articles incorporate code / tricks / hacks to cover the eventually that CSS is not available when the page is viewed.

But I cannot find any definition of when such a circumstance would occur.

Am I to conclude that this is a legacy requirement that can effectively now be ignored or am I just not seeing the elephant?


Hi codepuppy. No, it’s a perfectly valid question. :slight_smile:

It’s pretty rare for anyone to have CSS turned off in their browser, but given that CSS is for visual styling, there are lots of users who don’t view a site visually—such as blind users and search engines. So in a sense, turning off CSS is a good idea when testing your site, as you get to see how logical (or not) the page structure really is.

Some browsers (such as basic mobile browsers) have limited CSS support, so it’s worth bearing that in mind, too. We tend to do a lot of fancy things with CSS (and JavaScript) and it’s a good idea to make sure that web pages still work even if these are not available.

[font=verdana]One thing I’ve been finding quite a bit recently is that if I’m going online on my mobile phone and the connection isn’t brilliant (which is most of the time), there’s a fair chance it will load a page but not the stylesheet and/or all images. So I get to see a lot of ‘naked’ pages with no styling but just the raw default formatting of standard HTML.

Getting the page to work properly without CSS shouldn’t be about hacks and tricks – it should be about making sure you’ve used the right elements for the right job. As Ralph said, that’s vitally important for people using assistive technology (eg Braille readers or text-to-speech) and also for helping search engines to understand your page accurately. In those cases, it isn’t about the visual display, but making sure that the code is right.[/font]