Anti-Javascript FAQ

This FAQ explains to web site developers why you should stop requiring JavaScript (also known as ECMAscript and JScript) on your web pages. It also gives you a number of techniques to get the same effects without JavaScript. Note that while I am personally opposed to all use of JavaScript, I understand that JavaScript can do some things that you can't do with normal HTML. The techniques presented here for removing JavaScript do allow JavaScript to be used, they just make sure that your site is accessible to browsers that do not implement JavaScript or have JavaScript turned off.

Remember, the more accessible your site is, the more potential customers you have. If Amazon.com can do it, so can you.

This FAQ contains three sections:

If you have any questions that are not answered by this FAQ, or if you have any comments, please send e-mail to aahz@pobox.com

Last update: 20 May, 2004

Why is it bad to require JavaScript?

How do I remove JavaScript?

For starters, it's a lot easier if you thoroughly familiarize yourself with the standard HTML tags. My favorite reference is the Bare Bones Guide to HTML, which is available at http://www.werbach.com/barebones/index.html.

Here's a simple example that demonstrates how one can still use JavaScript while making the site accessible to people with JavaScript turned off:

Sites that work without JavaScript

These are mostly sites that I have personally used to purchase products (some of which are local to the San Francisco Bay Area); sites that are suggested by other people are marked with "??". Sites that I particularly like are marked with "!". Some of these sites have some (or many) links that use JavaScript, but the basic site functions can all be accessed with Lynx, a text-only browser that does not support JavaScript. Some of these sites also work with cookies disabled.

Some sites don't work with Lynx but do work with a couple of other text-only browsers: Links (can be compiled with crude JavaScript support) and w3m.

Some of these sites have been notorious for poor privacy policies in the past, but I'm not addressing that issue here.


Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 by Aahz (aahz@pobox.com)
Comments welcome

Several people have contributed information and comments, but Jon Ribbens (jon(at)unequivocal(dot)co(dot)uk) deserves special mention.

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