Is there anyone left that's not using JavaScript? When designing websites, is it worth to care about that fraction of visitors? At least in Firefox you can't even disable it anymore.

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    This is a good question. The died in the wool die-hards still block JavaScript, however, since most sites now require JavaScript to function, I know that even some of the die-hards are giving up on this idea. – closetnoc Aug 22 '14 at 15:54
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    I regularly disable JavaScript for individual sites if they annoy me (like popups appearing on mouse-over or similar). So make sure you don't do annoying stuff. – Paŭlo Ebermann Aug 22 '14 at 19:18
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    Where did you read Firefox can't disable javascript? every browser can -- and if the user is insistent enough, there are plenty of plugins. I always take care to at the very least show a message that tells the user Javascript is disabled (Because even I forget I left it disabled from time-to-time) - Link your users here: enable-javascript.com and it will walk them through fixing it – SnakeDoc Aug 22 '14 at 22:16
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    Regarding Firefox: Users that want to disable JS will disable it even if Firefox removes a GUI option for this. FWIW, the add-on NoScript is currently on position 4 of the most used add-ons (it can be configured in various ways; a typical configuration is to disable JS globally and whitelist scripts for specific hosts). --- It’s hard to get accurate statistics about this. – unor Aug 23 '14 at 1:05
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    Whether or not you decide to support Javascript-disabled browsing (in some cases it doesn't make sense to even try), please at least try to view the page with JS disabled. NoScript for example (which @unor mentioned in a previous comment) is great for this. Do your best to make it appear reasonably sane when no JS executes. By all means use JS to enhance the visitor's experience, but for a regular web page (as opposed to webapp), do what you can to at least make the core functionality useful without JS. I hate it when I have to enable JS just to browse a site of largely static content. – user Aug 23 '14 at 13:03

From the info I found through this question on SO I guess that between 0.2 and 2% of users have JavaScript disabled, depending on the country. I'd say take 1% as a rule of thumb.

Whether you should care about this 1% depends on what website your building. If you're doing e-commerce and you have analyzed your audience a bit you can probably estimate if that 1% is worth the effort. If you're building government websites with information for the public that will be visited a million times a year you should probably care.

By the way, apparently it is still possible to disable JS in FF and I guess that people who hate JS will disable it.

  • Also note that disabling JS is significantly increased depending upon topic- ie. technology, security, and so on and extremely unlikely for other topics likely nearing 0%. – closetnoc Aug 22 '14 at 18:00
  • FWIW, you can disable JS in most browsers; Chrome, IE, Safari all allow you. – Matt Aug 22 '14 at 20:16
  • @closetnoc However, visitors to Bruce Schneier's blog on security will probably have a higher proportion of JS-disabled visitors. – Riking Aug 22 '14 at 21:29
  • @Riking Hence my comment. ;-) I read back in 2012 that for portions of the tech sector the percentage of people disabling JS could be as high as %40, but I took this with significant amounts of salt. This has not been my experience. BTW- Who the heck is Bruce Schneier? – closetnoc Aug 22 '14 at 22:33
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    These numbers (0.2 to 2%) are an average. However, I guess that it can depend on the website. For example, I usually have Javascript always active, but when I encounter websites with questionable practices (like disabling text selection, forbidding common navigational elements, disabling right click, spamming me with pop-ups, hiding content behind advertisements or Facebook like buttons, etc.) then I do disable Javascript, and I guess I'm not the only one. – vsz Aug 23 '14 at 11:15

This question has been asked earlier and the answers are still relevant. Whether it is worth to care about visitors who have JavaScript disabled depends on the site, its purpose, and who the demographic is.

More than users, you may also have to think about how search engines interpret the content on the web page if a large percentage of the site's visitors come via search engines. There is news that Googlebot, Google's web crawler, now executes and indexes some content in JavaScript though in the past it was "only looking at the raw textual content that we’d get in the HTTP response body and didn't really interpret what a typical browser running JavaScript would see.". This change could negatively impact search results, unless a few basic rules are taken into account.

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    There is news that Googlebot ... now executes and indexes ... JavaScript. Google has been quietly doing this for a couple of years now- though they finally admitted it. – closetnoc Aug 23 '14 at 1:57

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