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Discussion on: Progressive Enhancement is non-negotiable.

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Joseph Moore

Progressive enhancement is one of my soapboxes. I'm really excited about the increasing adoption and improvement of server-side rendering techniques for SPAs, though it frustrates me that people always couch it in terms of improved SEO. It can add so much more value that that! It works better for A11y, it usually speeds up your initial render, it can make your site still be useable if your big fancy JS bundle breaks, and so much more. Progressive enhancement is better in so many ways.

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Alexandre Plennevaux Author • Edited on

Yeah, the SEO argument is a bit of the lazy one, I must admit, because it wins the audience more easily. But it is true the Googlebot can render javascript under certain conditions (and probably ubiquitously at some point in the future). But SEO is also a good indicator : should the content be indexed ? If that is so, it's probably not an app, so you probably don't need a full fledged Javascript framework anyway. But if the content is private stuff, like mails, or to-dos, or bank statements? You're building an app. Go the whole JS way, baby. No indexing need. Do make sure it is accessible for the blind.

Still, if unsure because you are fresh and young in the dev world, remember this : html is cheap, and futureproof.