How to Handle Web Surfers Who Disable JavaScript

    September 7, 2005

This article describes how to create a web page that can be viewed by users, who have disabled JavaScript support or whose web browser does not support it.

There are hundreds of millions of Web surfers today. Each of them uses one of multiple web browsers available now. You as a Webmaster create cool web pages that are full of graphics and JavaScript and look very impressive in modern web browsers like Internet Explorer or FireFox. But ask yourself: “What will my cool web page will look like, if the web surfer uses Linx browser (text based) or just disables JavaScript support?” You may think that the number of Linx browser users is quite small today and you can ignore them, but (some) search engine spiders do not support JavaScript either. You cannot ignore search engines in the modern world.

There are some safe ways how to handle search engine spiders and web surfers, who do not support JavaScript, at your web page.

One of the approaches is provided by HTML. It is a NOSCRIPT tag. You can enclose in NOSCRIPT tags HTML code that will be displayed in browsers that do not support scripting. You can place navigation hyperlinks here, if you use JavaScript menu for this purpose. Instead of content, dynamically generated by JavaScript, you can place some static text between NOSCRIPT tags. NOSCRIPT content is invisible for web surfers, who use modern web browsers, but it will be very useful for Linx users and search engine spiders.

The second, more flexible approach includes using JavaScript. Yes, you can use JavaScript to handle visitors, who do not support JavaScript. It is simple. In the web page, you can place HTML elements with the content that should be visible for those who does not support scripting. Then place at the bottom of the page, place a simple script code that sets the “.style.display” property to “none” for such elements. Therefore, if your web page is viewed in a browser, which supports scripting, script code will be executed and all additional elements become invisible. If your web page is viewed in a browser, which does not support scripting, script code will be ignored.

So, using these simple approaches, you can handle all possible web browsers and provide search engine spiders with additional relevant content, which is very important as well.

Michael Kashirin is a webmaster of TRY-2-FIND.COM Meta Search Engine and LOOK-4IT.COM Meta Search Engine.