Website Testing With Disabled JavaScript

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First of all, let’s see what is JavaScript. Initially, it was created in order to make webpages more animated.

Developers of JavaScript were going to create a product that will be similar to Java. But after a while, it developed a lot, and now it is an independent programming language with its own functionality and isn’t relevant to Java.

Programs that are developed in this language are called scripts. In a browser, they connect directly to HTML and are performed right after the paging-in.

A JavaScript program is a simple text that doesn’t need special acquirements. Moreover, you can use the JavaScript language not only in a browser. But in this case, you will need a particular application that interprets it.

If you use this language in the website development sphere, you will not need the interpreter program. A great advantage of JavaScript is that all the most popular browsers have this program by default. Due to this feature, it can make scripts on the page.



JavaScript Features

Nowadays, JavaScript is the programming language that is designed for general goals. It doesn’t give low-level functionality to work with the processor or storage. Its primary aim was browsers that do not need this.

In the context of other features, they directly depend on the environment where JavaScript is running. In the browsers, JavaScript does everything connected with actions on the page, interaction with a user, and with a server to a certain degree.

So, JavaScript can do the following:

  • Make or delete HTML tags, show elements, change their style, hide them, and so on;
  • Feedback to user’s actions, process clicks on the mouse, keyboard, cursors moves, etc.;
  • File a request to a server and download the information without page reloading (AJAX technologies);
  • File a request for data, bring up the letters, get, and install the cookies.

What Cannot JavaScript Do?

JavaScript is a safe language that can perform quickly but the browser has some limits for it. It is worth noting that it’s necessary to protect users, and do not let a malicious user get access to personal data through JavaScript, or harm the user’s PC.

However, these limits do not apply if JavaScript is used in a server but not in the browser. Except for this, almost every browser has its own mechanism of plugin and updates setup with improved functionality. Meanwhile, they require special user’s actions for their setup.

JavaScript cannot do the following:

  • Read or save some data to the hard disk, copy files, or call up an application. JavaScript does not have direct access to the operating system.
    In this case, we can say that today specialists work on getting access to the devices according to up-to-date standards, and particular browsers already have partial access.
  • JavaScript can send requests to a domain of the page. Requests to other servers are also acceptable but it isn’t so user-friendly due to special limits.
  • Hold discourse with other windows, except for the situation when it opens tabs from one source (the same server or port).

There are some ways to avoid this, but then you will need special code combinations for both files on different windows. For safety reasons, you cannot go from one window to another through JavaScript but without the code.

The Benefits of JavaScript

This programming language can help you to do the following:

  • Make a full integration with HTML/CSS;
  • Design simple things without a good knowledge of JavaScript;
  • Use it in most browsers because it’s supported and installed there by default.

What Is Considered a Bug If JavaScript Is Disabled?

Answering this question, we should point to the importance of the circumstances. A lot of browsers include JavaScript by default because many sites need it for work-related purposes. For example, if JavaScript is disabled, you can only view tables in the Google Sheets but their editing will be not allowed.

But can we consider it as a bug? Certainly not! When a user opens the table, he/she sees a message about the necessity to install JavaScript for correct tools functioning. Only after this procedure he/she will get complete access to the file editing.

Specialists often use JavaScript to improve the design: increase the image size, make a pop-down menu, add animated fields, and so on. Usually, they do it with JavaScript. But if it’s disabled. What to do then?

Many programmers enable website performance without JavaScript, using only HTML and CSS in a simpler way, or if some part of the functionality is on a server. Maybe it looks not so perfect but a more important fact is that all the functions are available and the site works properly.

Sometimes, programmers repair to the progressive improvements. It means that firstly they create a site on HTML (with its all functionality). Then they improve and develop its capabilities through JavaScript libraries.

Bug or Feature: How to Find Out?

In most cases, it depends on the description of a system in documents. When JavaScript is disabled and the functionality doesn’t refer to documentation, the only thing you can do is rely on the soundness of mind.

That’s because the programmers and the clients sometimes cannot say, is it a bug or something else.

What is a bug when JavaScript is disabled?

  • Frequent defects in a system, its malfunction;
  • No important functions which are available with JavaScript;
  • Defects that hinder performance and don’t inform about a need of enabled JavaScript;
  • No fields validation that is available in JavaScript;
  • Incorrect information that was sent to a server;
  • Wrong layout displaying;
  • Disabled navigation keys to move from page to page.

What is not a bug?

  • Functionality has been changed but it is available in one form or another;
  • Modified design;
  • When you go from one page to another, the whole page is refreshing (not the changed content only);
  • The page isn’t showing the updated data automatically, it only shows the list of pages.

How Do We See Pages When JavaScript Is Disabled?

Correct behavior when JavaScript is disabled

The simplest and clearest example is Google search.

Google search when JavaScript is disabled

Google search when JavaScript is disabled

First of all, design. As far as the better half of the site has animated design and menu navigation due to JavaScript, specialists changed the design for more convenient usage without JavaScript.

Every part of the Google sections is now in the page title because they were inside the box, opened with JavaScript. Near the search results, you can see search filters (before they were drop-down box).

Second of all, functionality. Tabs and pages with search results require a page reload for the content updating. Previously JavaScript has changed automatically without the page reload.

Message about a need for JavaScript (using Twitter as an example)

You are able to manage most functions and content on Twitter via JavaScript. That’s why when you open the site with disabled JavaScript, you see the message about a need to enable JavaScript and go to the mobile version of the application where JavaScript is unnecessary.

Incorrect behavior when JavaScript is disabled

No Message About a Need for JavaScript

Webmaker without JavaScript

Webmaker without JavaScript

Let’s talk about it using the site as an example. There is no message about a need to enable JavaScript. Moreover, a user doesn’t see information about the ways how to fix this issue.

There Are No Important Functional Capabilities

When you click on the Login or Sign up buttons here, the window for logging or registration appears (if JavaScript is enabled). On the contrary, users cannot log in or sign up if JavaScript is disabled.


JavaScript is the programming language that is one of the best options for functional scenarios and design on the pages. Everybody get used to it as to something natural and they don’t wonder what to do when it is disabled.

When you perform user interface testing without JavaScript, don’t forget that the site probably won’t function in the way it was designed primarily. Nevertheless, the main functionality will work as it should.

If you, for example, want to go to some online shop and buy some clothes (but JavaScript is disabled), you will not be able to add a product to the cart.

However, the requirements should be rational and wise. For example, if you see that the whole menu is working properly but looks a little differently, it’s not so relevant and you shouldn’t pay too much attention to this.

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