What I’ve Seen On Online Since I Started Blocking Javascript On My Browser

Years ago, when I wrote my post about blocking newsletter popups, I was feeling pretty smug because I was finally getting back at all those sites that throw popups at you before you ever get to see the content. In the years since, I’ve noticed some things that I thought I’d talk about as a follow up to that original post.

Happy Mitch

First, I’m still a very happy guy. Those of you who visit here know that my ultimate pet peeve when it comes to visiting blogs are annoying popups. Turns out turning off javascript blocks a lot of other nasty bits from other types of sites beyond just blogs; I’m not mad in the least!

Second, let me mention some folks whose blogs I know for sure don’t bombard you with popups of any kind; it’s a very short list:

Lisa’s blog

Arlee’s blog

Steve’s blog

Dana’s blog

That’s it so far. It’s harder now to tell who’s doing what since I can’t see anymore who’s got it or not. Actually, that’s not quite true; I can turn it on or off, so sometimes I’ll turn it on just to see what happens when I visit a new blog. I won’t be updating the above list because I only shared those names in the moment… which of course is now. 🙂

Third, it seems that without knowing it, all of us have some kind of javascript on our sites. Mine turns out to be my share buttons, and it seems to affect most of the blogs or websites I go to. So, if you see me sharing something you’ve put up on your website, I’m sorry to say it won’t affect your share numbers unless I’ve turned javascript on for you… which right now is still only 4 people.

It also affects those commenting systems I don’t like to begin with, such as Disqus and Livefyre. They never even come up; I get a message saying I need to activate javascript in order to comment, and since I wouldn’t comment on those anyway, once again I’m good. Also, I’m blocking both Forbes & Inc and a host of other sites before they can block me because of my adblocker; winning! lol

Fourth, one of the things I say often is that I tend to believe people who throw a popup at you before you even have a chance to read any of their content don’t care whether you read it or not. That seems to be proven by many sites I go to because, unlike the majority, they won’t let you read any of the content, period!

As a matter of fact, some of those sites never load any content while I have javascript off. Oh, if only those folks knew how much all of that is negatively impacting their mobile speed! lol

not barrren here
We don’t do
barren around here

A lot of websites and blogs are templates using a lot of javascript, so their sites are barren on my browser unless I decide I really want to see what’s hiding there… which doesn’t happen all that often. Being me, I have some workarounds I can apply if I really want to see it and don’t want to turn on javascript. Unfortunately it only works half the time I try but since it’s a rare event it’s not bothersome.

Fifth, it also affects the ability to leave comments on blogs with CommentLuv, which I actually like a lot; that’s problematic. In those instances where I really want to leave a comment I’ll temporarily allow access to the site so I can have my say… even though 95% of the time it turns out the site throws a popup at me… sigh…

Sixth… I hope those of you using those popups aren’t using them on mobile. Google’s announced that it’s going to be punishing sites that use annoying pop-up ads… awww… They’re especially going after those sites that have popups that won’t allow you to view the content unless you hit the X, and those sites where there’s no X to hit before you can read the content.

You can believe if they’re doing it on mobile, it’ll affect your PC users as well. The excuse people have been giving about how many subscribers they get because of those popups will find their traffic drying up because of those very same popups and Google penalties; for once I couldn’t be more pleased!

Seventh, I might as well tell you what I’m using and where I’m using it. I mainly use Firefox, so I’ve added an addon called Javascript Control. It puts a little box in my address bar and I have it set to automatically turn javascript off for every site I go to. If I’m good with a site I can turn it on and leave it on by clicking on the box, and it goes from grey to yellow. If the site irks me, I just click on it again and it turns javascript back off. Life is so much easier and my sensibilities aren’t bothered; can’t ask for more than that.

I can honestly say that it’s not the popups themselves that has irked me as much as when those suckers come up. If I’m not allowed to read all of your content, let alone even begin to see it, I’d rather block the entire site and move on.

I’m probably sharing more content from creators these days whose articles I get to read without knowing whether or not they have popups because of Flipboard, so a lot of people should be thanking me for that. For the rest of you… well, it is what it is, and now you’re going to be forced into it or risk losing some of your traffic… which I understand well (stupid Panda!).

That’s one for my side; now if Twitter will only do something like that for those Auto DM’s! 🙂

10 thoughts on “What I’ve Seen On Online Since I Started Blocking Javascript On My Browser”

  1. Hi Mitch, That is one of my pet peeves- landing on a blog post but you can’t even read it because of pop-ups and ads.
    I tried a few over the years and found they were annoying to me and they did not produce a lot more traffic.
    The only thing I do like is push notifications but readers have a choice whether or not to subscribe to them.
    Now I know why I’ve had issues leaving comments with CommentLuv and why I still have Thrive comments on my site. I used to LOVE CommentLuv, I still like it but not sure if and when I’ll go back to it.
    I haven’t used Firefox in years, I’m a Google Chrome fan 🙂
    Thanks for the mention Mitch and nice to see Dana here too – loving her new website!
    I hope you have a nice weekend, weather is finally looking good!

    1. Hey Lisa, glad we agree on those stupid popups. Truth be told, all those sites lose traffic and visitors, but they do gain newsletter subscribers which is what they all say they really care about.

      What did you discover about CommentLuv? Is it something we’ve talked about before?

  2. Hey Mitch,

    Ahh yes, I remember this whole subject matter coming up a few years ago. That stirred up quite a discussion 🙂

    I never got into the pop-up thing. Still don’t.

    I’ll sign up for someone’s newsletter if I want something they have. In that case, I’ve always found easy ways to do so without something popping up to interrupt me.

    I appreciate the mention and hope you are doing well!

    1. Glad to see you Dana. I hate popups almost as much as I hate auto DM’s; that’s something I haven’t seen since forever, and I’m not upset about that a single bit! lol

      i’m hanging in there; that’s my standard answer. If I only had a chocolate cake… 🙂

  3. Hi Mitch, the pop ups are usually really annoying and yes it does help when you block them only to get interference when trying to download something you want.

    1. Actually, if there’s something you want to download, I figure they have the right to hit you with a popup or at least an ad. Other than that, I’d rather not be bothered.

  4. Great Post Mitch,

    Initially, I also used to block javascript on my browser, the reasons was the same, too many pop-ups and ads on some websites. But then on some websites, I used to get a really weird experience.

    Thankfully, most of the webmasters these days care about the user experience on their website and don’t put ads or popups that are intrusive. Now I prefer to leave that website that have those irritating things rather than blocking the Javascript.

    1. We must be visiting different types of sites because it feels worse than ever, even with Google’s threat to rank those sites lower. I like deciding whether or not I want to deal with a site’s content by blocking javascript the first time. If I have a problem I use a different browser since, as you said, sometimes weird stuff happens.

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