Considering that it's April, 2013; do I still need to worry about non-JavaScript capable/enabled clients?

Note: This question excludes having helper text with: JavaScript is required to view this page, upgrade to a modern browser or modify your settings

BTW: Just to be clear, in order to cater to non-JavaScript capable/enabled clients; I will have to: prerender (cache) a version of my decoupled (JavaScript on the client-side consumes my RESTful API) website.

Because of framework limitations this will result in far less functionality for the non-JavaScript user.


3 Answers 3


It depends on what types of webpages you are designing. At any rate here are some of the problems:

  1. Some older mobile phones (in use) still do not support Javascript.
  2. If you webpage is displayed in an e-mail (e.g., Mac mail allows you to embed webpages; some e-mailers display web snippets etc.) and if the target e-mail client (e.g., Microsoft Outlook 2007) is used to view the e-mail then the viewer will not be able to see the page properly (as Microsoft Office 2007 will not allow Javascript in many enterprise settings).
  3. Javascript blacklists/blockers disable javascript is many modern browsers.
  4. A university I visited last year (January 2012) has a lab that uses Mac workstations running an archaic version of Mac OS (not even OS X). Their particular scientific software is not yet runnable on OS X. A lot of people have very good reason to not upgrade to the modern world OS/browsers.

In all these cases, you may want to handle this error properly.

  • 1
    One additional case would be on Server OSes. For instance, Windows Server 2003, 2008 etc.. Usually always have javascript turned off. This is really annoying with sites like Godady.com and other networking/dns entries/cert signing sites that need to be accessed from a server and the damn page doesn't work because some programmer decided not to handle non-javascript supporting clients. Apr 1, 2013 at 4:12
  • @JonathanHenson Oh yes! That is so annoying.
    – Apoorv
    Apr 1, 2013 at 4:13
  • @JonathanHenson: In such cases I always install a 3rd party browser :P - MonsterTruck: I'm building my site with a completely decoupled client-side; i.e.: JavaScript client-side MVC framework consuming my RESTful API. Would it be worth it to cache a static (HTML5+CSS only) version of my JavaScript for these users?
    – A T
    Apr 1, 2013 at 6:06

Some people prefer disable javascript for various reasons. To some degree, it depends on your audience, but I think it makes sense to ensure that your site is at least minimally usable without javascript.

Don't waste too much time on it though, as they will probably be <1% of users.


If you care about accessibility (and why wouldn't you?) having the site work without JavaScript goes a long way towards it working nicely with screen readers for sight impaired users.

Modern screen readers can function with JavaScript enabled, but it takes more work and testing to make sure content is accessible and navigation works. If the main functions of the site work without JavaScript you can be fairly confident that it's ok for screen readers too.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.