Website development without JavaScript - aka who has the best chip shop in town

@Lucas Can UIKit work without javascript? My main client obligates this and without images and working columns (like your demo pages and UIKitter pages) I unfortunately cannot use :(

Nope javascript is necessary.

Tell your client that today’s internet isn’t working without JavaScript any more.


With respect, I find your comment condescending and patronizing.

Today’s internet is very different in different parts of the world. From your comfortable seat you may not think about the other way the people have to live but my client is an NGO that makes access to services possible for the most underprivileged areas of the third world.

For visitors to their sites, it is not uncommon for the average hardware age to be 10 years and for connections to be much slower than 3G.

In such circumstances, progressive enhancement is not just best practice but a necessity. We require basic access to a page to be available, not the fullest functioning of all features.

You are obviously not aware that Google has an active proposal progressing to disable javascript in Chrome browsers for connection speeds less than 3G. This could affect many parts of Western Europe as well as the third world and many of your sites will be blank for users - will it be such a simple answer then?

The appeal of UIKit for this application was that it was advertised as small and fast on the published page. Not supporting progressive enhancement for basics such as columns and images is therefore very disappointing.

To you or to the people who liked your comment @pmjd, @Ricardo and @Capetom : could any of you tell me why ignoring progressive enhancement should be liked and also can you name a single lazy loading script available that does not support it, at least using a no script tag.

To finish, I am sad that I have had to make this post as I merely asked a polite question - your comment was unnecessary, arrogant and not solicited. I am not trying to start an argument but I think that the full picture should be considered.

1 Like


Just telling the truth, todays internet doesn’t work without JavaScript any more.

Internet speed has nothing todo with JavaScript. Minified JavaScript libraries are far smaller than one single image. Any smartphone, even an old android one, is able to execute JavaScript. Same for old IE11 browsers, which are available on Windows XP.

If you still want to create a website without JavaScript usage, I strongly recommend to completely stay away from RW, and create a hand written website.

With respect, only speaking for myself , my liking to @Jannis comment was not meant to be condescending or anything of a sort. I simply liked the comment because in today’s internet I find harder and harder to produce competitive websites without Javascript. I actively develop and support NGO websites, and depending on their scope, I try to produce pages where JavaScript is not required, but more importantly , I try paying particular attention to things that might slow down page loads that can be potentially far worse than Javascript. In any case, my apologies for the misunderstanding.




I don’t think you can call a comment unnecessary or not solicited if you ask a question on a public forum. As for being arrogant, I didn’t find anything said to be that way.

Javascript being disabled is so rare these days that’s it difficult to even find accurate stats on it.

What percentage of browsers with javascript disabled?

The last tracking from a global perspective was probably Yahoo from 2010 (about ten years ago the age of the hardware), and it showed worldwide about 1%.
Blockmetry has data from 2016 (about three years old) and shows pageview data worldwide to be well less than 1% about (0.2%).

The reality is that even 20 years ago, the majority of browsers had Javascript enabled. Even at dial-up speeds.

I’d love to see a link to that proposal. I’m curious to see which of the many 3G speeds that could be referring too. 3G speeds can range from 0.3Mbps through 42Mbps. I have a cabin that I go to often that I’m lucky to get 1.5Mbps. I wouldn’t want my JavaScript disabled at any speed.


A lot of sites on the onion-tor-web don’t use javascript. The Tor-browser disables it in safe mode.

So Johan is it a safety reason or een speed reason for your client?

gr. dirk

Well since I’m i the firing line for a lecture because I liked a comment you don’t like here we go…

First up…progressive enhancements can be very interesting, especially things that can make sites faster. I’m not a developer, this is a hobby and an interest, so no…I couldn’t name a single lazy loading script.

The proposal on chromium sounds interesting but won’t be the default, as it will require Google’s Data Saver extension to be switched on. Also it seems that Google requires javascript to be able to login to it’s services, so it would not be a blanket javascript ban by Google that affected the world.

I liked the comment because I found it amusing at the time as I’ve seen quite a few people post on various forums that they/their client needed X and it could at times seem like an odd request. Your later explanation of why you needed a toolkit that doesn’t rely upon JS makes the picture clearer, perhaps that would have helped had it been in the original post.

I would agree with Jannis that if you have to avoid javascript then RW is probably not the ideal website tool for your situation, maybe a full featured code editor or something like pinegrow might be a better fit (html and css outputs rather than a RW proprietary file format so any one can edit later on). I haven’t used it but it seems to be popular.

So hopefully that maybe of some use to you.

You asked a polite question and got a polite answer from Lucas, and a comment from Jannis that I didn’t find condescending or patronising, amusing but not offensive. However, your reply was a bit unnecessary and very patronising. More information on your specific requirements was interesting to hear but it could have been put better.

I shall leave you to the moral high ground.


This is the best advice, IMHO.

If I am not mistaken, I think that Platform from @juergenbarth does not require Javascript, since it’s based on Bulma. If so, it maybe a good RW option for you.

Well, yes and no! While Bulma is delivered without any JavaScript, it is just not possible to get certain results without JS.

I am trying to get as far as possible just by using CSS (see for example the Accordion stack), many features can only be realised by implementing them in JS, eg Parallax.

Trust me, If I could get away without JS, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Out of interest, why the client desire for no javascript? Is it based on informed decision or just something they heard from someone in passing?

I get dumb requests all day long from clients, most recent was no image over 50kb.

If the desire is to reduce the code on the page to an absolute minimum Rapidweaver is most likely not the tool for you.

Don’t want to teach grandma to suck eggs,I’ve no idea how long you’ve been in this game, but my initial advice is to drill down into the clients request.

And ignore nonsense from Google. 90% of it is pure shite made up by people trying to prove their worth, most announcements about changing the web from Google get dropped after a year.

Source doesn’t use any javascript except for the navigation bar according to Stuart:

“For those that don’t know, Source is a simple (yet powerful!) ’micro’ framework that is really lightweight (fast!!) and uses only modern CSS to power its layouts (no Javascript or jquery is used for this - in fact only the Nav bar stack uses any Javascript at all!).” - Source v1.1.0


Yes - no js is required with Source (there is a css fallback for the Nav to work too).

It does though need a modern browser (>IE11) to display properly as it does use the latest css for some layouts (CSS grid etc). The site should still display reasonably on older browsers though.

It’s only if you are then adding stacks for functionality/ interaction that the lack of JS would then affect things. It really is a must for modern websites.


At no point have I asked for this, I just asked about progressive enhancement which would be the normal approach for any site that uses javascript - this is that is will at least still display without javascript and not just appear blank. The scripted features are being lost but the viewer can still access the page.

Again a very broad and inaccurate statement. “the internet” is a very different thing for us than it is for third world communities. It is not just about speed, it is about cost.

Data is hugely expensive for the poorest communities and we regularly deal with people who automatically turn of javascript on their cell phone because they think it will use less data. Right or wrong in this opinion is not important, it is what they do.

The fact that this comment is marked as “Solution” and not the original answer from @Lucas (for which I am grateful) tells a story doesn’t it. Usual forum pack hunting.

I asked a question to the maker of UIKit and got a concise and simple answer. I was grateful for that answer and left it at that. @Jannis comment added nothing to the situation other than sarcasm.

No Sir, you are lucky to have a cabin in addition to your home. The people that we try to help do not even have a safe and adequate first home in many cases. I am not on a crusade and I too am very lucky but let us all appreciate that out local anecdotal evidence is irrelevant.

I actually agree and this is what I have been doing for the past 25 years as a volunteer (I was a professional web app developer for a large multinational before retirement). Now that I am too old to continue, I have been searching for a simple drag and drop app that others could use on a low budget if I initiate it before I leave.

@habitualshaker Yes than you. I discovered this after my initial question and I think it will be a great solution.

The CSS fall back is all that is needed, not a debate -:)

True that I am very often sarcastic. Not this time.

I think you are quite aggressive here while we just discuss if today’s websites most probably use / work only with JavaScript or not.

Apart from the OP question it turns out to be an interesting discussion. Sarcasm or not, it is very interesting to hear about the use of the www in other parts of the world and its requirements and how to achieve that. So thank you!


I don’t understand why you think JavaScript has to do anything with speed or bandwidth.

JavaScript goes back to Netscape Navigator 2.0 (1996), and a Microsoft version (JScript) started with IE2. There wasn’t really anything like broadband and mobile data wasn’t a dream yet. It was a ”dial-up” world where speeds were measured in Kbps, not Mbps.

You can have JavaScript that will do simple things like toggle a dropdown menu or open an accordion and virtually add no noticeable page weight.

Yes most modern websites have become enormous in size using massive libraries of JavaScript and CSS. But turning off JavaScript is going to do little to solve the issue.

Google’s AMP allows limited JavaScript (no libraries like jQuery) but concentrates on page size and speed.

Most of the RapidWeaver packages based on frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, and UIKit are going to be bulky. They’ll use jQuery and have built-in JavaScript and CSS libraries that give them all that function that designers crave.

The Source package would produce the lightest page weight of the bunch. It doesn’t use jQuery, and if you switch the default Google Raleway font off and use a standard browser font, a simple “Hello World” webpage with navigation and Javascript turned on loads in at about 39 KB compared to 400 KB+ for the other frameworks. The CSS is 23 KB of that, the javaScript (with navigation) about 8 KB.

Of course, the problem is it will require a modern browser. So depending on the hardware the default IE on much older computers won’t work.