I am trying to decide how to implement the log in/register feature on my website.

I am contemplating what the best way to go about this would be. What I mean by this is, when the user clicks "LOG IN":

* User gets redirected to login page
* JavaScript pop up window appears for logging in
* Input boxes appear under the login link
* A login form becomes visible (similar to www.funnyordie.com)

I'd like to hear from experienced web developers on why they choose one way or another? Which way do users like best (which I know will be subjective, so please generalize)?

4 answers


I usually go with the first option (unless directed otherwise by my client) because the others require Javascript in one form or another. I never require my users to have scripting turned on to use a site.

Answered over 9 years ago by Michael Itzoe
  • That doesn't prevent you from having both (which should always be the case with JavaScript functionality). Doug over 9 years ago
o.k.w 2355

There is no definite answer to this question. A lot depends on the:

  • The nature of the website (E.g E-commerce, Support, Community/Social Networking?)
  • The scope of the user base (E.g. Public, intranet, secured access only etc)
  • The technology used (E.g. Ajax)
  • and possibly a few other factors

Why I say this is because, take for example your site is a facebook clone. Users come into the site to login before they can do say 95% of the tasks. It makes sense for the login form to be on every page (e.g. in the masthead)

Another scenario, your website has a backend for some users, which is not really for everybody but perhaps for some moderator. You might not want the login form to be that obvious.

Regarding technology, you might want an Ajax Login form but might not be able to due to the platform or the implementation of the site.

There's still a lot more that I can go on, but fundamentally, your users come first. Only you have the answer. :)

Answered over 9 years ago by o.k.w

Where do your users come from? How do they behave around the web? Are they already used to Web2.0 Elements? Or are they more comfortable with Standard HTML Elements? Will they have Javascript enabled?

There are a lot of questions you have to ask yourself to answer this question.

E.g.:In my company i work most of the time for cities or churches. I have to guess that a lot of them have javascript disabled and can't turn it on. So all AJAX only solutions are not suitable for me. So i have to display the login the whole time, or put it on a seperate login page.

Maybe we can give you a better answer if you describe your page a bit further.

Answered over 9 years ago by Sven Finke

Agree with the comments regarding 'depends who your users are'.

If it's a business application, fancy drop down login boxes aren't really necessary. For a start, the only page the person might be able to navigate to is a login page if it's a purely business application.

For the general internet, I like the drop down login box in terms of a user experience:

  • Login link is in the corner of the screen
  • Click the login link to display the drop down login box
  • Enter details to login.
  • Alternatively, click the login link again to hide the login box (or somewhere outside of the screen)

It can be annoying if on a slow line (e.g. with twitter, which takes you to a separate page in some instances if the Javascript hasn't fully loaded yet).

If there isn't Javascript, I'd rather have an embedded login form instead of having it on a separate page I must navigate to.

Answered almost 9 years ago by James Barrow