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I want to prepare a message for my users in case he/she has JS disabled. First of all I want to clarify that I will not make the site work without JS(it requires considerable coding work.)

The question is OK...I detect that the user has not enabled JS. What are the next steps from there?What warning should I give him/her? Should I do anything else besides warning them? Redirecting them for example somewhere else or taking any other action for that matter. I really do not know how to handle this besides showing the message of course.

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Explain why

People with Javascript disabled are certainly aware of their settings, a warning message will not come as a suprise. Bear in mind that some users do so for privacy concerns. If you want people to enable it back, you need to earn their trust first. Explain why your website requires Javascript and what kind of people are behind it, what are their motives. Mention that the website does not run any tracker, if it is the case.

Provide an overview

Some users will come by chance, their initial quest is to check if the website can offer something of value for them. You need to provide a non-js usable home page to help them get their answers. If they are interested, they will come back later with Javascript activated.

A last advice: don't explain how to activate it

Because most of the time disabling javascript was done on purpose and it rushes users to do something when they have not built any trust yet.

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    Agreed with the last part of not explaining. In Chrome it's in "advanced settings" and at least 5 clicks to get the javascript disabled, I'd think it was an intentional decision. If you must, make the sentence "You must have javascript enabled" a link that explains how, not in the message itself. – DasBeasto Sep 27 '16 at 12:43
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For websites that are fully dependant on JS I recommend to create two DIVs.

  1. Background - make background content (content with lower z-index) unreadable.

  2. Message - a message clearly stating that this website is not going to work without JS.

Take a look at quora when trying to read other articles without signing in.

This is what the effect looks like: enter image description here

This is easily achievable with plain CSS, so should have no problems. Remember however that being so struck about this might drive your users away.

  • there is something I do not understand....you say to make background content unreadable.Are you expecting from this that text/images will be hidden?Cause background sits behind them...so hiding the background does not hide the text for example. Unless you mean something else...I am a little confused. – Dimitris Papageorgiou Sep 27 '16 at 2:31
  • and what surprises me with quora is the fact that a display message about JS disabled does not appear....furthermore with JS disabled I cannot even login. – Dimitris Papageorgiou Sep 27 '16 at 6:49
  • @DimitrisPapageorgiou sorry by blurred background I meant content with the lover z-index. – Ivan Venediktov Sep 27 '16 at 7:42
  • So you mean everything will be blank/white....as outlook.com when JS is disabled... – Dimitris Papageorgiou Sep 27 '16 at 8:50
  • @DimitrisPapageorgiou I added an image to my answer. Doesn't have to be white/blank. Same effect, but no JS enabled message. Regarding quora and signing in, is due to their login methods that require JavaScript to be enabled. The message wouldn't hurt though. – Ivan Venediktov Sep 27 '16 at 9:01
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In the same line as @asiegfried, I think that the relevant part is not that JS is disabled, but that the site won't work.
"JS disabled", out of the blue, is not normal-people-friendly.
My idea is a message like

"Your current browser configuration is not compatible with this site (JavaScript disabled)"

For most people this will be enough.
For the others, provide a [?] help link to an HTML page explaining the issue in detail, and providing instructions for those who want to change the configuration.
In the instructions, don't make the user tell which browser are they using. Ideally, you tell them (make and model), because some people might not be sure, and because you already know it.
In that page you can communicate them that you don't intend to do any harm, neither collect information about them.

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