Overusing JavaScript Can Annoy Website Visitors

JavaScript is used for forms, retrieving data sets and a host of other features for building dynamic websites. However, some websites rely on JavaScript (JS) for everything from animated menus to dynamic web applications. When JavaScript is overused it slows down the website annoying visitors and online shoppers.

This is not a problem limited to simply small websites, but for many large and well-known websites as well. It is easy to spot with the infamous twirling circle whilst waiting for content to load from the seemingly endless JavaScript calls.

The performance of JavaScript has recently been significantly improved especially after the arrival of V8 engine from Google and the adoption of Apple’s incredibly fast Nitro engine. The main issue with JS overuse are the multiple pop-up windows and lengthy content loads. This often occurs when websites become distended due to the injection of so many scripts that visitors abandon the site before they find what they are looking for or make a purchase. Whilst JavaScript can be disabled in the browser, websites that depend on JS will not render properly if it is disabled.

However, the main concern about JavaScript hinges on the false idea of website optimisation without taking accessibility into account. This is because screen readers for the visually impaired may not be able to access some non-native JS content. A survey of visually impaired users with screen readers conducted in 2012 by WebAIM revealed that 98.6% of respondents indicated they have JS enabled. Therefore, it’s a good idea to test your website with screen readers to ensure accessibility for all site visitors.

There are several other internet technologies which can accomplish what JavaScript does. Image rollovers, hover menus, form validation, pop-ups and animations can be accomplished with CSS, client side and server side processing technologies. So, if you are developing a website, it’s imperative to observe clean coding practices and use programming scripts and other techniques that are best suited for the application. This will result in a faster website and an outstanding user experience.

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