Why is document.write considered a "bad practice"?


When working with JavaScript, there are certain best practices that developers adhere to in order to ensure code quality, maintainability, and performance. One such practice is avoiding the use of the document.write method. In this article, we will explore the reasons why document.write is considered a "bad practice" and provide alternative approaches that should be used instead.

What is document.write?

The document.write method is a built-in function in JavaScript that allows developers to dynamically write content to a document. It takes a string parameter and appends it to the HTML document at the point where the document.write statement is called.

document.write('Hello, world!');

While this method may seem convenient at first, it has several drawbacks that make it a bad practice in modern web development.

Reasons to Avoid document.write

1. Render Blocking

When a web page is being loaded, the browser parses the HTML and generates the DOM (Document Object Model) tree, which represents the structure of the web page. If a document.write statement is encountered during this process, it causes the browser to stop parsing the HTML and execute the document.write statement. This effectively makes the rendering of the page wait until the execution of the document.write is complete, resulting in slower page load times.

2. Overwriting Content

One of the most significant downsides of using document.write is that it completely overwrites the existing content of the document. This can cause issues if the document.write statement is called after the document has finished loading, as it will erase all previously rendered content. This can lead to unexpected behavior and a poor user experience.

3. Lack of Separation of Concerns

The use of document.write often leads to mixing JavaScript code with HTML markup, which goes against the principle of separation of concerns. Separation of concerns promotes modularization and maintainability by keeping code, styles, and markup separate. By using document.write, it becomes difficult to maintain and understand the code as it grows in complexity.

4. Compliance and Accessibility Issues

Another important reason to avoid document.write is that it can create compliance and accessibility issues. When you use document.write to dynamically generate content, it becomes challenging to ensure that the generated content complies with web standards and accessibility guidelines. This can result in a poor user experience for individuals with disabilities and legal issues for websites.

5. Alternative Approaches

A. DOM Manipulation

The recommended approach to dynamically modify the content of a web page is to use DOM manipulation methods provided by the browser's JavaScript API. These methods allow developers to create, modify, and delete elements within the DOM tree without interrupting the rendering process.

const element = document.createElement('div');
element.textContent = 'Hello, world!';

B. InnerHTML Property

Another commonly used method for modifying the content of an element is by using the innerHTML property. This property allows developers to set the HTML content of an element by assigning a string value to it.

const element = document.getElementById('myElement');
element.innerHTML = 'Hello, world!';


While document.write may have been a common practice in the early days of JavaScript, it is now considered a bad practice due to its various drawbacks. By understanding these reasons and utilizing alternative approaches such as DOM manipulation and the innerHTML property, developers can improve code quality, maintainability, and performance.