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Using JS to improve your website

Author: Sirbastian Manning

As Javascript becomes an ever more popular way of adding extra functionality to websites, it's growing increasingly common to find websites that are either bloated and slow due to their overuse of Javascript or entirely dependent on Javascript and unable to work without it.

At Bluelinemedia we believe that Javascript should be used only where it improves the user experience. We apply Javascript as the final layer of a website and only once the functional side of a site is completed (similar to applying the icing to a freshly baked cake). This approach is often referred to as progressive enhancement and allows a website to function in the same way regardless of the technology available to a user browsing the site. If a user has Javascript enabled within their browser an extra layer of functionality can be applied and made available to them.

A key reason for using Javascript in this way is that it ensures the website stays accessible to users at the most basic core level.

A nice example of progressive enhancement is our own portfolio page. With Javascript enabled the 'web software' and 'web design' sections are displayed using a tab menu to separate them, if however, Javascript is disabled all of the same content is still available but the tab menu functionality has been removed and the content is displayed in a more traditional method.